It was a long long five years says lead detective in two

first_imgTORONTO — It is a bittersweet moment for Det. Sgt. Mike Carbone.A ruthless murderer he’s been investigating for years was sentenced to life earlier this week. Dellen Millard — a Toronto millionaire turned serial killer — will most likely spend the rest of his days behind bars for killing a former lover, his own father and a stranger.“I can’t understand how he actually thought he could get away with it,” says Carbone as he leans back in his chair at the Toronto police headquarters. “It’s so crazy.”And Millard almost got away with two of those murders — the presumed killing of his on-again, off-again lover Laura Babcock, whose remains were never found, in July 2012, and the fatal shooting four months later of his own father, Wayne Millard, whose death was initially deemed to be a suicide.It was only after Millard and his friend Mark Smich were arrested and charged in the spring of 2013 in the disappearance of Tim Bosma — a 32-year-old man from the Hamilton area whose body was burned in an animal incinerator — that Toronto police reopened the “suspicious” cases of Babcock and Wayne Millard.Carbone, who became the lead detective in both cases, says when the homicide squad took over those investigations, they found errors in the police handling of the initial reports.It started with Babcock’s disappearance in July 2012, when her family and her former boyfriend, Shawn Lerner, reported her missing. They gave officers phone records that showed her last eight phone calls were to Millard.Lerner said Babcock’s case went into a black hole and neither he, nor her family, got any phone calls back from the investigating officers. He later filed a complaint to the Office of the Independent Police Review Director over the Toronto police’s handling of the missing persons case. The OIPRD found evidence of misconduct “of a less serious nature” by one officer who gave Lerner a hard time when he initially tried to report Babcock missing.Carbone says police should have returned those phone calls, both as a courtesy, and because those calls could have led to more information about the 23-year-old woman.“We needed to be sensitive to their needs — it’s very important,” Carbone says.Frustrated with the lack of police efforts, Lerner took matters into his own hands. He met with Millard over coffee to discuss Babcock’s disappearance. In that meeting, Millard denied talking to Babcock in early July, until Lerner produced the phone bill.“He admitted he had spoken to her, but he says she was looking for drugs and a place to stay and he says he denied both of those requests,” Lerner said at Millard’s trial.When Millard was arrested in Bosma’s death, Lerner and Babcock’s family went back to police with Babcock’s final phone calls.That’s when Carbone got involved.“If the family had not come forward, there would be no program that would have linked the two (Millard and Babcock) together,” Carbone says. “They were key.”Carbone said Babcock’s missing persons case was deemed a “level-one,” meaning no foul play suspected, partly due to her transient lifestyle. She’d been couch-surfing for months after leaving her parents’ home, worked part-time as an escort and struggled with mental health issues.The “level one” designation legally tied the hands of police, Carbone says, as they couldn’t request a production order from a telecom company to get her phone records or to track her phone’s location.That data, which showed Babcock and Millard’s phones coming together in the hours before she went missing — became crucial evidence in both the Babcock and Wayne Millard cases, says Carbone.A jury agreed with the prosecution that Millard and Smich killed Babcock and burned her remains in the same incinerator that Bosma was later found in.“We never found anything,” Carbone says. “I wish there was something we could return to the family.”Carbone says provincial legislation could help police with missing persons cases in the future. The Missing Persons Act, which would give officers the power to retrieve phone records and other information in cases of missing persons, was introduced by the previous Liberal government but stalled after the Progressive Conservatives came to power in the spring.Earlier this year, Toronto police set up a new missing persons unit — four detectives working with the homicide squad — that Carbone calls a step in the right direction.“Certainly, putting more resources into a specific incident could never hurt,” he says.In May 2013, as the Babcock investigation was underway, Carbone says his team started looking into the suicide of Wayne Millard. They learned that police had seized a .32-calibre revolver found beside the 71-year-old’s bed. The gun had been swabbed, but the swabs were never tested.The results of the tests — later ordered by Carbone — came back with two pieces of DNA on the gun’s handle: one unknown and one belonging to Dellen Millard. Wayne Millard’s DNA was not on the gun.“It should have been submitted (for analysis),” says Carbone.Homicide investigators later found that the gun had changed hands several times until Matthew Ward-Jackson, a weapons dealer nicknamed “Iisho,” sold it to Millard the day before Babcock vanished.The coroner, Dr. David Evans, testified earlier this year that he told officers at the scene about the unusual “election site” — the name given to the location where people who die by suicide shoot themselves. Wayne Millard died by a bullet through his left eyeball that entered his brain.“That was a red flag,” Carbone says, adding police should have dug deeper.Two days after Wayne Millard was found dead, the coroner officially deemed it a suicide.For Carbone, it’s been a strange and exhausting road.“It was a long, long five years,” he says.Carbone says he’s trying to get Millard off his mind.“I’m not sure what I’m going to do with my time now,” he says, before catching himself. “Actually, I’ve got a lot of cases.” Liam Casey, The Canadian Presslast_img read more

Hong Kong activists barred from Pride march after alleged procommunist threats

first_imgMONTREAL — Activists supporting the pro-democracy movement in Hong Kong say they were disinvited from marching in Montreal’s Pride parade this month after supporters of China’s communist government threatened to derail the event over the group’s presence.Henry Lam says he and husband Guy Ho wanted to march in the Aug. 18 event with their allies to express their support for fellow same-sex couples fighting for freedom and marriage equality in Hong Kong.But Lam says the authorization for their group, Action Free Hong Kong Montreal, was yanked a day before the event after police reportedly informed organizers of a threat to sabotage the parade by protesters opposed to the Hong Kong pro-democracy movement.Pride Montreal vice-president Jean-Sebastien Boudreault confirmed organizers revoked the group’s permission to participate after receiving at least 10 threats from people opposed to the Hong Kong group’s presence.He says the decision was made for security reasons and to ensure the event could take place without being derailed by geopolitical concerns unrelated to LGBTQ rights.Lam says the incident has left him saddened and made him worry for his security at future events.The Canadian Presslast_img read more

Order and Security Restored After Prison Break Attempt in Casablanca

Casablanca – Order and security have been restored in the Ain Sbaa Youth rehabilitation Center in Casablanca, which witnessed, on Thursday, vandalism acts by inmates, said on Friday, Hassan Hmina, Regional Director for Penitentiaries and Reintegration. The center’s different administrative departments returned to normal after the situation was brought under control, said Hmina during a press conference, underlining that several security officers were injured during the intervention to stop the mutiny and restore order and security in the facility.“Five members of the General Delegation for Penitentiaries and Reintegration (DGAPR) were injured,” he said, noting that these acts of vandalism caused serious infrastructure damage in the center administrative departments. All prisoners are doing well except for nine inmates who were asphyxiated, he said, adding that family visits will be organized in the future for the benefit of prisoners’ families. The official recalled that the competent judiciary authorities will open an investigation on this matter.With MAP read more

Positive US jobs data corporate dealmaking help push TSX higher

The Toronto stock market was higher late morning Thursday amid corporate dealmaking and some positive American employment news.The S&P/TSX composite index rose 56.91 points to 12,814.72.U.S. private equity firm Directional Aviation Capital is buying Bombardier’s (TSX:BBD.B) Flexjet fractional business aircraft ownership service for US$185 million. The new owners are also ordering up to 245 Bombardier aircraft in a deal whose value could reach about US$5.2 billion. Bombardier was ahead 11 cents to C$4.83.The Canadian dollar lost early traction to move down 0.17 of a cent to 95.14 cents US.U.S. indexes chalked up small gains as traders digested positive jobs data a day before the U.S. Labor Department’s release of American employment data for August.The Dow Jones industrials gained 9.63 points to 14,940.5 as payroll firm ADP reported that the American private sector created 176,000 jobs last month. Economists believe that the government report will show the U.S. economy cranked a total of about 180,000 jobs in August.“The headline number could easily come in better but when you drill down, the quality of the number won’t be quite as good, possibly and then you’ll say, ’OK, it’s better but we see what is going on here,” said Wes Mills, chief investment officer at Scotia Asset Management.“Everyone is going to focus on the full-time versus part-time because the Obama (health) care plan has been encouraging people to lay off full-time (workers) and hire more part time.”Also, the number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits dropped 9,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 323,000, near the lowest level since June 2008.Other data showed rising expansion in the U.S. service sector as sales and orders grew and employers ramped up hiring.The Institute for Supply Management said Thursday that its service-sector index rose to 58.6 in August from 56 in July, it’s highest point since December 2005. A measure of hiring in the index rose to 57, the most in six months.The Nasdaq gained 7.59 points to 3,656.53 and the S&P 500 index climbed 2.74 points 1,655.82.The jobs numbers out Friday may determine if or how much the U.S. Federal Reserve pulls back on the asset purchases that have kept long-term rates low and supported a rally on many stock markets this year.Markets have been preoccupied this week with the prospect of the U.S. leading a military strike against the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad, which it accuses of using deadly sarin gas against civilians. President Barack Obama is seeking U.S. congressional approval for such a strike and a vote could come as soon as next week.BlackBerry (TSX:BB) was another TSX driver, up 35 cents to $11.63 after the Wall Street Journal reported that the smartphone maker had narrowed the list of possible bidders for all or part of the company, and hopes to wrap up the auction by November.Financials were the biggest TSX gainer, up one per cent as Royal Bank (TSX:RY) advanced $1.06 to $66.54.Oil prices rose after new U.S. indicators underlined a modest recovery in the world’s biggest economy. October crude on the New York Mercantile Exchange ahead 67 cents to US$107.90 a barrel and the energy sector gained 0.6 per cent. Imperial Oil (TSX:IMO) was ahead 53 cents to C$45.15.A jump in U.S. auto sales helped brighten the outlook for oil consumption. And the Federal Reserve also said Wednesday that surveys showed moderate growth throughout the country.Other commodities were lower as December copper dropped a penny to US$3.23 a pound. The base metals sector rose 0.4 per cent and Turquoise Hill Resources (TSX:TRQ) was 12 cents higher at C$5.49.Gold stocks were the biggest TSX weight, down two per cent as December bullion declined $20.60 to US$1,369.40 an ounce. Goldcorp (TSX:G) was down 53 cents to C$30.97.A U.S. hedge fund is making a renewed call for changes at Barrick Gold (TSX:ABX), calling for the breakup of the company and the addition of a mining engineer and geologist to its board. Mike Morris, principal and founder of Two Fish Management, says that there is no compelling reason for Barrick to own a worldwide conglomerate of gold mines. Barrick edged 36 cents lower to $20.04.Elsewhere on the corporate front, U.S. forestry giant Louisiana-Pacific Corp. plans to buy Vancouver-based Ainsworth Lumber Co. Ltd. (TSX:ANS) for US$1.1 billion. Louisiana-Pacific will pay C$3.76 per share. Ainsworth shares jumped 96 cents or 32.65 per cent to $3.90.European bourses advanced as London’s FTSE 100 index gained 0.73 per cent, the Paris CAC 40 was up 0.47 per cent while Frankfurt’s DAX added 0.35 per cent. read more

Indian fishermen arrested near Delft Island

Sri Lanka Navy assisted the Sri Lanka Coast Guard to arrest fourteen Indian fishermen along with three Indian fishing trawlers poaching in Sri Lankan waters in close proximity to last night.The arrested fishermen and the trawlers were brought to Karainagar and handed over to the officials of the Department of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (Jaffna) for onward action, the Navy media unit said.

Toyota on the lookout for talented undergraduates

Toyota has launched a student placement scheme designed to draw young talent into its UK operations, covering its headquarters and two manufacturing plants.Undergraduate work experience placements are on offer in a variety of areas at the firm’s head office in Epsom, Surrey, which houses its sales and marketing activities.Meanwhile, Toyota’s manufacturing outfit is searching for students to fill an 11-month industrial placement scheme at its plants in Derbyshire and Deeside. Participants will enrol in a number of activities throughout the period, with the possibility for outstanding performers to be invited back for a full graduate training programme.Toyota will also have a presence at university job fairs around the country over the next two months, giving students the chance to explore future employment opportunities within the company. The programme is as follows:14 October – Leeds University16 October – Birmingham University17 October – University of Bath22 October – Loughborough University23 October – Aston University24 October – University of London (Imperial College)30 October – Reading University; Lancaster University5 November – Sheffield University6 November – Aston University; University of Kent21 November – Nottingham UniversityFurther details on Toyota’s head office placement scheme can be found at To find out more about the industrial placement scheme, visit to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window) read more

Hey Gilmour leave our hood alone protest over Pink Floyd guitarists plan

first_imgThe note left near Dave Gilmour’s propertyCredit:Solent News & Photo Agency The note, which asks Mr Gilmour to “leave our ‘hood alone”, is signed off by the words “Save Hove From Property Tycoons”.Mrs Samson moved to the city in 2009 and is said to have been keen to restore the building to its former glory before architectural reviews revealed that it is not salvageable.The bath house was closed in the 1940s and the building was deployed as a makeshift hospital during the Second World War.Squatters from an art group called Chalk Circle occupied the building in 1999 and were allowed to stay there until 2006, when they were evicted due to complaints from residents about noise and rubbish. Pink Floyd guitarist David Gilmour is planning to demolish a 122-year-old bath house to make way for a luxury home.The 70-year-old rocker and his wife, author Polly Samson, 54, are seeking to build a new home for their eight children on the site of Medina House in Hove, East Sussex, yards from their current home.They want to keep the form of the original building and incorporate heritage features from it.But the proposals have sparked a protest poster proclaiming “we don’t need no demolition, we don’t need no thoughtless plans” has been taped to the building, in reference to the Pink Floyd track Another Brick in the Wall. The note left near Dave Gilmour's propertycenter_img The building was damaged by fire in 2013 and 2014, with the latter blaze initially assessed as arson by the fire service.Mrs Samson bought the property in October last year for a seven figure fee from developer Sirus Taghan, who had owned it for 16 years.He had been unsuccessful with 20 different planning applications related to the site, including for a block of 11 flats.Keb Garavito-Bruhn, partner at London-based Pilbrow & Partners, said that Mrs Samson had “fallen in love” with the property.He said: “Her ambition was to keep it and convert it into a family home and we have been working on plans with them for over a year.”Our plans are to rebuild Medina House, keeping the form of the original and incorporating heritage features, like glazed tiles from the old bath house.”A private home for Polly and her family, our design adapts the form and fabric of the original to its new use with contemporary sustainable construction.”We have been talking to neighbours and the council about these ideas and now look forward to presenting them to the community.”A planning application for the new development could be submitted imminently and work on the new home could begin in spring next year. 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.last_img read more

England must prove adaptability as World Cup expectations rise

England must learn to win ugly if they are to win the World Cup. That is their challenge with just one more ODI series before the start of a potentially momentous home summer.While England have earned a reputation for explosive batting on true surfaces – they have recorded the two highest totals made in the history of ODI cricket since the last World Cup, both times at Trent Bridge – they have not always proved so dominant in conditions where bowlers have more in their favour. Think of the performance against South Africa at Lord’s in 2017, when they were bowled out for 153, or the match against Australia at Old Trafford in 2015 (they made just 138).But nowhere was this struggle to adapt more painfully exploited that in the semi-final of the Champions Trophy against Pakistan. In that game, on a used surface that provided a bit of assistance to spinners and reverse-swing bowlers, England were dismissed for 211. Pakistan cruised to an eight-wicket win.So, as England start their lead-up to their World Cup campaign – they now play nothing by white-ball cricket until mid-July – they know it is an area they must improve. And, with a possibility that some surfaces in this series against West Indies may prove tough for batsmen, it is a weakness that may confront them several times in the coming days.“Everybody expects us to win,” Eoin Morgan said ahead of Wednesday’s ODI in Barbados. “But the manner it will play out will be different from what people expect.“There is the challenge of playing on slower wickets that don’t necessarily allow us to play an expansive game. We have improved on it, but to produce a level of consistency in performing and winning is something we haven’t nailed down.“I played here last year for Barbados and the pitch was quite uneven and steep bouncing. It offered some turn, too, and the wind plays a big part. So it will be a tough challenge and everybody in our changing room knows that. It’s not an easy place to come and win particularly when they have a lot of match winners.”England misread the conditions ahead of the Test here, however, and it is possible they have done so again. While surfaces on the England Lions tour and in the CPL were not especially good for batting, the pitches prepared for the first two ODIs in Barbados look full of runs.Morgan’s logic is sound, though. England failed to adapt to that surface in Cardiff and, while most pitches for the World Cup are expected to promote big-hitting and high scores, there is always the possibility they will be confronted by a more demanding surface along the way. If so, their batsmen will quickly have to work out what a challenging score might be and play accordingly. It has not been a strength in recent times.England must also grow accustomed to being talked about as favourites and people expecting them to win. This is not entirely new for them – it has been the case for the last 12 months, at least – and they have encouraged such talk in the hope it will“We don’t mind the tag of favourites,” Morgan said. “We’ve spoken about it and we’ve learned to be at ease with it in the last few series. It doesn’t really mean anything: you still have to produce to be rewarded.”But, while England do start this series as favourites – they are No. 1 in the world rankings, after all, and West Indies No. 9 – Morgan made the point that Scotland beat them less than a year ago. There can be no room for complacency.In terms of individual selections, the batting and spin bowling looks reasonably secure. But there is at least one seam-bowling position to be finalised, with the likes of Mark Wood, Tom Curran and Liam Plunkett hoping to do enough to see off the challenge from Jofra Archer, who qualifies in about a month.But while Morgan played down any threat to Plunkett’s position, in particular, he did accept that pace – one of Archer’s primary weapons – was an important part of his bowling armoury. And he might have provided a little hint that the loss of Olly Stone, who played in Sri Lanka but has subsequently been diagnosed with a stress fracture, could offer Archer an opportunity.“I’m not concerned about Plunkett,” Morgan replied to a question about the bowler’s apparently diminishing pace. “The trajectory and variations he brings are valuable, too. When you’re facing him, it’s not easy. Particularly here where a bit of extra height does count.“We are very lucky because we probably have only one injury to a guy who might have been involved and that’s Stone. He is capable of bowling 90mph along with Plunkett and Mark Wood. The difference of having those guys is quite significant. You only had to watch the Test matches to see how valuable they are.“One of the best attributes I have is to compartmentalise things. Until Jofra qualifies, he’s not really in our thoughts at the moment.”If Wood is unable to replicate the pace he generated in St Lucia, however, and Plunkett is unable to offer the mid-innings control that he has provided so often in recent times, it is likely Archer will feature very prominently in Morgan’s thoughts before this series is over. (ESPNCricinfo) Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedKraigg Brathwaite dropped from ODI squadApril 3, 2017In “latest news”Looming World Cup adds extra significance to 2018’s last ODI seriesDecember 8, 2018In “Sports”England unfazed by Windies pace attack of Thomas, Cottrell, RussellJune 13, 2019In “latest news” read more

Metso receives two repeat orders for Altay Polimetallys mine in Kazakhstan

first_imgMetso has signed two repeat orders with Altay Polimetally LLP to design, supply, install and commission complete secondary, tertiary and quaternary crushing and screening plants as well as an automation system at the Almaty open pit copper mine in Kazakhstan. The combined value of the orders is EUR 25 million and follow the delivery of the worlds biggest fully mobile crushing and conveying system, signed in June 2012.Mr Yun, Dr. of Technical Sciences, CEO and Chairman of the Board at Altay Polimetally said “For our new copper ore deposit, we need cost efficient processes and reliability based on a seamlessly working partnership. We do not need multiple intermediaries, and by choosing Metso, we are working with a market leader who has a long experience in mining and construction operations,”“These major orders demonstrate Metso’s strenghth in offering equipment and process know-how to meet the customer’s operational requirements. Our close collaboration with Altay Polimetally during the design of the project certainly contributed to choosing Metso as the sole solution provider,” stated Business Manager for Crusher Systems, Mining and Construction, Serge de Backer.Metso will also supply Altay with a complete automation system to run the whole process with the electrical systems being able to withstand the harsh climatic conditions and provide efficient plant control. The secondary and tertiary crushing plant order was included in Metso Mining and Construction’s fourth quarter 2012 orders received, and the quaternary crushing plant in the first quarter 2013 orders received. The installations will be delivered by July 2014. The secondary and tertiary plants include one GP500S cone crusher with large feed opening, and two HP5 cone crushers with high reduction ratio. Two high-efficiency MF 3085-2 screens will be used for screening. The planned output of the copper ore processing plant is 550 Mt/h, resulting in 3 Mt/y of 0/10 mm sized end products. The quaternary crushing plant will produce 0/3 mm sized ore with a capacity of 450 T/h. Two Barmac 9100 vertical shaft impactors are used, one of them in operation and one stand-by. Here, another two MF 3085-2 screens are used. Altay Polimetally will extract at the new mine copper ore including gold. The planned ore extraction will be 3 Mt/y, and including host rock 10 Mt.last_img read more

Des pluies printanières de méthane détectées sur Titan

first_imgDes pluies printanières de méthane détectées sur TitanLa sonde américaine Cassini a probablement détecté des pluies printanières de méthane sur Titan, le plus grand satellite de Saturne. Un phénomène observé sur les dunes de la région équatoriale considérée comme aride de cette lune.Dans ses hautes altitudes, Titan possède de nombreux et vastes lacs de méthane, mais ses régions équatoriales, recouvertes de dune, sont arides. Jusqu’alors les chercheurs n’y avaient observé que des traces de canaux à sec, imaginant qu’ils témoignaient d’un climat passé bien plus humide.À lire aussiInondations meurtrières dans l’Aude : ce qu’il faut savoirMais cette conclusion est bouleversée par ce que les scientifiques ont découvert grâce à la sonde Cassini, rapporte le site Planet techno science. Après avoir observé une tempête dans les régions équatoriales en septembre 2010 (le début du mois d’avril dans l’année de Titan), une épaisse couche de nuages est apparue le mois suivant. Ils ont ensuite détecté une diminution de la brillance de la surface près de l’équateur, et estiment que des pluies sont probablement à l’origine de cet assombrissement.Une conclusion qui laisse penser que les canaux à sec observés près de l’équateur de Titan ont pu être creusés par des pluies saisonnières tombant lors du printemps boréal du satellite de Saturne.Le 18 mars 2011 à 17:27 • Emmanuel Perrinlast_img read more

Foursquare se targue de compter 20 millions dutilisateurs

first_imgFoursquare se targue de compter 20 millions d’utilisateursAlors qu’il célébrait hier, le 16 avril, son 4sqDay, jour de rencontre entre ses utilisateurs, le service de géolocalisation Foursquare a dressé son bilan chiffré. Depuis son lancement, la plateforme a conquis quelque 20 millions de personnes à travers le monde. Des internautes qui ont réalisé plus de 2 milliards de pointages (check-in), se félicite la start-up new-yorkaise.Lancée en mars 2009, la plateforme de géolocalisation Foursquare n’en finit pas de séduire les internautes aux quatre coins du monde. Hier, comme tous les 16 avril, était célébré le 4sqDay. L’occasion pour la start-up new-yorkaise qui édite le service d’annoncer son excellent bilan.À lire aussiMaladies rares : les nouvelles technologies se mettent au service des maladesSur son blog, la firme se targue d’avoir atteint le cap des 20 millions d’utilisateurs. Ces internautes auraient réalisé depuis la création du service quelque 2 milliards de pointages géographiques (check-in) afin d’indiquer le lieu où ils se situaient et ainsi retrouver leurs amis. Une progression impressionnante pour Foursquare, qui en juin dernier réunissait 10 millions de membres.”Deux ans et deux milliards de check-in plus tard, vous êtes toujours la raison qui chaque jour nous sort du lit. Merci aux 20 millions que vous êtes pour nous faire part de vos vies” se réjouit l’équipe de la plateforme dans son billet. La firme ne précise en revanche pas combien de lieux ont ainsi été pointés, et se garde de révéler quelque information sur ses résultats financiers.Le 18 avril 2012 à 09:45 • Maxime Lambertlast_img read more

La sécurité des forages en mer reste insuffisante

first_imgLa sécurité des forages en mer reste insuffisanteLe forage en mer présente toujours des lacunes en matière de sécurité estime une commission chargée par la Maison Blanche d’enquêter sur la marée noire. Le rapport de l’organisme de protection de l’environnement Oceana juge quant à lui “lamentablement inadaptées” les mesures prises pour améliorer la sécurité et le contrôle des forages.Deux ans après la marée noire dans le golfe du Mexique, deux rapports américains publiés hier ont révélé que les forages en mer représentaient toujours un danger. La commission chargée par la Maison Blanche d’enquêter sur la marée noire se dit “encouragée par les progrès réalisés” en deux ans par le secteur pétrolier mais elle souligne que “beaucoup plus doit être fait” pour améliorer la sécurité du forage en mer et pour limiter son impact sur l’environnement.À lire aussiMaladie de Charcot : symptômes, causes, traitement, où en est on ?”Rien que ces dix derniers mois, au moins trois plateformes pétrolières et gazières ont connu des fuites d’importance à travers le monde. Cela montre une fois de plus combien [le forage en mer] est une activité risquée et cela souligne la nécessité de mettre en place les contrôles et les mesures de protection en faveur desquels la commission s’est prononcée”, explique le rapport. En revanche, le rapport de l’organisme de protection de l’environnement Oceana, n’y va quant à lui, pas par quatre chemins. Il indique que “la politique continue de l’emporter sur le bon sens. Il est scandaleux que si peu de progrès ait été réalisés pour rendre le forage en mer plus sûr”. Selon l’ONG, si les nouvelles règles sont bel et bien appliquées, les régulateurs n’ont pas encore répondu au problème du nombre insuffisant d’inspecteurs. De plus, les amendes prévues sont jugées trop faibles et les valves de sécurité prévues inadaptées. Pour Jacqueline Savitz, une responsable d’Oceana, “sans des règles plus contraignantes, sans de meilleurs contrôles, les compagnies pétrolières continueront à faire passer leurs profits avant la sécurité et il y aura de nouveaux problèmes”.Le 18 avril 2012 à 12:51 • Maxime Lambertlast_img read more

Overnight freeway closures on Interstate 5

first_img June 10, 2019 SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – A series of overnight freeway closures occurred last night through early Monday morning on southbound Interstate 5 in order to complete construction work between the I-5/Interstate-805 interchange and La Jolla Colony Drive.The I-5 south will be closed from the interchange to La Jolla Colony Drive from 9:30 p.m. to 5 a.m. each night, Sunday through Thursday, through at least June 28th.SANDAG says the closures will allow for construction of two Metropolitan Transit System trolley overpasses, which will span I-5 at Voigt Drive and south of Nobel Drive.After the work is completed, a full closure of northbound I-5 will also be required, though dates and work windows for the northbound closures have not yet been released. Categories: Local San Diego News, Traffic & Accidents FacebookTwitter Overnight freeway closures on Interstate 5 KUSI Newsroom center_img BEGINNING TONIGHT:GSA & Caltrans will alternate full freeway closures of SB I-5 and I-805 from SR-905 to the San Ysido POE through Wednesday from 10pm to 7am for roadway enhancements.— Caltrans San Diego (@SDCaltrans) June 10, 2019 Posted: June 10, 2019 KUSI Newsroom, last_img read more

58th Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show to set sail

first_imgFORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. (WSVN) – FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (WSVN) — The 58th Annual Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show is getting ready to set sail, starting Wednesday.The largest in-water boat show is taking over several marinas with over 900 vessels. 7News cameras captured crews setting up exhibit tents and welcoming exhibitors from 30 countries.The show is scheduled to wrap up on Sunday.Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.last_img read more

The charm of Punjabi folk

first_imgThe two-day festival of traditional Punjabi music opened in the national capital, putting the spotlight on Kheyal Gayeki tradition of Punjab that has enchanted lovers of Hindustani Classical music.Deputy Chief Minister of Delhi, Manish Sisodia inaugurated the festival.  Jetinder Singh Tomar, Minister for Law & Justice; Tourism; Gurdwara Elections and Art, Culture & Languages, Govt. of Delhi was the Guest of Honour. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’If one talks about the cultural heritage of Punjab, the mellifluous kheyal ‘bandishes’ (Compositions) cannot be left out from the discourse. In fact, this is a genre of gayeki which has enriched the Hindustani Classical music for more than two centuries now. Punjabi Academy, Govt. of Delhi, Department of Art, Culture & Languages, Govt. of Delhi; has brought together renowned artists of this genre for two days May 21 -22 at the India International Centre. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixThe festival began with a performance of Bhai Balwant Singh Namdhari who rendered kheyal gayeki with tabla mridang in the traditional style of Punjab. His performance was followed by Raza Ali Khan who sang the traditional Punjabi Kheyal bandishes. Before the advent of Kheyal, there were four famous Gharanas of Dhrupad singing in the Punjab, Talwandi, Haryana, Sham Chaurasi and Kapurthala. Kheyal Gayeki emerged as the next stage of evolution in the history of Hindustani music as the strict discipline of earlier days gave way to greater expansiveness and liberty of expression in the musical firmament. The process of this evolution had started with the creative endeavors of Amir Khusroe in the 12th century and completed itself under the vibrant outpourings of Niamat Khan Sadarang and Ferozkhan Adaran who gave the Kheyal style its present stamp.  Kheyal Gayeki remained confined to Delhi for some time, and it was only later during the 19th century that the new style reached the Punjab. From Delhi, it was first taken to Gwalior where Haddu Khan and Hassu Khan laid the foundation of the Gwalior Gharana of Kheyal singing. Banne Khan Nangliwale learnt from them and went to Punjab and taught stalwarts such as Pyare Khan, Umaid Ali Khan and Mubarak Ali Khan. Meanwhile, Jamail Ali Bakshi and Kaptaan Fateh Ali of Patiala became Shagirds of Tanras Khan of Delhi who had also learnt from Haddu-Hassu Khan of Gwalior, and from Mubarak Ali of Jaipur (son of Bare Mohd Khan). They founded the Patiala Gharana of Music, from which flows an important line of Kheyal Gayeki of the Punjab. This genre of gayeki further evolved over the 20th century and adopted new ways of rendition and musical instruments.“As you are aware the Punjab has always been renowned for its beautiful bandishes which have enriched the repertoire of Hindustani Classical Music. Punjabi is the only other language, apart from Braj Bhasha, in which Kheyal Bandishes have been written over the centuries. Shah Sada Rang and Ada Rang, creators of the Kheyal style of Hindustani Classical Music, have also composed some beautiful Bandishes in Punjab which will be presented in this Festival. Over the last two centuries, Hindustani Musicians whether from the Punjab or elsewhere, have sung these Punjabi Kheyal compositions. It is our effort through this festival to revive an interest in them by encouraging their research and presentation. ,” says Geetanjali Gupta, Secretery, Art, Culture & Languages, Government of Delhi.The second day of the festival will have Qutubi Qawwal from the Dargah presenting the Sufi Qawwali from Punjab and Pandit Yashpaul rendering the Punjabi Kheyal Bandishes.“Through this annual festival, our effort is to revive interest and attract youngsters to this beautiful form of classical vocal music. We also want to encourage research and presentation in the art form that is an intrinsic part of our composite culture,” says Jawahar Dhawan, Secretary, Punjabi Academy.last_img read more

Urdu examination of WBCS Main cancelled

first_imgKolkata: The Urdu examination of the ‘West Bengal Civil Services’ Main was cancelled on Monday after it was reported that the question paper in the second half, distributed among the candidates, was the same as last year, a public service commission official said.The official said, once the mix-up was reported by the candidates at the Ultadanga examination centre, examinations for both firsthalf and second half papers were declared cancelledby the commission as “we Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifedid not want to take any chance.”Examinations for both papers will now take place on September 1, the official said.Urdu examination during the first half had been conducted without any complaint but since there were allegations of secondhalf question paper having tallied with the question paper of 2017, it wasprudent to altogether cancel examinations for both half today and held the exams afresh on a later date, the official said.An estimated 4,000candidates sat for the Urdu examinations across the state this year.The WBCS examinations began on August 17and were slated to end on August 21.last_img read more

Clinical Study Confirms Molecular Breast Imagings High Cancer Detection Rate in Dense

first_img News | Mammography | August 14, 2019 Imago Systems Announces Collaboration With Mayo Clinic for Breast Imaging Image visualization company Imago Systems announced it has signed a know-how license with Mayo Clinic. The multi-year… read more For more information, visit References:1. Shermis, RB, Wilson, K, et al. Supplemental Breast Cancer Screening With Molecular Breast Imaging for Women With Dense Breast Tissue. American Journal of Roentgenology. August 2016.2. Pisano ED, Gatsonis C, Hendrick E, et al. Diagnostic performance of digital versus film mammography for breast-cancer screening. N Engl J Med. October 2005.3. Boyd NF, Guo H, Martin LJ, et al. Mammographic Density and the Risk and Detection of Breast Cancer. N Engl J Med. January 2007.4. Rhodes DJ, Hruska CB, Conners AL, et al. JOURNAL CLUB: Molecular Breast Imaging at Reduced Radiation Dose for Supplemental Screening in Mammographically Dense Breasts. American Journal of Roentgenology. 2015;204(2):241-251.5. Hruska CB, Conners AL, Jones KN, et al. Diagnostic Workup and Costs of a Single Supplemental Molecular Breast Imaging Screen of Mammographically Dense Breasts. American Journal of Roentgenology. 2015;204(6):1345-1353. doi:10.2214/AJR.14.13306.6. Rhodes DJ, Hruska CB, Conners AL, et al. JOURNAL CLUB: Molecular Breast Imaging at Reduced Radiation Dose for Supplemental Screening in Mammographically Dense Breasts. American Journal of Roentgenology. 2015;204(2):241-251.7. Rhodes DJ, Hruska CB, Conners AL, et al. JOURNAL CLUB: Molecular Breast Imaging at Reduced Radiation Dose for Supplemental Screening in Mammographically Dense Breasts. American Journal of Roentgenology. 2015;204(2):241-251. FacebookTwitterLinkedInPrint分享 Related Content Read the article, “The Benefits of Molecular Breast Imaging.” News | Brachytherapy Systems | August 14, 2019 Efficacy of Isoray’s Cesium Blu Showcased in Recent Studies August 14, 2019 — Isoray announced a trio of studies recently reported at scientific meetings and published in medica read more News | Radiation Therapy | August 15, 2019 First Patient Enrolled in World’s Largest Brain Cancer Clinical Trial Henry Ford Cancer Institute is first-in-the-world to enroll a glioblastoma patient in the GBM AGILE Trial (Adaptive… read more News | Neuro Imaging | August 16, 2019 ADHD Medication May Affect Brain Development in Children A drug used to treat attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) appears to affect development of the brain’s… read more Images of regions of interest (colored lines) in the white matter skeleton representation. Data from left and right anterior thalamic radiation (ATR) were averaged. Image courtesy of C. Bouziane et al. Read the article, “Molecular Breast Imaging Deemed Cost-Effective Secondary Breast Cancer Screening Technology.” August 2, 2016 — A retrospective study in American Journal of Roentgenology (AJR) August issue confirmed Gamma Medica’s molecular breast imaging (MBI) technology’s high incremental cancer detection rate of 7.7 cancers per thousand and overall clinical effectiveness as a secondary screening tool in finding 13 malignancies among 1,696 women with dense breast tissue following mammograms that read negative for cancer.[1] Approximately 85 percent of these cancers were confirmed to be node negative (with 7.6 percent being confirmed node positive, and 7.6 percent being unknown), indicating they were detected at an early stage and therefore presented a better prognosis.“This study offers practice-based, clinical proof that for women with dense breast tissue – roughly half the female population in the United States alone – MBI is a powerful tool that finds cancer where a mammogram alone can miss it,” said Robin Shermis, M.D., one of the study’s authors and the medical director at the ProMedica Breast Care Center, Toledo, Ohio, where the research took place. The community-based study used data from routine clinical practice at the facility from 2011 to 2014, focusing on women with aged 25-90 with heterogeneously and extremely dense breast tissue. “Following up a mammogram with MBI enables detection of an additional 7.7 cancers per 1000 women screened. It’s also safe and easy to use, delivers almost instantaneous results and is fits perfectly within our workflow,” Shermis said.For women with dense breast tissue, sensitivity of standardized anatomical screening technology drops significantly (from 85 to 65 percent), making it insufficient to reliably detect cancerous tumors.[2] Meanwhile, these women are up to two times more likely to develop breast cancer. Shermis’s patient at ProMedica, Dianne Anderson, read negative for cancer during her mammogram, but because she had dense breast tissue, Shermis recommended she try MBI3. The MBI showed she had breast cancer, which she has successfully overcome thanks to early detection and multiple treatments.“Without MBI, I would have no idea I had breast cancer, because my mammogram said I was cancer-free,” Anderson said. “Had I not undergone that MBI after my mammogram, I truly believe I would’ve been in a much more serious stage of cancer. I’m just so thankful MBI was there.”The study also confirmed that in addition to delivering a high cancer detection rate, nuclear breast imaging affords patients with a high positive predictive value, a high invasive cancer detection rate, minimal radiation and rapid interpretation allowing for real-time readings. Determined to spread awareness on the high degree of certainty MBI offers compared to more conventional screening technologies, the manufacturer of the LumaGEM MBI system used in the study, Gamma Medica, launched the educational Be Certain campaign last month through creating a dedicated website and various social media channels.“This new study in the AJR provides further evidence that women with dense breast tissue have more comfortable and less stressful alternatives to standardized secondary screening studies. These recent clinical results suggest there is a real alternative to the risk of misdiagnosis and unnecessary biopsies. Our recently launched Be Certain campaign offers more clinical information to a large population of underserved patients,” said Phil Croxford, Gamma Medica’s CEO, pointing to the need to confront the 40,000 deaths at the hands of breast cancer each year.The AJR study serves as a follow-up to the Mayo Clinic’s prospective, blinded study that was published in the AJR last year that showed MBI yields superior imaging to a mammogram and low-radiation exposure comparable to that of a mammogram, and that MBI also:•    Increases breast cancer detection rates by 400 percent.4•    Decreases the cost per cancer detected by 15 percent compared to mammogram alone.5•    Reduces biopsies by 50 percent compared to other modalities.6•    Is far more comfortable than a mammogram and other adjunct breast screening technologies.“This new AJR study shows that what we learned from the Mayo Clinic and AJR studies last year really holds true in a large, routine, community based clinical practice in the real world,” Shermis said. “MBI delivers on its promise and is critical to serving the need of a vast patient population to be certain about their breast health.” News | Pediatric Imaging | August 14, 2019 Ultrasound Guidance Improves First-attempt Success in IV Access in Children August 14, 2019 – Children’s veins read more News | Cardiovascular Ultrasound | August 07, 2019 Contrast Use in First Transthoracic Echocardiogram for Heart Failure Reduces Repeat Testing Heart failure is the fourth most common cause for all admission to U.S. hospitals, and it is the most common reason for… read more News | Breast Imaging | August 02, 2016 Clinical Study Confirms Molecular Breast Imaging’s High Cancer Detection Rate in Dense Breast Tissue American Journal of Roentgenology study used the LumaGEM MBI system on 1,696 women to detect 13 cancers missed by routine mammograms, reporting MBI yielded a high detection rate and low biopsy rate News | PET-CT | August 15, 2019 United Imaging Announces First U.S. Clinical Installation of uExplorer Total-body PET/CT United Imaging announced that its uExplorer total-body positron emission tomography/computed tomography (PET/CT) system… read more News | CT Angiography (CTA) | August 06, 2019 Artificial Intelligence Improves Heart Attack Risk Assessment When used with a common heart scan, machine learning, a type of artificial intelligence (AI), does better than… read more Image courtesy of Imago Systems News | Colonoscopy Systems | August 06, 2019 Rise in Early Onset Colorectal Cancer Not Aligned With Screening Trends A new study finds that trends in colonoscopy rates did not fully align with the increase in colorectal cancer (CRC) in… read more News | Artificial Intelligence | August 13, 2019 Artificial Intelligence Could Yield More Accurate Breast Cancer Diagnoses University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) researchers have developed an artificial intelligence (AI) system that… read more last_img read more

Why women need Fathers Day

first_imgThe ugly tie. The useless gadget. The misshapen clay ashtray for the man who doesn’t smoke.Father’s Day can be a wonderful time to acknowledge the men who raise us, and inspires lovely celebrations around the globe each year. However, there’s no question that as a holiday, it’s been the butt of jokes over the years, and is often a pale imitation of the Mother’s Day behemoth. In Costa Rica, this imbalance is particularly clear: One parent gets an official national holiday in her honor, and the other does not. Mother’s Day clogs the streets with traffic, sells out the stores and restaurants, inspires seasonal hiring – in sort, shuts down the country like a boss.I mentioned this in conversation recently with a Costa Rican dad.“Well, that’s because mothers are more important,” he said. He sounded slightly resigned, but also matter-of-fact.This is a problem.Before any death threats ensue, I’m not taking issue with Mother’s Day. The tremendous attention given to Mother’s Day in Costa Rica is a testament to the country’s overall love of family, something I deeply admire. Plus, I’m a mother. Mothers are amazing. Mothers, particularly those who confront the extraordinary challenges of single moms, foster moms, grandmas working overtime and so on, deserve as much pomp and celebration as possible. Breakfast in bed? Hand-made cards? A massage and flourless chocolate cake? Sorry, I’m drooling. Bring it on.But you know what else moms deserve? A proper Father’s Day. Because while mothers will always have a special role in society – biologically, culturally, inevitably, wonderfully – a world in which dads are dismissed, or dismiss themselves, as less important, is not the best world for dads or moms. When we put a mother on a pedestal, she’s all alone up there.“Fifty/fifty parenting” is a buzzword now in some circles. I don’t care for that term myself, just because it suggests splitting tasks straight down the middle, which is generally impractical. In parenting, as on an assembly line, specialization is key, and worry about total fairness can be more trouble than it’s worth. A New York Times article recently explored the uniquely heavy burden of organization, planning and worry that moms tend to shoulder; I feel it makes more sense to accept that fact and compensate for that imbalance in other aspects of the relationship. Maybe the one who doesn’t remember where the blue socks are and track all the vaccines takes out more trash and does more dishes. (That’s a charming Father’s Day card right there.)Maybe the idea should be “all-in parenting,” meaning that each parent is willing and able to do just about anything, even if duties are a moving target. As women have increasing access to education and professional opportunities, and as flexible work arrangements become more common, the tasks of parenthood will more often be shared and divided in shifting ways over the course of a child’s life – not always evenly, but in the way that makes most sense for the family at the time, and gives parents the best options.I’m not saying this is better than a setup in which he works, she stays home. That clearer division of labor can work beautifully. It’s just not realistic for many families today, and a more flexible approach, while challenging and confusing, has its own rewards.In a dance like that, a dad is a full partner. He is not “helping” or, even worse, “babysitting.” He deserves a seat on the bus when he gets on with his baby in a carrier, not funny looks, something I have complained about before. He, and all good dads, are much more than the remote-control shaped cookies on the cover of a Father’s Day ad supplement we received at our house recently (we love you, dad; you’re great at watching TV). Making him a second-class citizen makes no sense in 2015.An all-in equal partnership like the one described here might be a reality for only a tiny fraction of families today, but shouldn’t our holidays be a bit like the old saying, “Dress for the job you want, not the job you have”? Shouldn’t they reflect our aspirations as well as our realities? If we fully believe in the power of fatherhood, shouldn’t our Father’s Day reflect that?We are more than our holidays, of course. Sure, these are marketing ploys, designed to get us to buy flowers and chocolates and, apparently, remote-control-shaped cookies. Families are free to ignore them altogether, or to celebrate them in any way they choose, creating their own equality.But the national narrative about mothers and fathers does matter, especially to young couples just starting out and kids watching from the wings. The more companies and markets and opinion-makers can shift that narrative, as some have done in Costa Rica this year, the better off all parents will be. I would even suggest that Costa Rica consider giving Mother’s and Father’s Day equal legal status.Because what two-parent families really need is a pedestal built for two.(From up here you can really see how much Play Doh is ground into the carpet.Eww, you’re right. It’s all crusty, too. We’re gonna have to scrape it out with a spatula.I’ll flip you for it.Heads or tails?) Facebook Comments Related posts:New Costa Rican movie explores ‘the happiest place in the world’ Nrmal Festival readies for takeoff PHOTOS: Sights and sounds of Costa Rica’s first Nrmal Festival Popular brand PuercoSpin opens its own store in San Pedrolast_img read more

El Niño heat expected to last through May

first_img Facebook Comments Related posts:Costa Rica nearing record rainfall for May El Niño in Costa Rica: We haven’t seen the worst of it yet, say experts Low rainfall in Central Valley, northern regions; La Niña still a no-show High temperatures expected to continue in Costa Rica for two more months National Meteorological Institute (IMN) forecasts state that high temperatures currently felt across most of Costa Rica will rise up to 3 degrees Celsius in coming weeks due to direct influence of El Niño, the warm phase of a recurring climate pattern across the tropical Pacific called the El Niño-Southern Oscillation, or “ENSO.”IMN Director Juan Carlos Fallas Sojo said high temperatures will increase starting this week and will last through May.Forecasts state that the strongest effects on weather will be in the northwestern province of Guanacaste, where temperatures will range from 37-41 C (98-106 Fahrenheit).Temperatures in the Central Valley will range from 32-36 C (89-97 F).High temperatures also will be present in the central and southern Pacific regions, where they are expected to range from 34-40 C (93-104 F).Average temperatures in the Caribbean region will see a small increase of half a degree, and Limón residents can expect temperatures ranging from 29-34 C (84-93 F).Iván Brenes Reyes, president of the National Emergency Commission (CNE), said 50 communities currently are facing severe problems from drought and scarce drinking water. He called on the public to help prevent wildfires, as high temperatures can quickly turn small brush fires into larger, hard to control fires.The CNE also recommends that people exercise caution while in the sun and avoid direct exposure to sunlight. April is the month when Costa Rica receives the highest incidence of solar radiation.Rainy season and La NiñaAccording to the IMN, the effects of El Niño in 2015 exceeded the record extreme conditions experienced in 1997.The weather phenomenon during the past rainy season (May to November) caused a significant precipitation deficit — 45 percent below normal in the northern Pacific region and 22 percent below normal in the Central Valley.On the flip side, the Caribbean received above average rainfall in 2015 — up to 34 percent.In the coming weeks, scattered showers could be present over Costa Rica, Fallas said. However, the IMN is forecasting that the first real showers of the rainy season will fall in the southern Pacific starting in mid-April, in the central Pacific region by the first week of May, in the Central Valley by the second week of May and in the northern Pacific by the end of May.The rainy season this year will begin, on average, a week later than usual, Fallas said.El Niño will continue its influence over Costa Rica through June and is expected to enter a neutral stage in July.In August, the country is expected to begin experiencing effects of the cold phase of the ENSO phenomenon known as La Niña, usually characterized by an increase in heavy showers.IMN also expects at least two tropical cyclones in the Caribbean during the cyclone season that runs June 1-Nov. 30, “and at least one of them could grow into a hurricane,” Fallas said.CNE’s Brenes said that emergency officials have begun coordinating efforts to reactivate emergency committees in all cantons that might be affected by La Niña and that they’ve already started monitoring areas prone to flooding and landslides.“It is highly possible that areas currently experiencing drought will instead face problems with excessive rains in coming months,” Brenes said.Watch a video explainer about El Niño from the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration:last_img read more

UK government ditches rail contract

first_img(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Arizona families, Arizona farms: providing the local community with responsibly produced dairy 0 Comments   Share   The difference between men and women when it comes to pain Train tracks are not maintained by train operators. And with some contracts as short as five years, rail operators are largely discouraged from investing in the system.What’s often lost in discussions on contracts are the passengers, said the consumer group Campaign for Better Transport.“It shows the difficulties with the current system,” said Richard Hebditch, the campaign director. “The point of the franchising is to improve the service, but I don’t think that really happened.”Branson, the Virgin chief, praised transport authorities for reconsidering their decision. He said he was hopeful Virgin, which had been running the route since 1997, could continue operating the franchise.FirstGroup said it was “extremely disappointed” at the news. Its shares plunged just over 20 percent Wednesday in London trading.The uncertainty over the line’s franchise also prompted concern about the economy in the region. Adam Marshall, director of policy at the British Chambers of Commerce, said that the government needs to move quickly to ensure that investment in the railway network does not suffer.`’The West Coast line is one of Britain’s most important business corridors, and companies in cities up and down the country will be concerned that this situation could affect both current services and future investment in critical passenger services,” he said. Top Stories Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenixcenter_img Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Associated PressLONDON (AP) – The British government’s rail policy was thrown into chaos Wednesday after it canceled a disputed contract to run one of the country’s busiest lines following the discovery of “unacceptable mistakes” in the way it awarded the franchise.The announcement is a partial victory for the line’s present operator, Richard Branson’s Virgin Group, which lost out on the 13-year contract to run the west coast London-to-Scotland service in August to rival operator FirstGroup. Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin called off the contract because of “deeply regrettable and completely unacceptable mistakes” made by his department in the way it managed the bidding process.The errors were uncovered as the department was preparing to deal with a High Court challenge brought by Branson, who challenged the contract’s award.McLoughlin said staff had been suspended and an investigation had been launched. The bidding process will be run again.The government’s errors related to how the level of risk in the bids was evaluated. The department said in a statement that “mistakes were made in the way in which inflation and passenger numbers were taken into account.”The problem raises questions about the department’s overall ability to assess and make decisions on contracts, said rail expert Christian Wolmar. Everything will be placed on hold.“It’s a very small team there,” he said.The announcement struck a nerve in a country where the privatization of railways in the 1990s has left a troubled legacy. Critics say the nationalization was rushed and resulted in a system that is both complicated and inefficient. Trains are often crowded and consumer groups argue that services are often three to five times more expensive than their European counterparts. New Year’s resolution: don’t spend another year in a kitchen you don’t like Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day Sponsored Stories last_img