first_imgThe Opposition parties will approach Rajya Sabha Chairman M. Venkaiah Naidu to protest against his decision to fast-track the disqualification process of Janata Dal (U) rebel leader Sharad Yadav. Leaders of six parties, who met at the office of Leader of the Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad in Parliament House on Monday, decided to take up the battle on behalf of Mr. Yadav and another JD(U) rebel MP Ali Anwar. Mr. Yadav himself was at the meeting. Recently, Mr. Naidu decided to determine the question of disqualification on his own instead of sending it to the ethics or privileges committee, breaking away from tradition. In the Rajya Sabha, there have been nine cases where parties have moved disqualification petitions against their members. Out of these, seven were referred to the privileges committee and two members resigned before the pleas could reach that stage.According to sources, the Vice-President has based his decision on the time taken by the committee to dispose of the cases. He has argued that none of committees did anything substantial. He has called Mr. Yadav for a personal hearing on October 30. On Tuesday, Mr. Naidu is hosting his first lunch meeting with the Council of Ministers and floor leaders of both the Houses since he took over as Vice-President.last_img read more

first_imgViolent protests against Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Padmaavat in Gujarat and Rajasthan, a day before the film’s release on Thursday, forced the Multiplex Association of India to decide against screening the period drama in the two States.Incidents of violence were also reported from towns and cities in Haryana, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar and Jammu where protesters torched buses, blocked highways and created a ruckus outside theatres.The Gujarat Multiplex Owners’ Association announced that it would not run the controversial film in any theatre in the State in “view of the prevailing law and order situation.”“We have taken the decision for the safety of our customers as well as to save our property,” said association president Manubhai Patel.50 arrestedThe Ahmedabad police have arrested 50 people and filed three separate FIRs in connection with the violence witnessed at three malls in the city on Tuesday night.Hitting out at the State government, Patidar leader Hardik Patel sought to know if Chief Minister Vijay Rupani would resign in view of the situation.Protesters from Shri Rajput Karni Sena and other outfits went on the rampage in different parts of Rajasthan on Wednesday.The Jaipur-Delhi National Highway was blocked at several places.Protesters damaged two State roadways buses in Sikar district. No one was injured in the violence.Multiplex Association of India president Deepak Asher said its members will not screen Padmaavat in Rajasthan. The association has decided not to screen it in two other States — Goa and Madhya Pradesh — in view of the law and order situation.The historic Chittorgarh Fort, where Queen Padmini is believed to have lived in the 13th century, was closed for a day after women members of Karni Sena tried to break in for a protest.Karni Sena founder Lokendra Singh Kalvi said at a press conference in Jaipur that a “self-imposed curfew” would be enforced by the people to boycott the film.A tight security net was thrown around Diggi Palace in the State capital, where the Jaipur Literature Festival is starting on Thursday, in view of Karni Sena’s warning of a protest against the presence of Central Board of Film Certification chief Prasoon Joshi at the event.Members of Karni Sena targeted movie halls in Meerut, Saharanpur and Muzaffarnagar districts of Uttar Pradesh and blocked the Delhi-Saharanpur highway in protest against the screening of Padmaavat.last_img read more

first_imgSingapore’s bronze medallist Joseph Isaac Schooling poses on the podium of the men’s 100m butterfly swimming event at the 2015 FINA World Championships in Kazan on August 8, 2015. AFP PHOTO / ALEXANDER NEMENOVMalaysia’s sports minister has urged fans not to boo Olympic swimming champion Joseph Schooling at the Southeast Asian Games, after the Singaporean sparked a furor by vowing to “teach (Malaysians) a thing or two”.Schooling, who won Singapore’s first gold medal at last year’s Rio Olympics, caused controversy with his remarks last week, before insisting he meant no offence and that his comments were taken out of context.ADVERTISEMENT Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Schooling, who stunned his idol Michael Phelps to win 100m butterfly gold in Rio last year, is likely to play a starring role in Kuala Lumpur after he swept nine gold medals at the 2015 SEA Games in Singapore.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next MOST READ Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said fans shouldn’t give Schooling a rough ride at the event from August 19-30 — and told them to remember that the swimmer’s mother is Malaysian.“No booing, no jeering,” he was quoted as saying in the New Straits Times newspaper Friday.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSWin or don’t eat: the Philippines’ poverty-driven, world-beating pool stars“That is not what the SEA Games is about. Tensions will run high, cheer for your team but don’t jeer others.”He added Malaysians should not “dwell on this too much, it is important to remember that Joseph Schooling’s mother is Malaysian”. NATO’s aging eye in the sky to get a last overhaul Robredo should’ve resigned as drug czar after lack of trust issue – Panelo NGCP on security risk: Chinese just technical advisers Celebrity chef Gary Rhodes dies at 59 with wife by his side Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ LATEST STORIES Kings’ Randolph arrested on pot charge at LA housing project DILG, PNP back suspension of classes during SEA Games Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games03:07PH billiards team upbeat about gold medal chances in SEA Games05:25PH boxing team determined to deliver gold medals for PH03:04Filipino athletes share their expectations for 2019 SEA Games00:45Onyok Velasco see bright future for PH boxing in Olympics02:25PH women’s volleyball team motivated to deliver in front of hometown crowd01:27Filipino athletes get grand send-off ahead of SEA Games00:36Manny Pacquiao part of 2019 SEA Games opening ceremony Robredo should’ve resigned as drug czar after lack of trust issue – Panelo Trump signs bills in support of Hong Kong protesters View commentslast_img read more

first_imgNew Delhi, Nov 28 (PTI) Debt-ridden Jaiprakash Associates has completed the exercise to exchange its USD 150 million foreign currency convertible bonds (FCCBs) due this year with those maturing in 2020-21.Recently, the companys finance committee approved cashless exchange of existing FCCBs due in 2017 with those maturing in 2020-21. Earlier this month, the RBI had approved the proposal.In a filing to the BSE today, Jaiprakash Associates informed that “the consent solicitation and the proposed exchange offer have been completed and …upfront payments have been made”.The company had fixed November 28 as the effective date for restructuring.Accordingly, the exchange bonds are expected to be listed on Singapore Exchange Securities Trading Ltd on November 30, the Jaypee Groups flagship firm added.In June, Jaiprakash Associates had said that bondholders agreed to exchange outstanding existing FCCBs worth USD 150 million. The bonds were issued in September 2012 with maturity in 2017 and a coupon rate of 5.75 per cent.As per the proposal, the bondholders agreed to exchange their current bonds with FCCBs worth USD 38.64 million bearing the same coupon rate with maturity in 2021 and amortising bonds worth USD 81.69 million with coupon rate of 4.76 per cent and maturity in 2020.As many as 1,10,400 Series A bonds were to be issued having principal value of USD 350 each carrying a coupon rate of 5.75 per cent per annum with maturity in September 2021.Moreover, the proposal was to issue 1,10,400 Series B bonds having principal value of USD 740 each at a coupon rate of 4.76 per cent per annum and maturity of September 2020. The company had to pay USD 27.6 million upfront.advertisementJaiprakash Associates, a diversified infrastructure company engaged in segments like engineering, construction and real estate development, cement manufacturing, hospitality and sports management, is selling its assets to repay debt.Jaypee Group firm Jaypee Infratech has been taken over by a National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT)-appointed IRP (Insolvency Resolution Professional) for recovery of bad loans.The group is facing huge protest from home buyers due to significant delays in delivery of projects. PTI MJH ADI MKJlast_img read more

first_imgEngland all-rounder Ben Stokes has wished his team good luck for the Ashes which got underway with the first Test being played at the Brisbane Cricket Ground Thursday morning.Stokes posted a video on Twitter in which he promised to cheer for his team from home and also thanked the English fans for travelling all the way to Australia to support Joe Root’s team.pic.twitter.com/MN1BY2is4H- Ben Stokes (@benstokes38) November 22, 2017Stokes is not travelling with the English team to Australia for the Ashes. He was arrested in the early hours of September 26 after an incident in Bristol and missed the fourth and fifth one-day internationals against West Indies last month.Stokes was arrested over his involvement in a brawl outside a pub in Bristol. The news broke as the England selectors were set to meet to finalise the Ashes squad. However, they named Stokes as part of the side.The dashing all-rounder was later dropped from the Ashes squad pending investigation.The ECB gave no further details of the incident, but the BBC said it happened in a city nightclub. Sky Sports Television reported that the 26-year-old player had injured his hand.England currently holds the Ashes after winning the 2015 series 3-2 at home, regaining the urn after its lopsided loss in Australia last time.Meanwhile, Mark Stoneman and James Vince combined defiantly in their first experience of Ashes cricket to blunt Australia’s much-hyped pace attack and help England to 59-1 in the first session of the series.advertisementMitchell Starc struck in the third over to have former England captain Alastair Cook (2) caught at first slip with the total at two, exposing a left-right second-wicket pair with a combined 10 previous Test caps to a potentially hostile initiation.Starc returned 1-14 from 10 overs. Cummins had Stoneman rocking back on his heels with a bouncer in his second over that caught the England opener off guard, and finished the session with 0-13.But the Australians were unable to capitalize on the early breakthrough, and Vince (32 not out) and Stoneman (25 not out) weathered the new ball in a 57-run stand that took the tourists to lunch without further loss after skipper Joe Root won the toss and batted.The banter and bluster from the Australians leading up to the Gabba Test centered on their 5-0 sweep here the last time England toured in 2013-14, when a local pace trio spearheaded by Mitchell Johnson intimidated the batsmen and set the foundation for a series domination.last_img read more

first_imgShare on Messenger Reuse this content Read more It may be too early in the season to describe Sunday’s meeting of Leicester and Sale at Welford Road as an eight-pointer but with the Manchester club starting the fifth round at the bottom of the Premiership and the Tigers having the worst defensive record after the opening four rounds, there will be little comfort for the loser in a season when, without an obvious struggler, every point counts.“We are not looking at the table,” insists the Sale captain, Jono Ross. “There are still 18 games to play. We have not had the start we wanted in the toughest of leagues because we have not been good enough. We have to improve and that starts with hard work. It is far too early to be talking about relegation and all we are focusing on is Leicester.” Sydney summit feels like a pivotal moment in rugby’s modern history Share on WhatsApp Leicester sacked their head coach, Matt O’Connor, three days into the season after losing 40-6 at Exeter while Sale’s director of rugby, Steve Diamond, reacted to their first home defeat by Wasps for eight years last weekend by recruiting the former Northampton forwards coach Dorian West and pledging some old-school training.“There was a fair bit of work done,” says Ross, who had given his side the ideal start against Wasps with a first-minute try. “Everyone was disappointed by the result and we have been taking a hard look at ourselves in the mirror. Dorian will add to our forward game and his experience should help us find an edge there.”There should be tries at Welford Road. Leicester have conceded 21 this season, while Sale have the next leakiest defence, having been breached 17 times. “At this stage of the season a lot can change quickly,” says Ross. “A couple of wins and you are in the top half of the table. We have to stay positive. It will be tough on Sunday but that is the case every time you play in the Premiership.” Premiership While the shape of the domestic season from 2019-20 is expected to be announced in the next couple of weeks after prolonged discussions between the Rugby Football Union, Premiership Rugby and the Professional Rugby Players’ Association, relegation will remain despite talk of ringfencing the elite. The only possible reprieve for the team finishing bottom will be if the Championship winners do not meet the entry criteria.With promoted Bristol winning two of their first four matches and Worcester, the pre-season relegation favourites, triumphant at Leicester having been pipped by a point by Wasps in the opening round, the comfort blanket of a team detached from the rest from early in the campaign has been snatched away. The bottom three clubs going into the latest round of matches were all former champions, Sale, Northampton and Newcastle. Two others, Leicester and Harlequins, were higher up the table, after one victory each in four, because of bonus points. The prospect of a big-name casualty – the last was Northampton in 2007 – is real.“There are no weak teams in the Premiership,” says Ross. “You look at Leicester’s squad and it is full of quality. It is the same with us but it is all about putting in a performance. We have played well in parts in all of our four games but we have not put it together for 80 minutes. We have been falling away and that has to stop.” Leicester Share on Twitter Share on Pinterest The Observer Share via Email Sale … we have a small favour to ask. More people, like you, are reading and supporting the Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism than ever before. And unlike many news organisations, we made the choice to keep our reporting open for all, regardless of where they live or what they can afford to pay.The Guardian will engage with the most critical issues of our time – from the escalating climate catastrophe to widespread inequality to the influence of big tech on our lives. At a time when factual information is a necessity, we believe that each of us, around the world, deserves access to accurate reporting with integrity at its heart.Our editorial independence means we set our own agenda and voice our own opinions. Guardian journalism is free from commercial and political bias and not influenced by billionaire owners or shareholders. This means we can give a voice to those less heard, explore where others turn away, and rigorously challenge those in power.We hope you will consider supporting us today. We need your support to keep delivering quality journalism that’s open and independent. Every reader contribution, however big or small, is so valuable. Support The Guardian from as little as $1 – and it only takes a minute. Thank you. Support The Guardian Share on Facebook Rugby union Read more Stuart Hooper to replace Todd Blackadder at Bath in 2020 news Topics Share on LinkedIn Since you’re here…last_img read more

first_imgVANCOUVER – Amazon has announced plans to open a new Metro Vancouver shipping warehouse on Tsawwassen First Nation land in Delta, B.C.Amazon spokesperson Lauren Lynch said Thursday that the 41,800-square-metre facility will create more than 700 full-time jobs and is expected to open in time for the Christmas holiday season next year.The facility will be located within Delta iPort, a new industrial park developed by GWL Realty Advisors on behalf of the project’s owner Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan, said a news release from the First Nation.Tsawwassen First Nation and the Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan signed a 60-year lease agreement on the nine-hectare parcel in 2017, it said.When deciding on a place, Amazon looks for a few things, in particular, a talented workforce and proximity to customers so they can fulfil their one and two-day shipping promise, Lynch said.“We found that with Tsawwassen First Nation.”This will be Amazon’s third so-called fulfillment centre in B.C., where employees will pick, pack and ship items such as books, toys, small electronics and home goods.She said the centre will serve the rest of the country and all over the world depending on what item is selected.Tsawwassen First Nation Chief Bryce Williams said in a news release that the warehouse is a promising advancement that will continue to unlock the potential of the nation as a key economic driver in Metro Vancouver.In 2007, the nation ratified Canada’s first urban land-claim treaty, more than doubling the size of its reserve and providing members with millions of dollars in benefits that allowed it to develop its land.The tiny, 372-member First Nation reached the agreement after more than 15 years of negotiations, giving it ownership of more than 700 hectares of some of the most fertile agricultural land in Canada.The Tsawwassen First Nation is located on the shores of the Fraser River delta, bordered on one side by the BC Ferries terminal at Tsawwassen and on the other by the Roberts Bank Superport.last_img read more

first_imgHALIFAX — A new report from an ongoing public inquiry into decades of abuse at a Halifax-area orphanage says a fragmented system of care was not equipped to address the needs of children who were vulnerable.Inquiry co-chairwoman Pamela Williams says it’s an idea that has consistently emerged as the inquiry has conducted its work over the last three years.Williams, who is chief judge of the provincial and family courts, says there must be fundamental changes in the way agencies operate to create “stronger trusting relationships” with the community at large.Co-chairman Tony Smith, a former resident of the Nova Scotia Home for Colored Children, says “silos” have to be broken down within a care system that is not designed to address the unique needs of the African Nova Scotian community.A report released by the inquiry in January also pointed to a culture of silence and shame that contributed to the abuse at the home.Friday’s interim report precedes the inquiry’s final report, which is expected in the spring.The restorative inquiry is made up of former residents of the orphanage, community members and the provincial government.Launched in late 2015, it has a mandate to examine the experiences of former residents and systemic discrimination and racism throughout the province. The Canadian Presslast_img read more

first_imgI must have visited Kerala more than a dozen times. Each time, I have stayed as a guest of either a luxury resort or in one of the famed Kerala homestay properties. Never did I venture to stay in Kerala’s many luxurious kettuvalams (houseboats) until my childhood friend Jacob Kutty urged me to try one of Kerala’s best backwater destinations – the shimmering Lake Vembanad, which happens to be one of Asia’s largest freshwater lakes. While there is no dearth of luxury hotels and resorts in God’s Own Country, the Kerala houseboat segment has provided a kind of shot-in-the-arm for Kerala Tourism and today, Kerala has carved a niche for itself as one of the world’s premier backwater cruise destinations, welcoming the discerning world traveller in a most unique way. Also Read – Oman – Beauty with an addressI hopped on an early morning flight from Kolkata to Chennai and from Chennai to Cochin. Around 3 pm, I reached Cochin. Jacob was there to receive me and we reached the magnificently appointed Kumarakom Lake Resort. The unprejudiced eye of the architect echoes in every nook and corner of the resort. Here, at the Kumarakom Lake Resort, the virtually impossible seems graceful and easy. Be it the ethnically designed Heritage Villas, Lake Villas or the marvellously luxurious Presidential Suites, the resort is a supreme adjustment to opportunity and local conditions. All attention has been concentrated on creating art, like one beautiful picture. Also Read – CANADA: A traveller’s delightI was told by the resident naturalist that the Vembanad Wetland system has been integrated into the list of wetlands of global importance in terms of wetland conservation and happens to be the largest of the three Ramsar Sites in Kerala. Vembanad Lake today has become a major tourist destination due largely to its ethereal and picturesque setting. As we ventured towards the impeccably conceived Kumarakom Tourist Village, which happens to be the most popular site on the shores of the shimmering lake, a sense of fulfilment engulfed me. For the benefit of travellers, the village offers a bewildering array of recreational pursuits like luxurious boat cruises, yoga & meditation, the famed Kerala Ayurvedic massage therapies, fishing to name just a few. In fact, the ingenuity of Keralites is admirable – from thoughtfully prepared itineraries to an amazing array of holiday experiences like tracing family history, eco-friendly initiatives and a one-of-its-kind cultural experience with the host community to name just a few. They have compelled the new-age traveller to not only embrace the backwater holiday but also herald the beginning of ‘Responsible Tourism’ in this gem of a tourist state. Being a travel writer, it was most refreshing to absorb the sheer enthusiasm of the support staff at the resort who would go that extra mile just to see you smiling and satisfied. Since I had limited time at my disposal, I preferred to remain within the resort premises to explore every nook and corner of this Eden on Earth. It was only in the evenings, with the red molten ball setting on the distant lake horizon, that I would venture to the impeccably designed luxurious houseboat of the resort, embark on a peaceful 1-1.5 hour night cruise, indulge on a few sips of my favoured tipple, have a sumptuous dinner on board and retire for the night in the king-size bed onboard the houseboat. To explore the nocturnal joys of the backwaters, the concept of ‘Backwaters by Night’ is becoming a rage in Kerala; and I must admit that the joy of viewing nocturnal creatures is thrilling. There was just enough ambient light, courtesy the moon, and pretty soon things got interesting. The expert boatman knew the backwaters by the tip of his fingers and he would often halt at the right places, by the edges of the lake. All sorts of nocturnal creatures: frogs and snakes, fish, large aquatic insects and other weird and wonderful things could be seen prowling in the shallows, right next to the shore. If it is spring or summer, a nocturnal symphony of frogs may be on display. After indulging and being thoroughly pampered on the kettuvallam (houseboat), I can vouch that it is one thing to be pampered in a super-deluxe hotel but quite another to spend time on the banks of Kerala! From the splendid luxurious isolation of Kumarakom Lake Resort, it was now time to appreciate yet another niche backwater holiday in God’s Own Country. We proceeded to the west of Kumarakom and soon figured out the gorgeously anchored Park Apsara, which has provided a new dimension to backwater holidays in Kerala – a touch of boutique hotel experience along with a harmonious blend of the famed European yachting spirit; a spirit of inquiry in nature’s lap, a spirit of discovery and bliss. The sophisticated Park Apsara is a pioneer project of India’s one and only 5-star boutique hotel chain – The Park Hotels. This luxurious cruiser is innovatively built on two levels by the renowned Dubai-based CDB Yacht Design. With eight elegantly designed rooms, an exclusive gallery, saloon and dining area, a sundeck and a fabulous seating area that offers breathtaking vistas of the ethereal backwaters of Kerala, one couldn’t have asked for more. The interiors are sophisticated and ooze luxury. I was particularly impressed with the harmonious décor and quality of food served in the lakeside restaurant that offers some of the most amazing culinary delights from Kerala along with a bewildering array of gastronomic delights from the world over. Every evening, to keep guests entertained, the cruise staff organises cultural shows on the vessel’s deck (vallom) that reverberate with Kerala’s rich heritage and culture. On the penultimate day of my stay, after lunch, which consisted of the quintessential Chettinad cuisine, cooked to perfection by the resident chef, I ventured to an adjoining hamlet; quaint as it was, would you believe, gorgeously dressed womenfolk who were busy preparing for Onam that was just a week away, came out with all guns blazing – singing local Kerala hymns and folk songs as rehearsal that sounded incredibly melodious. The manner in which the quality of life of the rural folks has improved alongside the preservation of nature and cultural heritage is impressive. Here in God’s Own Country, the slow-moving carts still ply on village roads, thatched hutments are in existence, joyful village theatres are active, cows and buffaloes are still being used in tilling the soil and popular folklore remains alive. Add to it the characteristic features of a sustainable backwater holiday option and you have all the makings of an Eden on Earth. The entire experience reminds me of Rishi Aurobindo’s immortal poem: When you and I, we played together, Who my playmate was I did not know. Without a fear, without a shame, Life in quiet ease did flow…last_img read more

TORONTO — A class action lawsuit has been filed against PayPal Canada on behalf of an Ontario man alleging that the online payments company charges Canadians hidden currency conversion fees, violating its user agreement.Court documents filed to the Ontario Superior Court on Nov. 24 on behalf of Leonid Kaplan state that when PayPal Canada account holders wish to withdraw foreign currency from their accounts, the company unilaterally and automatically converts those funds to Canadian dollars.The statement of claim says the conversions are not authorized by contract or otherwise and that PayPal Canada charges account holders an undisclosed fee to convert foreign currency on withdrawal as well as a percentage fee added to the exchange rate charged.Toronto law firm Paliare Roland Rosenberg Rothstein LLP is representing Kaplin, who will bring a motion to the court seeking certification of the action as a class proceeding.None of the allegations have been proven.PayPal Canada did not immediately respond to requests for comments. read more

President Mahinda Rajapaksa has expressed sadness over the shooting in a US school.In a message to US President Barak Obama, President Mahinda Rajapaksa said he was greatly saddened to hear the news of the shoot-out in an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut, where 27 persons, including 20 innocent little children were tragically gunned down. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the parents and siblings of the children who lost their lives, as well as the families of the six adults who were killed. In this Christmas season, our sympathies are also with the people of Newtown, who will need fortitude and courage to come to terms with their grief over this terrible carnage in their community,” he added. “I wish to convey my personal heartfelt sympathies to Your Excellency, while the people and the Government of Sri Lanka join me in expressing our sincere condolences to the Government and the people of the United States at this tragic moment,” Rajapaksa said. read more

The Ohio State men’s soccer team headed to Dayton this weekend to take part in a two game tournament.The Buckeyes faced off against Marshall on Friday, and Milwaukee on Sunday, losing both contests by a score of 1-0.As has been the story throughout the early part of this season, the Buckeye offense created chances for itself in the form of corner kicks and shots on goal, but were unable to get on the board.The Buckeyes nearly took the lead in the 16th minute against Milwaukee, but sophomore midfielder Mitch Bergman’s goal was called back due to an offsides call.The Ohio State defense, despite sporting a goal differential of minus two, held strong against both Marshall and Milwaukee attacks.Marshall scored in the second minute to get off to a quick start on Friday evening, but the Buckeyes rallied to battle evenly with the Thundering Herd, though ultimately unable to find an equalizer.In goal, redshirt junior goalkeeper Parker Siegfried played well, making multiple impressive saves throughout the weekend to keep his team in the match.The Buckeyes will play once again on Friday when they take on South Florida at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium. read more

Potato farmers are being forced to trial an ‘expensive’ new irrigation system because water levels are so low that a severe shortage of the vegetable has been predicted.A lack of rainfall last year and so far this year means that irrigation prospects across the country are low, meaning that new measures are having to be put in place in order to ensure at least some potatoes grow.The latest information for the Environment Agency shows the chips are down for potato growers; river flows are below normal for this time of year, with irrigation prospects declared “moderate to poor” for many areas.Prospects for East Anglia, Lincolnshire and Northamptonshire are described as “poor”, while the situation in Yorkshire and the East Midlands is “moderate”.A dry winter and a summer drought last year put increased pressure on water supplies, and there has not since been enough rain to counteract this.The situation for potatoes could be even graver than it was last year, when restaurants including fast-food outlet Leon were forced to replace potato products with imported sweet potatoes.A spokesperson from ADHB potatoes said that trials of drip irrigation, a new way to enrich the soil with water, are taking place to safeguard the soil against drought.He explained: “The growers are making contingency plans.”We have a network of strategic farms across the country and we are running irrigation demonstrations.”One of the new and less used and more precise is called drip irrigation where you run thin pipes along your potato ridges and the water gradually drips into the ridges. This is rather than spraying.”We are running these trials across the country and growers are always considering the best ways to irrigate.”Less water is used and it’s more precise but it is more expensive.” Jerry Knox of the Cranfield Water Science Institute.told Farmers Weekly that water restrictions could be imposed sooner this year than last.He added: “We have started 2019 in overdraft. The position has changed since the first irrigation prospects were issued in March, as there has been very little rain for the past six weeks or so.”What took place in 2018 was a wake-up call for farmers and the supply chain. There are challenges from changes in rainfall patterns and from abstraction reform, which has removed some of the previous leeway that existed.”For some businesses, there is an urgent need to critically reappraise what they can feasibly grow against what area they can reliably irrigate from their existing licenced resources”. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. read more

first_imgKidnapped Greek Australian girl Chrysovalanto Nisyros was freed from her kidnappers after being taken from the Eleftherios Venizelos airport in Athens more than a year ago. Nisyros, who comes for a wealthy family known for their large properties, was kidnapped and taken to Kurdistan where she was used as a slave. Her kidnappers had knowledge of her wealth and demanded a hefty sum as the ransom. The girl risked her life to make contact with her family to alert them to where she was. With the help of the Australian government, relevant American authorities and the full assistance of the UN in Kurdistan, Nisyros was freed from her kidnappers. She was transferred to a safe place in Istanbul and later to Athens. Nisyros has returnd to the island of Karpathos where she is safe and sound with her family. There is a current criminal investigation underway into the kidnapping, where it may be possible that there were collaborators involved in the abduction due to the known wealth of the family. Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img read more