After becoming Prince Harry’s girlfriend and then a Duchess, Markle leaned on Serena for mentoring on how to handle the paparazzi and the international media. And last summer, Meghan watched Serena play at two matches during Wimbledon, before flying to the US to watch the tennis star in the US Open Tennis final. Jolly good fellow Serena and Meghan In November last year, she opened up about their close friendship, telling Access Hollywood that the Duchess of Sussex was ‘always’ there for her. Read Also Tennis ace asks shocked ball-girl to peel his banana at Australian Open She said: ‘I call her, text her anytime, crying, she’s always there. ‘It doesn’t matter what she is going through, she sets time aside and that’s amazing.’ Promoted Content18 Beautiful Cities That Are Tourist Magnets6 Extreme Facts About Hurricanes7 Mysterious Discoveries Archaeologists Still Can’t Explain2020 Tattoo Trends: Here’s What You’ll See This YearBest Car Manufacturers In The WorldThe Very Last Bitcoin Will Be Mined Around 2140. Read MoreCan Playing Too Many Video Games Hurt Your Body?9 Facts You Should Know Before Getting A TattooWho Earns More Than Ronaldo?The Best Cars Of All TimeYou’ve Only Seen Such Colorful Hairdos In A Handful Of AnimeBirds Enjoy Living In A Gallery Space Created For Them FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail分享 Loading… Twenty four Grand Slam chasing Serena Williams parried questions about her close friend Meghan Markle on Monday at the ongoing Aussie Open in Melbourne. The 37-year-old mother of one was questioned about the Harry, Duke of Sussex, 35, and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, 38, after playing in her first match in which she defeated Russian Anastasia Potapova in straight sets 6-0 6-3. The 23-Grand slam champion appeared visibly uncomfortable when asked about the royal couple, folding her arms and stating: ‘I have absolutely no comments on that.’ Over the weekend it was announced that the Sussexes – who will split their time between Canada and Windsor – would no longer be using their HRH titles or perform royal duties. Serena and Meghan have become close friends after meeting at the Super Bowl Party in 2010 and the duo oiled the friendship through frequent phone calls and texts. Serena chats with Potapova after defeating the Russian in two straight setsAdvertisement
By all accounts, Sacramento State junior gymnast Nicole Giao is quiet. Standing 5-foot-1, the Etiwanda graduate doesn’t jump out at you physically either. But once Giao gets out on the floor and is ready to compete, the small, quiet gymnast classification gets thrown for a loop. In a sport known for its smooth, classical movements to symphonic, easy-listening music, Giao breaks loose, performing to hard rock/metal groups such as Metallica. Picturing a female gymnast performing doesn’t exactly bring the lyrics of “Enter Sandman” to mind. But Sacramento State coach Kim Hughes thinks it makes perfect sense. “If you know Nicole, you aren’t surprised,” Hughes said. “She is a quiet leader, but she also has a toughness about her. She doesn’t talk much, but when she does, people listen.” Giao, who performed at Crescenta Valley Gymnastics in San Dimas while attending Etiwanda High School, is one of the Hornets’ co-captains as they attempt to win a second straight Western Athletic Conference title. To get in position to do that, Giao has had to overcome a sprained ankle in mid-January that sidelined her for four meets spanning nearly a month. “The injury was pretty tough on me,” Giao said. “It was one of those things where I was just in practice right before we were supposed to go to Alaska-Anchorage and I landed wrong and the ankle rolled. “I just had to wait it out and make sure that it healed properly. I missed the trip to Alaska, but I’m feeling good now and I’m almost all the way back.” Giao has been working her way back slowly, competing in the vault and balance beam in meets against Seattle Pacific and Alaska Anchorage before reintroducing the floor exercise at Feb. 23 at San Jose State. Giao registered season-high marks in all three events against San Jose, scoring a 9.775 on the floor, 9.725 on the beam and 9.700 on the vault. That puts her in perfect position to be 100 percent for the WAC championships March 31 in Cedar City, Utah. That is pretty stellar considering the nature of Giao’s injury. A sprained ankle is a bigger deal in gymnastics than most other sports, as the stress on the joints is severe even when the body is relatively healthy. “I’m pretty sore in general, so the ankle was just another pain I had to overcome,” Giao said. “It’s pretty normal at this point. I’ve been doing gymnastics as long as I can remember so it’s not that big of a deal.” Giao’s high threshold for pain comes from adding mental toughness to go along with being physically tough. The Sacramento State gymnastics team meets with a sports psychologist weekly to work on mental visualizations in certain routines, especially balance beam and floor exercise. When arriving on campus in the fall of 2004, Giao was skeptical of meeting with a sports psychologist. But after a few meetings, she was hooked. “I find it fascinating,” Giao said. “I thought it sounded weird at first, but I’m pretty open-minded about things so I gave it a chance. “I’m really glad that I did. If there’s anything I’ve learned in college it’s how important the mental aspect of gymnastics is. Visualizing my routine before I go out there really helps me focus.” The sessions might have also created a career path for Giao. She quickly took an interest in psychology, selecting it as her major early in her college career. Giao would like to delve into sports psychology when she is done with school, perhaps giving the assistance that she has enjoyed at Sacramento State. “It’s been great for me and I’d like to be able to have that impact on other athletes,” Giao said. “I’d love to help people, whether it be with sports or other aspects of life.” Giao’s mental acuity has been noticed by her coach. When recruiting Giao, Hughes – in his 27th year at Sacramento State – saw a girl that was awkwardly shy at times. But thanks to growth, through psychology and aided by having a big group of gymnasts in her recruiting class, Giao has blossomed nicely at Sacramento State. “Nicole is just a well-rounded, hard-working person who excels athletically, and more importantly, academically,” Hughes said. “It’s great to see her come into her own in school and in the gym. “When she first got here, she was quiet. She still isn’t loud, but she’ll come into my office and we’ll have a great conversation. It’s really great to see.” 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!
In this month’s column with Pascal Curran, financial advisor and founder of advicefirst.ie, looks at why pensions should be a young person’s game. Are You Too Young for A Pension?! Before you continue reading, know that the answer – is very likely, no! Ask anyone you know, friends or family in their 50’s and they will say “If only I started saving when I was young.” And so, as a young learner, it’s key to learn from their hindsight. So, should young people worry about pensions?The short answer is – No.Instead of worrying (we’re not a fan!) which solves nothing and causes bad health anyway, they should plan. Pensions are mostly thought of as a savings plan for older people but in reality, this should be jump started earlier in life to ensure simplicity for when you are older. However, because so much of the language that is used to describe and explain pensions is confusing this turns-off the very people that really do need to learn about pensions, how they work – and how they can offer real benefits. Why they matterPensions really do matter to each of us. This is more so because of a raft of changes that have taken place over the last two decades.To begin with, the medical experts predict that we will all live longer.Whether it is as a result of taking better care of our bodies, advances in medical research or innovations in pharmaceuticals, people are living longer (yay!)And, this points to a longer time frame of life post-employment. A longer window which should be spent, worry-free and enjoyed. So, how young is too young for a pensionAre You Too Young for A Pension?Starting out in your first job can be pretty daunting. Your salary sounded like a sweet deal when you signed up, but now each month you’re left feeling as though you’re scraping for change as your income disappears on tax, rent, bills, credit card repayments… And that’s before you add in all those extras, like that gym membership you keep promising yourself you’ll use and the smashed avocado on toast you ordered for brunch last Saturday, washed down with two skinny lattes (!!)With a bank statement already flooded with direct debits, the idea of losing even more money each month to the vague and far-off concept of a pension can seem particularly unappealing at this early stage of your career. Why worry about something that’s decades away? Surely, it’s an unnecessary cost compared with your more immediate plans, such as taking a trip around the world, or buying a property, or getting married, to suggest but a few. It’s saving not spending But contributing to your pension is not just another way to burn through your pay cheque every month. In fact, by paying into a pension, you’re saving your money to use at a later date. And, if you’re paying into your workplace pension scheme, your employer will also usually add in some money, which is in addition to your salary. Money kept in a pension scheme is invested with the aim of helping it to grow over the years to fund your retirement. So, for most people, joining a pension scheme is a great idea. But…Are you too young? There is simply no such thing as being too young to contribute to your pension – it’s a case of the sooner, the better. The longer you spend contributing to your pension, the more money you will have saved by the time you have retired. If you start saving at a younger age, you can also contribute a steady amount each month and avoid desperately scrabbling around for as much money as possible in your forties, when you realise your retirement is looming. Of course, when you first start out on the career ladder you may not be able to afford to contribute much to your pension – but a little each month will go a long way, and you can build up your contributions as your career progresses. There are plenty of helpful pension calculators available online that can help you decide how much money you should tuck away each month, so that you can live comfortably when you retire.For a practical example of this, visit our blog section (www.advicefirst.ie)More time to take risksIf you start to make pension contributions while you’re young, you can take advantage of the lengthy time frame by choosing riskier investments, such as shares, as they will have more time to ride out stock market highs and lows, and could potentially make you more money in the long run. As you approach your retirement, you can switch to safer investments, such as government bonds, and continue saving at a steady pace. Some pension schemes will even do this for you automatically. A financial adviser can explain different pension schemes and different investments to you.If you are lucky enough to receive money from any relatives (for example, a savings account set up by your grandparents), you should consider the idea of putting all or some of this money towards a pension fund. You will reap the benefits, and the money will be stored away until your retirement (guaranteeing you aren’t tempted to delve into it from time to time). This might not seem like the most creative and fun way to use this money, but if you don’t need it for anything in particular at the moment, then your retirement is an excellent investment.How to get startedIf you want to find out more about pensions, we can give you information about your options.As soon as you can afford it, it could be a very positive move to start contributing to your pension. Just consider it as another small cost you need to budget for each month. Even swapping your daily barista-made cappuccino for a home-brewed blend could give you enough of a budget to start. After all, €3 a day is €21 a week, or €84 a month. And contributing just €84 a month to your pension fund early in your working life could set you up for a more secure future.Each month Pascal will provide financial advice on the most frequently asked topics – here on Donegal Daily and is looking forward to further breaking down the barriers around financial advice in his renowned experienced and jargon-free way! If you would like to book a no obligations consultation with Pascal, click here or simply call +353 74 910 39 38 to talk to us today. Follow us on Facebook & Instagram Advice First Financial Services Ltd trading as Advice First Financial is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland.Pensions: Should young people worry about them? – with Pascal from Advice First was last modified: July 5th, 2019 by Pascal CurranShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:advice firstmoneyPascal CurranpensionsSaving
16 April 2012 A new campaign, driven by the United Nations and backed by local companies, has been launched to improve safety on South Africa’s roads by changing the behaviour of both motorists and pedestrians. The “Think Pedestrian” campaign is expected to run for a decade, and hopes are high that it will curb the high number of road deaths in South Africa. In South Africa, Think Pedestrian is endorsed by logistics company Eqstra and the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory, in support of Nelson Mandela Day. It will be piloted in KwaZulu-Natal, Eastern Cape and Mpumalanga province.40% of road deaths pedestrians Speaking at the launch in Johannesburg last week, Transport Minister Sibusiso Ndebele said pedestrians accounted for more than 40% of deaths on South Africa’s roads. It is estimated that there are around 40 vehicle accidents a day and 14 000 a year countrywide. Ndebele said South Africa was seeing some light at the end of the tunnel. The number of road crashes over the Easter weekend, traditionally a dangerous time to be out and about, dropped to 181 from last year’s 215, according to preliminary statistics released by the Road Traffic Management Corporation.Community road safety councils However, he warned that there was still a long way to go, and urged South Africans to help the government achieve its 2020 goal of cutting road fatalities by half. Ndebele called on community members to join the road safety councils set up by the Department of Transport in their area. “They aim to work with communities in inculcating a culture of responsibility with regard to the use of the road.” The community councils were also tasked with identifying local road safety hazards, and getting people interested in helping to resolve them. Eqstra MD Murray Price said the Think Pedestrian campaign would consist of a range of campaigns designed to change road user behaviour.‘Attitude is the problem’ “The problem is not about how good or bad drivers and pedestrians are,” Price said “Attitude is the problem. We have to educate our people about the importance of observing the rules of the road. We can save lives by doing so.” Price said a task team would identify accident hotspots across the country’s roads as the campaign spread to other provinces. “We will be guided by the Department of Transport in identifying these places. From there we can evaluate the root cause of the problem.” The campaign would also include installing road signs and speed bumps and patching potholes in line with each area’s needs. A golf tournament would soon be launched to raise funds for the campaign. “It will be played annually until the 10-year period lapses,” Price said. Collins Letsoalo, acting manager of the Road Traffic Management Corporation, said road safety awareness campaigns run on an annual basis were already under way to support the Think Pedestrian campaign. One of the was Think Bike, an NGO run entirely by volunteers, that encouraged motorists to be considerate and tolerant of two-wheeled road users. Dr Francis Kasolo, representing the UN, said South Africa was setting the pace by launching the campaign a year earlier than many other countries. Source: City of Johannesburg
Share Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest By Matt Hutcheson, CCA, Product Manager, Seed Consultants, Inc.Two aspects of stand establishment often discussed by agronomists are emergence and seed spacing. “Picket fence” spacing in corn helps plants grow efficiently and minimizes competition between them. Uniform spacing is an important part of stand establishment. More importantly, however, is uniform emergence. Plants that are just one leaf collar behind (due to uneven emergence) significantly reduce yield. According to Paul Jasa, University of Nebraska Extension ag engineer, “When a plant develops ahead of its neighbor, it hurts yield dramatically. It’s going to vary somewhat from year to year, but a plant lagging behind those around it becomes a weed.” To achieve uniform emergence, consistent planting depth is critical.Field conditions, gauge wheel settings, unit down pressure, and planter speed all affect seeding depth. Set planter depth and check it regularly. A planter may have enough weight to apply the proper down force when full, but what about when it’s almost empty? If it is a model with center fill hoppers, is there enough weight on the ends? Additional weight may need to be added. Keep in mind, too much down pressure and planting in “marginal” or wet conditions can result in sidewall compaction of the seed trench, which will hinder root development and negatively impact yield.Ground speed can greatly impact planter performance. Planting too fast may cause units to bounce, resulting in uneven seeding depth. Planter units and seed tubes are designed for accuracy at certain speeds. For example, if a planter is designed to drop seed correctly at 5 miles per hour, planting at 6 miles per hour will reduce the accuracy of seed spacing and can result in seed bounce, as well as seed placement on the side of seed trench instead of at the bottom. Following the equipment manufacturer’s recommendations and planting at the appropriate speed will improve the accuracy of plant spacing and depth.Yields can be severely affected by late emerging plants. In a publication called “Uneven emergence in corn,” the University of Wisconsin has documented as much as a 9% decrease in yield when 25% of corn plants were delayed a week and a half in emerging. Because emergence is so critical to yield, it is important that corn growers set up, adjust, and operate their planters to ensure uniform seed placement and even emergence this spring.
The master suite and other design challengesThe master suite is upstairs. We wanted to make sure to address the things we didn’t like about our old master suite. Although our previous bedroom had a walk-in closet, it was really too narrow to have clothes hanging along both sides. The new house needed a bigger closet.As the design evolved, sometimes the closet would get even bigger because there was some unused space adjacent to it. If the design evolved in the opposite direction, Julie would protest. It seems you can never make a closet smaller. Our old master bathroom was also just a bit too narrow. Like the closet, the master bathroom seemed to grow as the design evolved. Anyone with aspirations of designing a modest home should avoid watching HGTV (except maybe the show about tiny houses).The hangar and garage presented some unique challenges. Obviously, we need a door on the taxiway side large enough for the airplane and doors on the street side for the cars. We also want to store our motorhome in the hangar. Even existing house designs that have hangars rarely have provisions for RV storage. The motorhome (the rectangle in the image showing the hangar) dictated the height of the hangar. We decided that it was easier to increase the height of the hangar door to get the motorhome in and out than to have a tall enough garage door.The hardest part of designing the house was not making individual regions work out, but making them work together. The roof sections need to come together in a way that is buildable and aesthetically pleasing. Sometimes, the logical places for windows from the interior didn’t look good from the exterior. No design is without compromises, but after many, many iterations, we have a design that we are pleased with. We have good views of the runway from the rooms that we will spend the most time in. We have a large south-facing section of roof that is suitable for solar panels. I doubt if we have thought of everything, but hopefully we have thought of all the important things. Developing floor plansA couple years ago, I purchased Home Designer software and started designing floor plans. Hundreds of versions later, we have a design that we are excited about.Some of the things we want in our house plan will be familiar to most people designing a new house while other needs are specific to our situation. My wife and I intend to live in this house until the kids send us off to assisted living. Those kids are college age now. They will probably live in the house off and on for the next few years. How do we design a house to be suitable for just the two of us and also suitable for a holiday gathering with our kids, their eventual families, our parents, and our siblings?For the main floor, we want a kitchen open to the family room. When we have a family gathering, we don’t want the cooks to be segregated from everyone else. If age or disability eventually prevents one of us from being able to climb stairs, we want to be able to live on just the first floor. So, we put a bedroom, office, and laundry room on the first floor. Although we label the bedroom as a guest bedroom, we provided a closet and bathroom that would make it a suitable master suite. That is not the type of airport I chose to live at. I am a recreational pilot. I fly an airplane that was built in 1948. The way I use my airplane is comparable to the way recreational boaters use their pontoon boats or ski boats. I enjoy flying around the area when the weather is good. I enjoy taking friends and family for rides. My desire to live on an airport is analogous to the desire of recreational boaters to live on a lake.The neighborhood we built in is a called an airpark. Most of the lots have direct taxiway access. All of the houses on those lots have attached hangars. (The home owners association actually requires it.) There are dozens of airparks like this around the country. We were fortunate enough to acquire a lot that has a good view of the runway and excellent southern exposure for solar, as long as we designed the house to take advantage of it. For many years, I have dreamed of living at a general aviation airport. Instead of driving to the airport to go flying, I would just step out the back door. When I am done for the day, I would sit on the back porch and watch takeoffs and landings. Well, it now seems to be happening. Our old house has been sold and we have moved to an apartment. We purchased a lot on the airport in Linden, Michigan. The new house has been designed. Now, it is time to build it.For people who know me well, the reasons for wanting to live on an airport don’t require much explaining. Sometimes I forget that, for most people, it is a fairly radical idea. When most people think about an airport, they envision the airline terminals that they slog through in the course of traveling between distant cities. I opted to design the house myselfI am often asked why I decided to design our house myself as opposed to using an available design. The reason I usually give is that there are very few available house plans with attached hangars and adding a hangar to a conventional plan doesn’t work very well. An attached hangar tends to preclude an outside view from a relatively large fraction of the perimeter of the house. Although there are a handful of rooms for which a view to the outside is not important, conventional house plans usually do not locate these rooms in the location at which a hangar would make sense. We were not likely to find any off-the-shelf house plans that worked.When I am being completely honest, I admit the main reason I designed the house myself, as opposed to hiring an architect, is my personality. I have always enjoyed designing things. For most of my professional life, I designed automotive transmissions. In my 40s, I decided to change directions and become a patent attorney. I enjoy learning about new fields, like the science and practice of homebuilding. I enjoy the challenge of manipulating the parts to try to achieve what we want. I am looking forward to seeing something I designed become a real-world structure.My education about building science wasn’t very structured. As I played with potential floor plan ideas, various questions came up. “Would that be really expensive to build?” “Can walls come together like that?” “Can I put the second floor bathroom over the garage?” Searching online, I usually came across the answers to 20 questions I hadn’t thought to ask before I found the answer I was looking for.I discovered the wealth of information at sites like Green Building Advisor, Building Science Corporation, and HeatSpring. I was surprised at the gap between the best known way to build houses and the way it was typically done. Of course, I didn’t know enough to specify everything that needs to be specified. I was fortunate to have a builder who was open to departing from his usual practices and who provided the kinds of knowledge one cannot get from web sites. Editor’s note: This is the first in a series of guest blogs by Reid Baldwin about the construction of his house in Linden, Michigan. RELATED ARTICLES The Pretty Good HouseMartin’s Pretty Good House ManifestoGreen Building for BeginnersPlans and Pricing for Our House in MaineGBA Encyclopedia: Building Lots and Siting a House NEXT: Walls and insulation
What it Takes to Build a Highly Secure FinTech … Tags:#Evernote#mobile#Pause Related Posts Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces The Rise and Rise of Mobile Payment Technology Evernote is a very useful, Swiss-Army knife kind of software application that provides users with the tools they need to collect all of the information from their online journeys. It is a boon to anyone serious about task management and online research. So why can’t I get it integrated into my own work habits?For some inexplicable reason, I have never been able to really truly integrate Evernote into my daily work environment. And it’s not for lack of trying. Many of my colleagues recommend it, and since they are in the business of writing content for the Interwebs, what’s good for them should be good for me, right?Yet every time I try Evernote, it never seems to be quite all there for me. Even as a Premium user, which I am, at the urging of my colleagues.Researching the ProblemTake research, for instance. I know that as I move around from site to site on the Internet, looking for material to source for an article, I can easily assign sites to individual notebooks in Evernote so I can come back to them later. The problem is, unless I am working on a really big story, “later” is usually “now,” and I have all the tabs in my browser nicely open for me to reference.I would like to be able to stick websites into Evernote’s notebooks in “blue sky” mode, which is when I am just surfing around and might happen to catch my eye on something that I might want to come back to later. Except Evernote’s integration in iOS Safari doesn’t work half the time, which is too bad because iPad time (unlike computer time) is usually great for blue sky meandering. (Evernote does work very well on my Android browser, but honestly, I don’t use my phone to surf around aimlessly much.)Seeing a Solution?I got really excited when I heard about Evernote’s improvements to Page Camera, and was hoping to try them out to pull my written notes into text via Evernote’s optical character recognition. I take written notes copiously (I own fountain pens and Moleskines by the dozens) and writing-to-text would be awesome with a cross-platform app.But nope, Evernote’s OCR, which pretty good, only indexes snapshots for note searching. There’s no magical “here’s your text” feature for me to cut and paste content into a story. You can export an OCR note to an ENEX file, but when you open the thing in a text editor, it’s so heavily marked up you can’t get the text out easily at all.One thing Evernote does have, however, is a pretty good Dictate feature that I have used from time to time at conferences to catch longer interviews and presentations. I really wanted the OCR capability to work, but I suppose speech-to-text could be another option. I am worried about the monthly data limits on my Evernote account, though.All Things for All PeoplePart of my continued firewall for Evernote usage has little to do with the app itself. One of the many uses for Evernote could be task management. Think of something to do, and make a note for it. But in this area, I already have a very good task manager, OmniFocus. In fact, OmniFocus’ integration with my OS X machine and iPad means that I can capture a lot of information as I think of it or see it on a website, dump it into my OmniFocus inbox, and then sort it into a task category/timeframe later. That capture-and-figure-it-out-later process is part of the Getting Things Done process OmniFocus is really good for, and Evernote isn’t quite.While it may be obvious that Evernote and OmniFocus are not meant to do the same things, pointing out this difference speaks to a larger point about apps like Evernote that try to be all things to all people. That simply is very hard to do, and rarely works out for the best. It would be better, I think, for Evernote to do fewer things very well than many things just okay.That may be the biggest reason why Evernote simply hasn’t worked for me.Image Courtesy of Shutterstock Role of Mobile App Analytics In-App Engagement brian proffitt
Amnesty India has urged the Odisha government to stop police atrocities on indigenous Dongria Kondh community by branding them as CPI(Maoist) cadres.“Allegations of police intimidation and ill-treatment of the Dongria Kondh community in the Niyamgiri hills are deeply disturbing. It is unacceptable that the police ill-treat and abuse people. The authorities should carry out a prompt and impartial investigation into the police conduct,” said Manohar Chauhan, senior campaigner of Amnesty India, in a statement here. “Niyamgiri Suraksha Samiti, a community-led organisation that opposes mining in the Niyamgiri hills, had alleged that police arbitrarily pick up, detain and ill-treat members of the community, at a press conference on October 25. Lada Sikaka, president of NSS, claimed that he was picked up by the local police from the old market in Lanjigarh and taken to a police station where he was brutally beaten,” Mr. Chauhan pointed out.Right to protest According to him there were many instances of police highhandedness reported from the Niyamgiri hill range. The Kalahandi administration had forced the NSS to cancel a peaceful demonstration against the police on October 23 last year.“People have a right to peaceful protest under the Constitution of India and international law. The authorities have a duty to listen to the voices of the indigenous Dongria Kondh community and ensure that their rights are upheld,” said Mr. Chauhan.The particularly vulnerable tribal group had unanimously voted against proposed bauxite mining in the Niyamgiri hills in 2013. Since then the security forces have been going against the community, said the Amnesty campaigner.
Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, says the sector is on course for “record -breaking growth” this year.He said that revenue earnings for the first half of the year is estimated at US$1.84 billion, which is an increase of over eight per cent compared to the first six months of 2016.The Minister was addressing Wednesday’s (July 26) session of the Jamaica 55 Diaspora Conference at the Jamaica Conference Centre, downtown Kingston.The country welcomed 2,165,330 visitors up to the end of June this year, which is 3.9 per cent higher than the corresponding period last year.For the first two weeks of July there were 104,098 stop over visitors – a massive 14.9 per cent increase over the same period in 2016.The strong sector performance since the start of the year builds on the successes of 2016, when the sector expanded by an unprecedented four per cent, and welcomed over 3.84 million visitors in total.Gross Foreign Exchange Earnings for the period amounted to US$2.55 billion up 6.2 per cent, with stopover arrival earnings of US$2.4 billion, representing a 6.1 per cent increase; and cruise passenger earnings of US$148.6 million, up eight per cent.In spite of these prolific numbers, Mr. Bartlett said the Ministry, its agencies and other key stakeholders are never complacent and “we continue to revamp and intensify our strategies to identify key drivers of competitiveness and sustainable tourism development in Jamaica.”Minister Bartlett noted that tourism remains one of the few labour-intensive sectors and directly employs over 106,000 Jamaicans, and another 250, 000 indirectly, through linkages with agriculture, the creative and cultural industries, entertainment, manufacturing, transportation, finance and other services.Over the last 10 years, tourism has expanded by 36 per cent.Direct contribution of tourism to GDP is estimated at 8.4 per cent while total contribution is estimated at 27.2 per cent of GDP.