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Southern Spice In Washington

first_imgHillary and Chelsea Clinton, Senator Joseph Leiberman, Andrea Mitchell, the owners of the Washington Post, the CNN crew, the Today Show folks as well as other movers and shakers from Washington’s power brigade have broken bread at the two Bombay Bistros, Indique and the newest, Indique Heights, both owned by chef K. N. Vinod and his partner Surly Rahman. Walter Scheib, who was the executive chef at the White House during the Clinton years, would consult Vinod about recipes for Chelsea, who is vegetarian. Madeline Albright is a regular devotee, and when she was secretary of state, she even came and lit the ceremonial lamp to inaugurate the annual festival of south Indian food at Bombay Bistro. Vinod, who is originally from Kerala, came to the United States in 1985 to participate in the Festival of India in Washington organized by Indian Tourism Development Corporation, for which both Vinod and Rahman worked, and the Smithsonian Museum. “We were serving about 5,000 meals a day,” recalls Vinod. “At that time it was things like biryani, tandoori chicken and the basic curries.” He later returned to the United States to work in various Indian restaurants and in 1992 he and Rahman opened Bombay Bistro. SALMON TIKKIIngedrientsQtySalmon Fillet 2 lbsShallots5 ozGreen Chilies 1 ozCilantro2 ozCumin Seeds 1ozGinger1ozCurry Leaves (chopped) 2 0zEgg (medium) 1 noSalt1/2 tspMethod(a) Mince the fillet uniformly.(b)Add chopped green chilies, ginger, cilantro, cumin seeds, salt, chopped curry leaves, and eggs. Mix well. (c) Transfer the contents to a stainless steel mixing bowl. (d)Make into small balls (approximately 2 oz) each. (e) Flatten them out into patties 2″in diameter and about 1″ in thickness. (f) Arrange on a sheet pan, cover with cellophane wrap and set aside in refrigerator. (g) When ready to put two pieces per order on to a flat top griddle plate and cook for about a minute and half on each side on medium heat till done.(h) Serve with chutney of your choice.“We have featured a lot of regional Indian dishes,” says Vinod. “India has so much to offer and there’s much more to Indian food than your standard chicken tikka masala. When you say “South Indian food”, people usually think of just masala dosa and idli sambar, but we have featured dishes from Kerala, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu. We’ve put in a lot of regional dishes on the table, such as Tamilnad fish curry, lamb Nilgri korma and shrimp varuval.So why is the mainstream is so fond of spicy food? “I think there’s much more awareness of spices since the time I came 20 years ago,” says Vinod. “All the top chefs in the country are fascinated by Indian spices. They are introducing them into their dishes. Almost any noted chef you think of will be familiar with Indian spices. Even the customers, I find, can handle much more spicier food. The Americans are very, very adventurous and they like to try different dishes.” Vinod and Rahman must be doing something right, because this year Indique is among the five nominees for best informal dining restaurant of the year for the prestigious Rammy Restaurant Awards, which will be announced on June 24. Asked about the name Indique and whether it implies fusion foods, Vinod says, “We thought of India and we thought of unique and we coined Indique. The food is definitely Indian.” However, their newest may set a hot trend: Indique Heights offers the atmosphere of a Spanish tapa bar, with a large selection of wines and offerings on small plates (and small prices), so that instead of ordering one entrée, guests can order several small plates to share and try different dishes. Yes, Americans have come a long way since the basic curries of the Festival of India days, and Chef Vinod is having fun introducing them to the complex flavors of Indian food. Related Itemslast_img read more

Man Of The Year

first_imgShekar Ramanuja Sidarth, the University of Virginia senior, who shot to public fame after Republican Sen, George Allen ridiculed him as macaca at a campaign stop has been recognized as online magazine Salon’s Person of the Year 2006: “He becomes a symbol of politics in the 21st century, a brave new world in which any video clip can be broadcast instantly everywhere and any 20-year-old with a camera can change the world. He builds a legacy out of happenstance.” The incident, which may have been pivotal in the 2006 campaign and led to Allen’s narrow loss, flipping the Senate into Democrat hands. Noted Salon: “Allen was just a California transplant with dip and cowboy boots who had glommed on to the ancient racial quirks of his adopted home. Sidarth was the kid next door. He, not Allen, was the real Virginian. He was proof that every hour his native commonwealth drifts further from the orbit of the GOP’s solid South and toward a day when Allen’s act will be a tacky antique. Allen was the past, Sidarth is the wired, diverse future – of Virginia, the political process and the country.”The Global Language Monitor named Macaca the most politically incorrect word of the year. It’s a term that is likely to stick to Sidarth. Indeed, Sidarth gained easy entry into a much sought after political science class at his university with a three-word essay: “I am Macaca.” Related Itemslast_img read more

India Bears Huge Burden of Respiratory Diseases

first_imgAlmost one-fourth of deaths that happened worldwide due to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease COPD and asthma — the two most common respiratory diseases — took place in India, a latest study showed. As many as 3.20 million people died of COPD while 0.40 million deaths occurred due to asthma in 2015, of which 800,000 and 100,000, respectively, were reported in India, according to the Global Burden of Disease study published in the Lancet Respiratory Medicine journal.COPD is a group of lung conditions causing breathing problems, caused mainly by smoking and air pollution. Asthma is the most common chronic respiratory disease in the world, with the number of cases being twice the number of those with COPD in 2015, according to the study. However, deaths from COPD were eight times more common than those from asthma.Burden of COPD, AsthmaDisease burden due to COPD in 2015 was highest in Papua New Guinea, India, Lesotho, and Nepal, and burden for asthma was highest in Afghanistan, Central African Republic, Fiji, Kiribati, Lesotho, Papua New Guinea, and Swaziland.India recorded 2774.64 prevalent cases of COPD per 100,000 people and 4021.72 prevalent cases of asthma per 100,000 in 2015, the study, which estimated the number of cases and deaths caused by the two diseases between 1990 and 2015, showed.“COPD and asthma contribute substantially to the burden of non-communicable disease,” lead author Professor Theo Vos of the Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation, University of Washington, said in a statement. “Although much of the burden is either preventable or treatable with affordable interventions, these diseases have received less attention than other prominent non-communicable diseases like cardiovascular disease, cancer, or diabetes.”Risk FactorsThe main risk factors for COPD are smoking and air pollution. Occupational risks, such as asbestos, diesel fumes, arsenic and benzene; ozone and second-hand smoke, are the other major causes. Asthma is mostly caused by smoking and asthma-causing allergens in the workplace.Asthma and COPD can be treated or prevented in many cases, but deaths occur when people are left undiagnosed, misdiagnosed or undertreated, according to the study.The StudyThe GBD study analysed data for more than 300 diseases for 188 countries from 1990 to 2015. “The GBD report in 2012 had shown that COPD had become the third leading cause of death in the world,” Dr Sundeep Salvi, chair of Chronic Respiratory Diseases section of the GBD-India Chapter, and head the Chest Research Foundation in Pune, said, the Indian Express reported. “Globally there were 2.8 million deaths due to COPD and India and China contributed 65 per cent. India had 69 million deaths due to COPD then.”Respiratory Diseases in IndiaIndians are also prone to other respiratory diseases like pneumonia and tuberculosis, earlier studies have shown. Deaths due to lung diseases were reported to be on the rise in the country, accounting for 11 per cent of the total deaths, according to a World Health Organization (WHO) report of 2015. A total of 37,485,713 cases of acute respiratory infection were recorded, and 2,893 people died of the cause, in India in 2015, according to India’s National Health Profile 2015.  The provisional data for 2016 put the figures at 40,303,141 and 3,043, respectively.India was also reported to have the highest rate of death from respiratory disease in the world, according to the WHO, with the figures of 159 deaths per 100,000 in 2012. The rate was 10 times that of Italy, five times that of the UK and twice that of China, and the sharp rise in the incidence was blamed by Indian doctors on air pollution, according to a Guardian report.The three most deadly non-communicable diseases in India in 2013 were cardiovascular diseases, chronic respiratory diseases, and cancer respectively, according to a Global Disease Burden report. Related ItemsGlobal Burden of Disease IndiaIndia asthmaIndia chronic obstructive pulmonary disease COPDIndia lung diseasesIndia respiratory diseasesLancet respiratory diseasesLittle IndiaWHO lung diseaseslast_img read more

On a Plate: Changing Foodscape of South Asian Culture

first_imgFormer United States President Barack Obama’s recent remark in India that he had his own recipe of dal made him a bigger star than he already was in the country.There is, however, a lot more about South Asian cuisine that many in the world still need to get acquainted with. Armed with the belief, United States-based authors and food researchers Krishnendu Ray and Tulasi Srinivas set out to compile a collection of essays aimed to get the region’s aromatic spices their due. The result: Curried Cultures: Globalization, Food, and South Asia, a book edited by them that was released around the world recently.The book talks about globalization, and the changing face of South Asian cuisine through various essays, each of which is from different from the other. “What I like is that each essay has a point of view, while describing rich new empirical material, that complements the other in constructing a mosaic of changing but durable practices and concerns,” Ray, an associate professor of food studies and department chair of Nutrition and Food Studies at New York University, tells Little India.Krishnendu RayAs editors, Srinivas, an assistant professor in the Department of Communication Studies and the Institute for Liberal Arts and Interdisciplinary Studies at Emerson College, and Ray attempted to portray the reality of South Asia as the new hub of intersecting global networks of people, processes and concepts. “The region illuminates how bodies, diets and aspirations are being pulled together and flung apart. The wide variety of regional South Asian cuisines is slowly changing the world in different ways,” adds Ray.To understand the history of South Asian cuisine, it is important to delve into the eclectic history of the region, as they are inseparable. “World conquerors such as the Dutch, the British and the Americans are not known for their food, although their drinks are powerful — think coffee, tea and whiskey,” he says. In comparison, the reach of the French, Chinese, Japanese, Greek, Mexican and Peruvian cuisine is far greater.It is no wonder then that it was imperative for the essays compiled by the duo to have a geographical range and historical depth. So, while one feature talks about the cosmopolitan spread served in the princely zenanas in late colonial India, another one digs into the nationalist criticism of racist English presumptions about the Indian kitchen. The chapter on fancy restaurants in contemporary Mumbai takes the reader to the reality of the present times. The essays also discuss Indian restaurants in New York, London, Boston, Berkley and Mumbai, as well as other parts of India.Among the essays included in the book are A Different History of the Present: The Movement of Crops, Cuisines, and Globalization by Akhil Gupta, Dum Pukht: A Pseudo-Historical Cuisine by Holly Shaffer and Udupi Hotels: Entrepreneurship, Reform, and Revival by Stig Toft Madsen and Geoffrey Gardella.“We attempted to represent a variety of perspectives, whether it was historical, geographical, cultural studies or food studies,” says Ray. So, the menu in the book includes essays on the cuisines of various erstwhile princely states across India such as Jaipur, Kapurthala, Bhopal, Kashmir, and Hyderabad. It also highlights cuisines and food trails from the modern-day Kolkata, Udupi, Lucknow, and Mumbai.Food in South Asia is not just about throwing in a few ingredients in a pan, it is an integral part of the culture and traditions of a region. A reflection of the produce of that place, food has a strong essence of the region’s identity. To understand and relate to it from a global perspective can be challenging, Ray believes. And that is where the duo’s expertise came in.“South Asian food is regional and that is arguably true about most cuisines of the world,” Ray says, pointing out that Western experiences of Indian food, however, have been forced within a very narrow frame of Mughlai restaurant foods. “Our attempt was to start from there — with our ironic curry title — and then take the reader elsewhere to give them a taste of the range and historical depth of Indian foods with their complex cultural politics,” he explains.Ray and Srinivas take the readers back in time, to give them a glimpse of the history behind the aromatic spices and the rich colors of South Asian cuisine. The historical journey of Indian food is one of variety, change and resilience, Ray says, adding, “It can be argued that Indian nationalism was born in resisting English depredations of the Indian middle-class kitchen. Just as nationalism in Europe and the Americas were born in coffee houses and taverns, in South Asia it was born in defending and changing the domestic habits of the kitchen.”The essays tell a story of how Indian foods have a long history of being local while being connected to a much wider world. “Whether it is the Roman amphoras, Central Asian tandoors, Chinese soy sauce and tea, incense-laden Middle-eastern boats, African tubers, or the southeast Asian spices and paan, Indian food is intertwined with that of many cultures in the continent,” he says. And that pattern continues even today, the only difference being that the geographical distance keeps changing.The projection of South Asian food has changed over the years and as India slowly endeavors to comes out of its Third World status, the narrative will keep changing, feels the author. “There is a greater engagement globally with things from South Asia and this is leveraged by the 9 million or so South Asians abroad,” he adds. “Their articulation of culture is not only because they belong to it, but also because they treat it as routes of dispersal.”Throughout history, people have moved and taken their culture and traditions along with them. “That is how newness enters the world and tradition is reinvented,” says Ray, calling Curried Cultures an “early analysis of possible gustatory futures with its many joys and burdens.”South Asians represent a fascinating dimension of movement of cultures and people in the contemporary world, he adds. “South Asian food at home and abroad is a terrific illustration of that dynamic interaction between rootedness and mobility.” Related ItemsCurryIndian AmericanSouth Asialast_img read more

Indian in Sweden

first_imgIf there could be two lands and cultures that are a total opposite of one another, then surely Sweden and India are it. India is a nation of 1.26 billion, baking in temperatures upward of 40 degrees; Sweden has just 9.6 million residents and chills out below -15 degrees.Getting aroundCrossing the road can be a challenge. People drive on the “wrong” side of the road here. Swedes drive on the right hand side, while Indians drive left, which means I look on both sides of the road while crossing.Personal space.What’s that? On Mumbai trains you need to search where the rest of your body is, since you have poured yourself into every crevice possible.On Sweden’s public transport, by contrast, you are at least a minimum of two feet away from the next person at the bus stop. Swedes would rather stand than sit extremely close to a stranger. In India, we plead with people to squeeze just a bit to allow exactly 2 inches of prime space for the fourth person for a seat made for three.SignsThe crescent moon is vertical in Sweden and horizontal in India. The switch is “on” when it’s off! In Sweden you press a button up to turn it on, while in India you press it down. This symbol √ means you have a wrong answer, not a right one as in India.It’s hard to move around in a new country. But it can also be fun because you see everything with new eyes so to speak. I laughed out loud when I saw signs, such as UTFART. Kaka means cake in Swedish and poop in Hindi.LanguageGasping for air while talking is ok; in fact it shows that you are Swedish. Swedes gasp at you, when they agree with something you say. I thought my husband was choking on his food when he gasped loudly in the middle of a conversation at the dinner table.People & CultureYes, you can kiss in public, what a relief ! And you have flowers, fresh air, chiming church bells and the scent of freshly baked breads to add to the moment. No crow droppings, staring aunties or car honking to deal with.On the other hand, Swedes are not really known to be outgoing or spontaneous. Christmas events and party invitations begin floating weeks, even months in advance.Spontaneity and friendliness in India goes to another level. Calling up a friend at 2 am on Saturday for a chai is not uncommon and popping up at a house party with three friends is cool. When you ask someone for directions, they may even walk with you to your destination or offer you a ride.PunctualitySwedes take punctuality to another level. We had guests last month who arrived 10 minutes early and just waited in their car. In India, we would still be getting ready while telling friends that we’re on our way. It can be a stress when my Swedish husband prepares to leave early to the bus stop, which is two minutes away, “Herregud, the bus leaves in one hour!”DIYIt hit me that you have to do everything yourself when I landed in Sweden with seven bags between me and my husband and no porter. Try assembling a cupboard from IKEA. You could get an assembled one at half the price in India.Standard of LivingYou know you are in a country with the highest standard of living when you can buy dishwashing detergent in strawberry, peach, cucumber, green apple and ocean breeze flavors. Slums are ugly buildings, not open sewages with houses around it. Seagulls are considered a nuisance by some Swedes; they seem pretty exotic to me.WeatherSnow! I have only dreamt of snow, seen it in the movies and used cotton as a substitute on the Christmas tree. I saw and touched snow for the very first time ever this year. We went to a glass front sauna and jacuzzi later and sat in a warm wooden cabin watching the snow fall outside.When you come from a land that has three seasons — hot, hotter, hottest, it is nice to experience four very distinct seasons in Sweden.FoodMy mouth waters when I hear the word curry. I miss Indian food and mangoes. It wouldn’t hurt to have more flavor in Swedish cuisine; knäckebröd that almost tastes like cardboard doesn’t help.Salt and candy? Yes, it goes together in Sweden. You can buy salty and sour liqourice candy. It has a funky taste, as if it is rotten. I really don’t know how people can eat it, or liquorice flavored ice cream for that matter.FashionReally big beards. Now a little bit of stubble is hot, but a long beard that could host a bird’s nest or maybe two? It is apparently hot in Sweden to explore the Viking look or the Hagrid Harry Potter look. There is even a book on Swedish beards, Skäggboken, published last year documenting the history and various styles of Swedish beards.So there you go, just some of the differences between India and Sweden. As much as I miss the colors, food, music and liveliness of India, I love also the peace and quiet, stunning landscapes, proximity to nature and the orderliness of Sweden. Related Itemslast_img read more

NRI Makes Peace Offer of Rs 31.6 Lakh to Estranged Wife

first_imgA Non-resident Indian from the United States offered a sum of Rs 31.60 lakh to his estranged wife to settle a dowry harassment case in the Bombay High Court. During a hearing on Nov. 16, he also offered to return to her the silverware and her personal belongings that are now at his house in the United States.The NRI was charged for dowry and harassment by his wife, who lodged the case in Pune, and faced a lookout notice.Earlier this year, an FIR was lodged by the woman against her husband and mother-in law at Dattawadi police station for dowry harassment and assault under various provisions of the Indian penal code. While her husband was in America, her mother-in-law was in Oman. Lookout notices for both of them were issued by the Bureau of Immigration.They then approached the Bombay High Court to seek relief, where their lawyer said that a settlement was being worked out.Section 498A of the Indian Penal Code stipulates that if the husband or the relatives of the husband of a woman subject her to cruelty, they can be punished with imprisonment up to three years and can also be asked to pay a fine.“Since the parties are exploring possibility of settlement, he is permitted to deposit the said settlement amount in the registry. This amount, however, shall not be withdrawn by the wife until disposal of present petitions as well as proceedings before the family court for divorce,” announced the division bench comprising Justice Ranjit More and Justice Shalini Phansalkar Joshi. It also said, “It is made clear that, in the event settlement does not go through, the man is at liberty to apply for withdrawal of the said amount.”He was granted interim relief, and the division bench gave a direction to stay the lookout notices that were issued to airports in the country. It also restrained the investigating officer from taking any strong steps. Earlier this year, a committee formed by the Ministry of External Affairs had submitted recommendations that said that NRIs who harassed or deserted their wives could face cancellation or impounding of their passports. Related ItemsBombay High CourtDowryWomen’s Harassmentlast_img read more

British Court Allows Sale of Mallya’s Cars to Recover Dues

first_imgA British court has allowed the sale of six luxury cars belonging to Vijay Mallya to recover dues the fugitive liquor baron owed to a consortium of 13 Indian banks.The Queen’s bench division of the Commercial Court in London passed an order on Oct.11 allowing the high court enforcement officer to sell Mallya’s six cars for at least Rs. 3.88 crore plus taxes. The luxury cars that are on the block are one Range Rover, two Ferraris, a Porsche Cayenne, a Mini Countryman and a Maybach 62, the Hindu Business Line reported.Indian banks had won the case against Mallya in May this year when the court had said that the banks are entitled to recover their dues. Paul Gair, partner at TLT, the law firm that represents Indian banks, told press agency PTI, “We can confirm that the High Court Enforcement Officer has acted on the banks’ instructions in seizing and selling these cars. The cars are expected to be sold shortly.”“This is one part of the banks’ ongoing enforcement of their judgment against Dr Mallya,” he added.The litigation listed 13 banks as applicants. These are State Bank of India, Bank of Baroda, Corporation Bank, Federal Bank Ltd., IDBI Bank Ltd., Indian Overseas Bank, Jammu & Kashmir Bank, Punjab & Sind Bank, Punjab National Bank, State Bank of Mysore, UCO Bank, United Bank of India and JM Financial Asset Reconstruction Co. Pvt Ltd.The banks are looking to recover dues of $1.55 billion from Mallya.In June, a UK High court had ordered Vijay Mallya to pay £200,000 toward costs incurred by the bank consortium in their legal fight.In another order passed in June, the court had permitted the UK High court enforcement officer to search and seize the assets of Vijay Mallya.The Hindu said in its report that a UK enforcement officer “may use reasonable force to enter the property if necessary,” according to an order passed by the Commercial Court in London.Mallya has also been fighting a case against his possible extradition to India. In order to avoid being extradited to India, he had claimed that conditions in Indian jails are inhumane and there is no sunlight or fresh air in the cells.The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), the agency tasked with bringing Mallya back to India submitted a video of a Mumbai’s Arthur Road jail to the UK court in August to refute his claims. According to the video, the jail has natural light, private toilet, TV, and access to the courtyard from cell number 12. Mallya will be lodged in the Arthur Road jail when he is extradited to India. Related Itemslast_img read more

Liverpool v Manchester United: match preview

first_imgShare on Messenger Share on LinkedIn José Mourinho is well equipped to exploit Liverpool’s weaknesses with the power, organisation and counter-attacking style of his joint league leaders but that would require a different strategy to what he successfully employed at Anfield last season. Marouane Fellaini and Paul Pogba are big misses for Manchester United but Sadio Mané’s absence will be felt by Jürgen Klopp, too. Liverpool’s performances have not been as bad as recent results indicate but they can ill-afford to fall 10 points behind their arch rivals so early in the season. Both sides have opportunity to deliver a statement of intent. Andy HunterKick-off Saturday 12.30pm Venue AnfieldLast season Liverpool 0 Man Utd 0Live Sky Premier LeagueReferee Martin AtkinsonThis season G4, Y11, R1, 3 cards per gameOdds H 9-5 A 9-5 D 5-2LiverpoolSubs from Karius, Ward, Sturridge, Klavan, Gomez, Milner, Robertson, Flanagan, Grujic, Woodburn, Solanke, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Markovic, IngsDoubtful NoneInjured Lallana (thigh, Nov), Mané (hamstring, Nov), Clyne (back, unknown)Suspended NoneForm WWLDWDDiscipline Y13 R1Leading scorer Salah 4Manchester UtdSubs from Pereira, Romero, Tuanzebe, Lindelof, Mata, Lingard, McTominay, Mitchell, Darmian, Blind, Shaw, SmallingDoubtful NoneInjured Carrick (calf, 28 Oct), Fellaini (knee, Nov), Ibrahimovic, Rojo (both knee, Dec), Pogba (hamstring, unknown)Suspended NoneForm WWDWWWDiscipline Y9 R0Leading scorer Lukaku 7 Match previews Manchester United Premier League Share on Facebook Topics Share on WhatsApp Share on Twitter news Reuse this content Liverpool Share via Email Share on Pinterestlast_img read more

Nonbinary activist savours victoryPretty amazing to see life from both sides

first_imgST. JOHN’S, N.L. – From early childhood, Gemma Hickey rebelled against wearing dresses and never felt female.It was a misfit sensation of not belonging that Hickey wants to spare other kids — starting with their birth certificates.Hickey describes as a “big victory” what happened Friday in a St. John’s courtroom that could go a long way to ease stigmas and increase acceptance for those who linger between genders.Hickey’s legal challenge of the province’s Vital Statistics Act, which allows birth certificates only to have male or female sex designations, was delayed at provincial Supreme Court in St. John’s while the province enshrines another option.Newfoundland and Labrador’s Liberal government said Thursday it will bring in legislation this fall allowing for a change of sex designation to non-binary.Hickey hopes other provinces will follow suit — only the Northwest Territories now allows gender-neutral birth certificates.“It’s a proud day for Newfoundland and Labrador,” Hickey told reporters. “We weren’t the first place in Canada to do it, but second is pretty good and I feel very happy today. I feel very validated.”Hickey was also celebrating the debut of the documentary “Just be Gemma” airing Saturday on local CBC television (Newfoundland and Labrador). It will be available for viewing online as part of CBC’s “Absolutely” documentary series.Produced by Nine Island Communications, it traces Hickey’s physical transition from female to non-binary — neither male nor female — beginning in 2015. The journey starts with testosterone shots before surgery to remove the breasts Hickey says never felt right.Hickey recalls never identifying as female, and recounts being sexually assaulted for the first time at the age of five by an older boy who lived on their street. Years later, a priest who had taken special interest in Hickey, buying presents and offering visits at his home, became an abuser.Hickey describes falling asleep one night on his couch, and awakening with him “on top of me.”“I just thought: ‘Oh my God.’ He had a cross around his neck and it would hit my face. That’s what I remember, is just the cross hitting my chin.”Hickey took that trauma and, as an adult, formed the Pathways Foundation to support survivors of clergy sexual abuse. In 2015, Hickey walked 930 kilometres across Newfoundland raising funds for the group.Hickey talks in the documentary about wanting to be called “they” rather than he or she.“It’s pretty amazing to see life from both sides, so why do I have to pick one?”It’s an awkward transition for Hickey’s mother, Lynda Hayward. She still refers at times in the film to her “daughter” but accompanies Hickey to Ontario for plastic surgery and is often seen offering support and love.Hickey’s father, too, tells Gemma: “I love you, honey,” just before Hickey has plastic surgery to remove breast tissue and create a more masculine chest. There’s a swimming scene months later at an outdoor pond.“I felt free, like I was flying,” Hickey says of the feel of water on a bare chest.Hickey’s maternal grandmother inspired the documentary’s title.“I may not want to be a girl or a boy,” Hickey recalls telling her.“Just be Gemma,” was the grandmother’s response. “That’s all any of us wants.”Under the province’s proposed changes to the Vital Statistics Act, sex information will still be collected at birth, but people 12 and older will be able to choose an ‘X’ on their birth certificate. Children aged 12 to 15 will still require a parent to apply on their behalf, with the child’s consent required.The government also said it will remove the requirement for a statement from a medical professional prior to a sex-designation change for those 16 and older. Hickey said that change is particularly important because such a prerequisite “pathologizes” gender identity.“People can decide for themselves how they choose to identify.”Those changes would short-circuit the legal fight with Hickey, who argues the Vital Statistics Act contravenes the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.Hickey does not identify as solely male or female and was believed to be the first person in Canada to apply for a non-binary birth certificate.“Our rights are never given to us, so we have to fight for them,” said Hickey, who turns 41 on Oct. 1.“It’s a big victory for myself and other non-binary Canadians — particularly young people out there who are struggling with their own identity and don’t feel that they have a place.“We’re carving out that place and we’re doing that today.”Watching from the public gallery was Hickey supporter Stacey Piercey, who hopes other provinces will act soon.“It’s necessary. There’s so many gender variances and identities. It’s important to accept these kids and love these kids and make them part of our community.”Ontario’s minister of government and consumer services, Tracy MacCharles, has said gender-neutral birth certificates could be issued in Ontario as early as next year.In B.C., Kori Doty, a parent who identifies as transgender and prefers the pronoun they, refused to provide the sex of their child Searyl to the government when the baby was born in November.On Aug. 31, the federal government began allowing gender-neutral passports, the latest step in Ottawa’s plan to eventually allow individuals to identify their sex as ‘X’ — that is, unspecified — on government-issued documents.The move stems from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s pledge to better reflect gender diversity across the country.Follow @suebailey on Twitter.last_img read more

UNICEF steps up assistance efforts to Zimbabweans amid humanitarian crisis

3 December 2008The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) is intensifying its assistance to Zimbabwe’s swelling population of children in need, outlining a four-month response plan to deal with the Southern African country’s multiple crises, including a deadly cholera outbreak, the closure of many hospitals and the collapse of the education sector. The agency announced the 120-day plan yesterday in Harare, the capital, as it warned that women and children are bearing the brunt of the humanitarian suffering engulfing Zimbabwe, where the economy is largely shattered and severe food shortages have become standard. “Schools and hospitals are closing, while teachers, nurses and doctors are not reporting for duty,” UNICEF acting country representative Roeland Monasch said. “It is UNICEF’s top priority to ensure that Zimbabwe’s children get vital life-saving interventions at this critical time.”Under the 120-day emergency response plan, UNICEF will focus on providing basic social services to a country where millions of people lack reliable access to food, water or decent health care.The UN agency will immunize up to 1.5 million children, procure essential medicines for 70 per cent of the national population, provide clean water and sanitation to many communities, distribute ready-to-use nutritional foods at therapeutic feeding centres and unveil a national awareness campaign on cholera prevention.Zimbabwe’s deteriorating humanitarian conditions have been compounded by the ongoing cholera outbreak, which has claimed over 560 lives and led to more than 12,500 recorded cases since August, according to the UN World Health Organization (WHO).Over the past eight weeks, UNICEF reported, the country’s education and health-care system have collapsed. The closure of so many schools means many children miss out on a guaranteed meal each day, and the agency hopes that its response plan will boost school attendance rates.UNICEF added that its plan will also take specific account of Zimbabwe’s estimated 250,000 orphans and other vulnerable children – the country is believed to have the highest orphan percentage in the world, at one in every four children – to ensure they have extra support.UN relief officials have been warning about the worsening situation across Zimbabwe, and earlier this week WHO appealed for more funding so it can tackle the cholera epidemic. The agency is procuring emergency supply stocks and deploying a full investigation team to handle the outbreak, including epidemiologists, water and sanitation engineers and social mobilization specialists. read more

UN envoy praises political leadership in Sierra Leone

8 June 2009A senior United Nations official today said that Sierra Leone’s political leadership deserves praise for signing an agreement that brought an end to the “spiral of violence” in the West African nation. Michael von der Schulenburg, the Secretary-General’s Executive Representative for the UN Integrated Peacebuilding Office in Sierra Leone (UNIPSIL), told the Security Council that the country’s politicians “deserve the highest praise for how they have handled the recent outbreak of political violence in their country when they came together and signed and committed to the Joint Communiqué.” The governing All People’s Congress (APC) and the opposition Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP) signed that agreement on 2 April, ending violence between the two parties that erupted in early March. Sierra Leone’s 11-year civil war ended in 2002. The Joint Communiqué also “recognizes the joint responsibility that both the governing and the opposition parties have in building a democratic and prosperous Sierra Leone,” Mr. von der Schulenburg told the 15-member Council.He also noted that a joint strategy called the “UN Family’s Joint Vision for Sierra Leone” brings together UNIPSIL and all 17 UN development and humanitarian agencies, programmes and funds that operate in Sierra Leone.The envoy expressed hope that the Council will support that the effort, which runs through 2012 requires a budget of $350 million.In his most recent report on UNIPSIL, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon wrote that Sierra Leone’s recent violence, had it devolved into a full-blown conflict, could have heightened regional divisions and increased identification of political parties with ethnic loyalties.The violence “served as a wake-up call for the Government and people of Sierra Leone on the critical challenges that require urgent and continued attention,” the report noted.“Against this backdrop, the determined manner with which Sierra Leone overcame its recent political crisis was all the more laudable,” Mr. Ban wrote, commending the nation’s resolve to overcome differences rather than relenting to attacks.Further, he said that its recent actions have set an example for other countries in the sub-region experiencing similar upheavals.Last August, the Security Council authorized the creation of UNIPSIL to replace the UN political office in the country, known as UNIOSIL, in a unanimously adopted resolution, which also gave the new structure an initial mandate of 12 months.UNIPSIL, which works closely with the UN Peacebuilding Commission, is tasked with providing political support to national and local efforts for identifying and resolving tensions and threats of potential conflict, whatever the source. It also monitors and promotes human rights, democratic institutions and the rule of law, including efforts to counter transnational organized crime and drug trafficking.Sierra Leone, whose brutal 11-year civil war ended in 2002, is one of the first two countries, along with Burundi, to receive support from the Commission, established in 2005 to help post-conflict countries determine the priority areas for rebuilding out of the vast array of challenges they face. read more

27M water main repair approved

Major repair work in Port Rowan this summer could be highly disruptive to the town’s annual influx of cottagers and tourists.Jason Godby, Norfolk’s manager of public works administration, is aware of that and told Norfolk council he will work with area residents to ensure big events such as Bayfest are affected as little as possible.It’s a delicate balancing act because public works has determined that long sections of iron water main installed 30 years ago has deteriorated unexpectedly. Tests have concluded that it must be replaced as soon as possible to avoid a catastrophic failure.“This is something we can look at and co-ordinate with them (Bayfest organizers),” Godby said. “It’s not unusual for us to lay water pipe in September. It’s definitely something we will keep in mind.”Godby wouldn’t commit to postponing the work till after the Labour Day weekend. It’s entirely possible, Godby said, that the county can get this work done by the end of August — before the big Bayfest celebration.“We could be in and out of there prior to that,” Godby said.At issue is seven kilometres of iron water main installed by the former Haldimand-Norfolk Region in 1991.The region overlooked that the soil in the construction zone is acidic. As a result, sections of pipe that were expected to last 75 years are in danger of failing. Were that to happen, Port Rowan and St. Williams could be left without tap water or hydrant fire protection.The county realized how serious the problem is in 2017 when a main failure came within half an hour of emptying the Port Rowan water tower. Had that happened, Port Rowan and St. Williams would’ve lost pressure and run dry.Water main tests have determined that 12 segments of pipe have lost more than 30 per cent of their original thickness. The loss for another 30 segments ranges from 10 per cent to 30 per cent. Eleven segments have less than 10 per cent deterioration.Godby recently said the mains should have been backfilled with benign soil trucked in for that purpose. Instead, the county is looking at an unexpected repair that will cost an estimated $2.7 million.“We understand the difficult position Jason is in,” said Port Rowan Coun. Tom Masschaele. “We need to get this project done as soon as possible.”Norfolk council Tuesday approved the expenditure. The money will come from the county’s water replacement reserve fund.“You can have the best laid plans, but problems do come up,” said Delhi Coun. Mike ColumbusThe repair will involve the following sections in the following neighbourhoods:Front Road from College Avenue in Port Rowan to Ellis Street ($270,000) Bay Street from Ellis Street to Church Street in Port Rowan ($345,000) Wolven Street from Erie Avenue to East Quarter Line Road ($935,000) Front Road from East Quarter Line Road to a point 1.2 kilometres east ($720,000). MSonnenberg@postmedia.com read more

5 things to watch for Ohio State v Florida AM

5. How many points with OSU score?The Buckeyes are averaging nearly 45 points a game so far in 2013, while the Rattlers are only putting up an average of 18 a game. OSU’s young defensive players are improving with every game, and against a FAMU offense that has been struggling, Miller and company should get plenty of possessions. How much Meyer forces the issue offensively against the Rattlers will be vindictive of how much OSU visits the end zone, but scoring more than 50 points again is certainly not out of the realm of possibilities. 3. How much playing time will Braxton Miller get?Arguably the biggest storyline heading into Saturday is whether junior quarterback Braxton Miller or redshirt-senior Kenny Guiton gets the starting bid to lead the Buckeye offense. Meyer said Miller will play a limited role against FAMU, but it will be interesting to see how it figures into the equation against a Football Championship Subdivision team. Guiton has led OSU to a pair of wins in his absence, playing well enough to be named the Walter Camp Offensive Player of the Week after his performance against California. Meyer said his backup “has earned some time,” and in a game OSU should win, it is likely that keeping Miller out of harms way will be a top priority for the coaches. 4. Will OSU take this game seriously?After winning a primetime game last weekend at Cal, the Buckeyes return home for a noon matchup against the Rattlers. With another night game on the horizon just a week later when conference rival Wisconsin comes to Columbus, OSU’s focus on taking care of the task at hand is worth watching. Redshirt-senior safety C.J. Barnett said the team has all of their focus on FAMU, but if the Buckeyes score early and often Saturday, Meyer and company may have to work to keep them locked in to close out the victory. Redshirt-junior cornerback Bradley Roby warms up before a game against California Sept. 14 at California Memorial Stadium. OSU won, 52-34.Credit: Eric Seger / Sports editor1. The return of Carlos HydeAfter serving a three game suspension for his involvement in an incident at a Columbus bar in July, senior running back Carlos Hyde is set to make his return against Florida A&M. Hyde rushed for 970 yards and 16 touchdowns in 2012, and was set to return as Ohio State’s top running back heading into the year. While Hyde was serving his suspension, redshirt-senior running back Jordan Hall stepped up in a big way, and will start against Florida A&M while Hyde is left on the bench. Coach Urban Meyer has said he does not know who will be getting the majority of carries, so both backs are heading into the game shrouded in some mystery. Other running backs like freshman Dontre Wilson and redshirt-junior Rod Smith may see a reduced role compared to previous weeks because of Hyde’s return to the field. 2. Can Bradley Roby bounce back?Redshirt-junior cornerback Bradley Roby is typically a rock for the OSU secondary and is considered one of the top defensive players in the country. But against California he was burned by the speedy Golden Bear receivers, allowing two touchdowns in his first start of the season. After serving a one game suspension to start the year for his involvement in an incident at a Bloomington, Ind., bar this summer, Roby made a triumphant return against San Diego State the week before, but seemed to be in a funk against Cal. With the Big Ten schedule looming, Roby will need to be at his best if the Buckeyes are going to achieve their National Championship goals for the season. Playing well before next week’s date with Wisconsin Sept. 28 will be vital for Roby’s (and OSU’s) defensive confidence. read more

Decorated British Army major cleared seven times facing new Iraq inquiry

first_imgA decorated Army major who has faced seven separate inquiries over the death of an Iraqi teenager 15 years ago is now being investigated for an eighth time, the Telegraph has learned. Major Campbell, who is now disabled after he was wounded during active service, said: “This sordid process has broken me. I was assured it was finally over and shortly… The latest inquiry comes just weeks after he received a good conduct medal for his service with the forces and 12 years after he was cleared of manslaughter for the first time.center_img Major Robert Campbell said he had been “broken” by the discovery that yet another official inquiry had been launched into his conduct over the death of an Iraqi in May 2003.last_img read more

Maptek technology rolled out across major coal player in the Canadian market

first_imgSix months after purchasing seven I-Site long range laser scanners from Maptek, surveyors from Teck’s coal business unit are beginning to experience the benefits of the latest survey technology first-hand. The company purchased a Maptek I-Site 8800 scanner for each of their coal operations and projects throughout Alberta and British Columbia, Canada.‘Our vision was that we wanted something that was standard across all of our sites so we could move things across without introducing new systems,’ said Eric Jensen, Director of Engineering, Teck’s coal business unit.I-Site 8800 laser scanners collect point cloud data at up to 2,000 m, and can capture 3D digital images safely at the same time as scanning. Setup and capture are fast and easy because the high resolution digital camera is built in. I-Site Studio modelling software is integrated with the hardware, streamlining tasks such as mapping faces and updating surfaces.The I-Site laser scanners were rolled out at several Teck sites in January and February this year, with improvements already noted. Surveyors can now capture up to 2 million points for an area that may have been previously surveyed with 10 GPS points.‘We are loving it for the accuracy and speed of stockpile modelling,’ said Jensen. ‘The unit is robust enough to withstand what is going on in the pit and simple enough for the guys to adjust. It also translates really well to the surveyors in the offices.’‘I-Site is a safe way to get detailed pictures,’ he said. ‘At Teck, safety is more than just a priority. It is an unwavering value and an inherent part of who we are. Now, with I-Site, no one has to go near the highwall.’According to Jensen, although cost savings cannot be determined this soon, the ‘payback’ is on the time spent and the accurate data the system provides. ‘It has been such a change to the workflow with increased accuracy and an acceptable level of improvement,’ said Jensen. ‘Uncertainty is eliminated because the volumes are accurate.’‘The systems work beautifully,’ said Simon Long, GIS Surveyor at Teck’s Elkview Operation. ‘Everyone here is happy with the entire service – it is phenomenal.’‘Seven site implementations was a real testament to Teck’s desire to introduce new technology and a good demonstration of cooperation between its sites,’ said John Dolan, Maptek Director of I-Site Sales. ‘This is a common goal for large companies, that is not easy to execute.’last_img read more

Austin Engineering announces three year Vale supply contract

first_imgAustin Engineering has announced the signing of a significant three year supply agreement with Vale. Equipment will be ordered by Vale and supplied in accordance with its requirements, as determined by its ongoing production schedules and equipment replacement programs. Vale has informed Austin that the previous contract was for a total of $200 million and that the current contract will be split between two companies, with Austin receiving the larger part of the contract.The contract in the first year is for an initial value of up to $59 million of equipment. Vale will review its requirements after the first year and then on a six monthly basis in light of its equipment needs and operating budgets. Further amendments to the contract value will then be issued as required. The contract provides Vale with a range of equipment at fixed prices, adjusted as necessary on an annual basis, with cost escalation. Austin’s scope includes a number of products from its product range such as dump truck bodies, buckets and ancillary equipment. Other products “may be considered by Vale as the contract progresses.”Vale has also confirmed that it will discuss with Austin the adoption of scheduled maintenance programs of the kind used by Austin in its Pilbara Hire service and repair business. If these programs are introduced, it will provide Austin a source of recurring reliable repair and maintenance earnings. The ability to plan for the delivery of this work in advance will also assist Austin with maximising efficiencies.The delivery of products will be from Austin’s Chilean and Colombian facilities to the Brazilian border, where Vale will arrange for the crossover into Brazil. Austin will be responsible for the assembly of the products in Brazil. The purchase of two facilities, with existing small workshops and land for expansion, will be pursued in order to enable products to be assembled and maintenance services to be provided. A number of possible sites and businesses have already been identified in Belo Horizonte and Belem. In the interim, assembly will be subcontracted to local service providers. Vale’s other international operations will also have access through this agreement to Austin’s range of products and services from its other worldwide production facilities.The company had expected that initial deliveries would have started in August 2013, however with product requirements, specifications and associated engineering activities yet to be completed, revenue streams from the contract are now expected to commence from March 2014 onwards.Commenting on the contract Managing Director Michael Buckland said “This is a very important contract for the company and it continues our successful strategy for expansion into South America. The contract has been in negotiation for over a year and it is pleasing to bring it to a successful conclusion and for Vale to recognise Austin as a preferred supplier of mining products. We see this as only a commencement of our expansion strategy in Brazil and we are confident that the establishment of operations in the country will lead to orders from other Brazilian mining customers. There is significant potential for exponential growth in revenue and profitability over the coming years from our operations throughout South America.”last_img read more

Part of historical Olympiaki site marked for trash

first_imgThe prospects for one of Greece’s few privatisation projects, the development of the old Athens Airport plot at Elliniko, appeared unclear this week, after alternate Finance Minister Nadia Valavani said a portion of the plot would be set aside to create waste management facilities for four municipalities.The move came as a shock to the privatisation agency (TAIPED) and to market professionals, some of whom described it as a “unilateral action”. Lamda Development, which was granted the contract to develop the site, has not yet responded to the announcement, but there are fears the plans will signal complications for the deal.According to Valavani, the 1.2-hectare plot at Elliniko must be set aside for waste management of Elliniko, Argyroupoli, Alimos and Glyfada. “It is necessary for the plot … to be conceded,” she said, adding that action would be taken in coordination with local authorities and Elliniko SA. The plot is a fraction of the entire 620-hectare expanse where developers have been hoping to build a park as well as luxury residential and commercial facilities.Valavani’s trash plan appears to be one aspect of a major overhaul of waste management policy. The plan, unveiled on Wednesday by the Environment Ministry, foresees the abolition of all competitions aimed at assigning waste management projects to private companies via public-private partnerships. According to Alternate Environment Minister Yiannis Tsironis, “interim solutions” will be found for areas with major trash problems, such as Tripoli and Pyrgos. The government wants local authorities to be more involved in waste management and to have a greater emphasis on recycling.Source: Kathimerini Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img read more

Des images saisissantes de la Voie Lactée prises par un astronome amateur

first_imgDes images saisissantes de la Voie Lactée prises par un astronome amateurGrande-Bretagne – Un astronome amateur a réussi à voler la vedette à la Nasa grâce à des clichés pris de son abri de jardin.Quand Peter Shah n’est pas derrière son bureau, il est derrière l’objectif de son télescope. Ce passionné d’astronomie a démontré à la communauté scientifique de la Nasa qu’un télescope à 2,8 milliards d’euros n’était pas forcément nécessaire pour prendre de sublimes clichés de notre galaxie.À lire aussiNuit des étoiles, petit déjeuner et Egypte, les actus sciences que vous devez connaître ce 31 juilletSon matériel, acquis pour 22.000 euros en 12 ans, consiste en un télescope relié à un ordinateur et lui permet de capturer des images de l’espace. Peter Shah a scruté les étoiles pendant des mois pour arriver à ces résultats. Cela n’a pas été chose aisée : le ciel de l’Angleterre est souvent couvert.Ces clichés ont été pris depuis son abri de jardin, équipé d’un toit ouvrant : ils ont de quoi faire rougir certains astronomes et faire rêver bien des jeunes passionnés. On peut y voir les Pléiades, un amas d’étoiles situé dans la constellation du Taureau, ou encore la galaxie M101.Voir les images : https://www.maxisciences.com/voie-lact%e9e/de-superbes-cliches-de-la-voie-lactee-pris-par-un-astronome-amateur_art5418.htmlLe 22 janvier 2010 à 13:27 • Emmanuel Perrinlast_img read more