The austere Iditarod checkpoint, with just two major shelter structures, and tents or converted out buildings set up for the Iditarod race. (Photo by Zachariah Hughes/ Alaska Public Media)This year’s Iditarod has hit what could prove the defining moment in who wins the race. Joar Ulsom pushed his 24-hour rest all the way to the Iditarod checkpoint, arriving Wednesday evening while his main competitors were posted up in towns further down the trail.But yesterday, the competition caught up.The weather around the Iditarod checkpoint the last few days has been gnarly: blowing snow and high winds. Snowmachiners and checkpoint officials say the trail was getting covered up with snowdrifts around the time Joar Ulsom was pushing toward his 24-hour rest at the spare camp – little more than two shelter cabins and some pop-up tents. Toward the end of the run, his speed slowed way down.Ulsom was asleep for much of the afternoon, so he missed when one of his main challengers came blazing into Iditarod under a clear sky.Nic Petit had just come off a long run, but his dogs had their tails up, leaping at their harnesses, looking like they could keep running all the way to the Yukon.The run from Ophir to Iditarod is 80 miles – one of the longest legs of the race. Mushing through bad weather without a major rest, Ulsom did the junket in 15-and-a-half hours. Petit did the same run in just over 12 hours. That was about an hour faster than Mitch Seavey, the third musher to reach Iditarod on Thursday afternoon.The weather had cleared up from the windy night before, and slightly lower temperatures had firmed up the trail a bit. The weather system that had impeded Ulsom’s progress didn’t stick around to hamper his two main rivals the same way. Seavey and Petit both rested about four-and-a-half hours before taking off for the Yukon. By the time Ulsom’s 24-hour hold was up, he was about two-and-a-half hours later in leaving Iditarod for the tight three-way race down the river and toward the coast.Petit ultimately reached Anvik first.
This time of year, we hear a lot about spending.How much people may be willing to spend at businesses is important for the local economy. Consumer confidence surveys are an attempt to measure this, and in Alaska right now, they’re showing positive signs. But there’s more to the story.The Anchorage Economic Development Corporation put out its third quarter consumer optimism index this month. The organization is excited about the results.“In particular, this one I feel very strongly shows a marked improvement in consumer optimism,” said Bill Popp, AEDC president and CEOPopp said the consumer optimism index is the highest it’s been since 2014 in Anchorage.The AEDC’s report is based on a survey conducted by Northern Economics. It looks at how residents feel about their own finances, the local economy and what they expect for the future. The company talked to at least 350 households in the Municipality of Anchorage, and asked them to answer a few questions on a scale of one to five:How would you rate current economic conditions in your community?How secure do you feel about your, and your family’s, financial situation? Is it getting better, worse, or staying the same?And, is the economy in your community getting better, worse, or staying the same?If the index comes out about 50, that represents optimism in the community. Thisquarter, that number was 59.3.Popp said the positive trend has been building over the last couple surveys, and that’s a good sign.“This is telling us that consumers are feeling like things are starting to loosen up,” Popp said. “That things are starting to turn around.”How does consumer confidence fit into the greater economy? Why does anyone care? Popp said it’s a way to help determine if people are going to spend their money. Which, of course, impacts business.“If consumers aren’t optimistic, or are feeling pessimistic, they spend less,” Popp said. “They won’t go to the movies. They won’t buy that new car, they won’t buy that new snow machine.”The state’s Department of Commerce, Community and Economic Development said this renewed confidence in the economy is being felt around the state. Northern Economics gathers the data for the Alaska Confidence Index, too, and the survey questions are similar. The latest survey showed an increase in consumer confidence compared to the same time last year.That survey looks at how Alaskan’s are feeling about the health of the local economy, personal financial situations, and expectations for the future. In the latest survey, all three were up from this time last year. The index shows increased confidence in the future of local economies and personal finances from the previous quarter.But economist Mouhcine Guettabi cautions against making too much of these survey results.Guettabi, who works for the University of Alaska’s Institute of Social and Economic Research, said the surveys can be informative when looked at alongside things like employment and wage data, revenue from small businesses and sales tax data.“But taking it in a vacuum and extrapolating from it, I find is difficult,” Guettabi said.Especially because Alaska doesn’t have a statewide sales tax. Guettabi said that makes figuring out whether more confidence means more spending pretty difficult.Guettabi said these surveys are useful, but imperfect, and need to be interpreted with caution.
Holli Davis came to a behavioral health camp in Juneau the week of of Jan. 28, 2019, hoping to get “more of a clear vision” of a career in social work. (Photo by Zoe Grueskin/KTOO)High school students from around Southeast Alaska met in Juneau last week to explore careers in behavioral health. The state has a shortage of workers in these fields, and there’s a push to recruit Alaskans to come back after college and do those jobs in their home communities. Holli Davis is a senior at Petersburg High School. She’s been thinking a lot about what she’d like to do in the future, and right now she’s considering social work. She wants to work with kids.“Being in Petersburg, you know a lot about kids and their upbringing in life,” she said. “And sometimes you know know they didn’t have a good upbringing, and I kind of just want to help them out.”Along with 18 other teens from the region, Davis spent a week in Juneau for Behavioral Health Career Connections, a program for students to learn more about careers in behavioral health. The field includes jobs like counselors, psychiatrists, social workers — anyone who works with mental health or addiction.The students took field trips and got to talk with professionals during their time in the state capital. They also did an eight-hour, hands-on training to get certified in mental health first aid, so they’re now better-equipped to help someone struggling with anything from a panic attack or suicidal thoughts to substance withdrawal. Thanks to a federal grant through the Carl D. Perkins Act, the whole program was free.Joan Pardes is the director of the Southeast Alaska Area Health Education Center, which organized the week-long event.“The goal of this program is to really pull back the curtain of behavioral health careers,” said Pardes, adding she hoped it would show students that these are achievable — and often well-paid — career options.It’s part of a larger mission to support more health care workers in Alaska — especially in rural and underserved areas, where there aren’t enough providers to meet communities’ needs. According to the Alaska Division of Public Health, that’s true in most of the state.Sahara Kilic hoped the behavioral health camp that began Jan. 28, 2019 in Juneau would help her turn her interest in post-traumatic stress disorder into a career plan. (Photo by Zoe Grueskin/KTOO)Sahara Kilic has seen it firsthand in Skagway. She plans to attend college out-of-state in the fall, but she said she can see herself coming home.“You can definitely see the deficit that we have. We barely have any health care workers here in the state,” Kilic said, “and I feel like helping my community is a good thing, so I’d wanna come back and help them.”Andy Jones, director of the state’s Office of Substance Misuse and Addiction Prevention, said it’s encouraging to see the students so engaged. He talked to the group about the opioid epidemic.Jones said he loves working with students because they’re not afraid to ask tough questions, like how does someone getting out of prison find a place in a small community? And how should the community respond?“These are big questions that professionals are asking,” Jones said. “So by them asking that at such a young age, I have a lot of hope for the future.”The students have a lot of hope, too. But right now, first thing’s first: figuring out college. Both Davis and Kilic came to the program in Juneau with questions about scholarships and what to study.Davis is also planning to leave Alaska for school. But she said she loves Petersburg, and she has a feeling she’ll be back.Andy Jones, director of the state of Alaska’s Office of Substance Misuse and Addiction Prevention, talked about the opioid epidemic with teens at a behavioral health camp in Juneau on Jan. 29, 2019. (Photo by Zoe Grueskin/KTOO)
“Now hold on now, we gotta keep ’em on,” Pacheco said. “The point is even if you’re wading in shallow water, you want to keep you life jackets on, OK?” Kids with the Mountain View Boys and Girls Club cross Ship Creek with Kris Pacheco (center) and Kate Martin (right) of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. (Casey Grove/Alaska Public Media photo) The kids also practice throwing flotation devices to their friends to pull them back to the edge of the pool. “Without these life jackets, that would’ve been almost impossible for you guys to do, OK?” said their instructor, Kris Pacheco, an undergrad from Western New Mexico State interning with the Fish and Wildlife Service and developing the wader-safety lessons. She and the other kids make it across just fine, and pretty soon they’re casting into the creek. Barney says he also likes to see the look on the kids’ faces when they reel in their first fish. None of them gets one on this day, but they do see a few, shouting, “Fish! Fish!” “I’m pushin’! I’m pushin!” Naomi said. Kosette Isakson with the Office of Boating Safety instructs a group of kids from the Mountain View Boys and Girls Club on rescuing someone in the water at the West High School pool. (Casey Grove/Alaska Public Media photo) “Today was more of, kind of like getting their feet wet, pun intended,” Pacheco said, laughing, “and getting ’em used to feeling the way it actually feels with your waders full of water, and getting that muscle memory down, like, ‘What do you do if you fall in?’ Lay on your back and don’t panic.” On one recent summer day, kids are at stations with instructors in every corner of the West High School pool. At one, they put on life jackets and waders, to see what happens when they fill with water, and then there’s a friendly race. That’s why Kosette Isakson with the Office of Boating Safety says their time at the pool is not just fun and games. “Yep, I gotcha, just push into the water,” Martin said. Aside from teaching safe fishing practices, the Fish and Wildlife Service wants to connect new people, who are excited about wildlife, to national wildlife refuges. And for some kids, that starts at Ship Creek in the middle of Alaska’s largest city, next to a port, a railroad terminal and a military base. A couple weeks later, and with a lot more eye protection, the group is at Ship Creek. This is one of the busiest fishing spots in Alaska, right in the heart of Anchorage. It’s a sunny day, and the creek is lined with fishermen as Pacheco, the intern from New Mexico, helps several kids cross the creek. It’s a lesson — they’re facing upstream, moving slowly, some linked together — but he’s also trying to just get them to a better fishing spot. “I think just, it’s important to the development of anybody, experiencing things that you might not be used to, having new doors, new opportunities opened to you,” Barney said. “And, just, it’s Alaska. Some of us, Mom and Dad take you fishing, and that’s just what they do. A lot of our kids, they might not have that opportunity, so, here it is.” Pacheco says he didn’t learn to swim until he was in his late 20s, and he says activities around water can be intimidating and sometimes dangerous for people who haven’t had opportunities to do things like fishing. At the top of a hill watching over the group is David Barney with the Mountain View Boys and Girls Club. An apprehensive girl named Naomi doesn’t want to go at first, but Kate Martin, another adult with the Fish and Wildlife Service, takes her hand. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Alaska Office of Boating Safety have been teaming up this summer with local Boys and Girls Clubs to get more Anchorage kids fishing. The goal is to teach them to do it safely, while having a good time, and it all starts with some instruction and fun at the pool. For the most part, they’re laughing and smiling. But the heart of this program is teaching kids how to deal with scary situations that could kill them: More than half of the 25,000 drownings in the United States over the past decade were in a natural setting like a river or ocean. That statistic goes up with age, and for kids 1-14 years old, fatal drowning is the second-leading cause of unintentional, injury-related death behind motor vehicle crashes. “Usually after they’ve practiced a few times, I try to tell ’em, OK, this time, really like imagine in your mind, it’s windy, it’s wavy, somebody you love is in the water, it’s scary, you know?” Isakson said. “So remember what to do, take a minute, try to get ’em in that mindset, because I think they’ll remember better, you know, otherwise yeah it’s just a fun day at the pool, but really we’re trying to learn life-saving skills.” “OK, I want to try,” a girl said, starting to take off her personal flotation device.
New Delhi: Taking a potshot at the Congress, Prime Minister Narendra Modi Tuesday said the party never recognised efforts of anyone but only the members from the Gandhi-Nehru family. Replying to the Motion of Thanks to the President’s address in Lok Sabha, Modi said the Congress never spoke about the good work of former Prime Ministers Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Narasimha Rao. Also Read – Chandrayaan-2 reaches nearer to moon with orbit change Advertise With Us “There are some people who feel only a few names contributed to the national progress. They only want to hear those few names and ignore the others. We think differently, we feel each and every citizen has worked for India’s progress,” Modi said. “Did they ever speak about the good work of Narismha Rao Ji? In this Lok Sabha debate, the same people did not even speak of Manmohan ji,” the Prime Minister added. Also Read – Shia Waqf Board claims right over disputed Ayodhya land Advertise With Us Modi also reminded Congress of the Emergency, saying it’s a blot on the democracy that will never fade. In his first address to Parliament after being voted to power, Modi also stressed on the need to move together to fulfil the dream of a strong, safe, developed and inclusive nation. The Prime Minister said the NDA was given a chance to rule in 2014 as the people thought it was a way of escaping from the UPA regime. Advertise With Us “We have to move together to fulfil the dream of a strong, safe, developed and inclusive nation. “I think beyond winning and losing elections. I strive for the welfare of the countrymen. For me, what is satisfying is the opportunity to serve 130 crore Indians and do work that has made a positive difference in the lives of our citizens,” Modi said.
Panaji: Days after re-enrolling in Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) as part of its nationwide membership drive, a young BJP worker, Pranav Sanvorderkar, resigned from the party after voicing his discontent over the induction of 10 Congress MLAs into the party fold. Speaking to ANI over the phone, Sanvorderkar said, “I am deeply hurt with the news of 10 Congress MLAs shifting allegiance to the BJP and joining the party ahead of some of them being inducted in the state cabinet.” Also Read – Dehydrated elephant being given treatment Advertise With Us Sanvorderkar who claims to be working for the party for about two decades now made his resignation public by posting it over social media. “My association with the Bharatiya Janata Party comes to an end today… It was the ideology of the Party which brought me towards this Party… I still remember, during the 1999 elections of Ramakant Angle, I used to write slips, paint the roads/houses… Can still remember attending the Campal rally of our beloved leader late Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee ji for the very first time with my family…” read an open letter the former BJP worker wrote. Also Read – CBI carrying out surprise checks at 150 government departments Advertise With Us “Having said this, I am extremely saddened by the events occurred during the last 2 days… I cannot be a part of this organisation anymore even if the decision is for the betterment of the Party… If I keep quiet now, it would be like suffering a thousand deaths which I already have… The Party may have succeeded in safeguarding the interest of the Government but has lost a sincere karyakarta and core voter… So in my personal interest, I am quitting politics, for now, to start something afresh,” he said. Advertise With Us The development comes two days after 10 Goa Congress MLAs joined the BJP in the presence of its working president J P Nadda and Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant in Delhi on Thursday. With this, Congress, which is grappling for survival in Karnataka, suffered yet another blow as the BJP’s strength increased from 17 to 27 in the Legislative Assembly of Goa. With 10 MLAs changing sides, the strength of Congress on the floor of the House was reduced to mere five. The MLAs who changed sides include Kavlekar, Isidore Fernandes, Francis Silveira, Filipe Neri Rodrigues, Jennifer, Atanasio Monserrate, Antonio Fernandes, Nilakanth Halarnkar, Clafacio Dias and Wilfred D’Sa.
Tirupati: President of India Ramnath Kovind arrives in Tirupati for a two-day visit. He was received at airport by Governor ESL Narasimhan, CM YS Jagan Mohan Reddy and other officials. President along with Governor will visit Tiruchanoor and worship Goddess Padmavathi and Kapilateertham to seek blessings of Kapileswara Swamy. He will later reach Tirumala for overnight stay. He will worship Lord Balaji on Sunday morning and proceed to Sriharikota to witness the launch of Chandrayan-2. He will again reach Tirupati on Monday morning and leave for New Delhi.
Suryapet: Minister G Jagadish Reddy advised the leaders and workers of various parties to show their affection for their favorite leaders by planting saplings in their name.On Wednesday, along with District Collector Amoy Kumar, the Minister handed over the enhanced Aasara pensions to beneficiaries at a programme held at Kandagatla village of Atmakur (S) mandal of Suryapet constituency. Also Read – Parts of Hyderabad witness heavy rainfall Advertise With Us Speaking on the occasion, the Minister asked people to not to spoil the environment in the name of presenting bouquets to VIPs. Stating that plants play a key role in ecological balance, he called upon all sections of the society to take active part in Haritha Haram to improve the forest cover in the State. In this programme, Zilla Parishad chairman Gujja Deepika, local public representatives, TRS party local leaders, beneficiaries and villagers took part.
BEIRUT: Clashes between anti-government fighters and regime forces killed 51 combatants on both sides in northwestern Syria Tuesday, a war monitor said. Russia-backed regime fighters have for weeks been chipping away at the edges of the jihadist-run stronghold of Idlib — a province that borders Turkey — after bombarding it for months. But hardline rebels and jihadists on Tuesday attacked loyalist positions in the south of the bastion, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said. Also Read – Pakistan test-fires 290-km range missile Advertise With Us “Violent clashes east of the town of Khan Sheikhun broke out at dawn after jihadist and opposition groups attacked regime positions,” Observatory chief Rami Abdel Rahman said. The attack was led by the Al-Qaeda-linked Hurras al-Deen group and another jihadist faction — Ansar al-Deen — he said. The fighting has killed 23 regime forces and 20 opponents, including 13 jihadists, the Observatory said. Also Read – Imran calls on Pakistanis to take part in ‘Kashmir Hour’ Advertise With Us In the southeast of the bastion, eight rebels were killed trying to sneak through frontlines towards regime positions near the Abu Duhur military airport, the monitor added. Regime forces recaptured Khan Sheikhun last week, and have been massing north of the town in recent days as they prepare to push on with their assault. The town lies on a key highway running through Idlib province, and fully recapturing the artery would allow the government to reconnect Damascus to second city Aleppo. Advertise With Us Heavy regime and Russian bombardment have hit areas north of Khan Sheikhun in recent days, in the vicinity of the town of Maaret al-Noman, the next stop north on the highway. On Monday, regime and Russian airstrikes killed 12 civilians in the jihadist stronghold, the Observatory reported. The offensive comes despite a deal signed in September last year by Moscow and rebel backer Ankara to avert a full-blown assault on the Idlib region of some three million people. The presidents of both countries were set to meet in Moscow on Tuesday. Hayat Tahrir al-Sham — a group led by Syria’s former Al-Qaeda affiliate — extended its administrative control over the whole of Idlib in January, but other rebel factions remain present. A spike in bombardment since late April has killed more than 920 civilians, the Observatory says, and caused more than 400,000 people to flee their homes, according to the United Nations. The Syrian civil war has killed more than 370,000 people and displaced millions since starting in 2011 with the brutal repression of anti-government protests.
Samsung’s budget Android smartphone, Galaxy Music GT-S6010, is all set to receive the Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean update.According to reports, the company has started rolling out the update to the UK and the other countries will receive the upgrade in the coming days. Samsung Galaxy Music, which made its global debut in October last year, was launched with Android 4.0 Ice cream sandwich operating system.The new update has been released over-the-air and also via Kies app. The latest update will bring user interface improvements, Google Now support, enhanced notifications, Project Butter improvements and more to the phone. Besides this, the battery life of the handset is expected to be enhanced greater and overall performance will improve. There is no official word whether the dual-SIM version of Galaxy Music will receive the Jelly Bean update.Regarding the specifications, Samsung Galaxy comes with a 3-inch LCD touchscreen display with 240×320p resolution and is powered by an 850MHz processor. It houses 512MB RAM along with 4GB internal memory onboard which is expandable up to 32GB with a microSD card. On the connectivity front, it comes with WIFI 3G, 2G, Bluetooth 3.0 and micro USB. The device which is designed especially for music lovers hosts a dedicated music key along with a SoundAlive music player and a 3.5mm ear jack. The all-new Galaxy Music Duos has two speakers on the front, stereo FM radio with RDS, built-in FM antenna. It packs a 1,300mAh battery and a 3-megapixel camera.Samsung’s Galaxy Note 2, Galaxy Note, Galaxy S2 and Galaxy S3 are also next in line to receive Android’s latest 4.2.2 Jelly Bean OS update.
Shanina ShaikShanina Shaik Official InstagramShanina Shaik sure knows how to work the camera. But it looks like even the Victoria’s Secret Angel gets nervous about her beach body. The model took to Instagram and revealed that she had been working on her ‘summer body.’Shanina Shaik shared the sultry post and proved that she indeed is an angel. In an interview with InStyle Magazine Australia she said: “A lot of Pilates works right for my body. I like to work with [trainer] Megan Roup, she does a lot of dance cardio and Pilates-based work, using small weights and ankle weights.””I like to do a lot of infrared saunas as well, Shape House is one of my favourites, it’s just really good for water retention and inflammation.” The model also said that she did two workouts a day leading up to the show. Shanina is no stranger to hard work as is evident in the photographic evidence of her rocking body posted on Instagram from time to time. But there have been times when the model has taken a few missteps. One such misstep was her involvement in the Fyre Festival. Apparently, she was one of several supermodels who were paid to promote the disastrous Bahamas-based music festival in 2017 and was featured heavily in Netflix’s recently-documentary Fyre: The Greatest Party That Never Happened. Shanina ShaikShanina Shaik Official InstagramShanina confirmed that she had seen the Netflix exposé, admitting: ‘I cried when I watched it.’ Shanina apparently added that she would never have promoted the event if she had known about its doomed future and the backlash she would have received.The Victoria’s Secret angel seems to be bouncing back from all that controversy just like her fellow model Kendall Jenner.Shanina Shaik is a successful model who has walked the runway for the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show, which is a major gig for any model’s career. And to be able to achieve that at such a young age is definitely worthy of note. You can check out the pic here: Shanina ShaikShanina Shaik Official Instagram (shaninamshaik)
Xiaomi released the Redmi Note 7S in India on Monday, making it their third Redmi Note this year. This budget smartphone comes as a rebranded version of Redmi Note 7, which was released in China recently. The Redmi 7S starts at Rs. 10,999 and comes in three colours – Ruby Red, Onyx Black and Sapphire Blue.Redmi Note 7S retains the 48-megapixel camera from the Redmi Note 7 and looks nearly the same, barring the notch. Considering the specs, it provides good value for the money. However, Xiaomi has faced some scepticism from the public because of their recent launches. Just Rs. 1,000 apart, the Note 7S sits right between the Rs. 9,999 Redmi Note 7 and the Rs. 11,999 Redmi Note 7 Pro.Redmi Note 7S sports a glass back with the Aura design. The 6.3-inch full-HD+ (1080 x 2340 resolution) drop notch display, which is protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 5. It is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 SoC, clocking up to 2.2GHz and an Adreno 512 GPU takes care of the graphics. A large 4,000mAh battery backs up the phone and ensures a day-long charge, but real-world tests are subject to change. Its top-end model is priced at Rs. 12,999 and sports 4 gigabytes of RAM and 64GB storage capacity. The cheaper model shaves RAM to 3GB and storage to 32GB. The Xiaomi Redmi 7S has about the same specs as the Note 7. Here’s what is Xiaomi up to.Redmi India – TwitterIt has been reported that the 48-megapixel camera takes only 12-megapixel photos on Auto mode. Its potential is unlocked in the Pro mode, which has a smattering of dials and cranks to change the aperture and other variables. The front camera sits in a drop notch and features a 13-megapixel sensor with AI portrait mode support.The phone connects using a Type-C port and supports Quick Charge 4. The hybrid dual SIM/microSD slot is a neat addition. The Redmi Note 7S features a fingerprint sensor on the back, AI Face unlock and an IR blaster. A P2i splash-resistant coating means the phone can handle light rain but don’t consider dropping it in a bucket full of water. Additionally, it ships with dual channel Wi-Fi support, Bluetooth 5.0, 4G VoLTE, GPS, and an FM radio. It has a light sensor, a proximity sensor, accelerometer, gyroscope, and compass.Is it worth buying?If considering between the Redmi Note 7 and Note 7S, we would recommend saving the extra Rs. 1,000 and going for the Note 7. The Redmi Note 7 Pro is a pretty good option for those willing to shell out Rs. 13,999 for the better processors and camera. Is Redmi Note 7 the new-age Nokia 3310? Close IBTimes VideoRelated VideosMore videos Play VideoPauseMute0:02/0:25Loaded: 0%0:02Progress: 0%Stream TypeLIVE-0:23?Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedSubtitlessubtitles settings, opens subtitles settings dialogsubtitles off, selectedAudio Trackdefault, selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window. COPY LINKAD Loading …
Employees work at their desks inside IT company Tech Mahindra office building in Noida in the outskirts of New Delhi March 18, 2013. [Representational Image]Reuters fileLack of skilled digital talent could threaten up to 2 lakh jobs per year in the IT sector, aqccording to the latest Economic Survey. The report also suggested the government to address issues related to infrastructure in smaller cities and towns.”The job cuts in IT sector will be between 1.75 lakh and 2 lakh annually for next three years due to under-preparedness in adapting to newer technologies,” the survey quoted executive search firm Head Hunters India as saying, Deccan Herald reported.It added that the growth in digital technologies like cloud-based services is taking place at a faster rate due to which companies would have to learn those new technologies and undergo reskilling training.Automation puts 69 per cent jobs in India, 77 per cent jobs in China and 85 per cent jobs in Ethiopia at risk, according to a report released by the World Bank.However, the survey is not as cynical as an earlier McKinsey report, which had stated that almost half the workforce in IT firms would become “irrelevant” in the next 3-4 years. The report had added that the big challenge ahead for the IT industry would be to reskill 50-60 percent of the workforce as there would be considerable shift in technologies.The Economic Survey, which has been authored by Chief Economic Adviser Arvind Subramanian, said that some of the obstacles in developing digital skill talent in tier II and III cities included under-developed infrastructure. The survey also called for the easing of restrictions on startups to enable better kill development.Several firms in India have set up programs to reskill not just their existing employees but also freshers. Nasscom said that IT companies have added about 1.7 lakh jobs in the 2016-17 period. They are expected to hire about 1.5 lakh employees this year.The top five IT companies hired around 50,000 people in the same period, the survey quoted Nasscom as saying. It had also stated earlier that the world was moving towards automation and digital services and employees will have to “re-skill or perish.”Where and how does an IT professional reskill? Re-skilling seems to be the only way. [Representational Image]ReutersReskilling IT professionals through online courses seems to be the solution. IT giant Infosys, which is believed to be hiring freshers through campus placements, is helping its employees get acquainted with the industry and its current trends through online courses.The freshers are asked to pick a paid online course on Udacity, an online education provider, as part of their re-skilling programme. After the completion of the course, they are sent for training to Infosys’ Mysore facility.The top five Indian IT firms — TCS, Infosys, Wipro, HCL Technologies and Tech Mahindra — are known to take up re-skilling exercises on a regular basis.”The need to retrain the workforce is further amplified with the automation of the old work procesess. Hence, companies need new skills. In addition to different technical skills digital also requires employees to acquire new soft skills. All this is being addressed by investing in training in design thinking and agile development methodologies,” Peter Bendor-Samuel, founder and chief executive officer of Everest Group, a global outsourcing advisory, told Business Standard.”If you are not skilling yourself, you are obsolete. You are running a race that is not there,” said Y Shekar, co-promoter, Skillablers Technologies Private Limited.Online education providers are also specifically designing courses to re-skill IT professionals. For instance, online training company Simplilearn is offering scholarships called “Bounce Back,” which lets the IT employees take up online courses and programmes to keep up with the current trends and the latest technology.
LINDSEY PARNABY/AFP/Getty ImagesThe three-member Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC), appointed by the BCCI to select the next coach for the Indian team, has recommended continuation of Ravi Shastri in his position as the head coach of the side. The committee, which consisted of former captain Kapil Dev and Shantha Rangaswamy along with former coach Anshuman Gaikwad, conducted interviews with the five candidates that were left in the fray and eventually favoured the incumbent candidate. Shastri was appointed the coach of the team in mid-2017 after Anil Kumble stepped down from his position. The tenure of the former India all-rounder was supposed to end with the 2019 World Cup but he, along with the other support staff members, were given a 45-day extension. India’s captain in all three formats, Virat Kohli, had publicly backed Shastri at the press conference before the team embarked on the tour of West Indies. Other contenders who were shortlisted for the role included former Afghanistan coach Lalchand Rajput, former coach of West Indies Phil Simmons, former coach of Sri Lanka Tom Moody, etc. The decision of the committee was announced by Kapil Dev at a press conference.
A boy was killed as a thunderbolt hit him in Katiadi upazila of Kishoreganj on Tuesday. The deceased was Tanjil Hossain, 15, son of Lotu Mia of Pachlipara village under Korgaon union in Katiadi.Chairman of Korgaon union parishad Sharafat Loskar Parvez said Tanjil was hit by a lightning strike while he was going to fishing to a nearby water body around 11:00am.Locals rushed Tanjil to Bagolpur Jahurul Islam Medical College and Hospital where on-duty physicians declared him dead.
A man was killed in a road accident in Mirshani area on Dhaka-Chittagong highway in Chauddagram on Sunday.The deceased was identified as Mohiuddin, son of Amzad Hossian, hailing from Adabar area in Dhaka.Mohammad Rahmat Ullah, additional superintendent of highway police (Comilla circle), said a Chittagong-bound bus of Hanif Paribahan hit a road island in the area in the morning and then overturned, leaving one of its passengers dead on the spot and six others injured.On information, police recovered the body and sent the injured to Comilla Medical College Hospital, he added.
Representatives of BGB and BSF at border coordination conference in Indian capital New Delhi on Monday. Photo: BSS.A director general (DG)-level conference of BGB-BSF began Monday in Indian capital New Delhi, which is scheduled to go on till 8 September, reports BSS.Curtain of the conference was raised at 4:00pm (Indian time) at Chawla Camp of the Border Security Force (BSF) in New Delhi.Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) DG Md Shafeenul Islam is leading a 14-member Bangladesh delegation, including representatives from prime minister’s office, ministry of home affairs and ministry of foreign affairs at the conference.BSF DG KK Sharma, is leading a 20-member Indian delegation including BSF senior officials, inspector general of different BSF frontiers, representatives from Indian home and foreign ministries.The conference agendas include incidents of shooting at unarmed Bangladeshi civilians along the border of two brotherly nations, smuggling of arms, ammunition, drugs, detention of Bangladeshis, infiltration into Bangladesh, construction of audience gallery on both sides of the border to witness joint retreat ceremony, increasing border of crime free zone, protection of banks of rivers along the border and taking necessary steps to further increase mutual trust between the two frontier forces.The BGB chief, during the visit, will pay courtesy calls on Indian home minister and secretary. A joint record of discussions (JRD) will be penned on 7 September.Meanwhile, a seven-member delegation of Shimanto Poribar Kalyan Samity (SPKS) headed by its chairperson Shoma Islam also visiting India to further strengthen existing friendship between the two forces.The SPKS delegation will hold meeting with delegation from BSF Wives Welfare Association (BWWA) on issues related to mutual interests and will visit different activities.
Former British prime minister Tony Blair said Monday he was plunging back into domestic politics in order to fight against Brexit.Blair, who led the Labour Party from 1994 to 2007, will not be standing in the June 8 general election.But he said he wanted to build a political movement to shape the policy debate as Britain starts its negotiations to leave the European Union.Blair, 63, who was prime minister for a decade from 1997 and whose legacy has been defined by the Iraq war, said he knew he would face intense criticism for doing so.But the ardent Europhile, who has largely been working on Middle East and African issues since leaving office, still wanted to get his “hands dirty” and re-enter the fray, saying voters should have the chance to change their mind once the final EU exit deal becomes clear.”This Brexit thing has given me a direct motivation to get more involved in the politics,” he told the Daily Mirror newspaper.”You need to get your hands dirty and I will.”I know the moment I stick my head out the door I’ll get a bucket of wotsit poured all over me, but I really do feel passionate about this.”I don’t want to be in the situation where we pass through this moment of history and I hadn’t said anything because that would mean I didn’t care about this country. I do.”I am not sure I can turn something into a political movement but I think there is a body of ideas out there people would support.”He said his push was not about defying the vote to leave the European Union.He said leaving the European single market and seeking a free trade agreement, as is Conservative Prime Minister Theresa May’s intention, would be “relegating ourselves” from the top order.Opinion polls put the Conservatives far ahead of Labour, a few weeks out from the general election.Blair, who won three straight general elections as Labour leader, was from the most centrist strain of the party, while current leader Jeremy Corbyn is from its strident leftist wing that reviles Blairite politics.”Unless you are providing answers for the future you are not going to win,” Blair warned.
Police guard a street in the Finsbury Park area of north London where a vehichle hit pedestrians on June 19, 2017. AFPSeveral people were injured in north London early on Monday when a van rammed into worshippers leaving a mosque, witnesses said, in what British police described as a “major incident”.The Muslim Council of Britain said the vehicle hit people as they were leaving the Finsbury Park Mosque, one of Britain’s largest. The attack comes during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, when people attend prayers at night.Two worshippers were feared killed, according to the Sun newspaper, but there was no immediate confirmation of this.Prime Minister Theresa May said her thoughts were with those injured in “this terrible incident”. The leader of the opposition Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn, said he was “totally shocked”.Police said they were called just after 12:20 a.m. (2320 GMT Sunday) to reports of a collision on Seven Sisters Road, which runs through the Finsbury Park area of the city. They said there were a number of casualties and one person had been arrested.”From the window, I started hearing a lot of yelling and screeching, a lot of chaos outside. … Everybody was shouting: ‘A van’s hit people, a van’s hit people’,” one woman who lives opposite the scene told the BBC.”There was this white van stopped outside Finsbury Park mosque that seemed to have hit people who were coming out after prayers had finished. I didn’t see the attacker himself, although he seems to have been arrested, but I did see the van.”A man leapt out of the van and stabbed at least one person, the Evening Standard newspaper reported, citing witnesses. Reuters could not immediately confirm that report.The incident comes just over two weeks after three Islamist militants drove into pedestrians on London Bridge and stabbed people at nearby restaurants and bars, killing eight. .It also comes at a time of political turmoil, as Prime Minister May plunges into divorce talks with the European Union weakened by the loss of her parliamentary majority in a June 8 election.She has faced heavy criticism for her response to a fire in a London tower block on Wednesday which killed at least 58 people, and for her record on security after a series of attacks blamed on Islamist militants in recent months.One witness told CNN it was clear that the attacker at Finsbury Park had deliberately targeted Muslims.”He tried to kill a lot of people so obviously it’s a terrorist attack. He targeted Muslims this time,” the witness, identified only as Rayan, said.Other witnesses told Sky television that the van had hit at least 10 people.Counter-terrorism police have joined regular police officers looking into the incident, the Guardian newspaper reported.’Deliberately swerved’Miqdaad Versi, assistant secretary general of the Muslim Council of Britain, said the van had deliberately swerved into a group of people who were helping a man who was ill and had fallen to the ground.”A number of passers-by, or friends, or people who had come by from the mosque, were gathering around him to help take him to his family, take him to his house,” Versi told Reuters.”At that moment in time, basically a van swerved into them deliberately,” he said, citing a witness at the scene.He said the driver had run out of the van but a group of people caught him and held him until police arrived.A Reuters witness saw at least one person being loaded into an ambulance. Armed police, ambulances and the fire service were in attendance.Britain has been hit by a series of attacks in recent months, including the van-and-knife attack on London Bridge on June 3.On March 22, a man drove a rented car into pedestrians on Westminster Bridge in London and stabbed a policeman to death before being shot dead. His attack killed five people.On May 22, a suicide bomber killed 22 people at a concert by American pop singer Ariana Grande in Manchester in northern England.The attacks were a factor in campaigning ahead of the June 8 election, with Prime Minister May criticised for overseeing a drop of 20,000 in the number of police officers in England and Wales as interior minister from 2010 to 2016.She was also criticised for keeping her distance from angry residents during her visit to the charred remains of the 24-storey Grenfell Tower, and said on Saturday the response to the fire disaster had been “not good enough”.The Finsbury Park Mosque gained notoriety more than a decade ago for sermons by radical cleric Abu Hamza al-Masri, who was sentenced to life in a U.S. prison in January 2015 for his conviction on terrorism-related charges.A new board of trustees and management took over in February 2005, a year after Abu Hamza was arrested by British police, since when attendance has greatly increased among worshippers from various communities, according to the mosque’s website.
RohingyaThailand faced mounting calls on Thursday to stop pushing migrants back out to sea amid fears an exodus of Rohingya Muslims from Myanmar could spark a new wave of boatpeople.Fighting in Myanmar’s northern Rakhine state has forced about half a million Rohingya to seek refuge in neighbouring Bangladesh since August, prompting concerns they could be targeted by people smugglers and human traffickers.Rohingya Muslims, who are denied citizenship in Buddhist-majority Myanmar, have been fleeing strife for decades.Neighbouring Thailand was a popular transit route by boat and land until a 2015 Thai police crackdown led to ships full of migrants being abandoned at sea.“Thailand urgently needs to set a regional example by adopting humane refugee policies,” said Audrey Gaughran from Amnesty International as the group released a report accusing Thai authorities of failing to protect refugees.“Instead of callously repelling people fleeing unimaginable horrors, the Thai government should ensure safe passage for those seeking international protection in Thailand,” said the global issues director.Campaigners say the Rohingya are likely to start travelling after the monsoon in late November when the water is calmer.Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha said last month his government is “preparing to receive” people fleeing Myanmar and send them back “when they are ready”.But the Internal Security Operations Command (ISOC), a military unit dealing with national security, recently told local media it would continue to prevent refugees from entering Thailand. The ISOC did not reply to a request for comment.In an open letter this week, campaign group Fortify Rights urged Thailand to abandon its “push back” policy.“Thailand’s leaders should be doing all they can to stem the violence in Myanmar and prepare to provide protection to refugees fleeing the attacks,” executive director Amy Smith said.Thailand does not recognise the status of any refugees or recognise the Rohingya as legitimate migrant workers.