Eyes to the island: Car Nicobar’s victory over hyperendemic trachoma

first_img The Andaman and Nicobar Islands endure severe inadequacies in intra-island transport, telecom, electricity, potable water and garbage disposal. Healthcare infrastructure is far from perfect. Nevertheless, a measure of confidence is inspired by the bustling sprawl of the G.B. Pant Medical College and Hospital in Port Blair, the referral medical institution for all the islands. This is where Dr. Shah is Deputy Director-Ophthalmology. The airy and clean B.J.R. Hospital in Car Nicobar, which she visits regularly, is one of two such district-level facilities.Dr. Shah had to tenaciously follow up for over two years to mobilise support for the ‘Trachoma Rapid Assessment (TRA) in Nicobar 2010’ survey by the All India Institute of Medical Sciences’ (AIIMS), Dr. R. P. Centre for Ophthalmic Sciences (RPCOS), New Delhi, and the Directorate of Health Services (DHS), Port Blair, with backing from the NPCB, Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS), Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. “Islands are easily forgotten,” she says matter-of-factly.In a far cornerThe Nicobar archipelago is separated from the Andaman cluster by the Ten Degree Channel, a minor international shipping route named so for its latitude north of the equator. The Indian Ocean tsunami arrived here at 7 a.m., roughly 40 minutes after the earthquake off the coast of Sumatra, and two hours before it reached the subcontinent’s southeastern coast. Car Nicobar, part of the Nicobar and Andaman Tribal Reserve Area and ringed by 51 km of silvery beaches, is approximately 1,450 km from mainland India.In Car Nicobar, the disused iron bridge in Kimious stands as forlorn evidence of the devastation. As a percentage of the total population, in India, the Nicobar Islands lost the most lives in the tsunami. The villages of Malaka and Kakana had the highest casualties. Mus was cut off by a subsidence of land and the pooling of backwater in several places. Tribespeople from Sawai, Arong and Teatop were pushed into the forests at the centre of the island, where they survived for a week without food or water before evacuation. They were moved out of overcrowded relief camps in Port Blair and elsewhere in the islands and resettled in Car Nicobar nearly two years after the tsunami. Dr. Shah’s surgical outreach began after their return.Two teams investigated Dr. Shah’s concerns by examining 7,277 inhabitants of 10 clusters selected for the highest risk of developing trachoma. The TRA found a very active trachoma infection rate of 50.8% in children aged 1-9 years, with the proportion of infected children in the surveyed villages ranging from 37.5% to 73%.“We were shocked and surprised by the magnitude of the trachoma burden in Car Nicobar,” says Dr. Praveen Vashist, Professor and Head, Community Ophthalmology Department, RPCOS, AIIMS, who made four trips to the island over the course of the project. “I did not realise that the location was so difficult to reach. An MDA covering an entire tribal population in a remote location was a first for India. It was a different experience for us. Active trachoma infections in children occur without any symptoms. If they are not treated, they lead to irreversible blindness in adulthood. We found that, due to the tsunami, there were no children under the age of six in Kimious village.”Trachoma occurs upon repeated infections from the bacterium Chlamydia trachomatis. It thrives in congested living conditions among populations that have limited access to water and healthcare. It is transmitted by flies, and aided by poor personal hygiene and fomites (shared objects such as towels, utensils and bedding, which are likely to carry the infection). The 2010 TRA also notes, “Co-habitation of Nicobari people with animals like pigs, hens, goats, dogs, cats etc. could be a contributory risk factor.”Going the distanceDoctors travelled for the MDA by helicopters with few seats. Services were often called off in uncertain weather. There is no scheduled ferry to Car Nicobar and administrative personnel posted here face frequent shortages in the supply of basic groceries, including vegetables, which come from Port Blair. Dosage had to be measured individually (20 mg per kilo of body weight). Dispersed neighbourhoods were covered simultaneously to prevent the recurrence of infections. It was tedious and tiring work.Dr. Vashist says: “The local team led by Dr. Shah was exceptional. Our work was made easier by the friendly Nicobarese people. We only had to explain to the chiefs, and the villagers would follow the instructions.” Each of the 15 villages in Car Nicobar, distributed over 127 sq. km, elects a ‘Captain’ for a five-year term. Blair is the head of their council for his lifetime. The operation to treat trachoma is quick and is performed under local anaesthesia as a day-case procedure. Patients can get back to work very quickly (a point emphasised before surgery, since lost working time is a major concern for them). The risk of wound infection is relatively low because of the good blood supply of the eyelid and therefore surgery can be performed in patients’ own villages.The medical team set up slide shows on the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) SAFE (Surgery for trichiasis, Antibiotics for infections, Facial cleanliness, and Environmental improvement) guidelines in schools and community halls, and at venues near churches, such as the rebuilt chapel in Mus, a pilgrimage site that has the grave of Bishop John Richardson, after whom the district hospital in Car Nicobar is named.The late Padma Bhushan awardee was the first Nicobarese to be ordained an Anglican priest. He’s credited with establishing the village councils and authoring a primer on the Car language, into which he also translated the Bible. Blair has Bishop Richardson’s laminated photo in his living room.“Public health initiatives cannot succeed without the support of local communities,” says Dr. Promila Gupta, Deputy Director General, NPCB, adding that blindness comes with considerable economic costs in terms of livelihoods lost.Blind curveWell over half a century ago, from 1959 to 1963, trachoma was a major public health problem in three States — Punjab (79.1% occurrence), Rajasthan (74.2%) and Uttar Pradesh (68.1%) — show data from NPCB. The National Programme for Control of Blindness was launched in 1976. The flagship Central government initiative emanated from what was originally the Trachoma Control Programme of 1963. It no longer lists the disease as among the leading causes of blindness in India, which today are cataract (62.6%) and refractive error (19.70%). The trachoma outbreak in Car Nicobar has been the only recent exception.“On the days we had asked everyone in a village to be present, we would sometimes work till 9 in the night,” says Yashumeri, 34, a cheerful staff nurse at the B.J.R. Hospital. Team members recall being welcomed with sweet tender coconut water everywhere they went. The Nicobarese call themselves holchu (friend), although the term can be used pejoratively by the islands’ settlers.Yashumeri’s familiarity with the area came in handy when refrigerators had to be commandeered to maintain the tricky cold chain for liquid azithromycin, a broad-spectrum antibiotic that had to be transported from mainland India to Car Nicobar. A tablet substitute was eventually found for the second round of the MDA programme in 2011.Meticulously maintained registers list absentee and sick residents (for follow-ups), pregnant women (who were not included), and deaths. “If someone missed a dosage, we would return to make sure they took it,” says John James, 44, the first Nicobarese ophthalmic assistant on the island.“I was so nervous when a prevalence survey was conducted in 2013, after the third round of MDA,” admits Dr. Shah, who was hugely relieved to find that the active trachoma infection in children was down to 6.8% from the 50.8% that it was in 2010. This was, however, still above the 5% allowed by the WHO. Meanwhile, patients who had got their vision back and were free from pain began asking for eye drops. They took delight in how big their eyes suddenly appeared. ICE (information, communication, education) outreach and eyelid correction surgeries continue even now.Trachoma is “hyperendemic in many of the poorest and most rural areas of 41 countries of Africa, Central and South America, Asia, Australia and the Middle East,” says the WHO, which has been pushing the GET 2020 (Global Elimination of Trachoma by 2020) alliance since 1996. India is a partner. When Car Nicobar was again assessed in February 2017, trachoma prevalence was down to 1.6%.India moved to apply for ‘trachoma-free’ status over a meeting with WHO officials on January 11, 2018, after the release of the National Trachoma Prevalence Survey 2014-17 by Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare J. P. Nadda in Delhi on December 8, 2017. The survey covered 10 districts from seven States and Union Territories, among them East Delhi, Bikaner, Banaskantha and Car Nicobar. It shows that the overall prevalence of active infection among children below nine years is only 0.7%. “We expect to meet the 2020 target,” Dr. Vashist says.Eye on the futureTime moves differently on Car Nicobar. The roar of the ocean is audible as a small group of men and women work silently. They are preparing the soil outside an (also prefabricated) elpanam or ‘death house’, next to a modest cemetery with a handful of crosses on cement platforms. The community gets involved in funerary tasks as it does with wedding festivities and shared parenting, the latter a custom known as haruk, which ensures that no child is orphaned. Access to Car Nicobar is highly restricted under the Andaman and Nicobar (Protection of Aboriginal Tribes) Regulation, 1956, and provides some protection to indigenous ways of life.The 2004 tsunami was not the first to devastate the islands: patchy records exist for major earthquakes in 1847, 1881 and 1941, and another tsunami that originated in Sumatra in 1861. But the last one has altered life here.The Central government adopted a one-size-fits-all rehabilitation policy to build nearly 10,000 twin (instead of freestanding) homes across 11 islands. Reinforced cement concrete, aero-con blocks and corrugated galvanised iron sheets imported by large contractors from mainland India at an average cost of ₹10 lakh per unit replaced locally sourced, natural building materials. Not enough thought was given to subsistence-specific locations, gender-sensitive land rights, natural ventilation suited to the tropical weather, and the ability to effect repairs with local materials.On the white-sands Malaka beach, named for the strategic strait near Aceh in Indonesia, a lush jungle has already claimed what used to be, before the tsunami, beachfront residential quarters for Indian Air Force officers. The island is no longer a family station for them. Nicobarese leader Edward Kutchat, it is said, granted land for this airbase in exchange for the coat that Jawaharlal Nehru was wearing when they met sometime in the early 1960s.The sun rises as early as quarter past five even on a January morning, and lights up the pristine coastline. The scattered debris of plastic garbage washed up by the waves is not immediately obvious, quite like its environmental implications. Even the twinkle in Aberdeen Blair’s eyes will only hint at them. Dr. Shah, who appreciates his gentle way of speaking, never fails to visit the elder on her trips to the island.Blair’s ‘Prototype twin unit designed and constructed by Central Public Works Department’ is one of the 3,941 ‘permanent shelters’ allotted to Car Nicobar in 2006. Rendered frail by age, Blair is mostly confined indoors these days. He credits the doctors at B.J.R. Hospital with treating a fracture of the tibia and saving his life when he had a stroke, some years after his close call with trachoma and blindness. “Oh, I am very lucky,” he adds, his hand making a sweeping gesture that included his sofa, TV, Nicobarese Bible, and polite grandson serving tea in ceramic cups. “At least I have a place to live, you see?” The first woman ophthalmologist in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Dr. Anita Shah, led a Mass Drug Administration project in Car Nicobar following the discovery of trachoma on the island.  | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement center_img A narrow road winds past dense vegetation, idyllic beaches and rain-soaked villages glistening in sunshine. Along the way, profusely blooming pinwheelflowers frame prefab homes built on stilts in a likeness of their lost predecessors, the prized patis, which were handwoven with palm leaves, rattan and lalang grass.Goats bleat, pigs grunt and hens squawk around the dwellings that were once closer to the shore but were flattened, like nearly everything else here, on December 26, 2004. Local memory divides Car Nicobar’s long and sometimes violent history more simply now: before and after the tsunami.Aberdeen Blair (89), chief of the Car Nicobar Tribal Council, remembers more. “When I was small, we had no money, sugar or rice. We only had coconuts. My parents did not wear clothes like this,” he says, pointing to his lungi and T-shirt. Blair smiles as easily and often as he shifts between Nicobari, Hindi and English, and goes on to add, “I have jeans, too. Everything has changed.” The laminated certificates and photographs on the wall behind him document the highlights of such a lifetime.Nicobar is India’s southernmost district. Car Nicobar is its northernmost island and headquarters. The Nicobarese are the largest (numbering 27,186 in the 2011 Census), most urbanised, and most influential among the six better-known tribes of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Their indigenous peers survive tenuously in the hundreds (Jarawas and Shompen) and tens (Great Andamanese, Onge and Sentinelese).Preventable blindnessOther numbers appear in fading paint on the walls of the houses here. ‘MDA’, it says, followed by a date, for three consecutive years — 2010, 2011 and 2012. Mass Drug Administration is the medical response to a public health concern that entails treating the entire population of a specified area with a prescribed dosage of pharmaceuticals.The first woman ophthalmologist in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Dr. Anita Shah (55), led such a project in Car Nicobar following the discovery of a hyperendemic and active infection of trachoma on the island. Trachoma is a contagious and preventable cause of blindness, rarely seen in India since the 1950s and 1960s. Blair and his 21-member tu-het (extended matrilineal family units of up to 100 people) were among the over 1,500 recipients of the MDA programme in the village of Sawai (Öt-ka-sip in Nicobarese), west of the island.“When I held eye camps in 2008, I noticed a steady stream of trachomatous trichiasis [sight-threatening conjunctival scarring, for which Blair was later treated] cases in Car Nicobar. My generation of ophthalmologists has hardly ever seen trachoma, let alone treat it. Yet I kept meeting young people in their twenties who had their lashes growing inward and eyelids fused. They lived in great pain, in darkened homes because they couldn’t bear sunlight. I am a surgeon, not a community medicine specialist, but I knew a survey had to be taken up immediately,” says Dr. Shah, Joint Secretary in the National Programme for Control of Blindness (NPCB) since 2008. She is a diminutive woman in the habit of providing precise instructions to her team, essential given the problems her location poses.last_img read more

Restrictions in Srinagar as trade bodies call for strike against NIA summon to Mirwaiz

first_imgSrinagar – The authorities on Sunday imposed restrictions in parts of the city as a precautionary measure to maintain law and order in view of a strike called by various trade bodies against the NIA summon to moderate Hurriyat Conference chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq.Restrictions under Section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPc) were imposed in five police station areas in the downtown area, also known as the old city, officials said. They said the curbs were imposed in the police station areas of Nowhatta, Khanyar, Rainawari, MR Gunj and Safakadal.Various trade bodies in the city on Saturday had called for a two-day shutdown in downtown Srinagar from Sunday after the NIA issued summons to Mirwaiz and Naseem Geelani, son of hardline Hurriyat Conference chairman Syed Ali Shah Geelani, for questioning in Delhi in a terror financing case.Shops and other business establishments in the area remained shut, the officials added.last_img read more

Kim Kardashian, husband leave for honeymoon

first_imgThe 30-year-old socialite Kim Kardashian married Kris Humphries, 26, in Montecito, California.The couple looked casual and sported sunglasses as they walked through Los Angeles Airport with their arms around each other for their trip to Europe reported sources.The exact destination of the honeymoon isn’t known, but they won’t be away long as Kardashian is due to return to New York later in the week to film the second season of Kim and Kourtney Take New York. The reality TV star also rubbished rumours about her second wedding bash in New York.”There are rumors of a second wedding in NY. This is not true!!,” Kardashian wrote on Twitter.last_img read more

Champions League: Barcelona have options for Gladbach even without Lionel Messi

first_imgBarcelona will travel to Borussia Moenchengladbach for their Champions League match on Wednesday without Lionel Messi but the Spaniards have enough options and firepower to plug the gap left by the Argentine, coach Luis Enrique said.Messi has been sidelined for three weeks with a groin injury but Barca were unaffected by their leader’s absence on Saturday, firing five goals past Sporting Gijon in a show of force ahead of their second Group C match.Their opening game in Europe was even more impressive as the Spaniards crushed Celtic 7-0 to move top of the standings on goal difference ahead of Manchester City, led by their former coach Pep Guardiola.Barcelona have scored 18 goals in four games since losing 2-1 at home to Alaves on Sept. 10, with Neymar and Luis Suarez in fine form.”I have different kinds of players and that gives me a lot of options,” Luis Enrique said. “Depending on who we are playing and the players I have available, I will pick the ones that I think are right for the situation.”To lose Messi means that football loses. With Messi we are stronger, but we will continue being strong,” he said.He rested several players on Saturday, including Ivan Rakitic, Andres Iniesta, Jordi Alba and Javier Mascherano.For Barca keeper Marc Andre ter Stegen it will be an emotional return to the club he left in 2014.”I had a fantastic time there and played for the club my entire career apart for the last two years,” Ter Stegen said.advertisement”Borussia are my old love and that will remain so but I identify with Barca 100 percent and on the pitch there is only one club for me.”They will need that focus if they are to get maximum points in Germany and snap Gladbach’s 11-match winning streak at home in all competitions following their 2-0 victory over Ingolstadt on Saturday.Coach Andre Schubert will have Raffael back, the Brazilian having recovered from an adductor injury.Fit-again creative midfielder Mahmoud Dahoud is also expected to be in the squad after playing against Ingolstadt, as Gladbach look to bounce back from their opening 4-0 defeat at City.”We are happy to be playing against one of the world’s best teams,” said defender Oscar Wendt. “And it is even better that they are coming to us on Wednesday.””But we are no fans of Barcelona and do not want to play a supporting role on the night. We want to give it all we have and make something special out of it.”last_img read more

Elatec: universal reader that’s smaller than a credit card

first_imgElatec presents a new addition to its TWN4 multi-technology RFID reader product family. The TWN4 Slim is a very flat reader, smaller than a credit card. It supports all common RFID technologies as well as smartphone ident solutions with NFC and BLE. The main application for the TWN4 Slim is integration into devices, particularly ones in the field of secure printing. It is also suitable for many other ID solutions if a highly compact reader is required for integration. It also impresses as a stand-alone device.Due to its sleek, elegant design, the TWN4 Slim is perfect for many application cases: This extremely small reader can, for example, be perfectly integrated into a printer to provide users with a powerful secure printing solution. The TWN4 Slim measures only 65.5 x 45.5 mm and is therefore smaller than a credit card. It’s also only four millimeters thick. Thanks to its compact design, the product can very easily be applied in other industrial sectors. It features integrated antennas for HF, LF, and Bluetooth Low Energy as well as a Micro USB interface. An RGB LED and a tone generator create feedback for the authentication process. This small device also places a big emphasis on service and maintenance: Firmware updates can be conveniently executed via the USB interface. Elatec offers various USB cable sets and adapters for integration. Along with that, a SAM slot is provided for applications with enhanced security requirements.Manufacturers that want to implement an RFID authentication solution in their product with the help of the TWN4 Slim will not only benefit from the reader’s extraordinarily compact design, but also from its flexibility with regard to the customer’s desired solution. Using the Elatec TWN4 tool, customers can thoroughly configure the TWN4 Slim or even create their own applications in the reader. Since the TWN4 Slim covers all common RFID technologies in the frequency ranges 125 kHz as well as 13.56 MHz, no different device versions need to be maintained. Supporting NFC and BLE means that even mobile phones can be used in addition to RFID transponders.Share this:TwitterFacebookLinkedInMoreRedditTumblrPinterestWhatsAppSkypePocketTelegram Tags: Chips & Components Continue Reading Previous Portwell launches three more members to Kuber seriesNext Optimizing software for your DSP applicationlast_img read more

Blackmon to enter rehab, stands to lose $10 million

first_imgPhoto Attribution: USATSIPhoto Attribution: USATSIAccording to NFL.com Justin Blackmon will enter rehab to “take steps to solve his issues.”“With Justin Blackmon suspended indefinitely without pay, the Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver is expected to seek help.Blackmon will enter a rehab facility after violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy, ESPN reported Sunday. It lines up with what NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport noted last week about the receiver planning to take steps to solve his issues.It’s unclear if Blackmon remains in Jacksonville’s long-term plans, but the former first-round pick is eligible to apply for league reinstatement prior to the start of next season.”If you’ve followed this story at all, you know that’s a good thing. Three incidents in two years (and four in four years) is not the pattern of a one-off abuser.He also stands to lose lots and lots of money if he’s cut. Here’s a look:2013 — $2.7 million lost (guaranteed)2014-15 — $8.0 million lost (if he’s cut)Read this by Jason Fitzgerald of Over the Cap — it’s an interesting look at just how Jacksonville could save more than $8 million by cutting ties with Blackmon for the remainder of his career.There are dozens of other Oklahoma State football players I would have guessed this situation upon before I would have guessed Justin Blackmon. It’s sad, really. I think we forget that these dudes are dudes and not just mercenaries. They have the same struggles we have, albeit in a much more public forum.Blackmon will have another chance (at least one more) to get it together, something a player (or person) of lesser talent might not be afforded.I hope he takes advantage of it.If you’re looking for the comments section, it has moved to our forum, The Chamber. You can go there to comment and holler about these articles, specifically in these threads. You can register for a free account right here and will need one to comment.If you’re wondering why we decided to do this, we wrote about that here. Thank you and cheers!last_img read more

US Open: Johanna Konta and Andy Murray prepare in contrasting moods

first_imgLife for Johanna Konta before the US Open, which begins on Monday, is as serene and full of hope as Andy Murray’s is of lingering pain and uncertainty, although Friday’s draw was kind to both of Britain’s best players. Maria Sharapova to face No2 seed Simona Halep in US Open first round “People forget that she has made the fourth round or better at every slam and she just came off the back of winning Washington. In three weeks I hadn’t played a match, so I knew it wasn’t going to be easy. I felt quite happy with how I played.“In the three matches I played in Cincinnati [losing to Simona Halep in the semi-finals] I got better with each match. I could have won both events but it didn’t happen. But it doesn’t mean that I feel bad about it. I feel pretty good with where I’m at right now.”Konta’s rivalry with Halep, who fell to pieces in the Cincinnati final against the Wimbledon champion Garbiñe Muguruza – and has drawn Maria Sharapova in the first round here – is developing into something special. They could meet in the quarter-finals.“We definitely match up well on court,” the Briton said. “You’ll always have that on tour: certain game styles match up better than others. Simona’s the kind of player who makes a lot of balls, who moves the ball around the court and builds points very well. Her game is very inviting for, I guess, showman tennis, because the points develop.”While Murray has been agonising in every way possible, Konta has been enjoying herself away from the circuit. A year ago here she collapsed from heat exhaustion. Since Wimbledon she has turned her mind to music, specifically U2, whom she met in Dublin after attending to fitness and a revamped diet on a trip to Liverpool and Manchester.“I got to meet Bono at the end, which was amazing,” she said, smiling. “When I was going to meet them, I was like: ‘Oh, are you sure? I feel like they are probably being forced to meet me.’ It was so nice because Bono kissed my hand and said he’s so happy that I’m there, and The Edge as well: ‘We are so happy you are here, you did so well.’ I was, like: ‘Oh my goodness, they know my name.’ It was one of those moments.”There will be more of the same if she establishes herself among the elite elbowing their way towards the pinnacle vacated by the absent Serena Williams. Eight players in the women’s draw have a chance of finishing the fortnight as No1 in the world, an unprecedented mathematical oddity. That position is currently held by the Czech Karolina Pliskova. How Murray would love to be in with a shout of regaining the top spot he has surrendered to Rafael Nadal after 41 weeks.A sliver of good news for the Scot: Nadal and Roger Federer, who have never played each other here, are scheduled to meet in the semi-finals, while Murray can work his way through a quarter of the draw containing David Ferrer, Lucas Pouilly and two more Americans in Jared Donaldson and Steve Johnson. He will be disappointed if he does not hobble into the second week. The Recap: sign up for the best of the Guardian’s sport coverage Share on Pinterest Read more US Open Tennis 2017 Share on Facebook Since you’re here… Support The Guardian news Tennis Share via Email Konta and Murray enter the final major of the season in contrasting moods and circumstances that may yet play out to a script that has been written in pencil rather than indelible ink since Wimbledon.Murray, beaten by Sam Querrey in the quarter-finals at his home tournament, has not played since, nursing a hip injury that, at worst, could signal the early signs of arthritis (he was still limping slightly in practice this week), while Konta, denied an historic appearance in the final at the All England Club by an inspired Venus Williams, has regrouped to her satisfaction – if not that of Chris Evert, who has described her preparation for Flushing Meadows as “disappointing”.Murray can relax a little with the prospect of an undemanding first fixture in an easy section of the men’s draw against Tennys Sandgren – a young American of Swedish descent – and Konta, too, starts her campaign with reduced pressure, against the 24-year-old Russian Aleksandra Krunic, ranked 77 in the world.The seventh seed, relaxed and in rude health despite unsubstantiated rumours she came away from Wimbledon carrying an injury, looked surprised when Evert’s remarks were relayed to her over breakfast at one of Manhattan’s finest hotels on Friday morning.Konta has played more matches this year than last, going deeper in the big events, although she has played only four matches between the third and fourth majors of the schedule, as opposed to 14 in 2016.“I think I did pretty well in Australia,” Konta said. “I like to think I did pretty well at Wimbledon and that I will do well at some point at the French Open. I feel like I’m improving in every slam that I’m playing – maybe not results-wise but I do think each year I am getting better. I think I made the most of my build-up here. My first match after Wimbledon [in Toronto] I played against [Ekaterina] Makarova, whom I have played a lot of good matches with.center_img Johanna Konta Share on WhatsApp US sports Share on LinkedIn … we have a small favour to ask. More people, like you, are reading and supporting the Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism than ever before. And unlike many news organisations, we made the choice to keep our reporting open for all, regardless of where they live or what they can afford to pay.The Guardian will engage with the most critical issues of our time – from the escalating climate catastrophe to widespread inequality to the influence of big tech on our lives. At a time when factual information is a necessity, we believe that each of us, around the world, deserves access to accurate reporting with integrity at its heart.Our editorial independence means we set our own agenda and voice our own opinions. Guardian journalism is free from commercial and political bias and not influenced by billionaire owners or shareholders. This means we can give a voice to those less heard, explore where others turn away, and rigorously challenge those in power.We hope you will consider supporting us today. We need your support to keep delivering quality journalism that’s open and independent. Every reader contribution, however big or small, is so valuable. Support The Guardian from as little as $1 – and it only takes a minute. Thank you. Share on Twitter US Open tennis Topics Read more Reuse this content Share on Messenger Andy Murraylast_img read more

2011 Tasmania Club Championships and Junior State Cup

first_imgTouch Football Tasmania has introduced a new tournament to its state program in 2011, with the Club Championships to be held on Saturday, 19 November at Prospect Park, Launceston. The Club Championships is a new initiative designed to increase participation and create an opportunity for both a high standard of competition, as well as social participation. The event will see teams compete across three divisions – Men’s division one, Women’s Open and Men’s division two. Sunday will see the 2011 Junior State Cup take place again at Prospect Park, with six divisions competing in the event. Teams at the Junior State Cup will be eager to take to the fields on Sunday, following last year’s event being cancelled due to bad weather. The under 18’s Girls division has been added to the line-up and will join the 12’s Girls, 16’s Girls, 12’s Boys, 14’s Boys and 16’s Boys at the event. There will also be a focus on referee and coaching development across the tournament, with Touch Football Australia National Referee Panel member Ian Matthew in attendance at the event. To keep up-to-date with all of the latest news and information from the 2011 Club Championships and Junior State Championships, please visit the following website:www.tastouch.com.aulast_img read more

Sri Lanka recall Dinesh Chandimal, Angelo Mathews for first New Zealand Test

first_imgSri Lanka recall Dinesh Chandimal, Angelo Mathews for first New Zealand TestSri Lanka will face New Zealand in the first Test game of the two-match series at Galle Cricket Stadium from August 14 to 18.advertisement India Today Web Desk ColomboAugust 9, 2019UPDATED: August 9, 2019 13:23 IST Dinesh chandimal has been named in the 15-men squad for first Test against New Zealand. (AP Photo)HIGHLIGHTSSri Lanka have announced their 15-men squad for first Test against New ZealandDinesh Chandimal and Angleo Mathews have been named in the squadThe first Test between Sri Lanka and New Zealand starts from August 14Former captain Dinesh Chandimal has been named in the 15-men Sri Lanka squad for the first Test against New Zealand in Galle from August 14. Chandimal will be returning to the Test side after being out of action for more than 6 months.Chandimal was omitted from the South Africa series in February after his scores of 5, 0, 15, and 4 in Sri Lanka’s two Test defeats against Australia. The batsman was also not concidered for the World Cup 2019.The selectors have also named Angelo Mathews in the final squad from the preliminary squad of 22 players. Mathews had earlier missed the South Africa Test series due to hamstring injury. However, the former captain was part of the World Cup 2019, where he had hit a century against India after poor show in first half of the tournament.Sri Lanka recently white-washed Bangladesh in ODI series by 3-0 with Mathews being awarded the man of the series.The players excluded from the initial lists are Dilruwan Perera, Angelo Perera, Danushka Gunathilaka, Shehan Jayasuriya, Chamika Karunaratne, Kasun Rajitha and Asitha Fernando.Dimuth Karunaratne-led Sri Lankan side will play New Zealand for two-match Test series that will alos be the part of the inaugral edition of the World Test Championship.15 member squad for first Test match against New ZealandDimuth Karunaratne (c), Angelo Mathews, Dinesh Chandimal, Lahiru Thirimanne, Kusal Mendis, Kusal Janith Perera, Niroshan Dickwella, Dhananjaya De Silva, Akila Dananjaya, Lasith Embuldeniya, Suranga Lakmal, Lahiru Kumara, Oshada Fernando, Lakshan Sandakan, Vishwa Fernando.Also See For sports news, updates, live scores and cricket fixtures, log on to indiatoday.in/sports. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for Sports news, scores and updates.Get real-time alerts and all the news on your phone with the all-new India Today app. Download from Post your comment Do You Like This Story? Awesome! Now share the story Too bad. Tell us what you didn’t like in the comments Posted byAnita Jat Tags :Follow Dinesh ChandimalFollow Angelo Mathewslast_img read more

Cathelco Introduces New Series of Quantum Control Panels

first_imgzoom Cathelco have introduced a new series of Quantum control panels for their sea water pipework anti-fouling systems and impressed current cathodic protection (ICCP) systems.The new panels provide numerous benefits, but the most significant breakthrough is the ease with which the systems can be controlled and monitored. This is combined with much more comprehensive information about system performance.The main principle behind the design of the new control panels is greater connectivity. They produce an RS485 signal which enables the systems to be governed from a more convenient location such as a control room or the ship’s bridge computers.“The Quantum project has been driven by the fact that manning levels on ships have decreased in recent years which means that there is less time for crew members to check individual items of equipment on a daily basis. We have responded with control panels which record more data and make it instantly available”, said Peter Lindley who has headed the project at Cathelco.The Quantum seawater pipework anti-fouling system control panel is designed with a touch screen giving access to displays which show anode outputs, alarm set points, trend graphs, data history, language settings and current reduction facilities.The data history function is particularly useful to engineers as it records all of the information about the performance of the system twice a day. The data can then be downloaded to a USB stick and e-mailed to Cathelco for analysis, eliminating the need for filling in paper log sheets.“This saves time for engineers and also provides us with much more comprehensive information, enabling us to analyse the performance of the system in much greater detail”, Mr Lindley explained.Cathelco have also introduced a new Quantum control panel for their impressed current cathodic protection (ICCP) systems which protect ship’s hulls against corrosion.The majority of larger vessels have forward and aft ICCP systems with separate control panels which are often a considerable distance apart on the ship. However, with the new Quantum ICCP control panel, the two systems can be operated in a ‘master’ and ‘slave’ relationship.“It means that the forward ICCP system can be controlled from the aft panel and that information about the whole system can be viewed in one location. This is much more convenient for the engineer who does not have to walk from one end of the ship to the other,” Mr Lindley commented.The Quantum ICCP ‘master’ panel stores comprehensive data about the configuration of the system which can be monitored through a series of displays. It also logs data covering output voltage, output current, potential readings, percentage output and the alarms.All of the configuration and performance data can be uploaded to a USB memory stick and viewed on a standard PC. The information can then be e-mailed to Cathelco, replacing the tedious task of filling out ICCP log sheets.“The Quantum control panels provide customers with a number of useful features at no extra cost. It also means that commissioning is greatly simplified and if issues arise at any time in the future, the ability to access data from a USB sticks means there is a much stronger likelihood of resolving problems without the customer incurring the cost of sending a Cathelco engineer,” concluded Peter Smith, Cathelco’s sales director.Cathelco, March 25, 2014last_img read more

Traffic Advisory Cape Breton Regional Municipality

first_imgCAPE BRETON REGIONAL MUNICIPALITY: Sydney River Bridge The Sydney River Bridge on Keltic Drive is reduced to one lane until Friday, Jan. 29, for repairs. To help move traffic safely through the area during repairs temporary traffic signals will be installed to replace the existing traffic signals on Wednesday, Jan. 13. There may be longer than normal traffic delays during the installation of these lights. Residents of Coxheath and Westmount are encouraged to use the interchange on Coxheath Road to get to Highway 125 during the construction period. Local Area Office: 902-563-2245 -30-last_img read more

Spring Road Weight Restrictions On Way

first_imgSpring weight restrictions will begin soon on many provincial roads in Nova Scotia. The dates have not been set but, with warmer weather coming, it will begin in the next few weeks. Heavy commercial vehicles will not be allowed to travel on specified roads throughout the province. The restrictions help protect roads that are weakened by mild and wet weather during the spring thaw. The Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal monitors air and road temperatures and works closely with the trucking industry and Environment Canada to determine the best date to protect the province’s roads. “These restrictions have a significant impact on the trucking and forestry industries so we try to provide as much advance notice as possible,” said Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal Minister Maurice Smith. “Before the restrictions begin is the time for companies that carry heavy loads on rural roads to get goods where they need to be.” The department monitors conditions throughout spring so roads can be opened or closed as needed. Although spring weight restrictions are not yet in effect, the province may restrict some roads to lower weights as needed. As weight restrictions come into effect, they will be posted at http://novascotia.ca/tran/. Exempt roads will also be listed. Signs stating the weight limit will be posted at each end of restricted roads.last_img read more

BC court suspends residential school cases handled by Calgary firm

first_imgBy Kathleen MartensAPTN National NewsWINNIPEG– A British Columbia court has suspended dozens of residential school survivor compensation cases handled by a Calgary law firm, APTN National News has learned.A B.C. Supreme Court judge suspended the cases of 50 residential school survivors that are being handled by Calgary law firm Blott and Company.The cases deal with compensation for serious sexual and physical abuses suffered by survivors at Indian Residential Schools under the Independent Assessment Process (IAP).The details of why the judge issued the ruling are currently under a publication ban.The ruling however, could impact as many as 3,000 IAP cases that were all being handled by the law firm.It’s the second time in as many months that lawyers and the IAP have come under the microscope.In October, APTN reported on a memo issued to lawyers by chief IAP adjudicator Daniel Ish. He warned lawyers in June to clean up their acts when it came to dealing with IAP clients or they might not get paid,More than 200 lawyers have clients participating in IAP.Ish cited suspected “unethical” practices such as not meeting with clients prior to the hearing.As part of the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement, the government of Canada is committed to paying lawyers 15 per cent of the compensation awards their clients receive if their claims are ruled legitimate by IAP adjudicators.last_img read more

Toronto home sales see small uptick in January as prices continue to

The Canadian Press TORONTO — Home sales in Toronto and the surrounding area saw a small uptick in January, a sign that the real estate market in Canada’s largest city remains stable.The Toronto Real Estate Board reports that there were 4,009 home sales recorded though its Multiple Listing Service (MLS) system in January, up 0.6 per cent compared with January 2018. On a seasonally adjusted basis, sales were up by 3.4 per cent versus December 2018.The board says the average selling price for all property types was $748,328 last month, an increase of 1.7 per cent from the same month a year ago. TREB reports that the more affordable condo segment led the price growth, up by 7.9 per cent in January.Semi-detached and townhouse properties also saw increases, while the price of detached homes fell by 2.8 per cent in January year-over-year.The board says the total number of new listings were up, climbing 10.5 per cent to 9,456 listings last month.TREB, which represents more than 52,000 real estate agents across the region, says the January figures are in line with its forecast that sales will finish higher in 2019. read more

ICE Futures Canada Monday morning Canola prices lower barley unchanged

WINNIPEG — Prices were lower in mid-morning trading at ICE Futures Canada on Friday:Canola: Nov. ’17 $6.20 lower $498.60; Jan. ’18 $5.80 lower $504.50; March ’18 $4.80 lower $509.10; May ’18 $2.90 lower $511.80; July ’18 $1.30 lower $516.70; Nov. ’18 unchanged $485.00; Jan. ’19 unchanged $485.80; March ’19 unchanged $488.50; May ’19 unchanged $488.50; July ’19 unchanged $488.50; Nov. ’19 unchanged $488.50.Barley (Western): Oct. ’17 unchanged $140.00; Dec. ’17 unchanged $140.00; March ’18 unchanged $140.00; May ’18 unchanged $140.00; July ’18 unchanged $140.00; Oct. ’18 unchanged $140.00; Dec. ’18 unchanged $140.00; March ’19 unchanged $140.00; May ’19 unchanged $140.00; July ’19 unchanged $140.00; Oct. ’19 unchanged $140.00. read more

Two schools to close in hybrid plan

Schoolboards across Ontario have been struggling with declining enrollment and aging schools. But finding a solution that makes everyone happy hasn’t been easy. Well, this evening in Hamilton, after a lengthy review of schools in east Hamilton, the board decided tonight to close two and fix up three others. And everyone seems to be alright with the plan.Abbie Boyko and other parents fought hard to keep Parkdale school open, cheering as they heard the board vote in favour of a motion that would see it saved: “All the teachers know the kids names, volunteers know the kids names, make the snacks, it’s a great community school, the teachers and principals are amazing , it’s in a good location with a lot of green space.”Parkdale was one of five schools that had been earmarked for possible closure by the board. Roxborough Park, Viscount Montgomery, Woodward and Rosedale were all on the chopping block. One recommendation was to close all five and build a new school. Another would have seen Parkdale and Roxborough close and the other schoold merge. And a third porposal was to close Parkdale, Roxobrough Park and Woodward and build a new school. But in the end, trustee Todd White proposed what he called a community hybrid plan. It would close Woodward and Roxoborugh Park come next June. Jessica Brennan is Chair of the board: “As a board, as a total board, we had a vote tonight that firmly supported the motion to close two schools in the community and make boundary decisions and look at ways to use unused space.”The community hybrid plan also includes spending four million dollars on urgent repairs for the remaining three schools. But some trustees don’t think that’s nearly enough money. Laura Peddle is a trustee: “I dont think the renovation money is going to be sufficient, we never have enough to do renovations so how are we going to have enough to keep up with reno’s needed in remaining schools and still properly serve students.”In fact one trustee said Parkdale school alone needs four million dollars in repairs. But for the students it’s not about the money. Grant Boyko goes to Parkdale: “I’m so excited. It’s shocking! We have a sewing club with Ms. Condon and the caretaker Miss Cinty does choir on her own lunch time.”The vote still needs to be ratified — that will be on June 16th. And there’s still a few logistical things to work out. Dome of the boundaries will have to change, so the board still isn’t sure what kids will go where when the schools close. But Parkdale will remain open. However, while this school is saved, there are two schools closing. But there didn’t seem to be any vocal opposition from parents at either of those schools tonight. read more

UN mission continues to press for return home of Hutu rebels from

“At present, our programme is and remains a programme of voluntary repatriation. We have repatriated on that programme somewhat more than 12,000 militia, of whom about two-thirds are Rwandans, that is, the ex-Rwandan army and the Interahamwe, many of whom were involved in the genocide of 1994,” the Special Representative of the Secretary-General and head UN Organization Mission in the DRC (MONUC), William Lacy Swing, said.”We have come up against the limitations of that programme in the last year, however, we are increasingly doing joint operations with the Congolese army to put pressure on these groups to enter our programme and to return to Rwanda,” he added.Another 1,500 to 2,000 Ugandan elements are based in North Kivu province and a Burundian Palipehutu-FNL element moves back and forth across the border in South Kivu, he said. “So, we will be using an increasing combination of political, military and legal pressure, including the likelihood of sanctions by the Member States of the ‘Tripartite Plus Commission,” Mr. Swing said.The Tripartite Plus Commission comprises the DRC, Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi, with the UN, African Union (AU) and the European Union (EU) as observers and the United States as facilitator.Some 12,000 to 15,000 foreign ex-combatants are left in the DRC and, together with their family members, the total to be repatriated may be 30,000, Mr. Swing said, adding, “That’s a lot of people.” “We have the wherewithal to help these people to go home if they come into our programme. We have set up six transit sites on the Congolese side of the border in North and South Kivu. The Rwandans themselves have added three demobilization centres to the two that already existed. So, on both sides of the border, we are ready to take these people home, and we’re just waiting for them to come,” he said. read more

Outotec snares €100 million contract

first_imgOutotec will supply Dubai Aluminium Company with a new green anode plant and spent anode crushing facility for their aluminium smelter in Abu Dhabi in a deal worth about €100 million.Outotec’s scope of delivery covers the engineering, supply and installation of a new green anode plant including two anode production lines, a crushing plant for spent anodes and ancillary facilities. The new plant will use innovative regenerative thermal oxidisation technology for efficient pitch fume treatment. The plant is designed for the annual production of 500,000 t of green anodes and the commissioning of the first production line is scheduled for June 2009.Outotec President and CEO Tapani Järvinen said Aluminium consumption was growing fast and customers were expecting it to double by 2020. Therefore, aluminium producers were continually increasing capacity in order to meet the surging demand. “The Middle East is attracting aluminium producers because the region offers competitively priced energy for the needs of highly energy-intensive aluminium production. Thanks to our broad technology portfolio, the Middle East offers a lot of possibilities for Outotec and we see many new aluminium and other prospects in the area,” he said.last_img read more

Bechtel opens new innovation centre for mine technologies

first_imgGlobal engineering, construction, and project management company Bechtel has opened the Bechtel Mining & Metals Innovation Center to lead, it says, “the development of new technologies that boost productivity, promote environmental sustainability and improve worker safety for the copper industry.”The Bechtel Mining & Metals Innovation Center is the result of an initiative begun three years by Bechtel’s Mining & Metals business unit, which is based in Santiago, to leverage the company’s construction expertise and copper concentrator design to achieve greater efficiencies in mining projects. The centre will promote the latest processes and technologies that add value to Bechtel customers by increasing productivity from the early stages of studies to project delivery.“We are thrilled to open this center in Santiago to demonstrate how we are leading innovation in the EPC/EPCM industry to deliver better projects to our customers throughout the region.” said Paige Wilson, President of Bechtel’s Mining & Metals unit.The innovations Bechtel already has developed will enable a step change in construction productivity to deliver safe, high-quality projects faster, at lower cost and reduced risk. These innovations are now available to our copper industry customers. The centre, which is located at the Mining & Metals headquarters, will drive productivity innovations that focus on delivering low-cost plants through lean design techniques, engineering for installation and construction technologies. This is Bechtel’s first innovation centre in Latin America.It aims to make construction jobs safer and more efficient by training workers to use cutting-edge tools. The centre also will convene entrepreneurs with Bechtel specialists and industry innovators to improve designs and delivery options.It will also be used to develop and demonstrate technological innovations available to improve product recovery and decrease water and power consumption, thus reducing operational costs for our customers.The picture shows the Mobile Base Camp, which enables instant access to digital documents and data at project work sites, shown here at the new Bechtel Mining & Metals Innovation Centerlast_img read more