New education think tank wants research to drive U.S. policy

first_imgThe United States conducts more education research than any other country. But that output hasn’t translated into a world-class education system. Now, a prominent academic has formed a California-based think tank with the goal of improving that sorry record by putting research results to better use.It won’t be easy. Education reform is a crowded field riven by competing ideologies. But Linda Darling-Hammond, professor emeritus of education at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California, says the new Learning Policy Institute, unveiled yesterday, hopes to temper the partisan nature of those debates by making the latest research accessible to policymakers when they need it—and in language that they can understand.“Research can’t solve deep ideological divides,” says Darling-Hammond, a former president of the American Educational Research Association and long-time adviser to federal and state education officials. “But if you can provide an honest appraisal of the research, and serve as an honest broker, I think you can make contributions that are viewed as helpful by all the parties involved.” The new institute, she promises, will “put more boots on the ground, to make sure that the research is getting translated and available at the moment when it is needed.”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(*)Darling-Hammond, 63, has studied many of the hot-button issues in education—including teacher training and professional development, curriculum reform, and restructuring educational systems—during a 25-year academic career at Columbia and Stanford universities. She’s been a vocal critic of Teach for America’s model of offering college graduates minimal training before putting them into the classroom, for example, and has also lambasted the use of student test scores to evaluate teachers, an element of the 2002 No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) governing elementary and secondary education that the Obama administration has embraced.Those and other policy positions have made her a major player in education reform, says Martin Storksdieck, former director of the National Research Council’s Board on Science Education and now a professor at Oregon State University, Corvallis, where he directs the Center for Research on Lifelong STEM Learning. Darling-Hammond’s positions have also placed her clearly on the liberal end of the political spectrum. “Linda stands for a certain way of doing professional development and teacher training,” he says. “I don’t think it will be seen as a neutral policy institute.”Grover (Russ) Whitehurst, who headed the Institute of Education Studies under President George W. Bush, calls her a “polarizing figure … with a strong political agenda” with which he disagrees. But Whitehurst, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution who until this spring headed its Brown Center on Education, also gives her credit for being “very effective at translating research for use by policymakers. She definitely has an audience.”The new think tank has secured what Darling-Hammond calls a “continuing” financial commitment of $5 million a year from several philanthropies, led by the Sandler Foundation. The California foundation, created in 1991 by mortgage bankers Herbert and Marion Sandler, has backed such progressive groups as the Center for American Progress and ProPublica, and the founders have pledged to exhaust its $1.3 billion in assets and go out of business. A recent article describing its giving philosophy noted that their daughter, Susan, has a strong interest in education and that the foundation likes to bet on individuals.“They have put no constraints on us, nor do they want us to follow any particular ideological orientation,” Darling-Hammond says. “We are committed to being nonpartisan and independent in our research.”With some 20 people in the home office in Palo Alto and another half-dozen in Washington, D.C., the new institute has hit the ground running. Darling-Hammond spoke with ScienceInsider yesterday after spending the day in meetings with Democratic and Republican staffers who are working to reconcile Senate and House of Representatives versions of legislation that would replace the wildly unpopular NCLB. (The interview has been edited for brevity and clarity.)Q: When did you start planning the institute?A: It was probably a year ago. I had done work for [Sandler] and the other foundations funding us. We did a study of high schools that were effective with low-income students of color, and research on how to develop thoughtful performance assessments, funded by the Hewlett Foundation, how to be critical thinkers, and how to reassess curriculum. The research is part of a whole set of issues surrounding what you might call 21st century learning. That’s been at the core of our concerns, and one of the reasons for the policy institute. Because what we know about how to develop this kind of learning is very, very far away from policy.Q: How will the institute operate?A: We will start from a research framework. We will do some research ourselves that is focused on informing policy. But we will also organize, synthesize, and translate a lot of the research that many smart people have done but that has not reached policymakers.Policymakers often need to know not just the results of a single study but what a body of work across a field has concluded. People ask the question, “Does it work or not?” But rather than yes or no, the answer is often: “If it works, under what circumstances and with what supports?” We’ll try to do research that answers the type of questions policymakers ask.Q: Aren’t there a lot of other groups already doing that?A: Organizations like the National Academies [of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine] do great work, but they are not funded to carry it into the policy arena. And that’s where it often ends. At the moment when policy is being made, there’s nobody who is saying: “There was this great study 4 years ago.” And even if somebody remembered it, it didn’t have conclusions that addressed the specific policy questions on the table. So there need to be translators who are deeply knowledgeable about research, who know what has been done, and who can bring it into the conversation at the exact moment it’s needed.We’re not trying to replace all the existing organizations working in this field. They are all doing good work. But we want to add some capacity and energy to what they are trying to do, to carry it over the goal line.Q: What’s the biggest question that needs to be answered and translated into policy?A: The very biggest I see is that, with the explosion of knowledge and global interactions, you can’t just tell kids, “Here are the facts that you’ll need to know.” The NGSS [Next Generation Science Standards] is a good example. Our scientific knowledge is expanding so rapidly, you don’t want to have kids just memorize a bunch of facts that will soon be out of date. You have to change how you teach, so that kids can learn how to be empirical, and look at the evidence with strong methodological tools. They need to acquire and find knowledge and make sense of it themselves, along with learning the content that exists. That’s a radically different kind of teaching than what most schools now offer.And transforming teaching may mean transforming school organizations and how educational systems operate with respect to curriculum and assessment. And that will be a big policy question.Q: That’s quite a lot for policymakers to take on, isn’t it?A: Well, one thing you want policy to do is not to overly constrain. You also want policies to support innovation. So it’s a combination of what you want policymakers to do and what you want them not to do.Q: Has that happened in the last decade?A: In the NCLB era, the federal apparatus focused almost exclusively on English and math. And the way those were measured—using very low-level standardized tests, and sanctions attached to those test scores—has not encouraged the type of practices that the new standards are calling for. So we need to offer more incentives for building strong science programs—there are lots of schools who basically got rid of science in order to focus on reading and math.We don’t have the “TE” in STEM [science, technology, engineering, and mathematics] right now being funded and supported. We need to shift to a fuller curriculum. We need to promote and learn from innovation. And the way we do that in science is by making good hypotheses and then try it and study it and analyze the results. We need to study the innovations. And then we need to learn from that, and scale it up in the policy arena.last_img read more

Milan free up 60m for Zlatan?

first_img Watch Serie A live in the UK on Premier Sports for just £11.99 per month including live LaLiga, Eredivisie, Scottish Cup Football and more. Visit: https://subscribe.premiersports.tv/ Milan are reportedly ready to sell Fabio Borini, Franck Kessie and Ricardo Rodriguez to raise €60m for January, including a €4m per year Zlatan Ibrahimovic contract. The Swedish star confirmed he is leaving LA Galaxy and MLS yesterday and is being linked with a move back to Serie A this winter. Milan are now trying to free up some space in the squad to make room for their targets in the transfer market this winter. According to the Gazzetta dello Sport, the trio of Borini, Kessie and Ricardo Rodriguez should be on their way out the door to accommodate for new signings. The newspaper claims it will free up a total of €60m in spending money for the Rossoneri, who are willing to offer €4m a year to Ibrahimovic. It’s also suggested that the 38-year-old might have some reservations against a move back to San Siro, as his strong reputation at Milan might be ruined by another appearance at the end of his career. He helped the club secure their last Scudetto in 2010-11. Milan are currently 14th in Serie A and are looking to the transfer market to find solutions, but Ibrahimovic has also been linked with moves to Napoli and Bologna.last_img read more

Rags to riches! Bournemouth set to join football giants in EPL

first_imgBournemouth, a small club when compared with EPL giants, earned the league promotion on MondayThe agony and the ecstasy of English football continued to be played out Tuesday in the coastal town of Bournemouth.For the first time in its history, AFC Bournemouth, founded in 1899, has been guaranteed promotion to English football’s top-flight Premier League, sparking jubilant celebrations across the town, reports Xinhua.The promotion was assured Monday night with a 3-0 win against Bolton in the second-flight Championship League.As the 2014-15 season draws to a close, Bournemouth’s drama was played out before a capacity 11,700 crowd at its Goldsands Stadium.As Bournemouth celebrates its victory teams propping up the lucrative Premiership are fighting for survival, with three doomed to demotion to the Championship.For Bournemouth though, the rags to riches story starts today. Just a few years ago the club was broke and was on the verge of extinction.Club chairman Jeff Mostyn became the club’s saviour in 2008 when he wrote a cheque for $150,000 to rescue AFC Bournemouth.He told a local radio station on Tuesday in the south-coast town how when he arrived, the club was so poor it couldn’t even afford to buy a single postage stamp.Now promotion guarantees a bounty of over $150 million, and the prospect to play at the same level of the some of the world’s greatest teams, like Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal, Liverpool and others, heading to stadiums with up to five times the crowd capacity as its own ground.Bournemouth’s stadium will be the smallest in the Premiership.advertisement”Bournemouth have “achieved the impossible,” commented Mostyn in his radio interview, adding: “six years ago we were on the edge of abyss.”Technically confirmation will only come at the weekend as Bournemouth have a final match to play, but would have to lose by an unheard of margin of 20 goals.The win over Bolton though was enough to kick-start the celebrations by fans of the club, known affectionately as the Cherries.Mostyn said the achievement was a moment for everyone at the club to savour.”We’ve climbed right through the leagues and into the Premier League. It’s just incredible. I don’t think anybody, not even the craziest optimist, would ever have thought this was possible,” he said.”The reality is we are going to be rubbing shoulders with football’s glitterati next season and we’ll do ourselves proud. For me this is achieving the impossible. For all football fans, this is the perfect story and hopefully it gives hope for every club that you can come back from oblivion and get to the Premier League.”I am so proud of everybody and my total respect to the owner, the chief executive and all the staff. When I first arrived, we could not afford a first-class stamp.”Fans, desperate to see their beloved club survive, held bucket collections to raise cash as they played their part in the rescue mission.Meanwhile, a dog-fight will continue over the next few weeks in the Premiership with the three bottom teams exiting to the lower Championship.Gambling companies have already given clubs like QPR and Burnley FC low odds at survival in the top flight.It proves, as it does every year, that football is a game of smiles and tears.last_img read more

Hashim Amla quits as South Africa Test captain, AB de Villiers to take over

first_imgHashim Amla surprisingly quit as South Africa’s test captain on Wednesday in the middle of the four-Test series against England, hoping “someone else can add more value” as skipper.Amla said after the drawn second test at Newlands – where he made a double century in a big return to form with the bat – that he was stepping down immediately.”I am comfortable in my decision knowing that I have given my best and will continue to do so,” Amla said after the match.He will remain available as a batsman for the remaining two Tests.AB de Villiers will replace Amla as captain for the remainder of the series, Cricket South Africa chief executive Haroon Lorgat said.Amla took over the captaincy from the long-serving Graeme Smith in 2014 in a popular decision considering his outstanding Test record as a batsman. However, he came under pressure after a lean run of recent results for the top-ranked team, and relative struggles with his own form.Amla oversaw series wins in Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe and a home victory versus West Indies, but South Africa’s recent 3-0 drubbing in India – the Proteas’ first series loss away from home since 2006 – left a lasting impact.Following that, South Africa then lost by 241 runs to England in this series opener in Durban, where Amla was asked about the captaincy. He said then that he was still enjoying it.However, Amla conceded on Wednesday that he had been mulling over the decision to quit as far back as two weeks ago, before the series against England began.advertisementHe denied the fierce criticism in South Africa over the team’s apparent slump, and his own poor scores, influenced his move. He just felt a change was best for the team, he said.”You get to have a bit of a thick skin,” Amla said. Still, stepping down was “a little bit of a relief,” he said.Amla’s decision was unexpected considering his 201 in South Africa’s fighting performance at Newlands. Amla’s first test hundred since December 2014 was at the heart of South Africa’s 627-7 declared, a defiant response after England scored 629-6 declared. By the end of the match, South Africa was on top and England was batting to save a draw.Some of the criticism of the softly spoken Amla’s leadership style was the he wasn’t aggressive enough, a characteristic out of kilter with some recent Proteas captains, who favored an in-your-face kind of style.”If you try and copy anybody, you’ll never be a success,” Amla said. “There are many forms of leaderships.”Amla remains a batsman with an impressive record. His double century in Cape Town was his 24th Test century in 90 matches and his fourth test score over 200. He averages 51.13 in Test cricket.”I honestly feel a lot of the criticism that Hashim has faced in the last couple of weeks is very harsh,” South Africa coach Russell Domingo said. “He is one of South Africa’s greatest players … there hasn’t been enough respect shown of his achievements as a player.”last_img read more

Arms cache recovered in Chhattisgarh

first_imgRaipur, Jan 22 (PTI) A huge cache of arms mostly barrels used in manufacturing guns was recovered from forests of Chhattisgarhs insurgency-hit Rajnandgaon district, police said today.Acting-on a tip off, as many as 39 barrels of 12 bore guns were recovered from Mangikholi forests under Bortalav police station area last evening by a joint team of security forces, Rajnandgaon Superintendent of Police Sundarraj P told PTI.Tagging the recovery as a “major” success, the SP said, police have foiled naxals evil strategy to manufacture guns to harm security personnel.During interrogation, a recently arrested woman naxal Manisha had revealed about the location of a dump of materials for making guns hidden in the forests of Kandhurra based on which search operations were on in the jungles of Kandhurra for the past few days, he said.A joint team of Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) and district force was cordoning off forests of Mangikholi last evening when they spotted barrels hidden behind shrubs, the SP added. PTI TKP DK IKA RDSlast_img read more

Google Pixel 2 fresh rumours: IP68 water-resistance, always on display and more

first_imgGoogle Pixel 2 and the Pixel XL 2 is one of the most highly anticipated smartphones of the year. There are have been numerous rumours and leaks of the phone and there is very little left for the imagination. Well, nothing is official about it so far, but a lot is already as good as confirmed. The phone is expected to launch during early October and as the time for the launch draws nearer, a new rumour from 9to5google now reveals a meatier, more clear image, image of the phone.While a previous leaked image of Pixel 2 showed an aluminium Black colour variant of the phone, this time a Slate Gray colour variant of the phone has been revealed by the website. Though the image has been blurred to safeguard leaker’s identity, the slate-gray colour of the bezel and ‘Silver-Black’ colour of the rear panel is visible. The site has also said that the device is in works but not necessarily ship this year.The leaked image further reveals a two black dots below the camera flash. The site speculates that these could be  the send and receives sensors for the autofocus.Also Read: Google Pixel 2, Pixel XL 2 will be powered by Snapdragon 835, Snapdragon 836 doesn’t existHere are the other rumours we’ve heard of Google Pixel 2 we’ve heard so far:128GB and 64GB storage variants of Pixel 2, 256GB also possible  There could be two storage variants of the Pixel 2- 4GB RAM /64GB internal storage and 4GB/128GB internal storage. There are also chances the Google could also introduce a 256GB storage variant of the phone to match Apple which is also rumoured to launch a 256GB variant of iPhone 8 which is launching on September 12.advertisementAlways on displayAlso rumoured for Pixel’s biggest competitor iPhone 8, the Pixel 2 is expected to come with Always-on display feature. In fact both the Pixel phones are expected to sport this feature.No 3.5mm headphone jack in Pixel 2Leaks suggest that Google could ditch the 3.5mm headphone jack with this year’s Pixel phones. The trend of say no to 3.5mm headphone jack was initiated with Apple in iPhone 7 but Google didn’t think 2017 was the right time to do so and hence launch the Pixels with the jack. The graphics at the launch of original Pixel read “3.5mm headphone jack satisfyingly not new.” May be this year the company could join the bandwagon of companies like Moto, HTC and many other Chinese manufacturers that have dropped the good-old 3.5mm headphone jack in their latest releases.About Pixel 2’s designThere are talks that Google could continue with its last year’s design. The phone would come with IP68 rating making it water resistant. A higher IP rating can help Pixel fight against phones like Galaxy S8 and iPhone 7 which come with good water resistance. The smartphone  is rumoured to sport a 4.97-inch touchscreen display with a resolution of 1080 X 1920 pixels. The phone would run on latest Android Oreo.Pixel 2 will be powered by Snapdragon 835 because Snapdragon 836 doesn’t existThis is the most recent and one of the biggest updates we’ve heard so far about the upcoming Pixel phones. A report from XDA Developers claim that Qualcomm has no plans to launch a successor to Snapdragon 835 as of now. This means that the 2017 Pixel phones would come with Snapdragon 835 SoC which is quite powerful and is seen in all the latest launched high-end phones.last_img read more

ESPN Names “Biggest Question Mark” For Oklahoma

first_imgThe Oklahoma Sooner Schooner carries the American flag on the anniversary of September 11 at Gaylord Family Oklahoma Memorial Stadium.NORMAN, OK – SEPTEMBER 11: The Oklahoma Sooner Schooner carries the American flag on the anniversary of September 11 at Gaylord Family Oklahoma Memorial Stadium on September 11, 2010 in Norman, Oklahoma. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)The Oklahoma Sooners are the favorites in the Big 12 once again this season. They’re also expected to compete for the national championship.But that doesn’t mean the Sooners don’t have weaknesses. Every team does, and they aren’t immune.Most would assume Oklahoma’s biggest question mark involves the quarterback position. Baker Mayfield is gone, and it is up to Kyler Murray to replace at least most of his prodigious production.ESPN, however, thinks the Sooners’ most glaring issue is on the other side of the ball.ESPN Big 12 reporter Jake Trotter labeled safety as Oklahoma’s “biggest question mark” in a feature that dropped today.The Sooners should be improved at cornerback, but safety remains a huge concern. Incoming freshman Brendan Radley-Hiles, who starred in the spring, is already assured of manning either nickelback or back safety. But OU will need others to emerge to solidify a secondary that has been unreliable the past two seasons.Oklahoma will face its fair share of prolific passing offenses in the Big 12, so a sturdy pass defense is a must.We’ll see if safety is as big of an issue as Trotter projects it to be.You can read the rest of ESPN’s analysis on the entire preseason Top 25 here.last_img read more

Justice ministers across Canada meet to tackle delays in the courts

first_imgOTTAWA – The federal Liberals came to power promising sweeping reforms to the criminal justice system, but now the provinces are championing some ideas of their own as they focus on cutting backlogs in the courts.“I think for the most part, the provinces recognize the status quo isn’t an option and we need those changes to take place,” Manitoba Justice Minister Heather Stefanson said in an interview.“Time is moving on and now is the time for action.”Stefanson and other provincial and territorial justice ministers are gathering Friday in Gatineau, Que., for an emergency meeting with their federal counterpart, Jody Wilson-Raybould, to discuss how to tackle delays in the criminal courts.It is not a new problem, but finding a solution has become more urgent.The Supreme Court of Canada issued a groundbreaking decision last summer, R. v. Jordan, that set out a new framework for determining whether a criminal trial has been unreasonably delayed, citing a “culture of complacency” for contributing to the problem.The Charter of Rights and Freedoms says someone charged with an offence has the right to have their case tried within a reasonable amount of time. In a 5-4 decision, the high court defined that period as 18 months for provincial courts and 30 months for superior courts.There is room for exceptions, and the ruling came with a transitional measure for cases already in the system, but a dissenting minority opinion argued the new time limits could lead to thousands of prosecutions being tossed out.“That was a way of the Supreme Court throwing its hands up and chastising both federal and provincial governments for decades of neglect,” said New Democrat MP Alistair MacGregor, the justice critic for his party.“The chickens have come home to roost and I think the Supreme Court has finally forced the government’s hand.”Prime Minister Justin Trudeau gave Wilson-Raybould a mandate to work with the provinces and territories “to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the criminal justice system,” but her marching orders focused on solutions such as the better use of digital technology, bail reform and sentencing alternatives.Those ideas, along with the ongoing need for judicial appointments, will no doubt come up Friday, but some provinces will also be urging the federal Liberals to change the Criminal Code to either curtail or eliminate the use of preliminary inquiries, which take place in certain serious cases to determine if there is enough evidence for a matter to go to trial.Ontario Justice Minister Yasir Naqvi is one of those behind that idea.“We’ve got a challenge that has been given to us by the Supreme Court of Canada,” Naqvi said in an interview. “They have said there is complacency within the system, and bold reforms are needed.”Manitoba is also pushing hard for that change, so the province can go ahead with a four-year pilot project to replace preliminary inquiries with an out-of-court discovery process, or, for less serious cases, do away with them altogether.Wilson-Raybould said in a statement Wednesday that she is aware of the proposals from Ontario and Manitoba and looks forward to discussing it with them.According to Statistics Canada, preliminary inquiries took place in less than three per cent of cases in the adult criminal court system in 2014-15, and 81 per cent of those cases were completed within a 30-month period.The number of vacancies on the bench has also been getting a lot of attention.“I think it’s a huge part of the problem and it’s certainly one that can be addressed,” said Conservative justice critic Rob Nicholson.The Liberals brought in a new appointments process last fall, but as of April. 1, there were 59 vacancies for federally appointed positions.Eric Gottardi, one of the defence lawyers in R. v. Jordan, said the problem goes far beyond empty seats on the bench.“If they were all filled tomorrow, it’s not like the delay problem would disappear in the next three months,” he said.The higher number of mandatory minimum sentences the previous Conservative government brought in contributed to the problem, he said, as it took away a lot of discretion from both judges and prosecutors to find ways to divert trials.“I think in promising to take a more comprehensive look at the criminal justice system and sentencing in general, maybe (the federal Liberals) didn’t realize how big a problem it was and how far-reaching that would have to be,” Gottardi said.“It is a huge job and that may in fact be slowing them down,” added Gottardi, who like other defence attorneys does not think doing away with preliminary inquiries is the answer.“Some of the solutions that have been floated are more political ploys rather than thought-out justice reforms.”James Pickard, president of the Alberta Crown Attorneys’ Association, said he is in favour of cutting back on preliminary inquiries, but would like to see more data on how that would save time in the courts.Pickard said the issue is complicated, but most of it boils down to the need for more resources.“There is a shortage of judges. There is a shortage of clerks. There is a shortage of prosecutors. Legal aid could use more money,” he said.“The problem is a system-wide problem.”— Follow @smithjoanna on Twitterlast_img read more

ED attaches Delhi properties worth `2.95 crore in Axis Bank demonetisation case

first_imgNew Delhi: The ED on Monday attached movable and immovable assets worth Rs 2.95 crore of the accused in connection with the case where Axis Bank officials conspired to launder demonetised currency of several individuals.The fresh attachment order includes three properties in Delhi of the accused including Rajeev Singh Kushwaha, the Chartered Accountant who involved Axis Bank officials posted at Kashmere Gate branch in the money laundering racket. Also Read – 2019 most peaceful festive season for J&K: Jitendra SinghThe Enforcement Directorate had initiated its investigation under PMLA after taking cognizance of a Delhi Police FIR on cash seizure of Rs 3.7 crore in Rs 1,000 bills in Kashmere Gate. The agency has alleged that Axis Bank officials, Vineet Gupta, and Shobhit Sinha along with Kushwaha had conspired to collect commissions from people in exchange for laundering their demonetised currency. The ED has said the accused converted Rs 40 crore in demonetised currency of several individuals by using it to buy gold from bullion traders through as many as four shell companies under Kushwaha’s name. Also Read – Personal life needs to be respected: Cong on reports of Rahul’s visit abroadAccused Mohit Garg and Nitin Gupta allegedly helped Kushwaha collect money from the depositors to transfer it to Kushwaha’s shell companies. The money would then be transferred to bullion traders through RTGS (Real Time Gross Settlement) as payment for gold purchases, thus turning the depositors’ illegal cash into legitimate assets. The investigation by the probe agency has revealed that in exchange for this asset conversions, depositors would pay up to 15 percent in commission into the accounts of Kushwaha’s shell companies. In addition, Sinha and Vineet along with other Axis Bank officials were paid two percent of the total amount as commission for their services in assisting the laundering process. Sinha, Vineet, and Kushwaha are currently out on bail. They were arrested by the probe agency sometime in December 2016.last_img read more

Urgent support needed for neglected humanitarian crisis in Yemen – UN

“Despite the deep vulnerability of the tens of thousands people who have fled from conflict in northern Yemen, this humanitarian emergency has been largely neglected by the entire international community outside of Yemen, and also by the media,” Rashid Khalikov said as he briefed humanitarian personnel in Sana’a at the end of his four-day visit. Mr. Khalikov, the Director of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), stressed that more must be done to highlight the needs of the men, women and children whose lives have been disrupted by recent events.The UN estimates that the latest round of fighting between Government forces and rebels has brought the total number of internally displaced persons (IDPs) to 150,000, the majority of whom are women and children. “The United Nations, partner agencies and local authorities are making every effort to provide the necessary assistance in very challenging circumstances,” Mr. Khalikov said. “However, as this conflict continues and needs grow, the capacity for response is becoming overwhelmed. The international community must bolster its support for humanitarian actors to prevent this crisis from becoming a catastrophe.”During his visit, Mr. Khalikov visited Al Mazrak camp in Hajjah governorate, one of five camps established for IDPs, where approximately 2,000 people are taking shelter. Among the most urgent needs of the displaced are food, water and sanitation, shelter and health care.The majority of the IDPs are living outside the camps and reaching them has been difficult since many of them are scattered across open land or living with host families. In addition, thousands more are trapped in the conflict areas, making it harder for aid agencies to access them. “We have little information about the numbers, needs or living conditions of thousands of civilians who are still in conflict areas,” Mr. Khalikov said. “We call for all sides to ensure the protection of civilians in line with international humanitarian law, and allow us to reach those who require assistance.”According to OCHA, the $23.7 humanitarian appeal issued on 2 September to respond to the current crisis still has not received any funding. 16 September 2009A senior United Nations official today appealed to the international community to bolster its support to assist 150,000 people uprooted by conflict in Yemen, a humanitarian crisis that he said has largely gone unnoticed and could worsen. read more

Universities to trawl through students social media to look for suicide risk

Universities are to trawl through students’ social media to look for signs that they may be suicidal, as part of a new project funded by the higher education watchdog.The new scheme, backed by the Office for Students (OfS), is aimed at reducing suicide rates and identifying students in crisis by harvesting data on individuals.  Northumbria University, which is leading the three year project, will design and pilot an “Early Alert Tool” which, if successful, could be rolled out at all British institutions.The university has been running a project for the past two years where a team monitor students’ library use, lecture attendance and academic performance. They use this information to “nudge” students when their engagement drops off. Under the new OfS-backed scheme, the data collected on each student would extend to monitoring social media posts, conversations they have with individual members of staff and information held by their accommodation provider.Professor Peter Francis, deputy vice-Chancellor of Northumbria who is leading the project, said: “We know students use social media, they engage with one another, they use it in a variety of different forms.“We are asking the questions – to what extent might that data provide some information to identify student profiles? This builds on what we have been doing. What other traces or types of data might we start to identify as being relevant?” “Students’ safety is of utmost importance and funding may well be needed for better mental health services, but this approach will understandably generate anxiety amongst much of the student population.”Nicola Dandridge, chief executive of the OfS, said that too many students have the higher education “blighted by mental ill-health”.  She added: “Taking preventative action to promote good mental health is critical, as is taking a whole institution approach and involving students in developing solutions.   “In addition, the earlier we can identify issues developing, the more effectively we can give the vital support that is needed.” It is one of ten projects that the OfS is funding as part of a £14.5 million drive to improve student mental health.  One project that won funding is aimed at supporting students through the transition from school to university. Another will address the specific mental health needs of international students. He said the project will explore new types of student data that can be analysed including “through conversations with individuals that might be collected but not shared, not bought together and reviewed centrally in a coordinated way”.Prof Francis added that the scheme would be data protection compliant, and that students would have to opt in.But privacy campaigners have warned that students should not be used as “guinea pigs” for “big data experiments” on mental health.Jen Persson, director of the data privacy campaign group Defend Digital Me, said: “Students need to know that in a time of need they can have a private conversation. The last thing you need is to worry about people listening in.“There is a huge pressure on supporting people’s mental health at universities – but institutions mustn’t rush in to thinking that big data is the solution to very sensitive unique problems for individuals.”Silkie Carlo, Director of Big Brother Watch, said that using social media monitoring is an “oppressive” and “intrusive” approach to safeguarding students’ wellbeing. She said it sets a “dangerous” example of the privacy and data rights young people should expect in later life.“It is essential for young people’s wellbeing that their privacy is respected but this intrusive approach risks making students feel monitored, anxious and judged,” she added.  Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. read more

Govt has missed the bus where Green State agenda is concerned

Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedJagdeo to raise concerns with FATF/CFATF on passage of AML BillAugust 2, 2018In “latest news”‘Adjust, reverse budget measures to benefit Guyanese’ – Jagdeo to Gov’tFebruary 2, 2016In “latest news”Tullow oil gets tax concessions without Opposition scrutinyMay 16, 2019In “Business” Opposition Leader Dr Bharrat JagdeoWhile the general concept of a green state would see emphasis being placed on earning revenues for a country, catalysing different kinds of investments and other initiatives, the David Granger-led Government is placing focus on spending finances and incurring costs to the State using taxpayers’ money.Outlining Government’s  ‘Green State’ position as absurd, General Secretary of the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) Dr Bharrat Jagdeo said that they “missed the bus” entirely on this issue, as he referred to Finance Minister Winston Jordan’s 2019 Budget speech, which stated measures to support the Green State agenda.These include waiving import duties and Value Added Tax (VAT) on new equipment and changing the wear and tear schedule of the Income Tax Act to allow for the write-off of capital expenses within two years.Also, the Government hopes to amend the Customs Act to include relief from customs duty for cars with a capacity equivalent to 2000 cc in watts; the first schedule of the Customs Act and Schedule 2 of the VAT Act to exempt change-over kits and waive the Excise Tax on all-electric motorcycles.But Jagdeo said the coalition Government was still finding it hard to accept the fact that the PPP/Civic’s Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS) was a sound initiative.“They cannot embrace it now … The LCDS was a framework intended to map the path of a new growth trajectory in a non-polluting way.”The Opposition Leader also reminded that the Green State Development Strategy would only put pressure on the treasury, and if his party was returned to office, it would be automatically scrapped.“It will add cost. I disagree with its fundamental premise. The premise which brings cost to the country versus earning money for the country … The LCDS was an economic strategy. It earned money for Guyana. Their strategy is so far about expenditure from our treasury. That is why we disagree with it.”Jagdeo, the mastermind of the LCDS, which secured him international recognition and led to him being conferred with the “Champion of the Earth” award by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), said that under the LCDS, there were specific areas that were targeted for development purposes across Guyana.“We said we are going to spend US$10.5 million on Amerindian land titling. It solved a problem. Two, we will spend US$17 million on ICT (Information Communication Technology) in the hinterland. We would spend x amount of money like US$80 million on the hydropower by buying down equity,” he explained.Further, the Opposition Leader added that there were also plans to create a centre for biodiversity studies and establish an adaptation plan. “We searched into crops that were flood and bug resistant. We set aside money for small loans and grants too to individuals in various sectors. It was about 20 initiatives and we were earning money doing that, we weren’t taking money from taxpayers’ money.”As such, the former Head of State argued that the Green Strategy was more about cost to the Guyanese public. “Right now, they are talking about planting trees and all of that. They missed the whole point that that was an economic strategy to adjust to the future. That’s why conceptually, we have a major difference,” he added. read more

Man has face slashed in Dublin City centre

first_imgGARDAÍ HAVE BEGUN an investigation after a 26-year-old man had his face slashed in a brawl at Central Bank in the centre of Dublin.The incident occurred at 4am this morning on Dame Street and left  the man needing 20 stitches.It is believed that the incident occured after the man had been involved in an altercation with a group of youths.He was attacked and received what gardaí are calling a “facial injury”. He was taken to St James’ Hospital.Gardaí are reviewing CCTV from the area and are appealing for any witnesses to contact Pearse Street Garda station on 01-6669000.last_img

How did Evasi0n manage to jailbreak iOS 61

first_imgThere’s no shortage of excited people across the world right now, as the iOS 6.1 jailbreak continues to liberate more iPhones and iPads every second. At long last, after months of trying, users are once again able to fully appreciate iOS 6.1. Under the hood, this seeming simple jailbreak has managed to locate an entirely new point of attack that allowes the users access to the rest of the operating system.The jailbreak process is a battle between Apple and developers that are usually looking for exploits in their free time. Each version of iOS has offered a new challenge for these elite few, as Apple has fixed the exploit that was found in the previous version. This isn’t a bad thing, especially in cases where the vulnerability could be used by those with malicious intent to cause real harm to your iDevice. Unfortunately, we’ve reached a point where Apple has spent considerable time and money sealing up these exploits. The Evasi0n jailbreak is so impressive because it takes an entirely new approach to delivering an exploit that allows root access to iOS.Many of the previous jailbreak techniques relied on a memory corruption process that escalated the user privileges from the normal user state to super user. Evasi0n doesn’t use this method, most likely because Apple’s recent anti-exploit work has removed this as a possible point of entry. Instead, an application is installed on the iPhone or iPad that takes advantage of the open nature of Apple’s backup files.When you back up files on your iPhone or iPad, the backup can be applied to any other iDevice. This is a fantastic feature in the event that something happens to your iPad. You can buy a replacement piece of hardware and have all of your apps and data restored in minutes. It’s a killer tool that isn’t provided by any other mobile platform right now.That also means that this data isn’t digitally signed, and the operating system relies on a super user to apply the backup and reboot your device. This provided Evasi0n with an entry point to inject the necessary files within the backup data. From here, an app is created that iOS treats as though it was part of the backup. This app modified the rules that govern how iOS responds to external requests made by the computer you are currently connected to.Then the app on your PC can deliver Cydia to the device so it can be installed once super user status has been permanently accessed. Alongside Cydia is a new configuration file that is injected into the filesystem. This file is activated when the iPhone or iPad reboots, which in turn runs Evasi0n during boot. This makes sure that, every time the device boots, you are granted the Super User status to do most of the things you find in Cydia.Unlike many previous exploits, Evasi0n is something that can really only be done by the user. Since it requires interaction on both the computer and the iDevice, the only way this exploit could be used to maliciously jailbreak an iOS 6.1 device would be if there was malicious code running on your computer already. While many users will never know much more about this exploit than the simple series of buttons that you have to push in order to see your iPhone reboot with the Cydia app icon on your home screen, the efforts that went into providing this to users is an impressive testament to the dedicated team responsible for this jailbreak.For a more technical explanation of this exploit, check out the RawTech blog.Read more: How to jailbreak iOS 6.1 on the iPhone 5 and iPad mini untetheredlast_img read more

We have very little food left People are burning their own clothes

first_img Short URL Image: Bram Janssen AP/Press Association Images ‘We have very little food left’: People are burning their own clothes to stay warm in Mosul The stage is set for what could be Iraq’s bloodiest battle yet in the fight against IS. Feb 18th 2017, 5:35 PM Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article Share20 Tweet Email 9 Comments AS THE NOOSE tightens around holdout jihadists in west Mosul, so does the belt around the waists of hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians trapped there with dwindling supplies.“We’re trying to build up some reserves but we have very little food left at home,” said Umm Sameer, a mother from the Ras al-Jadda neighbourhood of west Mosul.After retaking eastern Mosul from the Islamic State group last month, Iraqi federal forces are now preparing to move on the part of the city that lies on the west bank of the Tigris River.All the bridges connecting the two sides have been dropped and the jihadists holed up in the west have nowhere to run to, setting the stage for what could be Iraq’s bloodiest battle yet in the fight against IS.“We’re already only eating once a day,” said Umm Sameer.“The shelves are almost bare in the shops and when you do find something it’s too expensive, like a kilo of onions which now costs 15,000 dinars (around €12),” she said.Umm Sameer said 30 eggs fetched around €50 and sugar was impossible to find, a shortage that affects all households in a country where tea is consumed in large quantities and with abundant sugar.“People are so desperate that they are using sugar substitutes for diabetics to sweeten their tea,” she said.The jihadist gunmen who have ruled the area for almost three years are growing more paranoid by the day as air strikes by the US-led coalition continue to target their hideouts, residents said.IS raids“(IS) members are raiding people’s houses more often, looking for mobiles. If you have one, you face execution,” said Abu Mohammed, who lives in the Al-Shafaa neighbourhood.He said some residents who had secretly kept a mobile phone since 2014 had recently destroyed their device.None of the residents contacted by AFP by phone would give their full names out of fear.Abu Mohammed said the only ones not to suffer from the food shortages were IS leaders, many of them foreigners, who still had access to some supplies from Syria.“Local IS fighters however are more or less facing the same situation as the rest of the population,” he said.Some residents have been displaced internally by the preparations IS is making for the offensive federal forces are expected to launch against the jihadists’ west bank stronghold.Fighters have set up positions along the river front in a bid to counter any attempt by Iraqi forces to cross the Tigris on pontoon bridges.The jihadists have also punched holes in people’s homes, which enables them to move across a neighbourhood from one house to another without exposing themselves to aerial surveillance by stepping into the street.Residents also said that the homes of those who managed to flee are being systematically seized by IS, as well as the shops whose owners happened to live on the east bank.Burning clothes for fuelThat leaves some residents with the choice of abandoning their homes and belongings or staying in a place that is being used by IS fighters and risks being considered a military target.“We are extremely concerned about the rapid deterioration of the conditions in west Mosul,” United Nations humanitarian coordinator in Iraq Lise Grande told reporters Wednesday.“Families are in big trouble, half of the shops have been closed,” she said while visiting a nearby displacement camp.Abdelkarim al-Obeidi, who heads a Mosul civil society organisation, urged the government to start air dropping food supplies.Water and electricity are intermittent at best and some Mosul residents have told of how they are resorting to burning their own furniture to stay warm in a city where temperatures have regularly dipped below zero in recent weeks.A man from the Tammuz 17 neighbourhood who gave his name as Abu Zeid said he was even burning old clothes because gas and kerosene were also hard to come by.“We have suitcases filled with old clothes in the basement, we’ll be spending a lot of time down there when the fighting starts,” he said.- © AFP, 2017Read: IS claims responsibility as two separate bombings kill at least 122 in Pakistan and IraqRead: Putin apologises after Russian air strike accidentally kills three Turkish soldierscenter_img A displaced girl in Mosul crosses the road at a military checkpoint yesterday. Image: Bram Janssen AP/Press Association Images Saturday 18 Feb 2017, 5:35 PM A displaced girl in Mosul crosses the road at a military checkpoint yesterday. 11,736 Views By AFP http://jrnl.ie/3240875 last_img read more

Iniesta on defeat It was the tension and lack of organisation

first_imgThe departing Andres Iniesta feels that Barcelona paid for a “lack of organisation” as they surrendered their unbeaten run in La Liga to Levante with a 5-4 defeat in the penultimate game of the campaignThe league champions were losing 5-1 at one stage at the Estadi Ciutat de València on Sunday after Emmanuel Boateng netted a hat-trick and Enis Bardhi added a brace for the home side.While Philippe Coutinho scored a hat-trick of his own and Luis Suarez netted a penalty to set up a tense finale, it proved to be too little too late as Barcelona’s 43-game unbeaten record came to an end.The Catalan side’s defeat on the 37th game of the season also ended their bid to go the entire league campaign unbeaten with Iniesta later revealing his belief that Levante capitalised on their disorganisation.Sergio Ramos, Real MadridZidane reveals Sergio Ramos injury concern for Real Madrid Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Zinedine Zidane has put Sergio Ramos’ availability for Real Madrid’s trip to Sevilla next weekend in doubt after withdrawing him against Levante.“We were excited by the prospect of finishing the season unbeaten,” admitted the captain, as quoted by The Express.“It’s not the most important thing this season. It just wasn’t to be.“Above all, it was the tension and lack of organisation. This was especially clear at the beginning of the second half.“They’ve been very effective in the counter attacks and have caught us out.”last_img read more

Death toll rises to 5 in Sylhet stone quarry

first_imgA stone quarry worker is taking treatment in Companyganj upazila health complex. Photo: Prothom AloAnother worker’s dead body was recovered from the stone quarry in Bholaganj stone quarry of Companiganj upazila in Sylhet on Monday afternoon, raising the death toll to 5,reports UNB.The deceased was identified as Moin Uddin, 30, son of Rois Uddin, resident of Kolkta village in Jamalganj upazila of Sunamganj district.Earlier, four workers were killed in a mudslide while extracting stones by operating generator around 9:30pm on Sunday.Members of Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB), Railway Nirapotta Bahini (RNB) also joined in the 8-hour rescue drive.last_img

Kishoreganj nurse murder Charges pressed against 9

first_imgThose charge-sheeted are bus driver Md Nuruzzaman Nuru, bus owner Md Al Mamun, Swarnalata Paribahan managing director Md Parvez Sarkar Pavel, Borhan, Md Al Amin, Rafiqul Islam, Khokon Mia and Bakul Mia alias Langra Bakul. Of them, Borhan and Al Amin have been on the run. The victim boarded a bus of ‘Swarnalata Paribahan’ from Mohakhali bus stand in the capital on 6 May on her way home. When the bus reached Ujanpur in Katiadi, other passengers except Tania got down from the bus around 9:30pm. Later, the driver and his helper violated the girl in the moving bus and strangled her to death before throwing the body out of the vehicle at Gazaria near Bajitpur upazila. Locals spotted the victim lying on the road and took her to Katiadi Upazila Health Complex where physicians declared her dead around 10:45pm. Shahinoor Akhter TaniaPolice on Thursday pressed charges against nine people, including the bus driver, in a case filed over the murder of nurse Shahinoor Akhter Tania after ‘gang-rape’ on the moving vehicle in Kishoreganj’s Bajitpur upazila, reports UNB. |Inspector Md Sarwar Jahan of Bajirpur police station, also the investigation officer of the case, submitted a charge-sheet before the Judicial Magistrate Court -2. last_img read more

Tigers skull fractured says postmortem report

first_imgKolkata: State Forest department has lodged an FIR with the police in connection with the death of the Royal Bengal Tiger whose body was found at Baghghora forest, few kilometres away from Lalgarh with multiple injuries in its body on Friday. The post-mortem report hints that the skull of the tiger was crushed with a heavy substance. Injury marks also suggested that the tribes who took part in the hunting festival attacked the animal with various weapons. A spear remained attached to its throat when its body was recovered by the forest department. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsAccording to the preliminary investigation by the police and forest department, the big cat was attacked by nearly 100 tribesmen who took part in the hunting fest. Two hunters — Bablu Hansda and Badal Hansda — were also injured in the tiger attack and are undergoing treatment at Midnapore Medical College and Hospital. It may be mentioned that some of the hunters were enraged when the tiger injured their counterparts a few days ago and they threatened to kill the animal. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killedPolice and forest department have started a probe and are trying to identify the hunters who had attacked the Royal Bengal Tiger. The duo who have been injured are also being interrogated by the police. The tiger’s body was sent for post-mortem to Midnapore after it was recovered by the forest officials. The eyewitnesses also said that more than 100 tribal hunters from the local villages reportedly attacked the tiger on Friday afternoon with native weapons like lances, bow and arrows. The locals then informed the forest officials, who rushed to the spot with a mini-truck and recovered its carcass. A local villager said: “I saw the hunters coming to the jungle with weapons like lances and they attacked the tiger. The tiger’s throat was injured with a lance. The body was left in the jungle for quite some time.” A senior forest department official said: “We could not catch it despite all our efforts. The tiger died of spear injuries. We have followed all standard protocols for the tiger-autopsy and the animal was later cremated in Arabari range. We are trying to track the people who have killed it with the help of CCTV footages.”Apart from the cops, the forest department is also carrying out a probe into the death of the tiger. They are trying to identify the hunters who had attacked the animal. However, the district police are not ruling out the possibility of the involvement of outsiders in this connection so far. The preliminary investigation says that the animal was attacked by the hunters who were heavily equipped with various weapons. As the animal was repeatedly hit, its skull got fractured. There was, however, no poison found in its body. The full-grown tiger weighed around 220 kgs and it was around 10-12 year old.last_img read more