Doctors, nurses strike at Diamond hospital

first_imgAfter months of complaintsBy Shemuel FanfairAfter months of complaints over poor working conditions and no positive response from health officials in Region Four (Demerara-Mahaica), doctors and nurses attached to the East Bank Demerara Regional Hospital, commonly known as the Diamond Diagnostic Centre or Diamond Hospital, staged strike action on Wednesday. During the strike, the workers demanded that their concerns be addressed. Several elderly patients were among those turned away from the Diamond Hospital as a result the ‘sit-in’ which was observed by both medical and custodial staff.Water leaking onto the floor at the entrance of the hospital on WednesdayTheir complaints included the medical facility’s deplorable conditions observed since February of this year, coupled with repeated issues over drug shortages. Guyana Times understands that the staffers had been urging regional officials to look into their plight but their calls fell on deaf ear. However, after word spread of the sit-in, Region Four officials including the Regional Executive Officer (REO), Regional Heath Officer (RHO) and members of the Public Health Ministry rushed to the East Bank Demerara facility to hold an emergency meeting with the staff.The meeting, which lasted some four hours, had heated exchanges between staff and health officials. The employees berated the hospital’s unsanitary state, with many saying their complaints prior to the strike were ignored. The staff reminded the officials of overflowing toilets, water leaking onto the floors from air conditioning (AC) units and no working AC units in the dressing room which could lead to spread of infectious diseases. “If you’re working in an environment where you have faeces pulping up, how the people gone get proper treatment?” one staff attached to the facility questioned.Conditions at the Diamond HospitalMoreover, the doctors expressed their dissatisfaction with the state of affairs at the facility, noting their difficulties with having to inform their patients that much needed medications are unavailable.“It’s rough having to tell people we do not have the drug or tablet, or strip that they need, and having to turn them away. It’s constant. This shortage is all the time. But it’s hard on us doctors because it bothers us to know that we know what is wrong with a patient but we can’t help them because we don’t have the right treatment. Then you got to send them away to buy it… and most of these people that come public hospitals can’t afford to buy medication,” a male doctor stated.A female nurse said she has been employed at the facility for a number of years, and throughout the period, there have been many instances where they were forced to make complaints. She however claimed that this prolonged situation was the worst they have experienced. Some staff members were heard leaving the meeting in anger saying, “it’s the same nonsense and promises.” Wednesday’s strike action is not the first such action taken by staff as conditions at the facility have been in a similar state in the past.At one point, former Public Health Minister, Dr George Norton had decried the Ministry’s Materials Management Unit (MMU) for not supplying drugs in a timely manner. In May last year, reports surfaced of deplorable conditions at the Diamond facility, including broken doors, non-functional air-conditioning units, leaking roof, insufficient equipment and medication in the ambulances, black mould forming on the ceilings and the lack of water.Short circuitingThe hospital’s issues continued into 2017 where in early January, it was reported that medical services at the facility were being hindered due to widespread short circuiting.  Guyana Times had learnt that certain sections of the hospital were without power despite many attempts to have the situation rectified. Several pieces the machinery at the hospital, such as the ultra-sound and X-tray had been affected which at that time, caused the medical facility to close its doors to patients, attending to only emergency cases.This newspaper had reported that wires sparked at the facility which had caused the staff much distress. The short circuit had prevented the lights and AC units in several of the examination rooms at the hospital from working properly.last_img read more

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SA must contain debt levels: Gordhan

first_img14 March 2013 While South Africa has shown itself capable of reducing its public debt in the past, the country’s current debt levels render it vulnerable to economic shocks, says Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan. Speaking in Parliament in Cape Town on the debate of the Treasury’s Fiscal Framework and Revenue Proposals on Tuesday, Gordhan said that the country had reduced its public debt substantially during the mid-2000s. This had created the fiscal space that enabled the country to sustain a robust countercyclical response to the global financial crisis of 2008-09. However, slow economic recovery since then, along with substantial deficits, had eroded South Africa’s debt position compared to its peers, Gordhan said. “This has a number of negative consequences for South Africa. First, it means that we are vulnerable in the event that economic circumstances take a turn for the worse. The fiscal space available to us is narrower. “Second, high levels of government debt put upward pressure on interest rates and can have other effects which undermine growth and investment in the economy.” Gordhan said that rising debt led to rising debt service costs. The deteriorating debt position would see debt-service costs outstripping all others, with the government forecast to spend R118-billion to service its debt in 2015/16. This would be more than the budget for police services, forecast to be R80-billion, or the salaries of healthcare workers, expected to amount to R96-billion. Although the 2013-14 Budget showed a narrowing of fiscal space, it continued to support economic growth, Gordhan said. “Rebuilding the fiscal space we had achieved before the [2009] recession will require us to continue along a path of moderate growth in spending. It also means that structural increases in spending, for instance as a result of new policy reforms such as the introduction of a National Health Insurance scheme, would require concomitant increases in revenue.” Gordhan added that the government was committed to ensuring that a greater share of public funds became available for capital investment over time. He said a ministers’ committee on the budget would oversee expenditure reviews in the coming year to analyse patterns of public spending, including personnel spending. “The reviews will also identify opportunities to improve value for money, such as enhanced procurement controls and the phasing out of projects that are ineffective or no longer aligned with policy priorities,” he said. Source: SAnews.gov.zalast_img read more

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Chinese government pledges billions to industrialise Africa

first_img21 October 2015The Chinese government reiterated its commitment to support industrialisation in South Africa and the rest of the African continent by pledging $50-billion (R668- billion) towards industrialisation projects.According to a press release, the pledge was announced during a courtesy visit by China’s commerce vice-minister, Zhang Xiangchen, to Lionel October, the director-general in the Department of Trade and Industry, in Pretoria this week.The courtesy visit also focused on the upcoming Forum on China-Africa Co- operation (Focac), which will be hosted in Johannesburg on 4 and 5 December.Initiatives like these fall in line with South Africa’s National Development Plan that has as its aim an improved country and continent. Its goals are to end poverty and build a strong, resilient and smart economy.Xiangchen said there were several new measures that the Chinese government was finalising to further promote industrialisation and development of the African continent as a whole.“China-Africa industrialisation partnerships will be at the forefront of any development in the continent followed by agricultural activities. China will also increase investments in Africa especially in the special economic zones and provide training in those sectors,” said Xiangchen.His government would provide 50 technical experts in building and upgrading of industrial parks and new power plants, 200 000 industrial managers to train and develop local industrial managers, as well as 40 000 training opportunities in different sectors.October welcomed the pledge and praised China for its efforts to support the African cause.China had remained an inspiration to most developing countries, especially those in Africa, for the last forty years, he said. Even though the continent was underdeveloped, summits such as Focac could bring progress in industrialisation.The first Ministerial Conference of Focac was held in Beijing in October 2000. After that meeting, China cancelled 10.9-billion renminbi (about R23-billion today) of debts for 31 heavily indebted poor countries or least developed countries in Africa.Source: SouthAfrica.info reporterlast_img read more

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China facing huge losses from African swine fever

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest With China’s international gateway city of Hong Kong now officially positive for African swine fever (ASF), the country is nearly 100% ASF-positive. Aside from this near totality in geographic spread of ASF, the disease’s toll on China’s swine herd is reaching epic proportions. Some estimates peg current and future losses related to ASF at more than 200 million pigs. Even more dire than this is the seeming inability of the country’s pig farmers and veterinarians to successfully repopulate farms and keep them from breaking with ASF again even after they have been depopulated, cleaned, disinfected and left idle for months. This has led to pork shortages and reports of some outlets having to switch to alternative proteins, such as chicken or seafood.In late April, China’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs released a communication regarding a 100-day action plan to manage the transition to the ASF self-testing system during the slaughter process and the official veterinarian stationing system at pig slaughterhouses. Chinese authorities highlighted the slaughtering process as the key link that connects the production and marketing phases, which makes it a crucial target for interventions to limit virus transmission. Stationed veterinarians will supervise pig slaughterhouses conducting ASF tests, and if requirements are met, the animal quarantine certificate can be issued. Local authorities have the responsibility of supervising the implementation of planned activities.last_img read more

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2020 Dicamba Showdown

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest By Emily UnglesbeeDTN Staff ReporterROCKVILLE, Md. (DTN) — With much of the 2019 soybean crop still in the field, the state of Illinois pushed the 2020 soybean season into the limelight last week.Late on Friday afternoon, October 11, the Illinois Department of Agriculture (IDOA) announced that it has submitted additional label restrictions for dicamba herbicides used with the Xtend cropping system in 2020. Under this Section 24(c) Special Local Need (SLN) label, Illinois growers will only have until June 20 to spray dicamba herbicides in Xtend crops, and cannot spray them when temperatures exceed 85 degrees.The state’s move here forces the EPA to solidify its position on Section 24(c) labels that further restrict federal labels, which the agency announced it was re-evaluating earlier this year. It also forces the registrants of dicamba herbicides, Bayer and BASF, to decide how they will deal with state regulators who continue to insist that their chemicals cannot be applied safely using only the federal labels.ILLINOIS AND DICAMBAFor three years, Illinois regulators have faced a dramatic increase in pesticide injury complaints from dicamba moving off-target. As of October 11, the state’s pesticide investigators were juggling an unprecedented 724 cases of alleged dicamba injury.Last year, IDOA created a dicamba cutoff date of June 30, but then extended it to July 15 for late, June-planted soybean fields. Although some of the dicamba applications leading to injury reports did occur because of that July 15 cutoff date, the state also saw some of its hottest temperatures in late June, before the original cutoff date, IDOA director John Sullivan noted. Based on that experience, the department landed on June 20 as the cutoff date for 2020.Unlike 2019, the state’s newly proposed June 20 cutoff date will not be open to adjustments in 2020, Sullivan told DTN. “We’re trying to get dicamba applications done before the weather gets hot and hits that temperature trigger of 85 degrees,” he said.Illinois isn’t the only state wrestling with dicamba management this year. Indiana is also facing a record number of complaints, 178, this year. Other states, such as Arkansas, are seeing dicamba injury levels similar to last year’s, despite increased Xtend crop acreage and revised federal labels.SECTION 24(c) AND THE STATESTo date, Section 24(c) labels have been the preferred method of trying to limit off-target dicamba movement for many of these state’s pesticide regulators. Only one state, Arkansas, has consistently made changes to state dicamba use without using Section 24(c). Instead, the Arkansas State Plant Board has enacted new state rules each year governing dicamba use. Other states such as Minnesota and North Dakota have produced annual Section 24(c) labels for dicamba with additional restrictions, such as cutoff dates.So what’s the problem?At issue is the actual language of Section 24(c), which only permits states to grant additional uses of a federal pesticide — not restrict it further. However, for many years, EPA has permitted the use of more restrictive Section 24(c) labels and has stated so explicitly in its official guidance online.“Yes, under certain circumstances states may impose more restrictive measures than are on [federal] labels, or limit use to a subset of uses on [federal] labels,” the agency states in its Guidance on FIFRA 24(c) Registrations, found here: https://www.epa.gov/….However, the growing number of restrictive 24(c) labels for dicamba sparked some concerns in the past year at EPA, which culminated in the agency making this announcement in March 2019:“Because section 24(a) allows states to regulate the use of any federally registered pesticide, and some states have instead used 24(c) to implement cut-off dates (and/or impose other restrictions), EPA is now re-evaluating its approach to reviewing 24(c) registrations and the circumstances under which it will exercise its authority to disapprove those registrations.”The announcement alarmed state regulators, who fear that without the fast-moving process of 24(c) labels, they will not have the flexibility to adjust pesticide labels as needed on an annual basis. See the DTN story here: https://www.dtnpf.com/….EPA has promised to issue a public comment period for any proposed changes and stated that all 2019 24(c) labels would be unaffected. Now, with 2020 Section 24(c) labels coming into the picture, the agency still has not made any official moves on the issue. When queried by DTN about EPA’s stance on restrictive state labels for dicamba in 2020, an agency representative replied via email:“Regarding the reevaluation of the 24(c) process, EPA intends to take public comment on potential approaches before adopting any changes. As such, EPA is not making any immediate changes in this area.”Sullivan said EPA should keep in mind the reason for this proliferation of restrictive 24(c) labels for dicamba as they reevaluate the system.“If you look at big picture, there are many state agencies that believe that U.S. EPA ought to be taking a more solid stand on this product — recognize that it is an issue and take a more active role in managing this product,” he said. “And they haven’t done that, and that’s what driven so many states, Illinois included, to look at additional 24(c) label restrictions.”For their part, dicamba registrants BASF and Bayer appear ready to accept such restrictions in 2020 from Illinois. BASF spokesperson Odessa Hines told DTN via email that “BASF will continue to support states with Special Local Need labeling where they believe additional restrictions are warranted,” although the company “believes the Engenia herbicide container label addresses the necessary application practices for minimizing off-target applications.”Bayer spokesperson Kyel Richard said while the company doesn’t believe the Illinois restrictions are necessary, it will not be challenging them at this time, because “continued access to the Xtend technology for farmers is the most important thing at this point.”“As Illinois growers work to implement effective weed management strategies in a shortened timeframe, we’ll collaborate with the Illinois Department of Agriculture, grower groups and others to ensure Illinois growers and certified applicators are equipped with the necessary resources and recommendations to make it a successful season,” Richard said.See more on the Illinois announcement of new dicamba restrictions in 2020 here: https://www.dtnpf.com/….Emily Unglesbee can be reached at [email protected] her on Twitter @Emily_Unglesbee.(PSSK)© Copyright 2019 DTN/The Progressive Farmer. 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Multiple YCombinator Startups Apparently Being Scooped Up by Salesforce (Updated)

first_imgEarlier this morning we reported on the shut-down announcement of email data enhancement program Etacts and said that it was most likely the result of an acquisition. Now someone has told TechCrunch that the little startup has been acquired by enterprise CRM giant Salesforce.Still as yet unreported, though? It appears that Palo Alto based Etacts isn’t the only YCombinator-incubated email add-on startup that Salesforce has acquired today. San Francisco’s EmailOracle, a smaller startup that lets users track when individual recipients have opened emails you send to them, also announced today that it’s closing down. That site used the exact same language in its announcement that Etacts did, too. In other words, welcome to Salesforce, teams Etacts and EmailOracle. Update: TechCrunch reporter Jason Kincaid responds in comments with a theory that these may in fact be the same company. While we don’t know whether that’s true or not, it doesn’t seem unlikely given the way YCombinator has been known to tell founders that they like their people, but that they need a different product. We’ll update this post when we find out for sure. Further update: Turns out the two companies sit on the same server. Tags:#news#web marshall kirkpatrick Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market When EmailOracle launched, many people questioned whether it would work: the service relies on an image pixel being displayed in an opened email and thus reporting back to the EmailOracle server that the mail had been clicked. What about the default mode of blocking images in emails, people asked? What about AdBlock plug-ins, which also blocked this service? Some argued that while email open rates were roughly helpful when analyzed over a large quantity of emails, it was too risky to rely on such a system for tracking a single email.Perhaps that’s why Etacts raised money from a list of rock-star developers and EmailOracle only listed YCombinator as its backing. They say that investors deliver more value in the form of advice and introductions to other powerful people than they do from simple cash – it looks like the EmailOracle team probably benefitted greatly from its YCombinator connections, when Salesforce came knocking for email CRM-type startups. (It’s widely discussed that Salesforce may acquire social stream reader Seesmic as well, so stay tuned for that. Seesmic is not associated with YCombinator.)What does this mean for users? It may be good news for Salesforce customers but not everyone is excited. “The hunt for a replacement tool is on, then,” said blogger and EmailOracle fan Paul Miller. “I’m not implementing all of Salesforce just to know when it’s time to nudge someone I sent an email to.”Below: Gmail compose screen with EmailOracle installed. A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Related Posts last_img read more

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Gray Water: A Precious Resource

first_imgEver wonder why we habitually waste so precious a resource as water? We seem to be more conscious of wasted electricity than water going down the drain. Maybe it’s because of the speed of the dial going around in the meter.Wasted water is a loss in at least three ways. First, the direct cost of the resource itself. In addition, most utility companies charge a sewer fee based on the amount of water used. And there is a cost to get the water to your home. Water pressure to deliver the 40 psi pressure (minimum required by the International Residential Code) comes from pumps that consume energy in the form of electricity or fossil fuel at various pumping stations along the way to your home. We spend 56 billion kWh delivering potable water to our taps every year. That’s enough to power all the electricity for 43,000 homes!Each person in the United States uses about 100 gallons of water every day. We only drink about 1% of that. Much of the remaining water is used to facilitate sewage disposal or landscaping. Toilets represent a significant demand for water. Older toilets use several gallons per flush. A green home must be one that makes efficient use of all water.Imagine using some of the water that would otherwise go down the drain a second time. This is called gray water— domestic wastewater that has been used at least once and is effectively recycled for additional use. It may not be potable, but it can serve to flush toilets or irrigate the yard. Gray water is traditionally drawn from lavatories, bathtubs, showers, laundry trays, or clothes washer that have lighter impurities, such as soap or skin residue. It serves the toilet’s needs, and at no additional cost! Use of gray water as illustrated at right would be diverted to a tank and either fed to landscaping or retained until needed for flushing.But, you may ask, is it approved? Appendix O of the IRC sets out prescriptive standards for gray water systems. There are even schematic illustrations that provide the novice with sufficient detail to install one. Appendix O may serve as an option for you to install in lieu of traditional sewer routing and for landscaping. These provisions are optional for each jurisdiction to adopt or not. For it to be legally available to you it must be adopted as part of the building code. In any case, you could take advantage of this provision through the use of Section R104.11 of the IRC, “Alternative Materials and Methods of Construction.”Materials for the system are the same as for drain, waste, and vent piping. They must be inspected in the same manner as well. Any connection between gray water systems and the potable water system must ensure adequate protection to avoid cross connection. The gray water must pass through a filter such as media, sand, or dichotomous earth filter. A full open valve must be installed downstream of the last fixture to allow for maintenance and repair of the system. The holding tank or reservoir must be durable, nonabsorbent, corrosion resistant, and gas-tight.For inspection and maintenance purposes, access panels are required on the tank. The collection reservoir must have an overflow pipe at least as large as the influent pipe. The drain pipe must be the same size as the overflow pipe. The drain must be on the lowest point of the reservoir and indirectly connected to the sanitary drainage system. The reservoir must have a vent to allow proper drainage and to prevent syphonage. Where gray water is used for flushing toilets, a disinfectant such as chlorine, iodine or even ozone must be used.There are several other requirements for both flushing and landscape irrigation so be sure and ask your local building official.last_img read more

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Adobe Premiere Pro: Slip & Slide Video Editing

first_imgPremiere Pro gives you specific tools to finesse your edits.  The Slip & Slide is one tool that lets you adjust the timing of a clip.  In this post, we take a good look at when to slip and when to slide!In this post, we’ll take a look at two Premiere Pro video editing techniques that will make your edit to make your edits more precise and speed up your post production workflow: Slip and Slide!Performing a Slip Edit in PremiereA slip edit changes the timing, but not the length of a clip.  The footage will roll forward or backwards in the clips current duration.  In this way, it doesn’t effect the other clips in the Sequence like a Ripple Edit does.  Many editors will use a slip edit to complete a motion (let a character move in or out of frame) or match an action from one shot to the next.Im my example I have a clip of a guy shaving (from Digital Juice), and I want to him to complete the shaving motion with the shaver going out of frame.In the screenshot below you can see the current outpoint of the clip.There are 3 ways to perform a slip edit in Adobe Premiere Pro:Select the Slip tool (shortcut is Y) and click on the clip in the Sequence.  Now drag the cursor left or right to roll the clip forward or backward.Select the clip in the sequence.  On a Mac use the shortcut Option+Command+Left/Right Arrow to slip 1 frame.  Similarly, you can use Option+Shift+Command+Left/Right for 5 frames. The PC shortcuts are Alt+Shift+Left/Right and Ctrl+Alt+Shift+Left/Right, respectively.Slip in the Source Window. This method is my preferred way, as I feel it gives me more accurate control.  Clients are often specific about the frame, and this lets you pinpoint it easily.  In the following example we’ll use this method:Double click the clip in the Sequence to load it into the Source Window.  Put your playhead on the frame where the shaver goes out of frame.  Then move your cursor over the in/out grip, the textured area in the gray bar below.  A hand icon will appear.  Drag the in/out grip to your playhead to Slip the clip.As you drag the in/out grip you see a 2 up view showing you the beginning and end frames.This Premiere Pro editing trick will give you greater precision in your video edits.Performing a Slide EditIf you want a clip to occur earlier or later in a timeline/sequence you can use the Slide Edit.  As the name implies, the slide edit actually slides a clip up or down your Premiere Pro timeline.A Slide Edit looks at 3 clips, and slides the middle clip, with the other 2 clips changing in length to accommodate the clip being slid.  Like slip, it doesn’t effect the other clips in the sequence.There are 2 ways to perform a slide edit in Adobe Premiere Pro:Hit the shortcut “U” elect the Slide tool and click/drag on the clip in the Sequence. (shortcut is U)Use the shortcut  Opt+Shift+, (Comma) for 1 frame or Opt+Shift+. (Period) for 5 frames. The PC shortcuts are Alt+, (Comma) and Alt+Shift+, (Comma).In my example the middle clip is slid left, so the clip to the left shortens and the clip to the right gets longer (the clip being slid stays the same length).As always the Adobe Premiere Pro online help site is a great resource for additional information.BEFORE SLIDEAFTER SLIDElast_img read more

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Expulsion of six students who wrote to PM revoked

first_imgThe expulsion of six students of Wardha-based Mahatma Gandhi Antarrashtriya Hindi Vishwavidyalaya for organising a function on campus without permission and writing to Prime Minister Narendra Modi over lynching and rape cases against politicians, was revoked on Sunday.The students were expelled on October 9 after varsity officials accused them of violating the election code of conduct.The students held a gathering on the campus on October 9, despite being denied permission. They were later that night given expulsion orders. In the order on Sunday, acting registrar Kadar Nawaj Khan said the expulsion was cancelled due to “technical anomalies” and in the view of natural justice.On October 10, the six posted a letter to Mr. Modi. The students had claimed that university officials had denied them permission to write to the PM.last_img read more

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