first_imgMOST READ English soccer field invasions see players punched, pushed Warriors: At Houston on Wednesday night.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next LATEST STORIES Tom Brady most dominant player in AFC championship history Klay Thompson’s two free throws with 1:04 to go made it 111-108. Andre Iguodala secured a rebound after two missed Suns shots but Stephen Curry missed on a 3 with 23 seconds left. Booker then converted two free throws.Booker’s jumper with 5:01 to play put the Suns ahead, then he made it 102-98 on a 3-pointer at 4:45. Booker hit a fadeaway at the 4:04 mark then scored on a driving one-handed dunk after Phoenix pushed in transition after Curry’s turnover.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGolden State Warriors sign Lee to multiyear contract, bring back ChrissSPORTSCoronation night?SPORTSThirdy Ravena gets‍‍‍ offers from Asia, Australian ball clubsKevin Durant had 25 points before leaving with a bruised right ankle midway through the fourth on a night his teammates struggled from near and far. The cold-shooting Warriors couldn’t overcome Booker’s late onslaught in losing to lowly Phoenix.Booker was 13 for 23, made all nine of his free throws and also dished out 11 assists for the Suns in a back-to-back and their fourth win in five games. Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award Will you be the first P16 Billion Powerball jackpot winner from the Philippines? Japeth Aguilar wins 1st PBA Finals MVP award for Ginebra Ginebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup title Ginebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titlecenter_img Splash Brothers Curry and Thompson were a combined 16 of 42 — 8 of 30 on 3s after a 4-for-22 start — and the Warriors went 10 of 43 from beyond the arc.Curry started 0 for 5 and missed his initial four 3-point tries before connecting from deep 4:35 before halftime and finished with 18 points on 6-of-20 shooting.Thompson made his first four shots and appeared poised for another shooting gem to follow up his 39-point, nine 3-pointer performance in Friday’s 122-105 win against Denver. He still scored 28 points, going 10 of 22.Kelly Oubre Jr. added 22 points with four 3s for the Suns, who held a 49-47 rebounding advantage.Phoenix coach Igor Kokoskov knew limiting turnovers would be a key to the Suns staying in the game. They committed just eight but had a three-game winning streak snapped Saturday at Portland.ADVERTISEMENT Rogue cops marked as Gamboa’s targets in his appointment as PNP chief Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker (1) shoot against Golden State Warriors guard Klay Thompson (11) during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Oakland, Calif., Sunday, March 10, 2019. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)OAKLAND, Calif. — Devin Booker scored 13 straight Phoenix points during a decisive fourth-quarter stretch and finished with 37, and the Suns snapped the NBA’s longest active losing streak to one opponent at 18 games by beating the Golden State Warriors 115-111 on Sunday night.The Suns beat Golden State for the first time since a 107-95 victory on Nov. 9, 2014, and earned their first road win in 20 tries against the Western Conference this season.ADVERTISEMENT Eugenie Bouchard’s bid for Australian Open spot ends in qualifying Nadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazil Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. The Suns played only 21 hours, 30 minutes later with the Daylight Saving Time change.The Warriors jumped to a 12-3 lead, getting a pair of quick 3s and a baseline drive and dunk from Thompson before a Phoenix timeout at the 7:56 mark. But Golden State’s lead was just 57-56 at halftime.TIP-INSSuns: Booker received a technical with 1:27 left in the third out of frustration on a no-call. … F T.J. Warren missed his 19th consecutive game with right ankle soreness. … Phoenix is 6-29 on the road overall.Warriors: Draymond Green contributed 11 rebounds and eight assists. … Thompson played his 600th career regular-season game — the 11th player in Warriors history to do so. His 102 postseason games are most ever for any Golden State player. … Thompson had six of his team’s 16 turnovers.PRACTICE FACILITYOn Monday, the Warriors will announce their plans for continuing to utilize the current practice facility in downtown Oakland at team headquarters after the franchise moves its operation across the bay to San Francisco before next season.Part of it will include expanded opportunities and activities for youth basketball camps and further community outreach.UP NEXTSuns: Host Jazz on Wednesday night. Gretchen Barretto’s daughter Dominique graduates magna cum laude from California college View commentslast_img read more

first_imgCitizens hailing from Kolahum District in Lofa County have petitioned their lawmakers to combine the Wanwoma and Hassala clans to create a district to be known as the Wanhasa District in Lofa County. At the petitioning ceremony on Thursday, May 8, the spokesperson of the two clans, Shaike Omaru Kamara said, the two clans have unanimously agreed to gain a district status.According to Mr. Kamara, based on their agreement, two clans have collected a signature of over 5,000 people—who hailed from 54 towns and villages or hamlets for the sole purpose of “good and effective governance” in local administration.Mr. Kamara explained among other things that the district, when created, would be bounded on the North by Tahamba Clan, Kolahum District and Tengia Clan of Foya District; on the South by Lucasu Clan, Kolahum District and Kongbah District, Gbarpolu County; On the West by Kissi Tongi Chiefdom, Kailahum District, the Republic of Sierra Leone; running through the customary boundary between Guma-Menda Chiefdom of Vahum District, and the Gbandi Chiefdom of Kolahum District; and on the East by the Lucasu Clan, Kolahum.He explained, among other things that the power of the district when created shall have the right and legal capacity to sue and be sued, plead and be pleaded before any court of competent jurisdiction, and at the same time, do all other acts that are usually done by similar corporate bodies within the country.The new Act, which copy is in possession of this paper, said the corporate powers and authorities of the district shall be exercised by a district commissioner appointed by the President, and assisted by a Clerk; interpreter; manager; a caretaker; and those other positions as are required by law, all of whom shall be elected at a district meeting.Mr. Kamara said, in addition to the fiscal budget by the central government, the district shall have the power to ordain or promulgate development ordinances or regulations, which will not be inconsistent with the Constitution of Liberia.According to the spokesperson, “the people themselves initiated this process by generating funds for its process, and we are working and our people ears are open for it enactment into law.” The chairman of Lofa County Legislative Caucus, Senator Sumo G. Kuppe, who received the petition on behalf of his colleagues from both Houses, promised to work with both Houses to ensure that the Wanhasa District is created. Senator Kupee, however, urged other lawmakers from the county, including Representatives Moses Kollie, Clarence M. Massaquoi, Saah Bamba and Eugene Fallah Kpakai to ensure that the Act is placed on Legislative agenda for next Tuesday.Rep. Massaquoi and his colleagues from the Lower House agreed to have the Act on the agenda on next week for further deliberation.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

first_imgSporting activities intended to unify citizens of Buu– Yao Administrative District of Nimba County have begun across the district.The Boris Barlea Peace and Reconciliation Tournament as it is called is currently going on across 54 towns and villages that make up the Buu–Yao Administrative District.According to the organizing committee headed by Josephus Toe, the game is divided among three chiefdoms, each chiefdom representing a zone to be represented by four teams or towns.The kick off took place in Teahplay Bouyealay, Nimkwai Chiefdom with 16 towns battling to be among the four teams to reach the grand final in Buutuo.In an exhibition match, host Teahplay lost 0-1 to New Yourpea while the girls Gblarlay defeated the host 1-0.The tournament continues in other parts of the district, with towns in Yoalay battling to be among the four teams that will represent the chiefdom or zone, while Nyor Chiefdom is also carrying out the qualifying round to select four to the grand finals in Buutuo later this year.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

first_imgPramerica Systems Ireland have launched their first mentoring programme for students of Mulroy College in Milford.Six employees from Pramerica are about to embark on the new initiative as they become mentors to six fifth year students from Mulroy College as part of the Student Mentoring Programme. This programme has been facilitated by the Schools’ Business Partnership (SBP) and is an initiative of Business in the Community Ireland (BITCI).The programme which runs over a two year period will see employees of Pramerica link with 5th Year students from the school in order to mentor and help prepare them for transition from school to further education or employment.They will meet for one hour per month over the course of the two years to encourage and support the students.“We are very grateful to the employees from Pramerica for making a two year commitment to the students here in Mulroy College. The mentors will really help to focus the minds of students and to inspire them to achieve what they want from their schooling”, said Fiona Temple, Principal, Mulroy College, Milford. Meanwhile Emma McCleary, HR Generalist with Prameric said “Pramerica are delighted to be partnering with Mulroy College on the mentoring programme. We are delighted that so many of our employees have decided to get involved as it is not only a benefit to the students but our employees also get the chance to develop their leadership, team-building, interpersonal and communication skills”.Regional co-ordinator of the BITCI, Elaine McFadden said the mentoring programme has been a great success on a nationwide level for so many students and also for the mentors.“BITCI recognises the leadership shown by Pramerica in pioneering the Mentoring Programme in Donegal and in delivering the for the third year on our Skills @ Work Programme with Mulroy College.”Funded under the National Development Plan, The Schools’ Business Partnership (SBP) aims to match over 150 post primary schools in Ireland with a local business. MILFORD STUDENTS FORM UNIQUE MENTORING PROGRAMME WITH PRAMERICA was last modified: November 27th, 2012 by StephenShare 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:MilfordMulroy Collegepramericalast_img read more

first_imgSubscribe to the Mercury News and East Bay Times for $40 a year and receive a free Warriors championship coffee table bookOAKLAND – As DeMarcus Cousins rehabs his left Achilles tendon, the Warriors’ All-Star center has a trusty teammate who has offered plenty of perspective on how to navigate his recovery.His name is Jonas Jerebko, who has not just bolstered the Warriors with his toughness and outside shooting. He also has offered insight on when he recovered from a torn right Achilles tendon …last_img read more

first_imgSAN JOSE — For a handful of young players, the Sharks’ game Tuesday against the Anaheim Ducks likely represents their last shot at leaving the type of impression needed to make the NHL roster once the regular season begins next month.For others, it’s a chance to reinforce the positive strides they’ve already made.Competition for the final few roster spots came into greater focus Monday when the Sharks trimmed their training camp numbers to 32 players — 17 forwards, 12 defensemen and three …last_img read more

first_imgThe Mpilonhle mobile unit visits schools in rural areas of KwaZulu-Natal. (Image: Mpilonhle) South African actress Charlize Theron is working with Mpilonhle to educate schoolchildren. (Image: Charlize Theron Africa Outreach Project) The Mpilonhle project gives teenagers a chance to succeed in life by educating them in HIV prevention, and helping them improve their computer skills. (Image: Mpilonhle)Janine ErasmusNow in its second year, the Mpilonhle project uses innovative mobile health and education units in rural schools and communities in KwaZulu-Natal to provide medical and social services, give HIV counselling and education, and assist people to improve their computer skills.The main aim of Mpilonhle (isiZulu, meaning “good life”) is to improve the health and enhance social development of people, especially the youth, in KwaZulu-Natal. According to the project’s founders, which include healthcare expert Nompumelelo Zwane, there is increasing assistance for those already infected with HIV but less progress has been made in actual prevention of the disease.The most vulnerable group for new HIV infections are adolescents, who are in desperate need of more tools to help them maintain good health and give them a greater chance of success in South Africa. In fact, says project partner Inveneo, youngsters in Umkhanyakude District, the northernmost of the province’s 11 districts where Mpilonhle does most of its work, have an almost 50% chance of becoming infected with HIV during their lifetime.Taking services to the peopleMpilonhle reaches these youngsters by taking its eye-catching mobile units directly to their schools. These base camps provide essential life-saving services, not only to pupils, but to all members of the community. The project currently reaches over 8 000 pupils as well as their families.Each Mpilonhle mobile health unit consists of a pair of identical trailers with an awning stretched between them to provide useful teaching space. Inside, there are two counselling rooms, space for equipment storage, and a bank of low power-consuming computers.Interactive group sessions are held in communities on a regular basis under the guidance of a professional health educator, and are adapted to the age of the students. Topics include the importance of being faithful to a single partner, practicing safe sex, being tested for HIV, the risks associated with substance abuse, and healthy eating. For those already infected, discussion sessions also provide guidance for dealing with the stigma of HIV, and advice on living with the disease.With regard to computer literacy, the organisation holds classes in its mobile units, each of which is fitted with 24 computers that are freely available to students for as long as the units remain in the community. Students are trained in computer basics and then move on to word processing, databases, presentations and spreadsheets before progressing to the use of email and the internet.The computer laboratory runs off generators in the mobile units without any risk of draining the existing power supply. Mpilonhle uses NGO Inveneo’s ultra-low power computer workstations because they require significantly less power than a traditional desktop or laptop computer.Health screening services are provided to communities and cover voluntary HIV testing, screening and care for other sexually transmitted infections as well as diseases such as tuberculosis, and general health care for pregnancy, hypertension, asthma, substance abuse and social, emotional and psychological problems, among others.Should any related problems be discovered during screening, the Mpilonhle nurse in charge of the unit will further evaluate the patient’s condition and provide appropriate treatment and counselling – but will refer patients to hospitals or clinics for treatment of more complex issues.Mpilonhle also feeds 40 orphan-headed households, supplying packages that are sufficient for seven people. These households do not qualify for government assistance because the orphan, though still at school, is older than 18.A network of international partnersThe Mpilonhle project has received support from the Charlize Theron Africa Outreach Project, the Oprah Winfrey Angels Network, the Entertainment Industry Foundation, the United States President’s Emergency Fund for AIDS Relief, and computer processor developer AMD under its 50×15 initiative, which aims to help provide affordable Internet access and computing capabilities for 50% of the world’s population by 2015.The project is the first for Oscar-winning South African actress Theron’s foundation. “The mobile clinic has been very well received by the people it serves,” she said, “and is already providing young South Africans with the health education, treatments and computer training needed to help overcome the challenges they face. During a recent visit, I had the privilege of spending time with students as they shared their hopes and dreams for a better, healthier life. As a native South African, I am totally committed to helping them achieve those dreams.”Mpilonhle also received assistance from Inveneo, which specialises in providing low-cost ICT solutions to those in remote and rural communities in the developing world. The organisation’s solutions are specifically designed to overcome the main challenges in these far-flung areas, such as erratic or non-existent power supply, lack of affordable access to the internet, and unforgiving climate conditions.Inveneo provides both hardware and software in the form of computers and servers that can run off a battery or renewable energy system, wireless equipment, and free or open source operating systems. The organisation also provides installation and support by recruiting and training suitable people from the local community.Do you have queries or comments about this article? Email Janine Erasmus at janinee@mediaclubsouthafrica.com. This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it Useful linksMpilonhleMpilonhle blogInveneoCharlize Theron Africa Outreach ProjectOprah’s Angel NetworkUnited States President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS ReliefAMD 50×15 Initiativelast_img read more

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest February exports of U.S. pork, beef and lamb were higher than a year ago in both volume and value, according to statistics released by USDA and compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF).Pork exports totaled 205,466 metric tons (mt) in February, up 4% from last year’s large total, while export value increased 12% to $547.2 million. Through February, pork exports were 2% ahead of last year’s pace at 408,934 mt, while export value climbed 10% to $1.09 billion.February exports accounted for 27.8% of total pork production and 24% for muscle cuts only — up from 27.6% and 22.9%, respectively, a year ago. Through February, the percentage of total pork production exported was slightly lower year-over-year at 26.1%, while the percentage of muscle cuts exported edged higher to 22.7%. February export value averaged $56.78 per head slaughtered, up 9% from a year ago. Through February, per-head export value was $53.70, up 5%.February beef export volume improved 11% from a year ago to 100,593 mt, while export value increased 18% to $599.8 million. Although this was the lowest monthly value total since May 2017, it is the highest on record for the month of February. January-February volume was 206,079 mt, up 10% from the first two months of 2017, while export value was 20% above last year’s pace at $1.22 billion.Exports accounted for 13.6% of total beef production in February, up one full percentage point from a year ago. For muscle cuts only, the percentage exported was 10.8% (up from 10.1% last year). Through February, beef exports accounted for 13% of total production (up from 12.4%) and 10.4% for muscle cuts (up from 9.8%). February beef export value averaged $322.29 per head of fed slaughter, up 16% from a year ago. Through February, per-head export value averaged $306.69, up 15%.“Red meat exports are off to a strong start in 2018 and continue to deliver excellent returns for U.S. producers,” said Dan Halstrom, USMEF president and CEO. “The outstanding level of export value per head slaughtered is especially encouraging at a time in which U.S. meat production is high and the trade climate is somewhat volatile. Through all the uncertainty, international customers remain very committed to U.S. pork and beef. This reinforces the importance of having experienced USMEF staff members located in key markets, working every day to maintain customer loyalty and reinforce the United States’ reputation as a reliable supplier.” Pork exportsFebruary pork exports to leading volume market Mexico were steady with last year at 64,523 mt, while export value was slightly higher at $117.5 million. Through February, export volume was steady with last year’s record pace at 137,520 mt, while export value increased 3% to $251 million.In Japan, the leading value destination for U.S. pork, February volume was steady year-over-year at 32,418 mt, while value was up 3% to $134.7 million. Through February, export volume to Japan increased 6% from a year ago to 67,466 mt and value climbed 10% to $281.1 million. This included a 7% increase in chilled pork exports to 36,929 mt, valued at $176.9 million (up 11%).Pork exports to South Korea climbed 33% in volume (40,710 mt) and 43% in value ($119 million). Most U.S. pork products now enter the Korean market duty free under the Korea-U.S. Free Trade Agreement (KORUS), and high-quality, affordable U.S. pork is helping to underpin Korea’s record-breaking pork consumption. USMEF continues to help position U.S. pork in new and exciting ways in Korea, including the addition of pulled pork to many restaurant menus, a selection of high-end sausages at convenience stores and a wide array of home meal replacement and snack items sold at retail and through e-commerce.Through the first two months of 2018, other highlights for U.S. pork include: Led by strong growth in Colombia and Peru, pork exports to South America were 9% ahead of last year’s pace in volume (17,855 mt) and 14% higher in value ($43.1 million), with consumption growth in the region continuing to outpace domestic production.Solid growth in Honduras, a doubling of exports to El Salvador and a steady performance in Guatemala pushed pork export volume to Central America 16% above last year’s pace at 12,255 mt, while value climbed 20% to $28.9 million. Exports also increased year-over-year to Nicaragua, Panama and Belize.Exports to the Philippines, the mainstay destination for U.S. pork in the ASEAN and the region’s largest import market, increased 3% in volume (4,746 mt) and remained steady with last year’s pace in value ($10.8 million). Exceptional growth in Vietnam (901 mt valued at $3.7 million, up 272% and 469%, respectively) pushed exports to the ASEAN region 18% higher in volume (6,178 mt) and 29% higher in value ($16.9 million). Exports also increased year-over-year to Singapore, Indonesia and Malaysia.In China/Hong Kong, pork export volume fell 14% year-over-year to 69,515 mt, but value increased 3% to $164 million. Muscle cut exports increased 7% to 28,775 mt, while variety meat exports declined 24% in volume (40,740 mt) but with sharply higher prices value only dipped 2% to $107.4 million. The Chinese government recently imposed a 25% tariff on imports of U.S. pork and pork variety meat, in addition to the 12% tariff already in effect in China. The higher tariff rate is not reflected in the January-February results, as it took effect April 2. But the additional tariff will put U.S. pork at a significant disadvantage compared to China’s other major suppliers: the European Union, Canada, Brazil and Chile. China’s total import demand has also slowed with its rebound in domestic production and a significant decrease in domestic hog prices. Chilled beef shipments to Japan, Korea and Taiwan drive export growth Beef export volume to leading market Japan declined in February (20,314 mt, —15% year-over-year), as the frozen beef safeguard tariff (50%, up temporarily from 38.5%) contributed to a slowdown in frozen shipments. However, February export value to Japan was down only slightly at $133.4 million. Through February, total exports to Japan were 4% below last year’s volume pace at 44,282 mt, but still increased 9% in value to $282 million. This included an 18% increase in chilled beef exports to 22,809 mt, valued at $175 million (up 29%). Japan’s safeguard tariff on imports of frozen beef from the United States (and from other suppliers that do not have a free trade agreement with Japan) expired March 31, so the tariff rate for both frozen and chilled imports from the U.S. is now 38.5%. Japan’s tariffs on imports of Australian chilled and frozen beef edged slightly lower on April 1 and now stand at 29.3% and 26.9%, respectively, under the Japan-Australia Economic Partnership Agreement.Beef exports to South Korea maintained a torrid pace in February, increasing 24% from a year ago in volume (16,193 mt) and 31% in value ($112.4 million). Through February, exports to Korea climbed 18% in volume to 33,326 mt and were 32% above last year’s record value pace at $234.8 million. This included chilled beef exports of 7,231 mt (up 34% year-over-year) valued at $68 million (up 44%). U.S. beef is driving new consumption trends in Korea, where retailers and foodservice operators have intensified their focus on steak cuts and are highlighting features such as dry and wet aging. USMEF continues to educate the Korean meat trade and consumers about the quality and convenience of U.S. steaks in this increasingly protein-centric market.Through the first two months of 2018, other highlights for U.S. beef include: Exports to Mexico, which is a critical destination for beef rounds, shoulder clods and variety meat, were 10% above last year’s pace in volume (39,987 mt) and 19% higher in value ($175 million). This included an 11% increase in variety meat export volume (18,720 mt) and an impressive 36% jump in variety meat value ($44.4 million).Partly driven by demand for the Chinese New Year holiday, exports to Hong Kong jumped 41% in volume (22,807 mt) from a year ago and 61% in value ($168.6 million). Exports to China, which resumed in June 2017, totaled 1,187 mt valued at $11.1 million.In Taiwan, an outstanding destination for chilled U.S. beef, exports increased 25% from a year ago in volume (8,106 mt) and 42% in value ($78.2 million). Chilled exports to Taiwan were up 53% in volume (3,800 mt) and 61% in value ($48 million) as the U.S. holds 72% of Taiwan’s chilled beef market.Exceptional growth in Chile and Colombia pushed exports to South America up 68% year-over-year in volume (5,296 mt) and 62% in value ($25.2 million). Exports to Brazil, which resumed in April of last year, totaled 215 mt valued at $2 million.Strong performances in Indonesia and Vietnam pushed beef exports to the ASEAN region 42% ahead of last year’s pace in volume (6,794 mt) and 34% higher in value ($36.7 million). The region is especially strong for beef variety meat, with exports up 74% in volume (2,008 mt) and 93% in value ($4.4 million).Strong growth in Angola and steady volumes to South Africa pushed beef exports to Africa up 26% year-over-year in volume (1,981 mt) and 77% higher in value ($3.1 million). Lamb exports sharply higher year-over-yearBolstered by a strong rebound in lamb variety meat demand in Mexico, U.S. lamb exports are trending significantly higher in 2018. In February, lamb export volume climbed 85% from a year ago to 899 mt — the highest since May 2017. Export value was $1.85 million, up 42% and the highest since March 2017. Through February, lamb exports were 55% higher year-over-year in volume (1,639 mt) and up 24% in value ($3.33 million), led by growth in Mexico, the Philippines, the Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos Islands.last_img read more

first_imgAgricultural operation in current Kharif crop season has been badly hit with southwest monsoon playing truant in Odisha.As against the State’s average rainfall of 393.3 mm rainfall by July 17 (Wednesday), 290.1 mm precipitation has been recorded, which is deficit by 26.23%. Only Koraput district has received surplus rainfall while in the rest 29 districts, rainfall has been in negative.“Since below 19% rainfall is considered normal, 13 districts have been categorized as normal. Seventeen districts have recorded deficit rainfall,” said S. C. Sahu, Director of Centre for Environment and Climate (CEC) at the SOA University.Mr. Sahu said five districts such as Gajapati, Balangir, Balasore, Rayagada and Kandhamal have recorded above 40% deficit rainfall. In the southern Odisha district of Gajapati, the deficit has been as high as 60%.Rainfall has been very erratic. Koraput has received surplus 5% of average rainfall by Wednesday whereas there has been deficit rainfall to the extent 44% in neighbouring district Rayagada, Nabarangpur (-29%) and Malkanagiri (-23%).“Monsoon remained stationary in Himalayan region for which northeastern States received heavy rainfall in the month of July. There is indication of revival of monsoon within next four to five days,” he said.Encouraged by widespread rain in the third and fourth week of June, farmers had begun their paddy crops. Prior to transplanting, they had raised seedlings in their nurseries. In absence of rain, the croplands are not suitable for transplantation of the seedlings.Those, who had broadcasted dry-seed expecting its germination following spells of rainfalls, have kept their fingers crossed for revival of monsoon. If it does not rain soon, the germination might not take place, opined agricultural experts.“We are now experiencing summer like situation. During this time around, we usually experience continuous rain, which helps in our farm operation. If similar situation persists for another week, Kharif crop is likely to suffer damage,” said Surendra Ojha, a farmer in Nagaberhampur village in Jagatsinghpur district.last_img read more

first_imgChief Minister Tarun Gogoi has said that the Congress would score a hat-trick in Assam.Click here to EnlargeThe battle of the states is split wide open now with Assam going to the polls on Monday, the first state among four others going to the hustings this summer.In the first phase of the assembly elections in the North-Eastern state, the voters will exercise their franchise in 62 constituencies out of a total 126.”Preparation for the first phase of voting has been completed, and we are hoping for free and peaceful elections,” H. Narzary, Assam’s chief electoral officer, said.Prominent candidates in the fray in the first phase include chief minister Tarun Gogoi from Titabar in Jorhat district, state BJP president Ranjit Dutta from Bihali in Sonitpur district and former AGP president Brindaban Goswami from Tezpur.Click here to EnlargeThe fate of several state ministers would also be sealed on Monday. They include assembly Speaker Tanka Bahadur Rai from Barchalla, deputy Speaker Pranati Phukan from Naharkatiya, power minister Pradyut Bordoloi from Margherita, PWD minister Ajanta Neog from Golaghat, culture and sports minister Bharat Narah from Dhakuakhana and law minister Pranab Gogoi from Sibsagar.Both the Congress and the BJP are contesting all the 62 seats up for grabs in the first phase, while the AGP is contesting in 51 constituencies. There are 157 independent candidates in the fray.The electorate will exercise their franchise at 11,264 polling stations. A total of 2,033 booths have been identified as hyper sensitive, 2,985 sensitive and 817 as vulnerable. Polling will be held amid tight security against the backdrop of the threat issued by the Paresh Barua faction of the banned Ulfa. Altogether, 346 companies of central paramilitary forces have been deployed, who would man about 75 per cent of the polling stations, including most of the critical ones, and the rest by the police, micro-observers and video cameras.advertisementThree CRPF jawans were killed on Saturday and four others were injured in an ambush in Karbi Anglong district. The incident occurred when heavily armed militants of the Karbi People Liberation Tiger (KPLT) attacked a CRPF convoy returning to its base camp at Deithar, around 230 km southeast of Guwahati.”We are hopeful of a peaceful election and all measures have been taken to thwart any militant attack,” Shankar Baruah, Assam’s DGP, said. The antitalk faction of Ulfa has asked people to root out the Congress.However, it did not call for a boycott of the elections.The campaign for the first phase started on a slow note but it picked up pace subsequently with the who’s who of the national and state politics attending public meetings.While Congress chief Sonia Gandhi and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh were the star campaigners for the Congress, the BJP responded with party veteran L.K. Advani, leaders of the Opposition in both Houses of Parliament Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitley, Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi and party president Nitin Gadkari.State parties like the AGP and AUDF relied on their leaders like former chief minister Prafulla Kumar Mahanta, Brindaban Goswami and Badruddin Ajmal.The Congress is set to emerge the single largest party in the state, according to opinion polls. However, very few said that it would be able to return to a third consecutive term in power in the state with a clear majority.As per the Mail Today-India Today-Headlines Today-Aaj Tak-ORG poll, the Congress was set to get 46 seats followed by AGP with 38 and the BJP and AUDF 15 each.”I am more than 100 per cent confident that the Congress would score a hat-trick. We are forming the next government in Assam,” chief minister Gogoi said.The Opposition AGP and the BJP have raised the issue of corruption and lack of development in the state, while the Tarun Gogoi-led Congress claimed credit for initiating peace talks with Ulfa and the overall development of the state.”People of Assam want a change to end Congress’s misrule and corruption. We the AGP are the only party that caters to the regional aspirations,” Chandra Mohan Patowary, AGP president, said.Unlike other poll-bound states – West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and the Union territory of Puducherry – there are no pre-poll alliances in Assam.”Our party is sincere to meet the aspirations of the common people.We are confident that the people of Assam would give us a chance,” Pradyut Bora, BJP general secretary, said.The Left Parties, with CPI and CPI-M contesting 17 seats each in the polls, had senior Politburo members Sitaram Yechury and Brinda Karat campaigning for the candidates.The Election Commission on Saturday slapped a censure notice on health minister Himanta Biswa Sarma for violating the model code of conduct while filing his nomination on March 25 in Guwahati.advertisementThe EC on March 26 had served a notice to Sarma for violating the code by providing Tshirts printed with the Congress logo, using a huge number of vehicles and creating traffic chaos while going to file his nomination.last_img read more