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Not a Whiff of Life on Mars

first_imgLike a hound sniffing the wind, NASA’s Curiosity rover, the 899-kilogram, car-sized robot that landed on Mars 13 months ago, has analyzed the Red Planet’s thin atmosphere and found no traces of the gas methane. That finding will disappoint many people, as methane is a potential sign of life. (Some microbes make it, and cows belch it in huge quantities.) It also puts the kibosh on claims that, at least occasionally, large clouds, or “plumes,” of methane appear on Mars. Or so say the authors of the new work. The researchers who made some of the earlier observations are sticking to their guns.Even skeptics of the previous claims say Curiosity’s data do not prove that Mars is devoid of methane or life. But the results will dampen the excitement whipped up by previous reports, predicts Kevin Zahnle, a planetologist at NASA’s Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, California, who does not work on Curiosity. “The certainty that methane is there will go away,” he says, even if its presence can’t be ruled out.The quest for martian methane has a long history. The first observation came in 1969 from researchers working with NASA’s Mariner 7 spacecraft, which flew past Mars. Months later, the team backed off that claim. In 2004, scientists working with the European Space Agency’s Mars Express orbiter reported traces of methane. Like the Mariner researchers, the Mars Express team aimed to detect methane by studying the spectrum of sunlight passing through the martian atmosphere and looking for evidence that infrared light of specific wavelengths had been absorbed by methane to form “spectral lines.” Others doubt that the spectrometer’s resolution was fine enough to spot the gas.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)The strongest evidence for methane comes from a team led by Michael Mumma, a planetary scientist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. Using Earth-based telescopes to study sunlight reflected from the planet, the team found concentrations as high as 45 parts per billion near three geological features at a specific time: summer in the northern hemisphere of Mars in the Earth year 2003. The gas may have seeped from cliff faces heated by the sun, Mumma speculates. Trapped methane could be evidence of microbial life—ongoing or long ago—below the surface.But there’s a catch: The researchers have seen no methane since 2006. That absence is puzzling, as methane on Mars ought to linger hundreds of years before sunlight breaks it down. So some other process must destroy the methane much faster, Mumma and colleagues argued in Science in 2009.Curiosity’s on-the-spot measurements aim to clarify the issue. “We’re the first measurement from the martian surface,” says Christopher Webster, a planetary scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, and lead author of the new study. That’s a big advantage. Whereas Earth-based observers must sift possible martian signals from the far larger ones from Earth’s atmosphere, Curiosity’s Tunable Laser Spectrometer (TLS) probes isolated gulps of martian gases. Shining a laser through the gas, TLS can measure spectral lines with far higher resolution than terrestrial telescopes and detect methane with much greater sensitivity.The TLS team sees no methane. Given the estimated uncertainties in their method, the researchers place an upper limit on methane in the martian atmosphere of 1.3 parts per billion, as they report online today in Science.So do the results rule out the existence of the plumes? That depends on whom you ask. Mumma stands by his observations and argues that because methane on Mars must break down quickly, the new limit poses no problems. “So far the TLS results don’t challenge anything we said in the 2009 paper,” he says. Webster sees it differently. Had the methane measured by Mumma spread out evenly over the planet, then TLS should have detected a concentration of 6 parts per billion, he says. Explaining the gas’s rapid disappearance “requires physics and chemistry that is unknown,” he says—a point that Mumma happily accepts.Scientists generally agree that Mars should have at least a little methane. The gas can be produced through nonbiological processes. And researchers say it’s still possible that the martian surface contains pockets of methane-producing microbial life. TLS researchers will keep sniffing. They can improve the sensitivity of their measurements at least 10-fold by pumping the carbon dioxide out of their samples to concentrate the other substances in them, says Paul Mahaffy, a planetary scientist at Goddard and a member of the TLS team: “My one-liner would be, the hunt for the elusive methane continues.”last_img read more

Shh! Wisconsin seeking to get in on secret cybersecurity research

first_imgThe state of Wisconsin is ramping up its presence in the hush-hush world of classified science. A new cybersecurity research center, being built in cooperation with private firms and the University of Wisconsin (UW) system, aims to lure more high-tech research dollars to the state, particularly some of the billions spent each year on classified work.The Wisconsin Information Security Center in Madison brings UW into a select club of U.S. universities affiliated with labs specifically built to shield secret research from spying eyes. It also highlights the tricky act universities face in balancing the openness that is the bedrock of academic science with the secrecy demanded by agencies funding classified projects.The Wisconsin legislature last year passed a law explicitly allowing the university system to take contracts for classified work. Backers said the bill and the new center are aimed at overcoming a perceived wariness on UW campuses toward secret science.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)That ambivalence dates back to campus protests against military research that began in the 1960s, says Tom Still, president of the Wisconsin Technology Council, a Madison-based group that advises the state on tech-related subjects and economic development. Those protests peaked at UW’s flagship Madison campus in 1970, when four young activists opposed to U.S. military action in Vietnam bombed Sterling Hall, home to the Army Mathematics Research Center. A scientist not involved with the center’s work was killed.”It had a chilling effect,” Still says. “It meant that our researchers that were cleared to do such work really couldn’t do it on campus in Wisconsin. If they wanted to do it they had to take it elsewhere.”The protests never completely halted classified academic research in the state, however, says a top UW Madison administrator. The university has long allowed professors to conduct classified research under special circumstances, and some currently do, said Marsha Mailick, UW Madison’s interim vice chancellor of research. So the new state legislation, while explicitly endorsing secret science on campus, was “not a turning point,” Mailick says. “The same faculty members that conducted classified research before this bill was passed or before this building was built are still doing it.”Still, in response to the new state law, the Faculty Senate is reviewing ways to streamline how faculty members get approval to pursue classified research. And members of the Wisconsin Security Research Consortium in Madison, a public-private alliance that owns the new facility, are hoping such approvals will help create a thriving research hub. The 120-square-meter facility is part of a larger building located at UW Madison’s University Research Park, a 105-hectare development that’s already home to a number of commercial labs. The facility, which could be expanded in the future, is finished but currently unoccupied. It’s awaiting final certification of security features required for classified research, says Jack Heinemann, director of the security consortium.Wisconsin isn’t the only state jockeying to attract secret science funding. In August 2013, the National Security Agency (NSA) announced that it would open a new lab focused on data analysis on the campus of North Carolina State University in Raleigh.But talk of a gush of new money for classified academic research in the wake of the 11 September 2001 terrorist attacks and more recent cyberattacks is generally overblown, says Tobin Smith, vice president for policy at the Association of American Universities in Washington, D.C., which represents major research campuses. “There is a view in some universities and probably some state legislatures that this is an area where there’s lots of money if only you would be willing to do it,” he says. “I totally disagree. I don’t think post-9/11 there was this flood of money.”Secret science can come with significant costs, Smith notes. It has to be done in a building with strict security controls, and researchers and graduate students are often restricted from publishing results—something vital for advancement in academia and for sharing new discoveries with the world. And students from outside the United States can be barred from the work.U.S. research universities often try to protect scholarly freedom by steering classified research toward a nearby lab that isn’t on campus. At Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, for instance, classified research is conducted at its affiliated Applied Physics Laboratory (APL), which is run by a nonprofit arm of the university. At the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, the affiliated Lincoln Laboratory, located northwest of Boston, is run through a contract with the U.S. Air Force. On the other side of the country, University of California scientists work at the federal Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California and the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico, which are managed in part by the university. The new Wisconsin facility is owned by the security consortium and isn’t part of the university.Even in those cases, tensions can emerge. In the fall of 2013, Johns Hopkins made headlines when an administrator told a computer science professor, Matthew Green, to take down a blog post about NSA out of concerns that it linked to classified information. That reportedly happened after a complaint from someone at APL. Within hours, the university backtracked and Andrew Douglas, then the interim dean of the Whiting School of Engineering, sent the professor an apology. A university task force on academic freedom, created in the incident’s wake, is in the final stages of preparing recommendations for Johns Hopkins’s president and provost.last_img read more

College GameDay Star Makes Bold Penn State-Kentucky Prediction

first_imgPenn State's mascot leads the band onto the field.STATE COLLEGE, PA – OCTOBER 23: The Penn State Nittany Lion prepares to usher the Blue Band onto the field as the Lion celebrated his 100th birthday in front of a home coming crowd of 108,062 as the Iowa Hawkeyes defeated Penn State 6-4 during NCAA football at Beaver Stadium on October 23, 2004 in State College, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)The Citrus Bowl this season will feature an intriguing matchup between No. 14 Kentucky and No. 12 Penn State. Even though the Nittany Lions will enter this game as the favorites, the Wildcats aren’t strangers to being the underdog.Most predictions will have Trace McSorley leading Penn State to one more victory before he graduates. Nonetheless, one member of ESPN’s College GameDay crew has high expectations for Kentucky.Chris “The Bear” Fallica usually does tons of research before making his picks, which could be the reason behind his faith in the Wildcats. Well, history shows that SEC programs perform admirably when they’re not favored heading into a bowl game.From 247Sports:“That defense I think is going to cause a lot of problems for Trace McSorely and that Penn State offense,” Fallica said. “Josh Allen is a guy who can get after the quarterback and rush the passer, the secondary is very good. Penn State’s offensive line has struggled in pass pro at times this year.”“If you look traditionally at SEC teams that are this big of an underdog, the last 20 times they’ve been this big of a dog in a bowl game, 16-4 against the number, 11 outright wins,” Fallica said. “So, as bad as that Kentucky offense is, I think the Wildcats give Penn State a fourth-quarter fight.”With Benny Snell Jr. and Josh Allen suiting up for the Wildcats, shocking the Nittany Lions on the national stage would be the perfect ending to their collegiate career.The Citrus Bowl will take place on New Year’s Day, as the game will be broadcast on ABC.Defeating Penn State would truly be a signature moment for Kentucky’s football program.last_img read more

Neymar suspended for 3 Champions League games for insulting match officials

first_img Associated Press ParisApril 26, 2019UPDATED: April 26, 2019 22:54 IST Neymar insulted match officials following PSG’s shock Champions League loss to Manchester United (AP Photo)UEFA has banned Neymar for three European matches for insulting the officials after Paris Saint-Germain lost to Manchester United in the Champions League.Following the round-of-16 game in March, Neymar used Instagram to aim an expletive and insults at video review officials who intervened before Man United was awarded a stoppage-time penalty for a handball that eliminated PSG.The forward wrote: “They put four guys that do not understand football to watch it in slow motion. This doesn’t exist!”Neymar, who was injured and did not play, then used profanity while writing about the video assistants.As it stands, the UEFA ruling means Neymar is set to miss half of PSG’s six games in the Champions League group stage next season.For sports news, updates, live scores and cricket fixtures, log on to Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for Sports news, scores and updates.Get real-time alerts and all the news on your phone with the all-new India Today app. Download from Post your comment Do You Like This Story? Awesome! Now share the story Too bad. Tell us what you didn’t like in the comments Posted byrohan sen Tags :Follow NeymarFollow PSGFollow Manchester UnitedFollow Champions League Neymar suspended for 3 Champions League games for insulting match officialsNeymar was found guilty of “insulting/molesting acts against match official”, European football’s governing body announced in a statement.advertisement Nextlast_img read more

Harvey Leaves Cruise Ships Stranded Voyages Cancelled

first_imgOn Friday, August 25, a port condition Zulu was announced for the Port of Galveston and surrounding area, resulting in the closure of the port for marine traffic. The heavy rain from the storm in Galveston and Houston has caused severe flooding, impacting the roads leading in and out of Galveston.According to the latest update, the tropical storm continues weakening and is nearly stationary, drifting slowly South East towards Matagorda Bay. The storm is causing torrential rainfall from Southwest Louisiana to the south of Port O’Connor and inland to near Austin and San Antonio.The Captain of the Port, Sector Houston-Galveston expects to remain at Port Condition ZULU for at least until August 29, possibly longer. USCG Houston-Galveston Vessel Traffic Service confirms they are approving emergent vessel movements on a case by case basis.US Army Corps of Engineers have positioned numerous survey vessels locally to begin waterway surveys as soon as conditions permit, in order to open the waterways as soon as possible, however, the current concentration of assets is directed at recovery in Corpus Christi and Matagorda ship channel. zoom Hurricane Harvey, which was downgraded to a tropical storm over the weekend, has left three cruise ships stranded in the Gulf of Mexico as the Port of Galveston had to be closed to all vessel traffic and commercial activities amid heavy weather.Namely, as the port will remain closed on Monday, Carnival Cruise Line said its two ships, Carnival Freedom and Carnival Breeze, will be unable to enter the port until Tuesday at least pending a further notice from the port.” The port announced it will be closed for at least the next 24 hours, so our earliest potential opportunity to debark current guests is on Tuesday. As you can imagine, this is a fluid situation and we have no way of knowing if the port opening could be delayed further. We will continue to maintain close contact with port officials in Galveston monitoring conditions on Galveston Island, and within neighboring areas including Houston, and will provide ongoing updates as we receive additional information,” the cruise line informed.As a result, the two ships will be operating on shortened itineraries once the weather permits them to dock in the Port of Galveston. Guests who opt to sail on the shortened itineraries will receive a pro-rated refund of their cruise fare, the company added.Based on the latest update from Carnival, Carnival Freedom is currently in a position to enter the Port of Galveston as soon as the port reopens, while Carnival Breeze is on its way to New Orleans to make a short technical stop to replenish water and provisions on Monday. The ship will then resume its journey to Galveston.Due to the impact of the hurricane, Carnival decided to cancel the planned voyage of Carnival Valor.Image Courtesy: Hickey Law FirmSeparately, Royal Caribbean International canceled the planned sailing for August 27 of its Liberty of the Seas cruise ship.“Due to the severe impact of Hurricane Harvey and Galveston port closure, we unfortunately have to cancel your cruise scheduled for Sunday, August 27. We are sorry for the impact that this storm has had on your vacation and appreciate your patience as we worked through this. Please know that this decision was made with your safety in mind,” the company said.The ship is being diverted to Miami until conditions at the Port of Galveston permit safe travel.“Due to port closure because of Hurricane Harvey, Liberty was not able to make her scheduled arrival into Galveston today. We anticipate Liberty will be able to return to Galveston on Friday, conditions permitting. We are doing all we can to help guests adjust their travel arrangements and appreciate their patience as we work through this,” the company said in an update on August 27.Around 20,000 cruise passengers are said to be affected by the storm.Sitting off the Galveston Coast on Liberty of the Seas. With most of Houston underwater. Probably the best place to be! @BBCNews— Marc Randall (@harrierrandall) August 27, 2017last_img read more

Budget Address

first_img A budget that ensures our economy continues to grow A budget that will allow Nova Scotians to keep more of their own money A budget that tackles many of the challenges facing families right now, creating healthier, stronger communities It’s a budget that invests in infrastructure and still ends the year with a $71.9-million surplus And a budget that will see us meet or exceed our debt reduction commitments. adding 50 restorative beds more dialysis options closer to and in the home expanded home support services like personal care and housekeeping continuing support for people to manage their own care in their own homes and there will also be 1,300 new long-term care beds introduced over the next 10 years. The premier has said: “We have no greater priority than ensuring that our families can succeed here, at home, in Nova Scotia — today and tomorrow.” That’s what this budget is all about. A LOOK BACK TO 2005-06: CONFIDENCE IN OUR ECONOMY The past year set the stage for the good work we plan on doing this year. Mr. Speaker, Nova Scotia is forecast to end fiscal 2005–06 with a healthy surplus of $151 million — almost $88 million more than we budgeted at this time last year. And, as we have said before, every penny of this surplus goes directly to the debt. The source of this good news is a sizeable increase in revenues — in particular, revenues from the offshore, which increased to almost $144 million, $114 million more than budgeted last year. This extra revenue allowed us to make some additional spending commitments to address priority areas throughout the year. These included investments in health and health promotion, assistance to universities and their students, energy and conservation initiatives, and economic development. Together with Nova Scotians we have created an environment for business investment and success. Major private-sector construction projects like the $270-million Dartmouth Crossing project and the $98-million Michelin expansion are just two examples that create jobs and lasting benefits in our communities. The $100-million gas compression deck for the Sable gas field will help productivity in the offshore. And expansion projects at the Halifax International Airport and the Port of Halifax are providing lasting infrastructure, connecting Nova Scotia to the world. Mr. Speaker, more people are working and their incomes are growing. Text of the budget address read in the legislature on Tuesday, May 9, 2006 by Finance Minister Michael Baker. INTRODUCTION Mr. Speaker, Premier, Honourable Members, Nova Scotians. I am pleased to rise in this chamber today to present Nova Scotia’s fifth consecutive balanced budget — my first as Minister of Finance. When most people think about budgets, they think numbers. Open any of the budget documents in front of you, and you’ll see plenty of them. You’ll read about forecasts, key assumptions, capital costs, and debt servicing. And you’ll see terms like GDP, CPI, book value, and consolidation adjustments. But really, at its essence, a budget is a plan. A plan for Nova Scotia’s families. A plan for our communities. A plan for the future. And good plans shape good decisions. It’s reassuring then, Mr. Speaker, that Nova Scotia has a wealth of solid planning built up over the past six years. Plans like Opportunities for Sustainable Prosperity, Your Health Matters, Learning for Life, and soon, Route to Prosperity and Nova Scotia’s Continuing Care Strategy. Solid plans for economic growth, health, education, infrastructure, and transportation. Solid planning for the next decade and beyond. Today’s budget is built on that good work. Today’s budget puts real action and real dollars behind our plans. Every decision we make, every dollar we spend, is guided by the strategies we have developed for this province and its people. In today’s budget, Mr. Speaker, Nova Scotians will see that we are addressing the priorities of Nova Scotia’s families and building a more prosperous future. Mr. Speaker, this, our fifth straight balanced budget is: In a nutshell, these numbers mean more revenue to enhance the programs and services Nova Scotians value. Nova Scotia’s revenues are projected to grow by eight per cent for a total of $6.587 billion. This is a sizeable increase over last year’s budget, and significantly more than our average growth rate of 4.9 per cent over the past several years. Again, Mr. Speaker, this was due in large part to royalty revenues from the offshore, which are slated to be well beyond initial projections to total $288 million for 2006–07. Despite reductions in revenue from government business enterprises, due mostly to a decrease in gaming revenue of $16.7 million, and motive fuel tax of $12 million, provincial revenues, excluding royalties, are expected to experience solid growth this year — projected to increase 3.4 per cent. Nova Scotia is largely responsible for its own good fortune. We are paying our own way. Revenues from federal sources are up from last year, as planned, but continue to fall short of growth in spending needs for the programs and services they are targeted to address. Overall, Mr. Speaker, having solid returns on the revenue side has given us the ability to make positive investments in programs. DEBT MANAGEMENT — OUR FIRST INVESTMENT We understand that we have a significant obligation to future generations to do what we can to relieve Nova Scotia’s burden of debt. This is why, Mr. Speaker, we will meet or exceed our debt reduction targets. Last June, former Premier John Hamm put an $830-million down payment on the provincial debt, freeing up over $50 million annually that would otherwise go to debt servicing. Nova Scotians will realize the positive impact of this decision in increased spending on programs and services. Last year’s forecast surplus of $151 million will also help to reduce our projected debt levels beyond what we had expected at year-end. This also gives us the flexibility to invest in important capital improvements like roads, bridges, schools and hospitals while still meeting our debt reduction targets. Even with these important capital investments, we are slowing the growth of our debt. Nova Scotia’s net direct debt to GDP ratio is projected to go down once again — for the fifth year in a row — from 48.7 per cent in 1999-2000 to 38.2 per cent this year. Mr. Speaker, our creditors have taken note of Nova Scotia’s strong fiscal management. Over the past year, all three major bond-rating agencies have given Nova Scotia a positive outlook, encouraging greater confidence in Nova Scotia’s economy and in its future. A PROVINCE CONNECTED WITH THE WORLD Good roads, modern hospitals and schools, and a province connected to the world are the building blocks for business, communities and families to succeed — and we’ve got some work to do. A 10-year needs assessment identified a $3.4-billion infrastructure deficit just for highways alone. Nova Scotians know all too well that our province needs to spend more on its roads and highways. We are also committed to ensure that by 2010 all Nova Scotians have broadband access to the Internet. Over the past few years we have worked hard to address Nova Scotia’s capital needs. From 1999 to 2005 we completed 20 new schools, expanded, renovated or built 14 hospitals, and tripled annual investments in roads and bridges. Mr. Speaker, our strong revenue and positive economic outlook enable us to significantly increase capital spending this year. Capital spending will increase by $55 million from $280 million to $335 million, an increase of over 16 per cent. In addition, $40 million will be spent to improve our health infrastructure. Modernizing our province will help us keep and attract businesses and lead to good, well-paying jobs for Nova Scotians. More than half of this money, and more, will be spent to improve our roads, highways, and bridges. In fact, Mr. Speaker, when we add in the $175 million we spend on road maintenance from our operating budget, we will be spending far more on road and highway improvements than we collect in motive fuel taxes. This year, and every year thereafter, government will spend the total amount collected in these taxes, plus the net revenues collected from the Registry of Motor Vehicles on our highway systems. We will make this commitment in legislation in the Financial Measures Act. This will support our $1.5-billion, 10-year plan to address Nova Scotia’s transportation needs. It is a plan that includes more than $200 million for 100-series highways, including twinning sections of highways 101, 103, and 104. It also includes plans for a bypass in Antigonish and Port Hawkesbury as well as a high-speed interchange in Truro. In the Halifax Regional Municipality, our government will take a lead role in developing a specific strategy to address the transportation needs of citizens and businesses alike. This will involve partnering with local leaders including the Halifax-Dartmouth Bridge Commission. Projects under future consideration include a new Hammonds Plains Road, the Burnside-Sackville expressway, an inland container terminal, and expanded harbour ferry services. The bottom line is fuelling economic growth and getting products and people where they need to go quickly, safely, with less impact on the environment. Today’s budget also commits $250,000 to the Atlantic Gateway Strategy, a co-ordinated effort of partners responsible for road, rail, air, and ports. The goal is to become North America’s preferred eastern gateway — improving trade, tourism, our economy, and creating more quality jobs for Nova Scotians. QUALITY JOBS FOR NOVA SCOTIANS Mr. Speaker, government recently released its updated strategy for building a more diverse, prosperous and greener economy. This involves lowering taxes, building infrastructure, less regulation, the right mix of business incentives and solid support for a highly skilled and educated work force. LOWER TAXESWe are expanding our commitment to reduce the tax burden for business. Last year, we began to phase out the Business Occupancy Tax. And every year for the past three years, we have increased the small business tax threshold. Once again, Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to report that effective April 1, the threshold has been increased to $400,000. These increases have saved Nova Scotia businesses over $15 million in corporate income taxes over this period. Mr. Speaker, we are also pleased to announce that we will be eliminating the 3.5 per cent liquor licence levy effective January 2007. This will benefit hundreds of small businesses in the tourism and hospitality sector across our province. For our larger companies, we are also continuing with our commitment to lower taxes. Last year, we announced a reduction to bring down the large corporations capital tax rate over the next three years. Mr. Speaker, at the end of this period, we will extend the “phase down” for another four years at an accelerated rate until 2012, when it is completely eliminated. The large corporations tax generates $60 million annually that businesses will no longer pay by 2012. This will help us be more competitive in national and global markets. BETTER REGULATIONSensible, streamlined regulations are one tool to help retain and attract business. This year, Mr. Speaker, we are increasing our commitment to better regulation with $400,000 to enhance activities in the second year of the Competitiveness and Compliance Initiative. This will allow for the development of regulatory training and better co-ordination of the province’s 180 inspectors. The concept is based on improving the way laws are designed, communicated, and enforced in Nova Scotia — and improving the competitiveness of our businesses. By the year 2010, the province will have reduced the paperwork burden associated with regulatory requirements by 20 per cent. PROGRAMS FOR BUSINESSMr. Speaker, government has an important role in supporting a strong, diverse climate for business. That is why, the budget for the Office of Economic Development will increase by almost $15 million. Investments through Nova Scotia’s Industrial Expansion Fund have returned three dollars for every one dollar invested. In fact, since 2000 the fund has helped business create a total of 3,400 new jobs in all parts of our province. Our goal is to surpass our past success. We are adding just over $600,000 to expand economic opportunities to businesses of all sizes, including establishing a new Export Expansion Program to help Nova Scotia companies increase exports, and increasing funding to implement our community development action plan. In addition, we will expand the Business Retention and Expansion Program to nine counties. MORE SKILLED WORKERSMr. Speaker, Nova Scotia’s economic success is directly tied to the education and skill levels of its citizens. Our budget takes concrete action to ensure more Nova Scotians of all ages are better prepared to fill the jobs of today, tomorrow and well into the future. We will therefore, once again, increase our capital investment for the modernization and expansion of our community colleges with an additional $24.8 million. We will also increase the operating budget of the Nova Scotia Community College by $6 million. The return on this investment will mean more young Nova Scotians getting an education closer to home, more skilled workers for our province, and greater opportunities for business success. As well, we will provide an additional $140,000 to encourage and promote the trades as a rewarding career choice, and invest $200,000 to bring more skilled IT workers back home to Nova Scotia. This will help fill more than 3,500 IT jobs, which Nova Scotia Business Inc. has helped clients create. Mr. Speaker, we will also increase funding to help those on income assistance or employment insurance to access essential education skills at the worksite. Almost $150,000 of additional funding will be available to One Journey: Work and Learn, a successful initiative with a 75 per cent job placement rate. ATTRACTING IMMIGRANTSNova Scotia’s future prosperity is also tied to bringing more people from around the world to make Nova Scotia their home. That’s why we will increase funding for the Office of Immigration by $700,000 to $3.3 million. Last year, more than 1,900 immigrants received permanent resident status in Nova Scotia — an 8.5 per cent increase over the previous year. We will continue to build on that momentum. The Nova Scotia Nominee Program was key in this success — and, in fact, it is considered one of the most attractive programs in the country. Mr. Speaker, government has reviewed the fees associated with the program, and effective immediately will eliminate the portion of these fees that flows directly to the province, ranging from $500 to $1,700 per person depending on the immigrant entry stream. This will make Nova Scotia more competitive with other provinces and more attractive to immigrants. We will also do more to ensure immigrants feel welcome and supported. An additional $639,000 will be available for language training, settlement and integration services. This brings our direct funding for settlement services through the Office of Immigration and the Department of Education to almost $2 million this year alone. CONFIDENCE IN THE OFFSHOREMr. Speaker, creating a more confident climate for business, investing in the education and skills of our workforce, and bringing more people from around the world to achieve success here in Nova Scotia are vital to our future economic growth and social prosperity. We also need to build on the opportunities that exist in industries that have the untapped potential to further secure our progress. We recently announced plans to help promote Nova Scotia’s offshore energy with a $6.4-million investment in research and development. The goal is to generate more interest in, and wealth from Nova Scotia’s offshore. This investment has the potential to create more quality jobs, to provide more energy choices, and to generate more revenues to support the priorities of Nova Scotians. ENCOURAGING CONSERVATIONMr. Speaker, one clear priority of Nova Scotians — a priority this government shares, is to ensure that together we act to promote, protect and preserve our environmental integrity. To encourage energy conservation and the use of renewable energy sources, we will implement a new energy efficiency tax credit. This non-refundable credit will equal 25 per cent of a company’s capital investment in new, cleaner energy-efficient measures — to a maximum of 50 per cent of their large corporations capital tax. The program will come into effect on purchases made after July 1, 2006. Mr. Speaker, my government expects no less of itself when it comes to making smart energy choices than it does of business and individual Nova Scotians. That is why, we will invest $1.2-million to convert the system that heats the Nova Scotia Hospital, the Dartmouth General, and the new community college campus to natural gas. Not only will this be more environmentally friendly and cost-effective, it will mean good things for neighbouring business and residential customers, who will also have access to gas-fired alternatives to meet their own energy needs. Every Nova Scotian has a part to play in supporting conservation efforts. That is why government will continue to support Smart Energy Choices through a $10-million investment. This program includes home assessments, grants for energy saving, home improvements, additional help for seniors and dollars for oil furnace replacement. We will also take measures to encourage the use of alternative forms of fuel. Effective July 1, we will eliminate the motive fuel tax on the biodiesel portion of the diesel blend that is produced in Nova Scotia, and meets accepted fuel-quality standards. It is estimated that this measure could save taxpayers up to $1 million per year and make biodiesel a more competitive fuel. We are also investing in an Environmental Home Assessment Program to provide more Nova Scotians with the assurance that their families have access to clean potable water, environmentally safe oil tanks and properly working septic systems. The $850,000 program will be available to close to 2,000 homes over the next two years and will provide water sampling kits, help for septic systems and an oil tank check-up. BETTER CHOICES — TACKLING THE PRESSURES FAMILIES FACE TODAY Mr. Speaker, through this budget we are also taking action to support working families by having more child-care options, by enhancing services for Nova Scotians with disabilities, and by providing much needed tax relief for Nova Scotia families. CHILD CARE Mr. Speaker, the recent federal budget included a new Universal Child Care Benefit of $1,200 a year for each child under the age of six. Nova Scotians will not pay additional provincial taxes on that benefit. That is because we are introducing a non-refundable tax credit for parents or guardians with children under six. The tax credit rate will be set at the 8.79 per cent applied to the full value of the new $1,200 Federal Universal Child Care Benefit. As well, Nova Scotia plans to carry on with funding for the child-care system in Nova Scotia after the recent federal funding program ends. Mr. Speaker, we will provide ongoing additional funding of $4.7 million a year to child care in Nova Scotia. This is all part of our 10-year child-care strategy. Mr. Speaker, there is nothing more agonizing for a parent than a sick child. That is why, effective Oct. 1, we will introduce a new Pharmacare program for children from families of modest means. This program will cost $1 million this year, with another $2 million committed for next year. It will reduce the emotional stress and financial pressure on thousands of Nova Scotia parents, reduce emergency room visits, and most importantly ensure that 33,000 children get the medicine they need to get better. Additional investments to support individuals and families in need include: BUILDING SAFE, CARING COMMUNITIES Nova Scotians rightly feel a strong sense of pride in and belonging to their communities. This budget focuses on those things Nova Scotians value about where they live, including their desire to keep their children, their homes and their neighbourhoods safe. That is why we will improve our response to the growing concern of youth crime by investing $450,000 to establish a new youth attendance centre in the Halifax Regional Municipality. This centre will provide programs and services such as education and counselling, through a mandatory reporting arrangement. This funding is in addition to a $500,000-investment to support youth-at-risk through the departments of Health, Justice and Community Services. As well, we are providing an additional $540,000 to put into force legislation that will address criminal activities such as drug sales and prostitution. The added funding will support a new public safety investigation unit. This budget also includes new funding to hire additional police officers to track violent offenders and to address child pornography and Internet fraud. There will also be money for more officers in Aboriginal communities across Nova Scotia. Government will also continue to support the recently created Criminal Intelligence Service which improves criminal intelligence gathering in all regions of our province. Other investments to enhance our justice system include: We are also putting in place more support for parents who adopt children with special needs with an investment of $200,000. And I am pleased to announce that, effectively immediately, government will eliminate international adoption fees to allow more Nova Scotians the opportunity to build and complete their families. Mr. Speaker, too many children are without the love and support of a family. Nova Scotia is fortunate to have people who open their hearts to these children. Today government is pleased to announce it will provide an additional $400,000 to make life easier for foster families and the more than 1,200 children in their care. Currently youth in care are eligible for a bursary program to cover their post secondary education costs. Government is pleased to extend the age limit from 21 to 24 years — so that students in care can continue their studies. And, Mr. Speaker, last year government launched a pilot program in Cape Breton to help families caring for adults with disabilities. The Alternate Family Support program provided adult foster care, independent living services and direct family support for those caring for their loved ones. This budget invests $1.5 million so that this vital service for families can be expanded to communities across Nova Scotia. Mr. Speaker, these are among the measures we will take to relieve many of the pressures and costs of raising a family in Nova Scotia today. LOWER TAXES FOR FAMILIESAnd, today in Nova Scotia, Mr. Speaker, government is taking action to give every family, and every working individual a well-deserved, well-earned tax break. Effective Jan. 1, 2007, government will provide every household with an eight per cent rebate on the total provincial portion of the HST. This will apply to all forms of home heating costs and basic electricity. For major sources of heat, Nova Scotians will see savings directly reflected on their heating and electric bills. We have approached the federal government for assistance in administering this point-of-sale rebate, which is similar to the one received on books. If the Canada Revenue Agency chooses not to participate, Nova Scotia will administer the rebate itself through Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations. For all other heating sources — such as wood pellets, wood, coal and kerosene — consumers will receive the full eight per cent rebate when they submit their heating receipts. We are confident that Nova Scotia Power and Nova Scotia’s home heating fuel companies will enthusiastically support our point-of-sale rebate program. Mr. Speaker, our household energy tax rebate program will benefit all Nova Scotians, most especially seniors and those on fixed incomes. This broader program, which benefits all Nova Scotians, will replace the existing Keep the Heat Program. Mr. Speaker, government has more good news for Nova Scotia families. Again, effective Jan. 1, 2007, Nova Scotia will raise the basic personal exemption — by $250 over each of the next four years. As well, we will increase all non-refundable credits proportionally. Indexation of all non-refundable credits and brackets will commence after year four. Combined, the personal income tax measures outlined in today’s budget will save taxpayers $113 million during the first four years — and there will be increasingly higher savings after that point. Mr. Speaker, government knows that lower taxes not only help struggling families, they make our province more attractive to business investment, more attractive to new immigrants, more attractive to skilled workers — all of which will bring about greater economic growth and social prosperity. STRONG, HEALTHY FAMILIES TODAY …Mr. Speaker, our goal is to make every generation of young Nova Scotians healthier than the one before. We know that Nova Scotians can lead healthier, longer and more productive lives when they make smarter lifestyle choices. This year’s budget keeps our commitment to double the health promotion budget within four years. The total budget for the new Department of Health Promotion and Protection is $36 million, with $29.4 million going to support health promotion activities — a $14.5-million increase over the last three years. Among the investments the department will support this year: We will also be investing $746,000 to upgrade our 911 emergency response system, which will improve overall responsiveness across Nova Scotia. Mr. Speaker, an additional $250,000 will assist our volunteer emergency responders and we will take steps to ensure they are supported through Nova Scotia’s EMO joint operations. We recognize the important work these and other volunteers do to meet the needs of our communities. This year we will appoint a Minister responsible for Volunteerism and develop Nova Scotia’s first volunteer strategy. INVESTING IN MUNICIPALITIESMr. Speaker, this government will do all that it can, whenever it can, to enhance the services we provide Nova Scotians. We will also work hand-in-glove with our municipalities so that they can better meet their local needs. That’s why this year we will provide $4.7 million in additional transfers for all Nova Scotia municipalities, and increase funding by $1.5 million for the Provincial Capital Assistance Program (PCAP), for a total of $4.25 million. PCAP allows the province to contribute to the cost of high-priority municipal projects including water, sewer, and solid waste with a focus on green projects. Mr. Speaker, this investment — along with the $18.75 million we are dedicating to resource management, biodiversity and our forest and wildlife resources — will have a positive impact on tourism, heritage and the environment. Nova Scotia’s tourism and cultural sectors generate more than $2 billion for the province’s economy each year. Government is committed to working with our partners to increase the value of these vital industries to our economy. To that end, we are providing an additional $600,000 to market and promote Nova Scotia as a first class tourism destination and increasing funding to support the cultural sector by $850,000. In addition, this year’s budget includes $300,000 to further develop a cultural centre to showcase the history and heritage of the Mi’kmaq in Nova Scotia. We will work with Nova Scotia’s First Nations, specifically to protect the unique cultural artifacts that have been found on the Mi’kmawey Debert site. Mr. Speaker, we continue to be proud of our diversity and will continue to celebrate and recognize the contributions of all Nova Scotians. This budget will also see the creation of an office of African Nova Scotia Affairs in Cape Breton. Additional satellite offices will open in Southwest Nova, the Valley and Central regions in the coming years. TRADITIONAL SECTORSMr. Speaker, Nova Scotia’s forests, farms, and fishery remain the backbone of our economy. We will continue to help each of these vital areas of our economy grow. Government’s new Aquaculture Development Strategy will be supported with $450,000 to study alternative species, address health risks and advance commercialization. An additional $50,000 will be provided to conduct year-round testing on lobster quality in Southwest Nova Scotia. Additionally government will begin consultations to develop a comprehensive natural resource strategy focused on four key areas: biodiversity, forests, parks and minerals. Government will also continue to support the efforts of agri-food and seafood operations by working with business to develop value-added products and adopt innovative new procedures and technologies. Mr. Speaker we will also continue to develop responsible and affordable solutions to the challenges confronting the large employers that rely on our resources — like Stora, Ocean Nutrition and Oxford Frozen Foods. CONCLUSION Mr. Speaker, today we provided our plan of action for addressing what matters most to Nova Scotians. This budget is their budget. It responds to the issues we all care about — time with our families, a good job to go to, money to pay the bills, safe communities and hope for the future. This is our plan. A plan for families. A plan for communities. A plan for the future. A future full of hope and opportunity Thank you, Mr. Speaker. -30- The budget address is available on the website at funding of just over $600,000 to promote healthy eating in our schools close to $1 million in new funding to start the renewal of our public health system to deal with issues, post-SARS $800,000 for Youth Health Centres in 37 schools and communities across the province $680,000 to strengthen our actions to prevent chronic disease $469,000 to educate senior high students on issues like alcohol, drugs, and healthy sexuality and $255,000 to expand our injury prevention strategy. $5 million to fully implement the recommendations in the Hogg Report An additional $20.2 million to implement the next steps in our Learning for Life II plan. This focuses on the fundamentals, further reduces class sizes, expands supports for students with special needs, offers more advanced courses for gifted students and calls for greater accountability throughout our public school system Another $1 million to implement the recommendations of the BLAC report which will further our efforts to address inequities in the education of African Nova Scotian students. We will also invest $400,000 to increase the number of physical education teachers in our schools. And, Mr. Speaker, we will increase the healthy living tax incentive by more than 300 per cent, from a maximum of $150 of eligible costs per child to $500 per child. This incentive helps families register children in sport or recreation activities that offer lasting health benefits. Mr. Speaker, government knows well that if we’re going to promote good health we have to provide Nova Scotians with the recreation facilities and natural amenities that will encourage them to become more active. To that end, we are providing an additional $2.4 million to implement a physical recreation strategy, and improve recreation facilities — an increase of 25 per cent over last year. We will also spend an additional $750,000 for capital improvements to our provincial park system, and commit an additional $506,000 to establish additional boardwalks in our capital region. Mr. Speaker, we are also providing $100,000 to determine the feasibility of establishing a United Way 211 Call Service. This will provide a one-window referral service for a broad range of government, community, and non-profit service information. Mr. Speaker, these measures are tangible proof of our commitment to build a healthier Nova Scotia, and these measures are the tangible means by which we will slow the growing pressures on our health-care system. INVESTING IN HEALTH CAREMr. Speaker, from government’s efforts to keep young Nova Scotians healthy and active, to helping more of our seniors live longer at home, Nova Scotians will see that our investments are sound, sensible and strategic. Tomorrow, government will release a Continuing Care Strategy that sets the course for putting Nova Scotia on the right path to provide the right level of care, at the right time and for the right reasons. Our Continuing Care Strategy will make sound policy investments that are sustainable, respond to community needs, and result in better care. This year’s budget we will see that strategy advanced through:center_img further wait-time reductions as a result of a doubling of federal wait-time funding to $34.7 million $4 million for the Clinician Assessment for Practice program, bringing 20 international medical graduates to our province $462,000 in bursaries for medical lab and technologist students $400,000 to support nurse training at St. FX University $400,000 to enhance community based primary health teams, which include nurse practitioners and $3 million for the operation of MRIs, purchased in last year’s budget. In fact, 443,000 Nova Scotians were employed in 2005 — more than ever before People are earning more — 4.4 per cent more than the previous year Families are able to spend more. Last year retail sales grew three per cent. An additional $400,000 to expand electronic monitoring of those on house arrest $200,000 to better monitor those on bail and $700,000 in legal aid funding to ensure speedier access to justice. This year, more than $16 million will be dedicated to moving this strategy forward. Mr. Speaker, like our investments in health promotion, our continuing care strategy and the new dollars we are putting into home and nursing home care will help ease the stresses and strains on our hospitals. Government has made a concerted effort to reduce wait times for diagnosis and treatment, and the results are beginning to show. We have more doctors in communities, more nurses at the bedside, and we lead the country in the sharing of medical information technology. New, advanced medical equipment is making access to care faster, and we are taking a comprehensive team approach to meeting the health-care needs of communities. To build on our progress, the budget for the Department of Health will once again increase from $2.56 billion to $2.76 billion — a $200-million increase which will go to address the many priorities including: As well, Mr. Speaker, we will invest a much-needed $15.9 million in oncology drug costs, specialists and treatment support for cancer programs in the Capital Health and Cape Breton districts. And we are adding $12.9 million to our Pharmacare program to help over 95,000 seniors better manage the rising costs of prescription drugs. OPPORTUNITIES FOR CHILDREN TO SUCCEED TODAY …Mr. Speaker, just as it is our goal to make every generation healthier than the one before it, it is also our goal to ensure that every generation of Nova Scotians is better equipped to find success. And that starts with a quality education. This year we are making a substantial investment in helping our children succeed from grade primary through to graduation. This year, the overall budget will increase 5.9 per cent from 1.075 billion to a total this year of $1.138 billion. Included in this amount is: Additionally we will provide $300,000 to ensure Nova Scotia students have access to the one of the world’s most respected pre-university high school programs. This investment will ensure every school board in the province offers the International Baccalaureate Program in at least one of their high schools. To ensure our at-risk students stay in school, stay learning, and stay on a path to success, we will provide another $1.4 million to introduce Opportunities and Options into 20 new schools. This program matches students with qualified employers who provide structured, hands-on learning experiences. This year’s budget will also provide $750,000 to Memorial High School in North Sydney, a composite school which provides both academic and skills training. Mr. Speaker, our vision is to have a composite school, like Memorial, in every school board in the province. … AND OPPORTUNITIES FOR YOUTH TO SUCCEED INTO THE FUTUREMr. Speaker, this government understands the value of post secondary education. We also know that the cost of a university education is difficult for many families. That is why we will take steps to make the cost of a typical undergraduate degree in Nova Scotia comparable to the national average within the next five years. We will be re-opening negotiations with universities and looking to the federal government to discuss a collaborative approach to reaching this goal. $1.9-million more to increase the shelter allowance for income assistance recipients $18 million more for the second phase of the Nova Scotia Affordable Housing Program and, $3.5 million more to enhance senior and low income housing through the Emergency Housing Repair Program. Real GDP is projected to grow by 2.2 per cent in 2006 and two per cent in 2007 Employment growth is forecast to increase 0.9 per cent in 2006 and 2007 Personal income is projected to expand 3.3 per cent in 2006 and 3.2 per cent in 2007 Retail sales growth is expected to increase by 3.7 per cent in 2006 and 4.1 per cent the following year. OUTLOOK FOR 2006–07: THE RIGHT TIME TO INVEST Mr. Speaker, early indications for this year are that once again Nova Scotia will show steady growth. We will introduce Nova Scotia’s first graduate tax credit, allowing Nova Scotia graduates to claim $1,000 as a non-refundable provincial tax credit on earnings We will double the employment and repayment bonuses under the student debt reduction program, a $1.2-million investment providing debt relief to approximately 10,000 Nova Scotia students As well, next year, students who are unemployed or under-employed will benefit from an improved program that sets loan repayment amounts to affordable levels We will reduce the required parental contribution for eligibility for student loans by 25 per cent. As a result more students will be eligible for student loans and be able to qualify for loan forgiveness We will also — beginning in 2007-08 — establish direct lending which will see students benefit from the province’s lower borrowing costs. This measure alone will save students millions in interest at no additional cost to taxpayers. last_img read more

Final Report into HRSB Actions Released

first_imgThe province has accepted all 13 recommendations of an expert panel that looked into how Halifax Regional School Board and associated agencies handled events leading to the death of high school student Rehtaeh Parsons. Debra Pepler and Penny Milton delivered their final report to the province today, June 14. “Rehtaeh’s story is not an easy one to listen to, but it’s important that we hear it,” said Marilyn More, lead Minister for the Action Team on Sexual Violence and Bullying. “Dr. Pepler and Ms. Milton have written a thorough report on her experiences and implementing their recommendations will help prevent another tragedy. This is not the end of our work; far from it. The review and its recommendations will be added to the efforts currently underway.” Ms. More met with the Parsons family this morning. The family has been involved throughout the review and has had a chance to read the report. The province has asked the Department of Health and Wellness to prepare options to review the IWK Health Centre’s mental-health programs, services and policies as it relates to Rehtaeh’s case, a move supported by the reviewers. The province is conducting an independent review by out-of-province experts into the actions of the Public Prosecution Service and police. This will begin immediately after police release the results of their criminal investigation. An action plan in response to the all of the recommendations will be completed in the next few weeks. “If there is one message we want to emphasize, it is this: work together. Good relationships will be essential for finding solutions that work,” Dr. Pepler and Ms. Milton said in their report. “We need to listen, learn from each other, and build a body of evidence that will help us all to respond effectively in crisis situations.” The reviewers were appointed by the province April 18. It was one of the first actions by the Action Team on Sexual Violence and Bullying, which was created by Premier Darrell Dexter after Ms. Parsons’s death. Dr. Pepler is a professor of psychology at York University. She is co-founder of PREVNet, Promoting Relationships and Eliminating Violence Network, and has been on the Ontario Minister of Education’s Safe Schools Action Team since 2004. One of her research areas is bullying. Ms. Milton is former CEO of the Canadian Education Association and a former deputy minister of the Premier’s Advisory Council on Health, Wellbeing and Social Justice in Ontario. Her primary area of interest is the engagement of young people in learning. The report can be found at .last_img read more

Opel says CEO KarlFriedrich Stracke resigns to take on special assignments for

Opel says CEO Karl-Friedrich Stracke resigns to take on special assignments for parent GM AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email by News Staff Posted Jul 12, 2012 2:35 pm MDT FRANKFURT – The CEO of General Motors’ loss-making European business abruptly stepped down on Thursday, a sign that the automaker’s top management wants to speed up what has been a slow-moving restructuring plan.Karl-Friedrich Stracke stepped down just two weeks after presenting a new plan to rebuild the struggling European Opel and Vauxhall brands and return them to profitability. Adam Opel GmbH said in a statement that he will stay with GM and take on special projects, reporting to CEO Dan Akerson.GM Vice-Chairman Steve Girsky, the head of Opel’s board of directors and a company troubleshooter, will serve as acting chief of European operations while the company searches for Stracke’s replacement.The surprise moves show that GM’s upper management is growing more impatient with the slow pace of change in Europe as the economy deteriorates faster than expected, said Michael Robinet, managing director of IHS Automotive, a consulting firm near Detroit.“Change of leadership really denotes a new direction is required, maybe a new speed at which some of the changes will occur,” he said. “It also signals to labour that it’s a new sheriff in town.”The U.S. automaker wants to make a profit on its European business, which includes Opel and the Vauxhall brand in Britain, despite tough competition among mass-market carmakers. Opel and Vauxhall have been a drag on the company’s earnings for a dozen years, including a $256 million loss in the first quarter and $747 million last year.Stockholders and analysts have questioned whether GM is moving fast enough to stem the losses and restructure in Europe, where GM has too many factories and workers for the number of cars it sells.The faltering European macro economy has created a situation where plant closings and other restructuring moves may now be more palatable to unions and governments as auto companies struggle, Robinet said. “That sense of urgency needs to be conveyed to labour that this is not just something we’re going to talk about every couple of months. This is job one,” he said.GM rode strong North American profits to earn $1 billion last quarter, but its profit margin — a measure of profitability — was 5.8 per cent, well below the 10 per cent margin typical of Hyundai or Volkswagen, the top industry performers. Akerson has said he wants to raise GM’s margins closer to the leaders. Profit margin is the proportion of revenue that’s left after costs such as labour or raw materials.Akerson said in a statement that the 56-year-old Stracke “worked tirelessly, under great pressure, to stabilize this business and we look forward to building on his success.”Stracke who has been with GM more than three decades, took over the European operations early in 2011, replacing Nick Reilly.The Detroit-based automaker struggling to turn Opel and Vauxhall around. A partnership with PSA Peugeot Citroen offers a chance for cutting costs but will not show results for several years. Meanwhile, Opel is barred for now from closing plants in Germany to cut excess capacity.The departure of Stracke, a former head of GM engineering, comes two weeks after the Opel board approved a new overhaul plan at its June 28 meeting. The company said it is looking to add new models in segments in coming model years where it currently has no offerings, seek new markets in emerging economies, and look at moving other GM production to Europe to make best use of plant capacity.Opel has also said it was in talks to guarantee German workers jobs through 2016, after which the closure of the plant in Bochum, Germany, was widely expected. In return, workers gave up a 4.3 per cent wage increase agreed to in industry-wide negotiations. German labour contracts had tied the company’s hands, barring layoffs through 2014.Bochum is an older, higher-cost, facility but factory closings are expensive and politically difficult in Germany, where severance costs can be high, worker representatives sit on company boards and unions have political clout.The company has also agreed on a partnership with France’s PSA, but that effort will take several years to bear fruit. The alliance is to focus on sharing platforms — the basic mechanical foundations — and parts modules to save costs from larger volumes, but the first common platform was not expected to launch before 2016. The struggling French carmaker, facing diving sales in crisis-hit southern Europe, announced a drastic cost-cutting plan Thursday to slash 8,000 jobs in France and close a major factory north of Paris.The faltering European economy is affecting more than GM and PSA. Ford Motor Co. last month warned that its second-quarter profit will be lower than a year ago due in part to growing losses in Europe. The company said the European economy has deteriorated significantly since early in the year.___Krisher reported from Detroit. read more

Report Ohio State to hire former Penn State defensive line coach Larry

Then-Penn State interim football coach Larry Johnson sits courtside at the Bryce Jordan Center in State College, Pa., Jan. 8. The Minnesota Gophers defeated the Penn State Nittany Lions, 68-65.Credit: Courtesy of MCTOhio State lost defensive line coach Mike Vrabel to the Houston Texans of the NFL last week, but it looks as if coach Urban Meyer hardly wasted any time finding his replacement.The Buckeyes are on the verge of hiring former Penn State defensive line coach Larry Johnson to replace Vrabel, according to a report by late Monday.An OSU spokesman told The Lantern Tuesday, however, that the move may not be official.“I don’t have any information that I can share at this time,” the spokesman said in an email.Johnson spent 19 seasons with the Nittany Lions, and the last 15 as the team’s defensive line coach. He helped develop seven first-team All-Americans in State College, Pa., including the No. 1 pick in the 2000 NFL Draft in Courtney Brown.Johnson was offered the defensive line coaching job by new Penn State coach James Franklin, but declined, according to PennLive.Vrabel announced his departure from OSU via Twitter Thursday, and the former Buckeye great is set to coach the linebackers with the Texans. Houston announced the hiring of former Penn State head coach Bill O’Brien to head coach Jan. 3. read more

Buckeye Brainteasers Ohio State vs Purdue

Can Ohio State vanquish their demons and be successful in West Lafayette? West Lafayette, Ind., has not been friendly to the Buckeyes. The last time OSU traveled to Purdue in 2009, the then-No. 7 Buckeyes lost to a 1-5 Purdue team, 26-18. The upset was not an isolated incident. The Boilermakers have actually won three of their past five home games against OSU. Coach Luke Fickell said he can recall almost every detail from the 2009 game and is very aware of how difficult it is to walk out of Purdue with a victory. “We’re 2-2 over there in the last 10 years,” Fickell said during his press conference on Tuesday. “If that’s just not enough to open your eyes and make sure you understand. It will be pounded home … it’s going to be a battle.” Which players on Purdue’s offense could hurt OSU? The Boilermaker offense is balanced, but has lacked explosiveness as of late. The team hasn’t scored more than 18 points in any of its past four games, but averages 25.9 points per game on the year. Its rushing attack, ranked 44th nationally, features junior running backs Ralph Bolden and Akeem Shavers. The duo splits the majority of the carries and have rushed for eight touchdowns on the year. Junior Caleb TerBush starts at quarterback for the Boilermakers. He’s thrown for 1386 yards and 10 touchdowns this season, but is also a threat on the ground. Overall, the 16th ranked Buckeye defense shouldn’t have any problems. With the possible return of Jordan Hall will Carlos Hyde get some playing time? It may come as a surprise, but OSU’s leading rusher this season is sophomore Carlos Hyde. Despite that fact, Hyde’s playing time has been limited when fellow running backs junior Jordan Hall and senior Daniel “Boom” Herron have both been available to play. With Hall sidelined for last week’s 34-20 win over Indiana, Hyde ran for 105 yards and a touchdown. All signs seem to indicate Hall will be available for this week’s game against Purdue and Herron will surely be the Buckeyes’ starter at running back. Fickell would not commit to Hyde receiving playing time. “Not sure just yet,” Fickell said. “We need to see how those guys practice. A lot of that stuff depends on how you practice.” Will the Buckeyes have their Big Ten Championship hopes derailed? OSU has a legitimate chance to win the Big Ten Championship. If the team can win the remainder of its games and Penn State loses twice before the season ends, the Buckeyes will win the Leaders Division of the Big Ten and appear in the inaugural Big Ten Championship Game. Purdue has other plans, but Fickell will be sure his team knows what’s at stake. Expect the Buckeyes to continue their success running the ball and rely on a defensive that has a clear athletic advantage over the Purdue offense. Barring a disastrous, turnover-plagued game from freshman quarterback Braxton Miller, the Buckeyes will take the game, which will be closer than the score indicates. Final score prediction: Ohio State 34, Purdue 21 read more

14 people found hidden in back of truck at Rosslare port

first_img14 people found hidden in back of truck at Rosslare port The 12 males and two women are believed to be in good health. Sunday 2 Apr 2017, 5:57 PM Share512 Tweet Email2 88 Comments By Michelle Hennessy Short URL Image: truck image via Shutterstock 21,680 Views GARDA IMMIGRATION OFFICERS have discovered 14 people in the back of a truck at Rosslare Port in Co Wexford.The truck arrived in Rosslare shortly after 2pm today on an Irish ferry from France.The 14 people were discovered in a refrigerated trailer unit  by garda immigration officers during a routine search. It is understood the lorry was transporting a load of fruit.The 12 males and two women are believed to be in good health, though one person was taken to Wexford General Hospital “as a precaution” according to gardaí. One young male is understood to have been part of the group, accompanied by his parents.Investigations are ongoing.Read: Six more teenagers from ‘The Jungle’ migrant camp arrive in Ireland> Apr 2nd 2017, 5:57 PM Image: truck image via Shutterstock Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this articlelast_img read more

Get Over 95 Percent Off Lifetime Subscription to Fastest VPN

first_img Sonic Soak Is the Tiny Washing Machine That Goes AnywhereThis $500 SEO Tool Is Only $24 Today If it’s superior protection you want, FastestVPN is exactly what you need. Score a sweet deal this President’s Day and get a lifetime subscription to this next-level VPN for just $21.24 when you use the code PREZDAY15 at checkout.FastestVPN isn’t quite like the competition. As their name suggests, FastestVPN lets you browse the web in complete anonymity but doesn’t place limitations on your connection speeds, which is a rare quality to find. That means you can still engage in the data-heavy activities you love — such as streaming HD video content — without having to worry about your security falling behind.With a lifetime subscription, you’ll enjoy full protection on as many as five devices at once. It’s compatible with desktop computers and mobile devices, but also with gaming systems, routers, and more so it should work with your entire set up. It blocks annoying ads, allows you to bypass restricted content, and it even includes a firewall for extra peace of mind.A lifetime subscription to FastestVPN has a retail value of $600. We’d normally discount it to $24.99 for readers of Geek but, if you enter the code PREZDAY15, you’ll save an extra 15% and get it for the lowest price ever at just $21.24. FastestVPN: Lifetime Subscription – $24.99See Deal Like this deal? Check out Vault, the best way to secure your online data for just $9.99/mo. Stay on targetlast_img read more

In Other News Navy to Deactivate F35 Training Squadron at Eglin AFB

first_img Dan Cohen AUTHOR The Navy will deactivate an F-35C training squadron at Eglin AFB next year as part of a move to consolidate its Joint Strike Fighter operations on the West Coast at Naval Air Station Lemoore, Calif. The squadron’s 29 officers and 239 enlisted personnel likely will move to an F-35C training squadron at Lemoore, reported Navy Times. The consolidation will co-locate the “production of pilots directly into the operational squadrons scheduled for transition to F-35C,” according to a Navy directive. The extra aircraft, pilots and maintainers at Lemoore are intended to help meet the testing and evaluation requirements for the Navy’s first operational fleet F-35C squadron. Eglin had been the home of an F-35B training squadron for the Marine Corps as well until it was relocated to MCAS Beaufort, S.C., in 2015. … North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum (R) proposed exempting military pensions from state income tax in his annual budget address earlier this month. The plan is partially designed to expand the state’s workforce and help fill thousands of open jobs, reported Military Times. North Dakota is one of only eight states that fully taxes military retirement pay. “The benefits start to accrue if we can get people to choose to stay in North Dakota versus move out of North Dakota,” Burgum said. The idea would cost the state an estimated $3 million in foregone revenue annually. Burgum also said he supports legislation introduced in the North Dakota House barring the state from collecting income tax from military personnel serving in the active and reserve components.Navy photo by Lt. Cmdr. Darin Russelllast_img read more

Sullivan Starts Committee Work With a Pileup

first_imgJust this week, the U.S. Senate got started on committee work, with most panels holding their first hearings. All four of Sen. Dan Sullivan’s committees met Wednesday, colliding in a scheduling pile-up that’s typical in Congress. To get by — and be effective — requires skill in the art of Senate juggling.Download AudioSullivan’s first hearing of the day, at 9:30, was in Senate Armed Services, chaired by Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz..It was on challenges to U.S. national security. Syria, Iran, Islamic State – it covered some tough terrain. Sullivan heard the first witness, but things really heated up when it was Sen. Lindsey Graham’s turn to question the witnesses.“I am advocating that we defeat this enemy to mankind and that we get the Islamic world engaged,” Graham, R-S.C., said, his voice rising as he argued for the need to help moderate rebels fight the Syrian regime.By tradition, seniority determines a senator’s place in line to ask questions. By the time it would’ve been Sullivan’s turn, he’d moved on: 10 a.m., Veterans Affairs. It was a business meeting, with a bill on the table, rather than a hearing with witnesses. Sullivan arrived in time to vote in favor of better suicide prevention for vets. Here Sullivan was allowed to make a statement.“Thank you Mr. Chairman and Sen. Blumenthal. I’d agree with your comments about this being the most important committee in the United States Senate. I’m very honored to be here,” Sullivan began in what turned out to be a 45-second statement.By then, the Environment and Public Works session was underway. Sullivan was there early, but gone when Chairman Jim Inhofe called on him to speak.“Sen. Sullivan,” Inhofe called out, before turning to to confer with a staffer. “He was here just a … OK … OK, Sen. Rounds.”Around then, Sullivan was presiding over the Senate for the first time. This a duty often assigned to freshmen members of the majority party, to help train them in the ways of the Senate. Sullivan’s first turn happened to fall during a busy morning, illustrating one of the limits of the job: Senators enjoy certain powers and privileges, but even they can’t be in two places at the same time.“Conflicts between hearings happen on a very regular basis,” says Washington lobbyist David C. Russell, a former chief of staff to the late Sen. Ted Stevens. “Also, the Senate’s rules encourage committees to meet in the mornings, so scheduling conflicts tend to stack up in the early hours of the day.”Worse yet, Mondays and Fridays aren’t usually full work days. Senators are so overbooked mid-week it’s not unusual to have witnesses testifying in a cavernous room with just one senator present. It may look like an empty exercise, but Russell says senators have ways of making it less so.“It’s not hard to be effective,” he said. “The senators are well briefed in advance of the hearings. There’s a memo that goes out from committee staff to each office.”Senators often station a staffer at each hearing for the duration. Sometimes a lawmaker magically appears just in time to speak. Russell says some committees let senators speak early if they arrived early, but at some you have to stay to keep your spot in the queue.“So senators quickly learn which committee follows which rules, and how to best bounce from place to place to try to get as much business in during the morning as they can,” Russell said.Retired Indiana Congressman Lee Hamilton says lawmakers will go to committees for bill markups, but he says hearings with witnesses have become less important.“They were, many years ago, a search for truth, bringing in different points of view and listening to the experts and trying to develop the options,” Hamilton said. “But today they’re mostly a platform for advocacy.”Hamilton, now director of the Center on Congress at Indiana University, says chairmen select witnesses, sometimes celebrity witnesses, to trumpet their own point of view.“Every chairman tries to attract the cameras and that, too becomes a factor in every decision a member makes” about which hearings to attend, Hamilton said.When lawmakers are planning their day, he said, they’ll often ask their staff which hearings have a chance of landing them on TV.last_img read more

Alaska News Nightly Tuesday June 11 2019

first_imgRashah McChesney, Alaska’s Energy Desk – Juneau Jacob Resneck, CoastAlaska – Juneau Escalating tariffs, lingering questions hamper University of Alaska timber sale in Haines Casey Grove, Alaska Public Media – Anchorage As the legislature fights over the budget, a decades-old accounting quirk takes on new importance Hoonah is planning a multi-million dollar pedestrian project to ease congestion from hundreds of thousands of cruise ship visitors. Police say an Indiana man arrested on federal child pornography charges is connected to the shooting death of an Anchorage teenager earlier this month. Elizabeth Gabriel, KRBD – Ketchikan If an amendment to the capital budget to pay full permanent fund dividends isn’t successful, the Republican House minority leader expects there won’t be enough votes to draw from the Constitutional Budget Reserve. As Alaska’s population ages, new senior housing developments are drawing elders from all over Aaron Bolton, KBBI – Homer Kirsten Swann, Alaska Public Media – Anchorage Hoonah planning pedestrian project to address tourist congestion Stories are posted on the APRN news page. You can subscribe to APRN’s newsfeeds via email, podcast and RSS. Follow us on Facebook at and on Twitter @AKPublicNews Federal child pornography charges against Indiana man related to shooting of Anchorage teenagercenter_img City of Anchorage program trains child care providers, parents on potentially toxic products City of Homer works with state and Army Corps to battle erosion on the spit Alaska’s senior population is booming. That’s leading to a surge in senior housing developments: In Anchorage alone, three new assisted living homes are in various stages of planning and construction. Claire Stremple, KHNS – Haines Capital budget, Power Cost Equalization, college scholarships are caught in PFD debate Amy Mostafa, Alaska Public Media – Anchorage There are various factors slowing the 10-year timber sale the University of Alaska announced last March. A new city program in Anchorage is training childcare providers and parents on what to look for in household products to avoid potentially harmful ingredients. Andrew Kitchenman, KTOO – Juneau Team Angry Beaver wins 5th annual Race to Alaska The Constitutional Budget Reserve is at the center of the debate in the legislature this week because of something called “the sweep.” The Homer Spit’s future as an iconic tourist attraction is in danger of washing away. Erosion along the spit’s sea walls is not a new problem. City officials are working with state and federal agencies to find a lasting solution. Named after their local Seattle bar, this was Team Angry Beaver’s first time competing in the 750-mile boat race from Port Townsend, Washington, to Ketchikan, Alaska.last_img read more

Spatial Debuts Minority ReportInspired Augmented Reality Collaboration Tool

first_img ×Actors Reveal Their Favorite Disney PrincessesSeveral actors, like Daisy Ridley, Awkwafina, Jeff Goldblum and Gina Rodriguez, reveal their favorite Disney princesses. Rapunzel, Mulan, Ariel,Tiana, Sleeping Beauty and Jasmine all got some love from the Disney stars.More VideosVolume 0%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard Shortcutsplay/pauseincrease volumedecrease volumeseek forwardsseek backwardstoggle captionstoggle fullscreenmute/unmuteseek to %SPACE↑↓→←cfm0-9Next UpJennifer Lopez Shares How She Became a Mogul04:350.5x1x1.25×1.5x2xLive00:0002:1502:15 The result is a better meeting experience that’s more like being in the same room, said Agarawala, whose team has been internally beta-testing its own service for some time. “We’ve been having meetings in Spatial for 8 months.”To be fair, Spatial isn’t quite as advanced as the technology in “Minority Report.” The collaboration service still suffers from the narrow field of view of current-generation AR headsets, making it hard to look at just a few documents at a time.Plus, using AR headsets isn’t exactly comfortable over extended periods of time. But Agarawala expressed optimism that these problem would get solved with future device versions: “That’s gonna get better over time.”At that point, Spatial could also become a viable solution for movie studios looking for more secure solutions for their storyboarding — something that’s of particular concern for unannounced projects that could get leaked by rogue cleaning staff, or anyone else equipped with a cell phone camera.Those problems don’t exist anymore if any of the notes and sketches pinned to the walls of a conference room only exist in augmented reality. Said Agarawala: “Anyone walking by doesn’t see anything.” Popular on Variety center_img Hollywood gave them the idea for their product. Now, their product could help Hollywood come up with new ideas: New York-based augmented reality (AR) startup Spatial came out of stealth Wednesday with a new collaboration tool that seems like taken straight out of “Minority Report.”Spatial’s 3D workspaces allow users to hold distributed meetings with the help of AR headsets like Microsoft’s HoloLens. Part video conference, part futuristic 3D white board, Spatial allows collaborators to exchange pictures, notes and ideas in a 3D space, complete with avatars to represent remote collaborators.“We like movie UIs,” said Spatial co-founder and CEO Anand Agarawala during a recent interview with Variety. “Minority Report” and other movies with futuristic interfaces captured his and his co-founder’s imagination, he recalled. “We wondered: How can we bring this to normal people?”The result is a collaboration service that lets users import photos and documents from their smartphones, web search results and more. Users can even integrate virtual 3D objects into their meetings. It also allows users without AR headsets to participate from their laptops, and is set up to incorporate VR headsets as well.last_img read more

Worlds Longest 3DPrinted Bridge Unveiled in China

first_imgStay on target People Got High on Cannabis At Funerals 2,500 Years AgoDoctors Find Over 100 Undigested Bubble Tea Balls Inside Teen Don’t let the humble appearance of this new pedestrian bridge fool you. It’s actually kind of a big deal. This is now the world’s longest 3D-printed bridge.The 86-foot long pedestrian bridge, located in Shanghai, was created by a team from the Tsinghua University School of Architecture in Beijing. Its design was inspired by China’s longest-standing bridge, the 1,400-year-old Anji Bridge in Hebei Province.Thanks to the marvel of 3D-printed concrete, this new structure took just 450 hours to complete. The bridge wasn’t printed a single, continuous mass. It was assembled from 112 separate sections: 44 that make up the deck and 34 for each of the undulating sides.Building the bridge from pre-printed sections didn’t just save time. It also saved money. According to its designers, building the bridge from 3d-printed sections reduced construction costs by more than 30 percent.A 1/4 scale model was created first to test the strength of the design. It passed with flying colors, with a yield strength of 9,425psi.In the past few years, China has completed several other significant bridges.One, of course, is the glass-bottomed marvel that spans two peaks in the Avatar mountains. The 300-meter bridge hangs 180 meters above the ground.Its laminated glass deck is sturdy enough to support a car full of people and can withstand multiple blows from a sledgehammer, but authorities have enforced a daily limit of 8,000 visitors. You know, just to be safe.Then there’s the massive Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge in China’s Greater Bay Area. Planning for the Bridge began way back in 2003. Fifteen years later, the bridge was finally completed at a total construction cost of just over $7.5 billion.At 34 miles long, it’s the world’s sixth longest bridge (trailing four others in China and one in Taiwan). And one interesting note about the bridge is that vehicles drive on the right while traveling through the Chinese portion of the bridge and on left when driving in Hong Kong and Macau.More on Company Debuts ‘World’s Cheapest Electric Car’World’s First Underground Luxury Hotel Opens in ChinaChina Preps 5G Coverage for World’s Longest Sea Bridgelast_img read more

Elliptic Labs develops ultrasonic gesture control for handheld devices

first_img This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Explore further The next interface: Electrical fields, MGC3130, and your hand (w/ Video) To date, the vast majority of gesture control devices use infrared light, a system that has worked very well for gadgets such as Microsoft’s Kinect. But as owners of such devices can attest, they all have one major drawback—limited range. The chip by Ellipitc solves that problem by using sound waves instead of light. That means, as the company demonstrates in a video on its website, that users can control the device within a 180-degree field. The chip allows a device to “see” a hand held higher or lower than the screen, for example, or off to the left or right. Even more remarkably, it can do so from as far away as three feet. Company CEO Lila Danielson, says that the biggest advantage of using ultrasound over infrared is that it uses just a small fraction of the amount of power. And because the chip is tiny, that makes it a perfect fit for tablet computers or smartphones.Gesture control with hand-held devices would most likely be used by users to turn pages (when hands are dirtied from cooking, etc.) or to move through slides or songs in a playlist. Being able to swipe a screen from a distance offers users an additional degree of control.Elliptic Labs won the CEATEC 2013 Innovation Award in the Computing and Networking category this year for its innovative chip, because of its ease of portability to multiple devices and extremely small size allowing for embedding in virtually any device. It was at that ceremony that the company wowed an audience by demonstrating the chips capabilities by connecting it to an Android enabled smartphone. The company also notes that the chip can be easily integrated with new or current features of a device. One example is of a person using a smartphone snapping a photograph, then using a simple flinging gesture in the air, to send it over to a person holding another enabled device. © 2013 Phys.orgcenter_img Citation: Elliptic Labs develops ultrasonic gesture control for hand-held devices (2013, October 11) retrieved 18 August 2019 from More information: ( —Norwegian based Elliptic Labs has revealed that the company has not only developed an ultrasonic gesture control chip for hand-held devices, but that it is already in talks with Asian hand-held hardware makers to embed the new technology. Representatives from Elliptic Labs have told reporters that they believe their chip technology will be available to consumers inside main-stream devices, as early as next year.last_img read more

Kolkata Police dismisses Metiabruz captive girl rumours

first_imgKolkata: In the backdrop of an attempt to spread rumours by stating that a girl has been held captive in a Metiabruz house, Kolkata Police urged people not to lend their ears to the rumours, which are being purposely spread to create communal tension.Praveen Tripathi, Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime) of Kolkata Police, tweeted on Tuesday: “A false rumour is being spread on social media about a missing minor girl being held captive in a Metiabruz house and police being afraid of raiding the place. Don’t believe in rumours being spread to create communal tension. All indulged in spreading these would be severely dealt with.” Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsThe police circulated the message to reach the maximum number of people through different social networking sites, after the rumour was spread stating that a minor girl has been held captive in a house at Metiabruz. Experts are also not ruling out the possibility of the hands behind it looking to derive political mileage.It may be mentioned that Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had repeatedly urged people not to believe in anything that is spread intentionally with a purpose to create disturbance in the state, which has a tradition of peace and harmony.The police have also created awareness among people through posts in social networking sites and people have also been urged to inform the police in case they find someone attempting to spread such rumours.last_img read more

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first_imgAt SIIM 2009, PACSGEAR will show how it provides complete document and multimedia connectivity solutions for PACS/EHR. Its software enables physicians, technologists and administrators to send documents, film and multimedia images from any department to any PACS/EHR. Worldwide, PACSGEAR says that it provides over 600 hospitals, healthcare networks and imaging facilities with a better picture of their patients’ health.For more information: FacebookTwitterLinkedInPrint分享 A nurse examines a patient in the Emergency Department of Cincinnati Children’s, where researchers successfully tested artificial intelligence-based technology to improve patient recruitment for clinical trials. Researchers report test results in the journal JMIR Medical Informatics. Image courtesy of Cincinnati Children’s. News | Artificial Intelligence | July 31, 2019 Artificial Intelligence Solution Improves Clinical Trial Recruitment Clinical trials are a critical tool for getting new treatments to people who need them, but research shows that… read more Technology | May 04, 2009 PACSGEAR Provides Clear Image with PACS, EHR Solutions News | PACS | August 08, 2019 NetDirector Launches Cloud-based PDF to DICOM Conversion Service NetDirector, a cloud-based data exchange and integration platform, has diversified their radiology automation options… read more Related Content News | Clinical Decision Support | July 18, 2019 Johns Hopkins Named Qualified Provider-led Entity to Develop Criteria for Diagnostic Imaging On June 30, 2019, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced the Johns Hopkins University School… read more Technology | Enterprise Imaging | July 05, 2019 Hyland Healthcare Adds ImageNext Imaging Workflow Optimizer to Enterprise Imaging Suite Hyland Healthcare is launching ImageNext, a vendor-neutral imaging workflow optimizer that combines intelligent imaging… read more center_img News | PACS | August 09, 2019 Lake Medical Imaging Selects Infinitt for Multi-site RIS/PACS Infinitt North America will be implementing Infinitt RIS (radiology information system)/PACS (picture archiving and… read more News | Enterprise Imaging | July 29, 2019 Philips Announces 10-year Enterprise Informatics Agreement With Centre Hospitalier Régional Universitaire de Nancy Philips and Centre Hospitalier Régional Universitaire (CHRU) de Nancy, a leading academic hospital in the Grand Est… read more News | Artificial Intelligence | July 29, 2019 New AI Tool Identifies Cancer Outcomes Using Radiology Reports Scientists at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute have demonstrated that an artificial intelligence (AI) tool can perform as… read more News | Electronic Medical Records (EMR) | August 01, 2019 DrChrono Teams With DeepScribe to Automate Medical Note Taking in EHR DrChrono Inc. and DeepScribe announced a partnership so medical practices using DrChrono EHR can use artificial… read more Technology | Cybersecurity | August 07, 2019 ScImage Introduces PICOM ModalityGuard for Cybersecurity ScImage Inc. is bridging the gap between security and functionality with the introduction of the PICOM ModalityGuard…. read more News | PACS | July 02, 2019 Laurel Bridge and 3M M*Modal Partner to Improve DICOM Structured Reporting July 2, 2019 — Laurel Bridge Software announced an expanded relationship with 3M M*Modal, a provider of clinical docu read morelast_img read more