NGT forms panel to oversee facilities in Amarnath

first_imgComing down heavily on the Amarnath Shrine Board for not providing enough infrastructure to devotees, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Wednesday constituted a committee of experts to maintain the “sanctity of the shrine”.Directing the board to build eco-friendly washrooms, a bench headed by NGT chairperson Swatatnter Kumar said: “There are no proper facilities for toilets. Do you even know how humiliating this is for women? You have allowed shops on the path near the shrine. You are giving priority to commercial activities over pilgrims.”The panel asked the committee to consider the construction of an iron bridge from Panchawati to the steps of the shrine in order to protect the glaciers. The tribunal also directed the authority to remove an iron rod from the cave to facilitate devotees offering prayers. The NGT has also asked the committee to take enough measures to ensure that pilgrims did not pollute the cave with the material they carried inside.The committee set up by the green panel is headed by the Additional Secretary, Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF), and comprises scientists, officers of the Jammu and Kashmir Pollution Control Board, petitioner Gauri Maulekhi and others.The committee has been asked to file a report before the tribunal by the first week of December on aspects like providing proper paths for devotees.On Monday, while hearing Ms. Maulekhi’s plea, the NGT capped the number of devotees at Vaishno Devi to 50,000 a day. The directions came after the petitioner had alleged that due to the increasing number of devotees at shrines, the ecosystem was being damaged.last_img read more

Slow visual processing may lower IQ as we age

first_imgOld age may make us wiser, but it rarely makes us quicker. In addition to slowing down physically, most people lose points on intelligence tests as they enter their golden years. Now, new research suggests the loss of certain types of cognitive skills with age may stem from problems with basic sensory tasks, such as making quick judgments based on visual information. Although there’s no clear causal link between the two types of thinking yet, the new work could provide a simple, affordable way to track mental decline in senior citizens, scientists say.Since the 1970s, researchers who study intelligence have hypothesized that smartness, as measured on standard IQ tests, may hinge on the ability to quickly and efficiently sample sensory information from the environment, says Stuart Ritchie, a psychologist at the University of Edinburgh in the United Kingdom. Today it’s well known that people who score high on such tests do, indeed, tend to process such information more quickly than those who do poorly, but it’s not clear how these measures change with age, Ritchie says.Studying older people over time can be challenging given their uncertain health, but Ritchie and his colleagues had an unusual resource in the Lothian Birth Cohort, a group of people born in 1936 whose mental function has been periodically tested by the Scottish government since 1947—their first IQ test was at age 11. After recruiting more than 600 cohort members for their study, Ritchie and colleagues tracked their scores on a simple visual task three times over 10 years, repeating the test at the mean ages of 70, 73, and 76.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)The participants—all of whom had normal or, thanks to glasses or contacts, corrected-to-normal vision—sat before a computer and watched as two lines of different lengths flashed before their eyes. Joined by a single horizontal line at the top of the screen, this asymmetrical “n” shape appeared for a randomly assigned amount of time, sometimes as few as 6 milliseconds. The participants’ only job was to choose whether the longer line had appeared on the left or the right side of the shape by pushing a button. They were allowed to take as long as they wished to deliberate, Ritchie explains. (So boring was the 30-minute task that the elderly participants “groaned like hell” at its mention during the recent Lothian cohort reunion pictured above, he says.)Next, Ritchie and colleagues compared the amount of time it had taken for participants to make their choices, called inspection time, and examined how it tracked with their performance on four standard intelligence tests. All focused on solving problems based on novel information: For example, one test required recreating a visual pattern with colored blocks, while another required participants to listen to a list of numbers and recite them backward. Over time, the decline in participants’ scores on the intelligence tests was strongly correlated with an increase in their inspection times, suggesting that it might be possible to use the simpler task as a proxy for more complicated intelligence tests in hard-to-reach elderly populations, the scientists report today in Current Biology.The results strengthen the hypothesis that the complex intelligence we associate with geniuses like Albert Einstein may actually be driven by very simple processing skills in vision, hearing, and other senses, says John Gabrieli, a neuroscientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge who wasn’t involved with the research. As we age, our brains may become like “an extremely slow computer that can’t run more complicated operations,” he says. More research is needed to establish whether loss of visual processing speed actually leads to slower higher level thinking, but if it does, it might be possible to help 70-year-olds maintain intelligence by training them to make these simple visual judgments faster, he says. That’s easier said than done, however, Ritchie notes. One of his colleagues tried to improve his performance on the task over the course of 100 days, but “stopped getting better on the second day”—which doesn’t bode well for the test’s usefulness as a brain-training exercise.last_img read more

Osteotomy of the knee

first_imgDefinitionOsteotomy of the knee is surgery that involves making a cut in one of the bones in your lower leg. This can be done to relieve symptoms of arthritis.Alternative NamesProximal tibial osteotomy; Lateral closing wedge osteotomy; High tibial osteotomy; Distal femoral osteotomyDescriptionThere are two types of surgery:Tibial osteotomy is surgery done on the shin bone below the knee cap.Femoral osteotomy is surgery done on the thigh bone above the knee cap.During surgery:You will be pain-free during surgery. You may get spinal or epidural anesthesia, along with medicine to help you relax. You may also receive general anesthesia, in which you will be asleep.Your surgeon will make a 4 – 5 inch cut on the area where the osteotomy is being done.The surgeon may remove a wedge of your shinbone from underneath the healthy side of your knee. This is called a closing wedge osteotomy.The surgeon may also open a wedge on the painful side of the knee. This is called an opening wedge osteotomy.Staples, screws, or plates may be used, depending on the type of osteotomy.You may need a bone graft to fill out the wedge.In most cases, the procedure will take 1 – 1 1/2 hours.Why the Procedure Is PerformedOsteotomy of the knee is done to treat symptoms of knee arthritis. It is done when other treatments no longer offer relief.Arthritis most often affects the inside part of the knee. Most of the time, the outside part of the knee is not affected unless you have had a knee injury in the past.advertisementOsteotomy surgery works by shifting the weight away from the damaged part of your knee. For the surgery to be successful, the side of the knee where the weight is being shifted should have little or no arthritis.RisksThe risks for any anesthesia or surgery are:Allergic reactions to medicinesBreathing problemsBleedingInfectionOther risks from this surgery include:Blood clot in the legInjury to a blood vessel or nerveInfection in the knee jointKnee stiffness or a knee joint that is not well-alignedBefore the ProcedureAlways tell your doctor or nurse what drugs you are taking, even drugs, supplements, or herbs you bought without a prescription.During the 2 weeks before your surgery:You may be asked to stop taking drugs that make it harder for your blood to clot. These include aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), naproxen (Naprosyn, Aleve), blood thinners such as warfarin (Coumadin), and other drugs.Ask your doctor which drugs you should still take on the day of your surgery.Tell your doctor if you have been drinking a lot of alcohol — more than 1 or 2 drinks a day.If you smoke, try to stop. Ask your doctor for help. Smoking can slow down wound and bone healing.On the day of your surgery:You will usually be asked not to drink or eat anything for 6 to 12 hours before the procedure.Take the drugs your doctor told you to take with a small sip of water.Your doctor or nurse will tell you when to arrive at the hospital.After the ProcedureBy having an osteotomy, you may be able to delay the need for a knee replacement for up to 10 years, but still stay active.A tibial osteotomy may make you look “knock-kneed.” A femoral osteotomy may make you look “bow legged.”Outlook (Prognosis)Your doctor may fit you with a brace to limit how much youre able to move your knee during the recovery period. The brace may also help hold your knee in the correct position.You will need to use crutches for 6 weeks or more. At first, you may be asked to not place any weight on your knee. Ask your doctor when it will be OK to walk with weight on your leg that had the surgery. You will see a physical therapist to help you with an exercise program.Complete recovery may take several months to a year.ReferencesCrenshaw AH. Soft tissue procedures and corrective osteotomies about the knee. In: Canale ST, Beaty JH, eds. Campbells Operative Orthopaedics. 12th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Mosby Elsevier; 2012:chap 9.Review Date:8/12/2013Reviewed By:C. Benjamin Ma, MD, Assistant Professor, Chief, Sports Medicine and Shoulder Service, UCSF Department of Orthopaedic Surgery. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Bethanne Black, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.last_img read more

PV Sindhu aims for glory in Olympic debut

first_imgSaina Nehwal and PV Sindhu will be the only two who will be competing in the same category for the same medals amongst a record seven Indian shuttlers to qualify for Rio. And despite the five years and the invaluable experience gap that separates the two, in lead up to Rio, inevitably the Saina-Sindhu rivalry talk will resurface.We play with great spirit Interestingly Sindhu does not duck under but acknowledges the rivalry question. “Off the court we are friends. But on it, of course we have this rivalry. When we face each other I want to beat her and I guess it is the same with her. But we play with great spirit,” she tells India Today.The Saina-Sindhu rivalry was first seen as one between the queen and the contender. But with Sindhu also finding her way into the top 10, the rivalry now is more pronounced. Sindhu dwells further in the comparison. “Saina is a very experienced player. She is attacking but can sometimes get into rallies with me. Both of us have very different styles and strategies against each other.”I am not under pressure but excited Saina accomplished the Olympic medal barrier in her second attempt with the bronze at London; she now prepares for her third edition. While she has held her own and would now attempt to change the colour of the medal at Rio, for Sindhu it’s more excitement than pressure at her first Olympics. “Saina has played two Olympics before. So she knows what it takes. I will take it as it comes once I reach Rio. Of course I will try and win a medal. But for now I am just too excited,” she says.advertisementWe will fight for medals If they find themselves in separate draws and are able to find their A game, a dream clash for the same medal would be a red letter day for Indian badminton. “That would be a great occasion and bring lot of pride to Indian badminton. Both of us will fight for it. But I don’t know what the draw would be and if we do end up playing against each other,” Sindhu says.But the gap between qualification and medal rounds is a huge one and both 20 year old Sindhu and the more experienced Saina would know they need to withstand the ever so strong Chinese challenge so also that of Spanish Carolina Marin and that of Thai Ratchanok to get there.last_img read more


first_imgIowa’s Court of Appeals has set a date for arguments in a lawsuit that challenges a law giving the governor more power over the selection of supreme court and appeals court judges.Chief Judge Thomas Bower says the court will hear arguments on November 6th.Lawyer Bob Rush, a former Democratic state senator who is one of the plaintiffs, asked that Governor Kim Reynolds’ most recent appointment to the court, Judge Julie Schumacher, recuse herself because the validity of her appointment could be affected by the outcome.Bower rejected the recusal request and a request for a full court hearing.He says he and four other judges will hear the case on an expedited basis.last_img read more

FIFA 18 Team of the Group Stage cards announced

first_imgCristiano Ronaldo Ronaldo, Hazard & Neymar all feature in special FIFA 18 European Team of the Group Stage Stephen Darwin 00:38 12/9/17 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Cristiano Ronaldo Eden Hazard Neymar Getty/Goal Cristiano Ronaldo Eden Hazard Real Madrid PSG Chelsea Premier League Ligue 1 Primera División Neymar Gaming eSports Premier League stars including Harry Kane, Kevin De Bruyne and John Stones are also in following their impressive performances in the Champions League FIFA 18 Ultimate Team have released a special European Team of the Group Stage featuring upgraded cards for the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Eden Hazard and Neymar.The 23 upgraded players have been selected based on their form in the Champions League and Europa League group stages and will be available in Ultimate Team packs from 18:00 GMT on Friday.Premier League stars such as Kevin De Bruyne, John Stones, Daley Blind and Roberto Firmino are included, with Hugo Lloris and Harry Kane, who helped Tottenham finish top of Group H above Real Madrid, also picked. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. A Liverpool legend in the making: Behind Virgil van Dijk’s remarkable rise to world’s best player The top performers of the Group Stage are here! The European Team of the Tournaments will be available in packs at 6PM GMT. #FUT #FIFA18— EA SPORTS FIFA (@EASPORTSFIFA) December 8, 2017PSG, who scored an impressive 25 goals in their opening six matches of the Champions League, have representatives in the form Neymar, Kylian Mbappe and Dani Alves, while Casemiro is the only other Madrid player selected, aside from Ronaldo.Marc-Andre ter Stegen is the only Barcelona representative despite the Catalans being unbeaten in the group phase and finishing above Juventus on 14 points.There is also Europa League representation with AC Milan duo Ricardo Rodriguez and Andre Silva included, while Diego Llorente, Sergio Canales, Emiliano Rigoni, Remo Freuler and Aleksandr Kokorin are also recognised.last_img read more

Tottenham sign £25m Sessegnon from Fulham

first_imgTottenham have completed the £25 million ($30m) signing of 19-year-old Ryan Sessegnon from Fulham, the club confirmed on Thursday.Sessegnon, who will wear the number 19 shirt for Spurs, has signed an initial five-year deal with the club having the option to add an extra year.Josh Onomah, the 22-year-old midfielder, has joined Fulham from Spurs as part of the deal, signing a three-year contract also with the option of a one-year extension. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Ox-rated! Dream night in Genk for Liverpool ace after injury nightmare Messi a man for all Champions League seasons – but will this really be Barcelona’s? Sessegnon came through Fulham’s youth academy after initially joining the club back in 2008. He started training with the first-team as a 15-year-old and made his debut in the 2016-17 season.The following year was when he really came to the fore, playing in all 46 of Fulham’s Championship games and scoring 15 goals in the league as he was eventually named the Championship Player of the Season. He made 35 league appearances as his side were relegated from the Premier League last season.He has moved between left-back and left-wing during his time at the Cottagers, and seems likely to take an attacking left-back role with Spurs. He will replace Danny Rose who, though he is yet to find an exit from the club, has been told he is free to leave by Mauricio Pochettino.With Tanguy Ndombele joining earlier in the window for a club-record fee and  Giovani Lo Celso arriving on an initial loan deal from Real Betis , it has been a productive window for Spurs with three of Pochettino’s key targets secured. Jack Clarke was also signed from Leeds, but was immediately loaned back to Marcelo Bielsa’s promotion chasers.They could all feature in the squad to face Aston Villa at home in Spurs’ Premier League opener on Saturday.Onomah, meanwhile, is a Tottenham academy graduate and made more than 30 first-team appearances following his debut in early 2015.Capped for England at six youth levels, he is used to Championship football after two loan spells there in the last two seasons, with Aston Villa and Sheffield Wednesday.He will be hoping to feature on Saturday as Fulham face Blackburn Rovers in their first home game of the season, having tasted defeat in their first game back in the second tier.Fulham were beaten 1-0 at Barnsley on Saturday, thanks to an early goal from Luke Thomas.last_img read more

Sanchez flop at United not his fault says Guardiola

first_imgManchester: Pep Guardiola believes Alexis Sanchez cannot be blamed for his spectacular failure with Manchester United and expects the Chile forward to make an impact on loan with Inter Milan. The Manchester City manager tried to sign Sanchez — who played under Guardiola at Barcelona — when he was in the process of joining Manchester United from Arsenal 18 months ago. His failure to do so hardly proved problematic, with City winning the last two Premier League titles and watching from afar as Sanchez struggled at Old Trafford, scoring just five goals in 45 appearances. Also Read – Puducherry on top after 8-wkt win over Chandigarh Sanchez joined Inter on loan this week with United still paying a large percentage of his salary. “I know him (Sanchez). We worked together in Barcelona. I have a special affection for him as a player, of course, but especially as a human being,” said Guardiola. “He’s an incredible, humble guy and a fighter. “So now he decides to move to Italy with one of the greatest teams in Europe with Inter right now, incredible manager with Antonio Conte and I’m pretty sure they are going to do well. Also Read – Vijender’s next fight on Nov 22, opponent to be announced later “Because the way I think Inter plays, is perfect for him. Play close to (Romelu) Lukaku and in this position I think he is going to have a good period in Milan.” – ‘He is a shy guy’ – ===================== Talking ahead of the weekend visit of Brighton to the Etihad, Guardiola joked he never pondered what might have happened had Sanchez opted to join him instead of Jose Mourinho at United in January 2018. But the City manager is firm in his conviction that there is no simple explanation for Sanchez’s catastrophic fall from grace. “Football clubs don’t depend on one player,” he said. “You judge it was a failure for just Alexis, but there are many reasons. “Quality is there, it is always there. It happens for many reasons. “It is not only for one player that doesn’t work with one team. They don’t play alone, it’s not tennis, it’s not golf. “There is not one player in the Premier League that said this player is not good. “I don’t know what happened, I was not there, so that’s why I cannot give my opinion, but I am not thinking it is just for one reason.” Meanwhile, Guardiola must decide whether to hand teenage midfielder Phil Foden just his fourth ever league start — and a first of the season — against Brighton. The 19-year-old is widely expected to step into the void left when City skipper David Silva leaves at the end of the season, but Guardiola believes Foden may be too nice for his own good. “He is a shy guy. I would like him to talk more to me, but all the time I go to him and speak to him, he still looks at me like a little bit respect like a manager, and after two or three season it’s not necessary,” said Guardiola. “When he plays I will decide. I don’t know when but that’s going to happen because now we play an incredible amount of games.” (last_img read more

Six stories in the news for today Oct 30

first_imgSix stories in the news for Monday, Oct. 30———FEDS TO DELAY PLANNED INFRASTRUCTURE SPENDING:The Canadian Press has learned the federal Liberals plan to shift some $2 billion in planned infrastructure spending to future years, reflecting slower-than-anticipated spending on the file. The money will come from multiple funds set up by the Liberals and the previous Conservative government, as well as large-scale projects overseen by Infrastructure Canada. The Liberals have found they can’t move cash fast enough out of the federal treasury for infrastructure projects around the country.———MMIW HEARINGS BEGIN IN NOVA SCOTIA:Family members and advocates will share the stories of missing and murdered Indigenous women as the national inquiry holds community hearings in Nova Scotia today. Forty witnesses are expected to testify during the three-day hearings at Membertou First Nation in Cape Breton. Many of those set to testify gathered on Sunday for a day of opening ceremonies, which included spiritual events and a community feast.———BABCOCK’S MURDER TRIAL TO HEAR MORE FROM FRIEND:A friend of a young Toronto woman who disappeared five years ago is expected to face cross-examination at the first-degree murder trial of two Ontario men today. The Crown alleges Dellen Millard, 32, of Toronto and Mark Smich, 30, of Oakville, Ont., killed Laura Babcock, 23, and burned her body in a large incinerator. Both Millard and Smich have pleaded not guilty to the charges.———EX-DEPUTY QUEBEC PREMIER RETURNS TO COURT:Former deputy Quebec premier Nathalie Normandeau and five co-accused are due back in court in Quebec City today for the next step in their fraud-related case. They’re scheduled to appear for a preparatory hearing. Normandeau is charged with conspiracy, corruption, breach of trust and fraud in a scheme in which political financing and gifts were allegedly exchanged for lucrative government contracts between 2000 and 2012. She has maintained her innocence.———TEEN E-CIGARETTE USE LINKED TO SMOKING: STUDYA large Canadian study suggests teenagers who use electronic cigarettes are at risk of graduating to smoking tobacco. The study of more than 44,000 Grade 9 to 12 students in Ontario and Alberta shows a strong link between so-called vaping and subsequent tobacco use. The researchers found that teens who vaped in the 30 days prior to the start of the study were more likely to start smoking cigarettes and to continue smoking after one year. The study is published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal.———VANCOUVER’S NOTORIOUS DOWNTOWN EASTSIDE CHANGING WITH DEVELOPMENT:Vancouver’s notorious Downtown Eastside is changing as entrepreneurs and property developers push into the neighbourhood’s periphery. Observers attribute the accelerating trend to skyrocketing real estate prices elsewhere in the city, as well as loosened zoning restrictions and the area’s growing reputation as a hip and happening place to be.———ALSO IN THE NEWS TODAY:— Prime Minister Justin Trudeau welcomes Colombia President Juan Manuel Santos— The Alberta legislature starts its fall sitting— Trial continues for Basil Borutski, charged with first-degree murder in the deaths of three women in the Ottawa Valley in 2015last_img read more


first_imgAdvertisement Twitter Click here for the latest promoTORONTO – Big Brother Canada is back! Global announced today the seventh season of its monster hit reality series Big Brother Canada premieres Wednesday, March 6 at 7 p.m. ET/PT. The reality juggernaut returns to Global’s schedule three nights a week on Wednesdays at 7 p.m. ET/PT, Thursdays at 8 p.m. ET/PT, and Sundays at 8 p.m. ET/PT. Hosted by Arisa Cox, the award-winning series takes viewers on a wild ride filled with socially savvy, and not so savvy, houseguests, unpredictable twists, unforgettable challenges, and jaw-dropping drama.“We are so proud to be ushering in an all-new season of Big Brother Canada on Global,” said Maria Hale, Senior Vice President, Global Entertainment & Content Acquisition, Corus Entertainment. “With a new house and a whole new crop of houseguests, we can’t wait to bring viewers another hit season of the show they can’t get enough of. Growing its audience year over year, we take great pride in creating an unforgettable season filled with epic TV moments and even more snackable digital content for our hungry viewers.” Following a coast-to-coast casting call, Big Brother Canada plucks a group of hand-picked strangers from their homes, sequesters them from the outside world, and places them inside a house outfitted wall-to-wall with cameras and microphones that capture their every move. Competing for a grand cash prize, each week the houseguests battle in a series of challenges that give them power or punishment, voting each other out until the fate of the final two is decided by a jury of fellow houseguests.“We have planned the most epic and exciting season of Big Brother Canada and cannot wait to share it with our amazing fans,” said Executive Producer & SVP Erin Brock. “What we have in store for our batch of houseguests in Season 7 will be a wildly exciting ride that viewers will be talking about all season long!”Additional details about Season 7 of Big Brother Canada, including this season’s theme, houseguests, and the grand prize details, will be announced in the coming weeks.In anticipation of the premiere, fans can stream their favourite moments from Season 6 on, Global GO (now available on Apple TV, Google Chromecast, and Amazon Fire TV) and stay updated on all things #BBCAN7 on For Season 7, viewers can stream Big Brother Canada live on and Global GO by signing in with their TV service provider credentials or catch up the next day on, Global GO, and viewers anxiously await the electrifying new #BBCAN7 season, fans can watch the season two premiere of Big Brother: Celebrity tonight at 8 p.m. ET/PT on Global. The star-studded series airs multiple nights over the course of three weeks, before a winner is crowned on Wednesday, February 13. For more information, including full schedule details, visit by Corus Entertainment, Season 7 of Big Brother Canada is produced by Insight Productions Ltd. in association with Corus Entertainment and Endemol Shine. Executive Producers are John Brunton and Erin Brock.SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS:#BBCAN7Twitter: @BigBrotherCA@GlobalTV  @GlobalTV_PR @CorusPRFacebook: @bigbrotherca@globaltvGlobal Television is a Corus Entertainment Network.Corus EntertainmentCorus Entertainment Inc. (TSX: CJR.B) is a leading media and content company that creates and delivers high quality brands and content across platforms for audiences around the world. The company’s portfolio of multimedia offerings encompasses 44 specialty television services, 39 radio stations, 15 conventional television stations, a global content business, digital assets, live events, children’s book publishing, animation software, technology and media services. Corus’ roster of premium brands includes Global Television, W Network, OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network Canada, HGTV Canada, Food Network Canada, HISTORY®, Showcase, National Geographic Channel, Q107, CKNW, Fresh Radio, Disney Channel Canada, YTV and Nickelodeon Canada. Visit Corus at Insight Productions Ltd.Insight Productions, known for its award-winning ratings juggernauts, is Canada’s most established content producer and an industry leader in the development, financing, and production of hit programming, both scripted and unscripted, as well as digital content.  With thousands of hours of programming under its belt, the company has created some of the most dynamic and top-rated programs in the world including Big Brother Canada (for which Erin Brockserves as EP and Showrunner alongside EP John Brunton); The Amazing Race Canada; The JUNO Awards; Top Chef Canada; Intervention; and original formats including The Launch and Battle of the Blades. Insight’s scripted programming includes award-winning Ready Or Not; Falcon Beach; Hatching, Matching & Dispatching A Fury Christmas; But I’m Chris Jericho!; and The Jon Dore Television Show. In 2017, Insight produced The Tragically Hip: A National Celebration, a live concert special watched by one in three Canadians. Insight Productions was founded in 1979 and has since created thousands of hours of groundbreaking content.  For more information on Insight Productions, please visit or on Twitter – @insightprod. Or Facebook Facebook Advertisement Login/Register With: Advertisement LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment last_img read more

Morocco Reject Spains Project to Expand Maritime Borders Off Canary Islands

Rabat – A new tension between Morocco and Spain has surfaced and this time over territorial waters. According to media reports, Morocco has requested the United Nations to reject a Spanish proposal to expand the maritime borders off the Canary Islands.The move will open the way for Spain to explore for oil and gas off the coast of the archipelago, the site of important energy reserves. Morocco reportedly sent a letter to the United Nations last week protesting Spain’s plans to expand the maritime borders off the Canary Islands on the grounds that the area in question is part of the Moroccan continental shelf and that is located where territorial waters between the two countries are undefined.The kingdom announced a year ago that it will assign a team of specialists to carry out the delimitation of its maritime territory.It is also reported that Morocco was considering the purchase of an oceanographic vessel from France to help in the effort of redrawing its territorial waters.Spain is expected to defend its proposal next July before the UN’s Commission on Limits of Continental Shelf, known as CLCS. read more

Closing Bell TSX closes lower early enthusiasm for Cypriot bailout deal evaporates

TORONTO — The Toronto stock market closed lower Monday as earlier relief over a bailout deal for Cyprus faded.Here are the closing numbersTSX — 12,680.71 -76.64 -0.60%S&P 500 — 1,551.69 -5.20 +0.33%Dow — 14,447.75 -64.28 -0.44%Nasdaq — 3,235.30 -9.70 -0.30%The S&P/TSX composite index finished the session down 76.64 points to 12,680.71 with smartphone maker BlackBerry also a major weight ahead of its earnings release later in the week.Indexes had been higher earlier in the session after Cyprus clinched a (euro)10-billion bailout from the International Monetary Fund, the European Commission and the ECB aimed at preventing the country from sliding into bankruptcy and ditching the euro currency.But in order to get the money, Cyprus had to come up with (euro)5.8 billion on its own. The bulk of that money is now being raised by forcing losses on holders of large bank deposits, with the remainder coming from tax increases and privatizations.Losses picked up after a top European official said that inflicting losses on banks’ shareholders, bondholders and even large depositors should become the 17-country eurozone’s default approach for dealing with ailing lenders.Banks’ owners and investors must be held responsible “before looking at public money or any other instrument coming from the public side,” said Jeroen Dijsselbloem, the Dutch finance minister who chairs the Eurogroup gatherings of the 17 eurozone finance ministers.He later pointed out that “Cyprus is a specific case with exceptional challenges” but traders worry that forcing losses on large deposits could encourage investors to pull money out of weaker southern European economies to more stable nations in the north, like Germany.The Canadian dollar was also down from the highs of the session and closed up 0.2 of a cent to 97.92 cents US.U.S. indexes also lost early traction as the Dow Jones industrials declined 64.28 points to 14,447.75, the Nasdaq was down 9.7 points at 3,235.3 and the S&P 500 index dipped 5.2 points to 1,551.69.The focus will likely remain on developments surrounding Cyprus for awhile yet. In particular, investors will be interested to see the level of withdrawals from the country’s banks when they reopen. That had been scheduled for Tuesday.A longer-lasting concern though is how the Cyprus deal plays out in other countries, notably those at the forefront of Europe’s debt crisis. Analysts warned there is still a risk of contagion spreading to other weak eurozone countries such as Spain, Italy and Greece.Anthony Conroy, head trader at ConvergEx Group, which provides technology to support big traders like investment advisers and hedge funds, said that traders expect more turbulence from Europe before the crisis has been resolved.“I think there’s more to come,” he said.“When you have concern, you have volatility, and you’re seeing volatility in here,” he said.Shares in smartphone maker BlackBerry (TSX:BB) fell for a second session in a row ahead of the release of its quarterly earnings on Thursday. Its stock was off session lows but still down 68 cents, or 4.48%, to $14.51 on top of an eight% slide Friday as the smartphone maker’s new Z10 product officially went on sale in the U.S.The stock also backed off after analyst Simona Jankowski at Goldman Sachs downgraded BlackBerry to neutral. In a note to clients, Jankowski said her firm’s research indicated a “disappointing” U.S. launch for the Z10 “with limited marketing and tepid sell-through at AT&T and Best Buy stores alike.”The company’s fourth-quarter earnings give a glimpse into how well the smartphones are selling in Canada, the U.K. and India, though details on its U.S. launch and other markets won’t be part of the financial report until the next earnings period.“On balance, I think the numbers will be pretty decent — it’s going to be a loss, which is not unexpected but the sales numbers are going to be the story here,” said Bob Gorman, chief portfolio strategist at TD Waterhouse.“We have had mixed sentiment with respect to very very early responses. I don’t think you’re going to see anything conclusive there until the keyboard equipped device comes out a little later on.”Elsewhere on the TSX, the base metals sector led decliners, down 1.76% with May copper off two cents at US$3.44 a pound. First Quantum Minerals (TSX:FM) dropped 71 cents to C$19.41.The gold sector dropped about 1.7% as April bullion closed well off the worst levels of the day, slipping $1.60 to US$1,604.50 an ounce. Goldcorp Inc. (TSX:G) lost 66 cents to C$33.67.The May crude contract on the New York Mercantile Exchange was up $1.10 to US$94.81 a barrel. The energy sector was down 0.76% as Cenovus Energy (TSX:CVE) fell 53 cents to C$31.40.The industrials sector lost 0.89% as Bombardier Inc. (TSX:BBD.B) shed 11 cents to $3.95. The transportation giant said Monday that it has fully powered up the main electrical systems for the first time on its CSeries test aircraft. The company also says it has completed two crucial wing tests ahead of the commercial plane’s first flight by the end of June.The TSX Venture Exchange slipped three points to 1,103.35.Here’s the news investors were watching today: Saving Cyprus means no one in eurozone safe as rot threatens to spreadWhere do Canada’s mortgage rates go from here?Why does everyone suddenly hate copper?Michael Dell likely to sweeten bid to save 30-year legacyON DECK TUESDAYNew Brunswick budget ECONOMIC NEWSUNITED STATES8:30 a.m.Durable goods orders (Feb): Economists expect 3.9% rise 9 a.m.S&P Case-Shiller home price index (Jan): Economists expect 0.8% rise from month before, 7.8% year over year 10 a.m.New home sales (Feb): Economists expect a decline of 3.9% from month before Conference Board consumer confidence index (March): Economists expect reading of 67.5, down from month before CORPORATE NEWSUNITED STATESSAIC Inc Q4 earnings: Analysts expect 52¢ a share read more

President Sirisena and Thai PM hold bilateral talks

The President who arrived at the official residence of the Thailand Prime Minister was warmly welcomed by the Prime Minister Chan-o-cha. The welcome ceremony included a Guard of Honor. President Maithripala Sirisena who is on a four day state visit to Thailand met the Prime Minister of Thailand General Prayut Chan-o-cha at the official residence of the Prime Minister today. The two leaders discussed the importance of increasing the number of flights between the two countries and Thai Prime Minister agreed to come up with a future program for the implementation opf a plan to increase flights.Furthermore, the Thai Prime Minister pointed out that as Buddhist countries the cultural ties between Sri Lanka and Thailand could help the two countries to move forward for a strong journey economically and politically.A special commemorative stamp was launched to mark 60 years of diplomatic relations between Sri Lanka and Thailand. President Sirisena stated that a government of good governance which gives priority to democracy has now established in Sri Lanka. He added the aim of the new government is to take the concept of consensual politics forward. “The government is committed to strengthen the constitution at every occasion’, he said.Prime Minister Chan-o-cha said the program of the new government of Sri Lanka is exemplary to the entire world. “The Sri Lankan President’s visit to Thailand is a significant occasion to our country”, Chan-o-cha added. The Prime Minister of Thailand pointed out that all countries should work with consensus to prevent political problems between countries.President Sirisena made a special request to the Prime Minister of Thailand to support Sri Lanka in technological and research work. The Prime Minister expressed his agreement in this regard.Prime Minister Chan-o-cha stated Thailand investors keen to invest in Sri Lanka in the fields of mineral oil, fishing and health. He added a group of investors will come to Sri Lanka in the near future to explore possibility for investment. Attention was also paid on the decline of the number of Thai tourists to Sri Lanka, compared to the Sri Lankan tourists to Thailand. He pointed out it is due the inadequate communication given to the world about the historic heritage and cultural values of Sri Lanka. After the welcome ceremony, the two leaders commenced bilateral talks. The discussions focused on the fields of politics and culture of the two countries. Bi-lateral discussions between Sri Lanka and Thailand were held parallel to this meeting and Foreign minister Mangala Samaraweera, Minister of Primary Industries, Daya Gamage, Southern province Governor Hemakumara Nanayakkara, Chief Minister Shan Wijayalal De Silva, Chief Minister of the Central Province, Sarath Ekanayake and  Chairman of Board of Investments Upul Jayasuriya were also joined to represent Sri Lanka.To celebrate 60 years of diplomatic relations between Sri Lanka and Thailand and in parallel to the state visit, President Sirisena declared open the exhibition of the Sarvagna dhathu from the Mahiyangana Rajamaha Viharaya, at the Buddhamanthan Temple today afternoon. (Colombo Gazette) read more

Navy Commander holds talks in India

On completion of his visit to Kochi, the visiting delegation will proceed to the Indian Naval Academy at Ezhimala. Vice Admiral Piyal De Silva, Commander of the Sri Lanka Navy, along with a delegation, is on a visit to Southern Naval Command in Kochi between March 29 and 31 as part of a visit to India, The Hindu newspaper reported.He held discussions with Vice Admiral AK Chawla, Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief of the Southern Naval Command. Presently, 95 Sri Lankan Navy officers and 67 sailors are undergoing training at various establishments and units under the SNC. Thereafter, he was given a presentation on the activities conducted by the command, focussing mainly on training. read more

UN refugee agency concerned over fate of Chechens who had been in

Last week, the agency appealed to Moscow not to go through with its plans to close the Aki Yurt camp until decent alternative shelter could be found in Ingushetia. Today agency spokesman Kris Janowski reported that only three tents remained standing, “sheltering the last handful of displaced people awaiting departure to Chechnya.” Over the last two days, UN international field staff were not allowed to enter the camp, “under the pretext that their visit would give displaced people there false hopes,” he added. The agency estimates that just under half of Aki Yurt’s former residents remain in Ingushetia, probably either with host families or in existing temporary settlements. “Our staff and monitors are now trying to follow up on the location and condition of those displaced Chechens,” Mr. Janowski said. “We are very concerned that they receive adequate housing and assistance for the winter.” Weather conditions have been particularly harsh, with snow, icy roads and freezing temperatures. read more

Late UN envoy Sergio Vieira de Mello honoured with peace building award

Deputy Secretary-General Louise Fréchette accepted the honour on Mr. Vieira de Mello’s behalf at the Institute’s annual awards dinner last night in New York, saying his work epitomized everything the UN stands for. “He dealt willingly with the most daunting challenges, undertook the most uncomfortable assignments, tackled the toughest missions,” she said.Ms. Fréchette also recalled that Mr. Vieira de Mello reached out to local communities in everything they did, making them true partners in the United Nations’ work. “He sought to ensure that the United Nations was not simply implementing projects, but helping to build the basis for good governance and long-term peace,” she said.According to its web site, EWI is “an independent, not-for-profit, European-American institution working to address the most dangerous fault lines of the 21st century and to help build fair, prosperous and peaceful civil societies in those areas.” read more

Farmers benefiting from oil price downturn

AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email CALGARY – Not everything is a negative when it comes to the lower price of oil; Canada’s farmers are reaping the benefits of lower fuel costs.The plunge in the price of gasoline and diesel is helping ease the pain of low grain prices for growers and boosting profits for cattle ranchers.Farmers need fuel for their tractors and other equipment — it’s one of their biggest expenses.Lynn Jacobson, president of the Alberta Federation of Agriculture, says on his southern Alberta farm he normally spends 50- to 60-thousand dollars a year on gasoline and diesel.He estimates his savings this year could be in the neighbourhood of 10-thousand dollars.Gary Stanford, who has a farm southwest of Lethbridge, figures his fuel costs could be about 30 per cent lower this year.Stanford, however, is now worried the federal government might want to raise taxes to recoup some of the revenue it’s losing.(The Canadian Press) by News Staff Posted Feb 1, 2015 7:07 am MDT Farmers benefiting from oil price downturn read more

Task force outlines framework for business industry to report climate risks

TORONTO – A global task force chaired by former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg is recommending the world’s businesses and industries adopt a universal approach for reporting the financial impact of climate change.The prominent American businessman was assigned the task last December, about the time political leaders from nearly 200 countries including Canada were meeting near Paris to negotiate a United Nations climate accord.Bloomberg says climate change is not only an environmental problem, but a business one as well.His 32-member task force — which included the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, insurance companies, banks, and industrial and mining companies — came up with a framework that is designed to inform investors and asset managers.Its 66-page report, released today, says its recommendations are practical and should be adopted voluntarily by all organizations across jurisdictions and economic sectors.It recommends, for instance, that organizations routinely disclose a potential range of impacts of climate on its business, how the risks are identified, the way the risks are measured, and how top managers and boards govern the process.The release of the task force report will begin a 60-day period for public consultations and feedback, until Feb. 12.The implementation of the Paris climate agreement — which calls for signatory countries to reduce the emission of carbon dioxide in order to limit the rise in the global temperature — has been called into doubt by the U.S. election victory of Donald Trump.During Trump’s campaign, the Republican president-designate said earlier this year that he would “cancel” the climate deal.More recently, he said in a Fox News television interview that he’s “very open-minded” on whether climate change is under way but has serious concerns about how the Obama administration’s effort to cut carbon dioxide emissions would undercut U.S. global competitiveness.In the task force report, Bloomberg — also a Republican who built a business empire before entering politics — says climate change is a problem for business that should be addressed.“Warming of the planet caused by greenhouse gas emissions poses serious risks to the global economy and will have an impact across many economic sectors,” Bloomberg says.“Widespread adoption of the recommendations will help ensure that climate-related financial issues are routinely considered in business and investment decisions and encourage an effective dialogue between companies and banks, insurers and investors”Bloomberg was named chair of the task force last December by Mark Carney, a former Bank of Canada governor and current Bank of England governor, in his role as chair of the Financial Stability Board. by David Paddon, The Canadian Press Posted Dec 14, 2016 5:01 am MDT Last Updated Dec 14, 2016 at 6:00 am MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email Task force outlines framework for business, industry to report climate risks read more

Côte dIvoire tells Assembly it stands as living example of UNs role

“I wish to here reiterate the gratitude of the Ivoirian people for the invaluable role the United Nations played and continues to play at our sides,” the West African country’s Permanent Representative Claude Bouah-Kamon told the Assembly on the sixth day of its 70th annual General Debate. “ Thanks to this precious support, Côte d’Ivoire has resumed its march forward, thus finding the path of stability, growth and economic and social development.” “The UN Operation in Côte d’Ivoire (UNOCI), which in 2011 helped restore legitimacy and stability along with French forces after incumbent President Laurent Gbagbo’s refusal to concede defeat in the 2010 elections to Alassane Ouattara, currently maintains some 7,000 uniformed personnel in the country. “Mr. Bouah-Kamon warned the despite the numerous UN successes, the world must not lose sight of the many challenges still confronting it, such as ongoing conflicts, transnational crime and extremism, including that of the Nigerian-based terrorist Boko Haram group, as well as the need to achieve the ambitious new 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. “ Poverty, terrorism, epidemics, food and climate insecurity, which today are the new threats to international peace and security provide fertile terrain for intolerance, fundamentalism and extremisms of all stripes which threaten the fragile edifice of a world at peace to which all our peoples aspire,” he declared. “ It is thus undeniable that the world is confronting a period of great challenge, but it is also true that we are presented with an historic opportunity to consolidate the foundations of inclusive development and a better world, as much for present-day generations as for those of the future.” read more

Transcript The UK motor industry past present and future

This has been painful, redundancies, pay cuts and short-time working all designed to ensure that companies survived and maintained their core industrial capability. The UK has a strong motor industry, we have an important share of global demand, and a new approach and new enthusiasm for the industry is capable of delivering jobs and prosperity for the long-term We hope this will provide guidance that will help direct public and private investment into appropriate research, development and demonstration programmes. Whilst the Automotive Assistance Programme provides loans and loan guarantees it has not delivered as much or as quickly as industry would like. To date only £10 million of an available £2.3 billion has actually been delivered. Not surprisingly we want to see the much faster delivery and where necessary some greater flexibility to ensure companies in the supply chain get the support they need. Successive governments have had an ambivalent attitude to the motor industry, responding actively to periodic crisis, but then disengaging when the immediate problems had passed. If every country adopted this type of a laissez-faire approach, we might be OK. Speech given by SMMT chief executive, Paul Everitt to the Economic Research Council, entitled ‘The UK motor industry, past present and future’ on 14 October 2009.Good evening ladies and gentleman, it is a very great honour for me to address you today. The Economic Research Council has played an extremely important role in the development of economic policy in the UK, providing a forum for debate and challenge for more than 65 years. In your president, Lord Lamont and his vice-presidents you have some of the most experienced, thoughtful and influential economic thinkers. You maybe surprised to now that the UK is the second largest producer of premium or luxury cars in the world. It is also a centre of excellence for engine development and manufacture producing more than three million automotive engines each year. But in a world where others actively compete to build and sustain a motor industry there are real dangers. So a new relationship between industry and government has to be a key part of building a stronger and more sustainable UK motor industry. For the motor industry to benefit it must first survive the short-term pressures. I think that the recovery remains extremely weak and government should focus on sustaining and strengthening it. There is a need to put in place measures to curb public expenditure and reduce debt, but it is a question of timing and the risks of cutting too soon, are in my view the greater concern. I believe we need to launch an active campaign to encourage key global suppliers to invest more intellectual capital in the UK. In the 80s and 90s we won investment from vehicle manufacturers, we now need to do a similar job on the component suppliers. What is the UK motor industry?Perhaps I should start by dispelling a few myths. The UK motor industry remains extremely important employing more than 800,000 people across the design, development, manufacture, sales and servicing of all types motor vehicle. In many EU member states industrial relations remain problematic, strikes and disruptions are part of daily life – whereas in the UK we do have better relationships and a common determination to maximise our competitiveness. So today we do have a strong industry it is globally competitive, unlike the US and Europe we have seen plant closures and a real commitment to rationalise and reduce over-capacity. We also have a highly motivated, flexible and skilled work-force – real advantages for the UK. New Automotive Innovation and Growth Team (NAIGT)Earlier this year Richard Parry-Jones, the Ford Motor Company’s former chief engineer, led a team of senior executives from industry, government and academia to look at current performance and future prospects for the UK motor industry. The New Automotive Innovation and Growth Team report was published in May this year and provides an important guide to how move forward. The economic conditions in the years to come should encourage industrial investment and international trade. Inflation and interest rates will continue to be relatively low, consumers are likely to save more and spend less, and exchange rates will favour UK manufactured goods for some considerable time. And then in the late 1990s and the early part of the 21st century we saw a second wave of investments in engine production by Ford at Dagenham and by BMW at Hams Hall, then the investment in the new Mini and the re-invention of Rolls-Royce and Bentley. At the same time Ford’s ownership of Jaguar and Land Rover saw sustained investment in facilities, design and R&D. The team concluded that some significant changes were required to prevent a continued erosion of industrial capability, particularly in the supply chain. One of the major changes they recommended was the establishment of a long-term strategic partnership between industry and government. This unease contrasts starkly with the pride that successive governments have taken in encouraging inward investment and the way that individuals and companies have found the UK to be a welcoming and successful home.  The scrappage scheme launched on 18 May has been extremely successful. The extension announced earlier this month will see demand sustained through to the early part of 2010 and strong registration data through the first half of next year. An industry in the UKWhat is also obvious is that this industry is not domestically owned. The big decisions are made by global companies headquartered in Germany, Japan, the US, India, Malaysia, the Middle East and now Canada. This can be a concern for some – if we do not own it how can we take pride in it or worse still actively support it. For the motor industry the core support requested from government was the availability of loans and loan guarantees to help sustain investment during the downturn, a scrappage incentive scheme to stimulate demand and measures to encourage more and better priced consumer finance. The most worrying aspect of the work by the NAIGT was the hollowing out of the supply chain. Whilst there are still a significant numbers of jobs in the UK supply chain – these are mostly assembly operations, the high value design, develop and engineering tends to done elsewhere. Mostly in high cost countries like France, Germany and Japan. The transition to a low carbon future is an opportunity for the motor industry and the country. A strategic partnership between industry and government will be necessary to help foster and realise the potential. We have already seen government part-funding one of the largest trials of ultra-low carbon vehicles in the world and commit to up to £230 million for consumer incentives. This has attracted the interest of global vehicle manufacturers; the next test is to see whether we can encourage others to invest in the industrial infrastructure needed to fully exploit this future potential. The challenge for the UK is to exploit the transition to a low carbon future to strengthen and deepen the industrial value of the motor industry here in the UK. To help support this, industry has developed a technology roadmap, a research agenda and is currently completing an evaluation of the relative strengths of the UK in the technologies likely to be required to deliver ultra-low carbon vehicles. We do have a strong case. The combination of major global players, a strong cross-party commitment to a low carbon future, active incentives for low carbon vehicles and a reputation for academic excellence and engineering innovation is an attractive proposition. We now need the political and industrial will to convince sceptical investors that it is worth taking another look at the UK. ConclusionAll of industry’s efforts have been focused on sustaining its industrial capability. The short-term measures have been necessary to ensure that the UK motor industry is able to contribute more to a stronger and better balanced economy. And for many, even today, the collective memory of industrial unrest, poor quality and suspect environmental performance shapes their attitude to an industry that I believe is of strategic national importance – and should inspire pride and confidence. An Industry TransformedThe UK motor industry has been transformed since the mid 1970s – first by the inward investment from the Japanese vehicle manufacturers in the 1980s, which created word class facilities and a step change in quality, reliability and productivity. The credit crisis has served to remind us all that we need to have a more balanced economy, where manufacturing and the design and engineering skills that it requires have a higher priority. Surviving the presentI am very optimistic about the future opportunities for the industry in the UK. We entered this recession stronger and more resilient than at any time in the recent past and have responded quickly to the very dramatic fall in demand. Despite a wide range of schemes to support lending, there has been relatively little improvement in willingness of the banks to lend to industry. I think we should be proud that the UK is seen as an important location for the global automotive industry – but it should also inspire us to work harder to build and maintain close working relationships with the key decision makers in these global enterprises. And to build a better understanding of the value inward investment has for our economy. I am clearly biased, I am an enthusiastic supporter of the industry and all the people that work in it, but I hope you will recognise the transformation that has taken place, the strength that currently exists and the opportunities that lay ahead.Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window) So we do have an industry and it remains strong and resilient, despite the current economic difficulties. There are understandable concerns about the potential impact once the incentive has been removed. I am hopeful that underlying demand will strengthen during the next 6 to 8 months, particularly in the fleet and business markets. This should mean a relatively soft exit from the scrappage scheme.    And these companies make iconic products in the UK that sell in every corner of the world – whether it’s Jaguar, a MINI, a Rolls-Royce or a Bentley Continental. Over 75% or around a million vehicles a year, are made in the UK and exported. The UK is home to seven volume vehicle manufacturers (Honda, Nissan, Toyota, BMW MINI, VW (Bentley), Ford (engines) and General Motors). In addition we have Jaguar and Land Rover, Aston Martin, Lotus and a host of other specialist producers making trucks, trailers, buses and coaches. The difficultly for me is that the history of the motor industry has tended to be dominated by emotion, rather than rational debate. For me the industry has always been important, I knew it was because it regularly featured on the news, mainly pictures of striking workers and blackened smoke-stacks. Ultra-low Carbon VehiclesThe team also concluded that the market for automotive products would continue to grow, mainly in the fast developing countries like China, India, Russia, across Eastern Europe, Asia and South America. Also that demand in all markets would be for progressively low, lower and ultra low carbon vehicles. There will be a market for ultra low carbon vehicles in the UK, the choice for us is where the vehicles and technology required for them will be designed, developed and manufactured. read more