Indiana study profiles local pandemic planning problems

first_img “This is aggravated by federal communication efforts that confuse the two,” the researchers write. Rivalry between hospital systems that impaired coordination (though it was found that a mediator could reduce this problem) Vagueness regarding the roles and responsibilities of local public health, emergency management, and healthcare officials In addition, “Several counties with nursing schools operating within their borders have explored the idea of utilizing nursing students as care extenders, but the efficacy of this will depend in part on school decisions on how to respond to a pandemic event and whether to continue operations,” the report says. Also, it was not known whether any of the counties had checked whether students were willing to serve. The study was part of an effort by researchers at Purdue University to develop a planning template for ways to provide surge capacity to care for a flood of patients during a pandemic. The researchers interviewed public health, emergency preparedness, and hospital officials in 11 representative Indiana counties between November 2006 and August 2007; questionnaires were tested in two other counties. Interviews were conducted by telephone and on-site. In line with these plans, nearly all counties had a basic communication plan to inform the public about the disease and the local response and to direct patients to the most appropriate source of care. However, many county planners focused only on media services located within the county, rather than the sources most used by the local citizenry. For example, one surburban county planned to use the only radio station based in the county, a college station with a weak signal, instead of higher-rated TV and radio stations in the next county. In the face of this reality, “Almost all counties were giving consideration to altered standards of care to stretch resources, but were wary of this option due to liability concerns and lack of statutory protection from malpractice claims, a concern heightened by lack of guidance from state and federal governments,” the report states. Unrealistic expectations for outside help, such as material support from the National Guard or the governor’s office—a misperception grounded in experience with localized disasters such as floods In addition, planning and coordination were hindered by blurry agency roles and mismatches between political boundaries and local healthcare market boundaries. The study also showed that most hospitals were hoping to deal with the influx of pandemic flu patients largely by reducing demand for services, mainly through triage systems. Hospital officials expressed concern about making ends meet during the pressures of a pandemic, the study says. One hospital thought it would have to shut down, while others suggested they would have to rely on federal and state disaster assistance funds to get by. “Few considered the fact that most patients would be insured and that they could use usual mechanism to seek reimbursement for care which might provide a revenue stream,” the authors write. “With few exceptions, planners failed to look beyond their borders, whether to identify resources to support their population or to identify additional demand for resources in their jurisdiction,” the researchers write. “Because planning responsibilities are defined by local political jurisdictions, most focused only on those jurisdictions, with efforts to initiate intercounty cooperation rarely noted.” Managing demandMost of the counties chose to deal with hospital capacity problems during a pandemic at least partly by reducing the demand for hospital services, usually by means of a triage system to save hospital beds for those in greatest medical need, the researchers found. Because of concern about spreading flu, officials were discussing plans to separate flu patients from other patients or to locate triage functions outside the hospital, such as in tent clinics or school gyms. Interviews with health officials in 11 Indiana counties showed recent progress in pandemic planning, but also pointed up many difficulties, according to the report in the Journal of Homeland Security and Emergency Management. On the logistical and financial front, the leading concern was possible shortages of medical supplies, especially drugs and personal protective equipment, the researchers found. The economic pressure to run lean operations was cited as an obstacle to the stockpiling of supplies for emergency use. The authors suggest that, given the differences between political units and healthcare service areas, planning for providing surge capacity would be better done at the regional level than the local level. Among misunderstandings, some planners thought a pandemic would involve such high rates of illness and death that planning would be useless, and many officials had unrealistic expectations about getting help from outside sources such as the National Guard or the state governor. Jul 9, 2008 (CIDRAP News) – A study from Indiana reveals a long list of problems hampering county-level planning for pandemic influenza, ranging from misunderstanding of the threat and lack of coordination and resources to rivalry between hospital systems.center_img The researchers, with George H. Avery as first author, found that planners generally had made progress but had a long way to go. Misperception of the threatIn some counties, officials’ view of the likely impact of a pandemic amounted to “a synthesis of misinformation, resulting in a perception of impact which exceeds the worst cases historically observed,” the article states. Using retired physicians, student nursesConcerning staffing, the counties generally had tried to follow guidance in the federal pandemic flu plan, but they ran into some problems with it. For example, most counties had begun to develop a reserve list of retired or inactive physicians and nurses who could help in a pandemic. But local officials complained of a lack of state guidance on licensing and credentials, and few had addressed the problem of malpractice insurance for those workers. “While planners, for the most part, were committing a significant effort in trying to develop a pandemic influenza plan, and in fact had made large strides over the previous year, the plans developed were still crude and required much more work,” the report says. They also note other researchers’ observation that the idea of using alternative sites to provide surge capacity in a pandemic is widespread, but it is not clear just how these sites would work or even if they would be feasible. They write, “Significant barriers exist to the use of alternative care sites for building hospital surge capacity, and any attempt to develop such capacity should focus on how alternative care arrangements fit into the overall local emergency management and healthcare systems. More important than the alternative care site is the strategy for an alternative care system.” In the realm of planning and coordination, one major problem was that political boundaries “bear little resemblance to the geography of local healthcare markets, resulting in a mismatch between the way resources are used and the plans formulated for using them to meet the demands of a pandemic.” The researchers also found various other problems in planning and coordination, including: “This confusion resulted in a sense of helplessness among some planning teams, resulting from a belief that any planning would be rendered useless by the magnitude of the problem,” the report states. “This indicates a need for more care in risk communication by federal, state, international, and academic public health experts.” Local officials were also looking at other tools to limit demand for hospital services, including “public information efforts to convince those with the disease to utilize self-care when possible, creation of dedicated outpatient flu and fever clinics, and public education programs to prevent exposure by encouraging social distancing,” the report states. One county hospital that looked into insurance reimbursement during a pandemic learned that care would be covered only if it was provided in the hospital’s own facility, a restriction that would limit options for expanding capacity, the report notes. Other hospital officials assumed that the pressures of a pandemic would drive insurers into bankruptcy. A message the researchers heard from all the counties was that flu patients would not be the only demand on healthcare organizations during a pandemic. Officials said other healthcare needs would continue, such as trauma, childbirth, and medical emergencies. Consequently, not all beds could be allocated to flu patients, and hospitals will need to take steps to prevent flu from spreading to other patients. For example, several counties expected illness attack rates greater than 50% and a case-fatality rate of 50%. The researchers determined that officials derived this view by linking the high case-fatality rate in the (rare) human cases of H5N1 influenza with the high attack rate in the 1918 pandemic. The scientists grouped their findings into six categories: impact perception, planning and coordination, staffing, logistical and financial barriers, demand management, and dealing with other healthcare needs during a pandemic. Among lessons drawn from their findings, the authors say that legal and institutional barriers may limit planning in ways that are not obvious and that planners may not have the authority to address such problems. “Issues such as insurance reimbursement, malpractice and liability insurance, and scope of practice rules constrain the solution set for local planners, and require policy action at a state or federal level to solve,” they state. Avery GH, Lawley M, Garret S, et al. Planning for pandemic influenza: lessons from the experiences of thirteen Indiana counties. J Homeland Secur Emerg Manage 2008;5(1):29 [Abstract]last_img read more

After spinal injury to Norton, Luther College community bonds

first_img No. 17 Arkansas at No. 18 South Carolina Prediction: South Carolina 23, Arkansas 14 In a battle of conference foes, the Gamecocks will come out best in this fight. South Carolina’s road ahead will start at home against the Razorbacks. Published on November 3, 2010 at 12:00 pm Comments The play happened so fast, many of Chris Norton’s teammates missed it. It started when Norton, a freshman special teams player, took the field for a kickoff. He lined up while his team, Division III Luther College, was losing to Central College. The play ended with a call for an ambulance and Norton staying on the field. Jordan Grimm, a senior and the Norse’s linebacker and placekicker, didn’t even notice Norton was down at first. But then to Grimm, it quickly became clear that something felt wrong. It took a long time to get Norton off the field. After that, the team felt distracted, Grimm said. ‘It was kind of just really tough,’ Grimm said. ‘We were supposed to go out and play right after that. It kind of went downhill from there.’ Luther lost that Oct. 16 game to No. 15 Central, 45-26. The ambulance that carried Norton went to Decorah Medical Center in Decorah, Iowa. Doctors diagnosed him with a neck and spinal cord injury. Because of the injury’s severity, a helicopter took Norton to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., where he required a three-hour surgery. Since Norton’s injury, the team and local community around Luther have responded to his loss, as Norton began the road to recovery. Right after the game, head coach Mike Durnin addressed the team. He told them the news and told them they would have to keep going.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text ‘Keep your prayers and thoughts with Chris and his family,’ Durnin told the team. In the weeks that followed, a local Decorah church held a service for Norton. Another service took place in his hometown. Luther established a fund for parents to donate to his recovery fund. ‘This has definitely been a case of the greatest of human nature standing up and supporting each other,’ Durnin said this week. As the Luther community tried to rally, so did Norton, with the help of a few others. Durnin and his wife went to the Mayo Clinic, as did Luther President Richard Torgerson and his wife. When Norton’s family finally arrived, they spotted a man wearing Luther gear, who was neither Durnin nor Torgerson. Just a Luther alumnus who went to the Oct. 16 game, saw Norton’s injury and wanted to offer his family a place to stay. A neurosurgeon called the Norton family into a small, dim room and told them to expect a long surgery, probably eight to 10 hours, said Norton’s sister, Alex. ‘The other thing is, do not expect he will have any movement from the neck down,’ the surgeon told the family, Alex said. The surgery took just three hours. After that, Alex began a blog about him and his road to recovery. She linked a donation fund to the blog so readers could contribute after they read about Norton. ‘It was a way everyone could see the information,’ she said. ‘That day of the accident and the day after, we couldn’t keep up. We were getting phone calls, texts. It was overwhelming. We kind of set up the site so people could keep up.’ Soon after the site went live, Norton wiggled his shoulders. As the team moves forward, the squad continues to feel Norton’s spirit. The team receives updates on his condition often. Luther (4-4) will face two more opponents before the end of the season. And while keeping the game in perspective, Luther’s players want to win for Norton.   ‘We’ve got a renewed sense of passion for the game, passion for life, knowing that every play could be our last,’ Grimm said. ‘Every day could be our last, you never know what life is going to throw at you.’ Grimm admits he thinks about Norton’s accident often. He tries to put it out of his mind when he approaches a kickoff. ‘It’s scary, it’s definitely scary,’ Grimm said. He tells himself that the odds are too small. That Norton just suffered a strike of bad luck. ‘It’s given us inspiration to play for Chris and to give yourself to something bigger than yourself,’ Grimm said. As for Norton, he continues to defy the first prognosis. Sensation continues to return to his body. Hopefully he can make a recovery and return to campus as a student next semester, his sister said. Each day, Norton undergoes physical therapy. His father has taken over blogging duties. On Tuesday, while in a wheelchair, therapists attached Chris’ legs to a stationary bike. The bike is powered by electricity and the motion helps rebuild Norton’s leg muscles. His father wrote, ‘I know the look he had on his face, it was his game face. He was ready to go.’ Games of the Week Louisville at Syracuse Prediction: Syracuse 30, Louisville 24 Last time the Cardinals came to the Carrier Dome in 2008, Syracuse came out on top 28-21. With the Orange winning five of its last six games, this year should be much the same. Syracuse gets its seventh win of the season and becomes bowl-eligible. No. 4 TCU at No. 6 Utah Prediction: Utah 32, TCU 28 In the week’s best matchup, the unbeaten Horned Frogs will journey to Salt Lake City to take on the unbeaten Utes. Last season, the Frogs demolished Utah 55-28. But the Frogs have lost the last two games at Salt Lake City. Look for Utah to continue the trend this week. No. 13 Arizona at No. 10 Stanford Prediction: Stanford 20, Arizona 17 Look for offense to topple defense. Stanford brings in a great offensive package, led by quarterback Andrew Luck. The Wildcats boast a No. 10-ranked defense, but luck should hold out for Stanford. No. 5 Alabama at No. 12 LSU Prediction: Alabama 30, LSU 14 Alabama rules over this series, 45-23-5. Expect that again this week. Alabama brings quarterback Greg McElroy to try and beat the Tigers. Even at home, LSU will not last past the Tide.center_img adbrow03@syr.edu Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more

German states back Schleswig-Holstein provisional framework

first_imgShare StumbleUpon Mateusz Juroszek – Non-stop STS will expand amid industry disruptions August 12, 2020 Related Articles The parliament for the German state of Schleswig-Holstein has confirmed that Germany’s sixteen federal Bundesland (provincial governments) have backed its proposed framework on regulating online gambling services by a majority.German states will back the adoption of the Schleswig-Holstein provisional framework, allowing operators to extend existing igaming licenses until June 30, 2021. Proposed last March, the Schleswig-Holstein framework will allow an unlimited number of operators to be able to secure full igaming licenses, taxed at 20 per cent of gross gaming revenues.Schleswig-Holstein’s extended licensing structure will act as a provisional function for German online gambling stakeholders, as German states work together to form a comprehensive federal gambling frameworks – a directive Germany has pursed over the past decade.Under its current context, Schleswig-Holstein is the only state to offer full provisions on igaming services, having diverged from the original 2012 inter-state agreement, which outlawed all forms of gambling apart from sports betting.This May, the German Bundestag forwarded its ratified ‘State Treaty on Gambling’ to the European Commission, which will review whether the framework fits with European business practices and whether Schleswig-Holstein is allowed to run its independent regulatory regime until June 2021.EC approval of the Treaty could see Germany open its official licensing processes by the end of 2019. MoneyMatrix boosts wire transfer options by integrating Klarna’s Sofort August 24, 2020 Martin Lycka – Regulatory high temperatures cancel industry’s ‘silly season’ August 11, 2020 Share Submitlast_img read more

Climate Reality Project counts carbon costs

first_imgGeneration Earth Founder Ella Bella and Miss Earth South Africa executive director Catherine Constantinides facilitated a Skype call with Climate Reality chairperson and former US vice president Al Gore.Miss Earth South Africa 2013, Ashanti Mbanga, lends her voice in the fight against climate change.Pandelani Dzhugudzha from the Department of Environmental Affairs with Ella Bella, Miss Earth South Africa educational officer and Generation Earth founder.(Images: Generation Earth)MEDIA CONTACTS • Georgina CostOperations manager: SA Fusion+27 21 680 6650+27 82 505 0664 Romaana NaidooSouth Africa Climate Reality Project representatives, Ella Bella and Catherine Constantinides, hosted a live Skype call with former United States vice president, Al Gore, to highlight the relationship between carbon pollution and climate change.The live broadcast formed part of the project’s annual 24 Hours of Reality. This year’s event was held on 23 October in Rosebank, Johannesburg. Content aggregation tool Reality Drop was also launched.The official event kicked-off on 22 October and featured expert discussions, presentations and educational sessions from across the globe.The global awareness drive, spearheaded by leading environmental advocate and Nobel Laureate Gore, is aimed at educating the public about the “true cost of carbon”.During the Skype call, he addressed climate-related issues specific to Africa and South Africa as well as highlighting key points relating to the “global cost of carbon”.These were later discussed in more detail by Constantinides when she and Bella delivered Climate Reality Project’s official presentation, first released to delegates at the Climate Reality Leadership Corps Conference in Istanbul, Turkey, in June.Constantinides picked up on Gore’s points in the Climate Reality Project presentation, which focused on drought and its consequences – including famine – rising food prices and food shortages, as well as the cost of South Africa’s coal-dependent energy sector and the effects of increasingly erratic global weather patterns.“The effects of climate change are felt every day, across the globe, from steadily increasing average temperatures to the rising levels of the world’s oceans, and yet climate change is still considered to be a notion concocted by scientists and environmentalists as opposed to a reality facing global citizens,” said Constantinides, also Miss Earth South Africa’s executive director.“Everywhere one looks one can see climate change in action; rising global temperatures have led to an increase in the water temperature of the world’s oceans, which in turn leads to warmer water being absorbed into the air through evaporation; warmer air is able to hold a greater volume of water vapour, which is causing more severe, more intense storm systems across the globe.“Hurricanes the likes of which have never been seen before are tearing through equatorial regions, tropical storm systems stronger than any other storm systems in recorded history are wreaking untold damage across the globe, areas that were once unaffected by tropical storms are now falling prey to these ‘super storms’ because the air temperature of the region has increased by just a few degrees.”According to the Climate Reality Project, for every 1°F (-17.2222vC) temperature increase, the incidence of heavy rains increases by about 4%.“Climate change does not only mean more severe storms, however, it can lead to more severe droughts, food shortages, famine, wild fires, increase in diseases etc. All of these effects of climate change can be seen across the globe,” she said. South Africa’s carbon footprint South Africa ranks among the top 20 polluters globally and is responsible for more than 40% of Africa’s carbon emissions. In 2010, South African industry emitted some 500-million metric tons of greenhouse gasses.The majority of South Africa’s energy is produced by burning fossil fuels, meaning the top 40 largest companies in the country were responsible for some 207-million tons of carbon dioxide emissions, directly emitting 20% of South Africa’s carbon output. Every time fossil fuels – gas, coal or oil – are burnt, carbon dioxide is released into the atmosphere. The 10 hottest years in recorded history in the country have all been in the past 15 years.  In a white paper released in February 2012, the South African government proposed a crackdown on big polluters with a new carbon tax on companies’ carbon emissions. According to experts, this is what the country needs to save itself from potentially catastrophic climate changes such as rising temperatures, droughts and extreme rainfall.Government has also considered a tax rate of R75 per ton of CO2, rising to approximately R200 per ton.  This is considered to be “feasible and appropriate to achieve the desired behavioural changes and emission reduction targets”.According to a report by Trucost, a research group that helps businesses understand environmental risk,  carbon costs could amount to almost US$974-million (R9 510 836 458) if the top 40 largest companies were to pay the carbon tax rate of R75 (US$8.97) per ton of CO2e (CO2 equivalent)for direct operational emissions globally. This would equate to 0,2% of revenue, or 1% of earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation or amortisation (EBITDA) on average across all 40 companies.At a higher future carbon price of R200 (US$23,91), direct carbon costs could amount to more than US$2,5 billion globally. This could equate to 0,5% of revenue on average across all 40 companies, or 2,7% of earnings.In a bid to address the initial concerns raised by businesses, the South African treasury proposed a 60% tax-free threshold on emissions for all sectors, including electricity, petroleum, iron, steel and aluminium. Plans state that the levy would increase by 10% a year until 2020, while all sectors bar electricity will be able to claim additional relief of at least 10%.Of all 13 recognised sectors in the South African FTSE/JSE 40 Index, only five key sectors – basic resources, oil and gas, food and beverage, industrial goods & services and telecommunications – accounted for 97%of total emissions from the top 40 companies.Liesel Van Ast, research editor at Trucost, highlighted potential negative effects on companies: “Protecting energy and carbon-intensive industries to the extent that business-as-usual (BAU) greenhouse gas emissions continue could weaken BASIC ministerial climate negotiations and exacerbate climate change impacts such as changes in water availability, increased floods and droughts, biodiversity loss and crop losses or lower agricultural production in South Africa.”Companies with carbon-intensive operations, products or supply chains will be concerned about their ability to compete against lower carbon sector peers in South Africa, or against competitors in countries that do not price carbon yet. This could in turn limit their ability to pass on some or all of the tax to business customers or consumers.Constantinides urged delegates to join the fight against climate change and encouraged them to join the movement started by Gore in 2006 when he launched the documentary, An Inconvenient Truth, which focusses on his campaign to educate citizens about global warming.“Now is the time for global citizens to stand together and fight to mitigate the effects of climate change,” said Constantinides.About The Climate Reality ProjectThe Climate Reality Project is a non-profit organisation centred on education and advocacy related to climate change. Established in July 2011, the project is the joint venture of The Alliance for Climate Protection and The Climate Project, both founded by Gore.The first 24 Hours of Reality was held in 2011; broadcast live online it featured 24 presenters across 24 time zones presenting in 13 languages. The presentations stressed a link between climate change and oil and coal producers, with the webcast garnering 8-million views and a Silver Lion at the 2012 Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity.The project also released several short videos, including Doubt, Climate 101 and Grassroots at the event.A second webcast; 24 Hours of Reality: The Dirty Weather Report, was broadcast in 2012, and focussed on the effects coal, oil and gas pollution have on weather patterns. Attracting14-million unique viewers and a viewership of more than 16-million, the webcast set a Ustream record for the most online viewers in a 24-hour period.It also won 10 Telly awards in 2013, including two silver Telly awards in the News Feature and Social Responsibility categories and seven bronze Telly awards.Miss Earth South Africa and Generation Earth run campaigns to involve the public in the climate change conversation through educational workshops in schools across the country, “because the cost of carbon is high but the cost of inaction is even higher, and we, as global citizens, must work to minimise our collective carbon footprint,” said Constantinides.last_img read more

Now Live, Twitter’s New Ads: Are You Brave Enough for This?

first_imgShort-form social network Twitter has taken a bold new step in exploring its potential business model. The company appears to have begun promoting keywords in its “trending topics” list for sponsors. When users click on a promoted trending topic, they are brought to a search results page, where the page is topped by a promoted Tweet. They aren’t sent to an ad landing page, but to a live and uncensored conversation. That’s what we’re seeing with the new movie Toy Story 3 today at least. It’s a logical and interesting way for the company to make money. It’s also unlike almost any other advertising in history. Twitter announced its promoted Tweets search results program this Spring and social network watchers have been waiting to see promoted Tweets appearing in the middle of users’ streams. Tonight’s inclusion of sponsored trending topics may be the closest thing we’ve seen yet. (Twitter user @ed appears to have seen it first.) The company hasn’t yet responded to our request for comment on the new program.Recent research from HP found that the level of Twitter chatter about a movie could do a better job predicting that film’s box office performance than leading industry methods – so perhaps it’s no co-incidence that a film was first to put down money to increase the chatter.How These Ads Are Radically NewIt’s cool that the links aren’t just links to advertisements, but to the real-time conversation (good and bad) that users are having about the topic. Sponsorship is just a way to influence and increase the profile of the conversation about a product, without controlling it. That’s a radical proposition and one that would only work for brave or lovable sponsors. BP has spent millions of dollars buying Google ads for search terms like “oil spill,” for example, but is very unlikely to spend money promoting the Twitter conversation about its brand or related topics.So what about your company? Are you brave enough to buy an ad that would propel open-ended public conversation about your company towards the front of mind for tens of millions of people?Update: After publication, we learned that Peter Kafka of All Things D actually covered this program first last Friday. Some additional details are available in that report. marshall kirkpatrick A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Tags:#advertising#news#web Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hostingcenter_img Related Posts Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Marketlast_img read more

NDA to rename UPA schemes after Hindutva icons

first_imgThis Independence Day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi marked the end of the Nehruvian era with his emphasis on phasing out the Planning Commission. Now, his dispensation has taken up another task that could lead to the demise of Nehruvian politics and cut to size the very family behind it – the Nehru-Gandhi family.If insiders are to be believed, the NDA government is moving to rename about a dozen central schemes bearing Nehru-Gandhi names. The babus have been instructed to make a list of icons, ignored thus far by previous dispensations, who could lend their names to government schemes. “Earlier, there was an unwritten law not to go beyond the ‘Family’ except in some exceptional cases.Now it’s different,” said a Delhi-based bureaucrat who did not want to be named. The first hint of change was apparent last month when Finance Minister Arun Jaitley presented the 2014-15 Budget. Unlike the dominant practice, the names of the Nehru-Gandhi family – Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi – were conspicuous by their absence in the speech. Jaitley did not invoke them even once while announcing new schemes, programmes or institutions.Instead, one saw the emergence of a set of names largely ignored in post-Independence India. Jaitley proposed `500 crore for the Deen Dayal Upadhyay Rural Electrification Programme, earlier named after Rajiv Gandhi. Upadhyay was one of the founding members of the Bharatiya Jana Sangh, the forerunner of the BJP.Jaitley then invoked the likes of Jayaprakash Narayan, who successfully took on Indira Gandhi during the Emergency, as he proposed to set up a Centre of Excellence in Madhya Pradesh after him, Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya for a teaching programme, and Syama Prasad Mookerjee for an urban renewable mission earlier named after Nehru.advertisementThe first round of rechristening went in favour of right-wing stalwarts like Mookerjee and Upad-The Centre is mulling renaming about a dozen UPA schemes. The govt may change the names of Nehru-Gandhi schemes with those of RSS and BJP’s ideologues such as Deen Dayal Upadhyay (from left to right), Syama Prasad Mookerjee and Madan Mohan Malviya; social reformer Jaiprakash Narayan. hyay. And if insiders are to be believed, the national highway programme is to be named after Atal Bihari Vajpayee.But the list isn’t confined to the right. The bureaucrat said, “The mandate is to make a list of those who have been deliberately ignored for the sake of the ‘Family’ and the names go beyond Sangh circles. More so because the BJP doesn’t have enough icons of its own.”The sheer absence of such icons has forced the BJP to appropriate those who don’t necessarily belong to it. This explains why the likes of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, B.R. Ambedkar (both Congress leaders), Jayaprakash Narayan and Ram Manohar Lohia (both socialists) are being given so much importance in the BJP’s scheme of things.An RTI query in 2012 revealed that 12 central and 52 state schemes, 28 sports tournaments and trophies, 19 stadiums, five airports and ports, 98 educational institutions, 51 awards, 15 fellowships, 15 national sanctuaries and parks, 39 hospitals and medical institutions, 37 institutions, chairs and festivals and 74 roads, buildings and places are named after three members of the Nehru-Gandhi family.Almost half the nearly 60 institutions and schemes run by the Centre are named after the Nehru-Gandhi family. Of these, 16 are named after Rajiv, eight after Indira and three after Nehru. Mahatma Gandhi had only four named after him.last_img

Tough task for second string of Indian men’s tennis team

first_imgSania Mirza will join the team for the individual competition.With the cream of Indian men’s tennis choosing to skip the Asian Games citing professional commitments, medal prospects need to be discussed with a pinch of salt. The second-string team is likely to find it tough against quality opposition from some of the best in the continent when the team events begin on Saturday.This is not the first time tennis players have played truant. Even at Guangzhou 2010, Leander Paes, Mahesh Bhupathi and Rohan Bopanna had opted out.Whether it was indifference to the Asian Games or the attraction of money and ranking points on the professional circuit, the absence of the stalwarts turned out to be a blessing in disguise.Somdev Devvarman and Sania Mirza spearheaded a memorable campaign in the Chinese city and returned with an unexpected haul of five medals, including two gold. Sania is a much different player now than what she was four years ago. She has given up singles and made a mark as a doubles specialist. But she has not hit a single ball with her prospective women’s doubles and mixed doubles partners she will pair up with at the Asian Games.If anyone needs to be blamed for the current state and how the senior pros have behaved, it is the All India Tennis Association.Each time it comes to the Olympics, we have heard a lot from the federation about pride in playing for the country. The Asian Games tennis competition may not be as prestigious as the Olympics, but it is a major event for the continent.advertisementIf one looks back at the 1998 Asiad in Bangkok, the 2002 edition in Busan and Doha 2006, the presence of Leander and Mahesh did lend charm to the competition. But what remains etched in memory is the duo’s spat in front of the cameras after winning the gold in Doha!For the likes of Yuki Bhambri and Saketh Myneni, this is a great opportunity to emulate what Vishnu Vardhan did in Guangzhou. Relatively unknown before the Games, Vardhan reached the podium when he partnered Sania for a silver in the mixed doubles.This time too, the lady from Hyderabad will be key.last_img read more

Leaked document appears to give broad powers to MMIW national inquiry

first_imgTina House, Dennis Ward and Kenneth Jackson APTN National NewsThere will be five commissioners sitting on a national inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women (MMIW) and they appear to have the power to run the inquiry as they see fit, according to the Terms of Reference (ToR) obtained by APTN National News.The document, watermarked “sensitive and confidential,” appears to be a template for a final version. It does not name the five commissioners.The ToR document also appears to address a pivotal question asked by MMIW family members and their advocacy groups: how much power will the commission have.“Authorize the Commissioners to adopt any procedures that they consider expedient for the proper conduct of the inquiry,” the ToR states. But it doesn’t elaborate on how much power that is or whether the commissioners will have the power to compel people to testify.The ToR does call for the inquiry to bring the “ongoing national tragedy” of MMIW to an end and examine the “systemic causes of violence against Indigenous women and girls in Canada” and make recommendations.That means looking at the “underlying social, economic, cultural, institutional and historical causes” that have led to more than 1,200 Indigenous women and girls to be murdered or go missing in the last 30 years.Download (PDF, Unknown)The inquiry is to look into the “institutional policies and practices” that may have caused violence against Indigenous women and girls but there’s no specific mention of the role police departments may have played in the overall MMIW issue, something families have called to be looked into.The inquiry is to have “culturally sensitive” spiritual and psychological counselors available to people testifying.“Provide an opportunity for individuals, families and community members to express and share their experiences and view, including on how to increase safety and prevent and eliminate violence against Indigenous women and girls in Canada,” the document states.There will be regional advisory boards, made up of families, loved ones and survivors, to advise on regional matters that fall within the scope of the inquiry, according to the document.It also appears the inquiry will happen in various parts of Canada. It doesn’t state where, but the commissioners have the ability to rent spaces and get funding to provide remuneration and reimbursement to any one granted standing.Families have been waiting for the inquiry to be announced, but it appears the government of Manitoba, led by Premier Brian Pallister, may have delayed the process over the issue of getting someone from the province named as a commissioner.Got a call moments ago from high ranking fed official: all provinces/territories agree to MMIW terms of reference, including Manitoba.— Kenneth Jackson (@afixedaddress) July 20, 2016Indigenous Affairs Minister Carolyn Bennett said last week all the provinces and territories needed to sign off on the ToR before the inquiry could be announced.Bennett said they’re “very close” to announcing and APTN was told that could happen in early August.MKO Grand Chief Sheila North Wilson was among a number of First Nation leaders who met with province of Manitoba Tuesday asking them not to delay the inquiry. At that meeting APTN confirmed Manitoba provided a letter they sent Indigenous Affairs last week signing off on the ToR.“We shouldn’t hold up the process if we don’t have a Manitoban appointed as one of the five commissioners,” said North Wilson.North Wilson saw the ToR at Tuesday’s meeting and thought it lacked focus on police action or inaction. North Wilson says what she’s heard from almost every single family member she’s talked to is the issue of policing and the lack of respect families say they’ve received.“There’s nothing specific in the terms of reference that deal with the role of police agencies across this country on this issue,” said North Wilson.North Wilson said the ToR doesn’t go far enough “in scope to look at the effects indifferent or ineffective policing has had on the families of (MMIW).”But the ToR doesn’t specially mention any organization or group by name.It does say the inquiry can’t “jeopardize” any ongoing criminal investigation or proceeding, meaning police and court cases.However, she later added: “I’m glad Manitoba is signing on. We owe it to families and friends of MMIW who’ve been carrying much of this burden thus far, in fighting for answers, solutions and prevention.”The inquiry is also to take into account previous reports that apply to MMIW, including the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Report released in 2015, The Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples of 1996, the RCMP’s report into the number of MMIW over the last 30 years released in 2014 and the inquiry into how police agencies handled the the investigation of convicted serial killer Robert “Willie” Pickton.thouse@aptn.cadward@aptn.cakjackson@aptn.calast_img read more