BOSTON (AP):Horse track operators and breeders are concerned that the good times might be trotting to a close as some states move to rein in a lucrative subsidy that he has helped prop up their long-suffering industry.Twenty states divert a slice of casino and slots parlors revenue to help boost horse racing prize money, according to the American Gaming Association. Bigger purses, the thinking goes, will draw the top-level horses and generate more track bets, helping revive the once-popular industry.But facing budget deficits and out-of-state casino competition, some lawmakers are reassessing.”Every local track and every local horsemen’s group is always worried about that,” says Christopher Scherf, executive vice-president of the Maryland-based Thoroughbred Racing Associations. “Politicians see someone has money and they figure they can use it. That’s what they do.”Generally, the racing subsidies call for diverting a percentage of table game and slot machine revenues to a state fund with strict guidelines for how the money is spent.Massachusetts, for example, gives 75 per cent of the money to the thoroughbred racing industry and the rest to harness racing. The two industries must then dedicate 80 per cent to racing purses, 16 per cent towards races reserved for Massachusetts-bred horses and four per cent to health and retirement benefits for industry workers.Such subsidies are a critical lifeline for racing, which has seen steady declines across a number of industry metrics, including the number of races and racing horse births and overall betting activity, according to data from the Jockey Club, a leading industry group.Decreasing numbersFew tracks even keep attendance numbers anymore because the number of spectators has dropped off so dramatically, experts say.Nevertheless, there was over $1.1 billion in prize money available in 2014, thanks in large part to the racing subsidies, which generated over $400 million towards purses that year, according to the Thoroughbred Racing Associations.Louis Raffetto, a long-time racing executive, says the subsidy is a small price to pay to preserve thousands of jobs at tracks and farms.”It’s minuscule in the grand scheme of things. The economic benefit is well worth those short dollars,” says Raffetto, who is helping coordinate three “festival” thoroughbred race days at Boston’s Suffolk Downs, starting with a Saturday race card featuring over $500,000 in prize money made possible by the state’s new race horse development fund.
Celebrate the overcoming of ignorance with this Hindu holiday.An important Hindu festival, Maha Shivaratri means “great night of Shiva,” and is celebrated the 13th night and 14th day of the new moon during the dark half of the month of Phalguna—this falls within either coincidentally this falls toady, on the 13th of February this year. This solemn holiday venerates Lord Shiva, one of the most important deities in Hindu culture.In Hinduism, Shiva is that aspect in the absolute Brahman, conceived as a triumvirate and responsible for creation preservation and dissolution of all creation over billions of yearsIn Hinduism, Shiva is that aspect in the absolute Brahman, conceived as a triumvirate and responsible for creation preservation and dissolution of all creation over billions of years, with the other two of which are Brahma and Vishnu. Brahma is the creator, while Vishnu is the preserver of the world. Shiva’s purpose is to “dissolve” creation so that it can be recreated.When Shiva is depicted as a man, he has a blue throat and face, and a white body. He has a third eye set in his forehead that represents wisdom and insight, a cobra necklace that signifies his power, a trident, which represents the Hindu triumvirate, and the vibhuti, which are three lines on his forehead that represent Shiva’s all-powerful nature.Hindu believers feel that Shiva’s power of destruction is used to destroy not only matter, but illusions as well, thereby lending Maha Shivaratri a spirit of celebration from the darkness of ignorance.The origin—the most prominent of several—of Shivratri lies in the story of how Shiva saved the world. According to the Puranas—Sanskrit writings containing Hindu legends—a container of terrifying poison rose up in the mythical churning ocean called Samudra Manthan. Demons and gods alike were terrified at this poison’s power—it was said to hold the power to destroy all creation.These beings went to Shiva for help, and help he did. Shiva, in order to protect all creation, drank the poison, holding it in his throat rather than swallowing it. This caused his throat to become blue, giving him the alternate name of “Nilkantha,” the “blue-throated one”. Maha Shivaratri celebrates Shiva’s brave actions that ultimately saved the world.The Rituals of ShivaratriIt all begins on a moonless night, when Hindus offer up prayers to Shiva. This is the night when Shiva is said to have performed the Tandava Nritya—the divine dance that is the source of the cycle of creation, preservation, and destruction. Celebrating devotees remain awake all through the night of the 13th, visiting their local Shiva temple or their private Shiva mandir.One of the most solemn and important rituals is the bathing of the lingam—the symbol of Shiva. Adherents worship the lingam through the night, bathing it every four hours in the offerings of the cow—milk, sour milk, butter, dung, and urine. The five foods of immortality are also placed before the lingam—these are clarified butter, milk, curd, honey, and sugar.Shivratri is also especially important for women, as married women use this day to pray for their sons and husbands. Unmarried women pray that they might receive a husband who is as like Shiva as possible.The Most Important Hindu FestivalThe Maha Shivratri observation at the Cove and John Mandir is well-attended by thousands of devotees each year, and, for many, it is the most sacred of all Hindu festivals, with devotees who perform sincere acts of worship for Shiva being absolved of all sins, attaining moksha—the escape from the cycle of death and rebirth.This, for Hindus, moksha is one of the four primary goals of human life, alongside virtue, prosperity, and fulfillment, and so we can see why Maha Shivratri is so widely celebrated and revered.Above all, this is the night and day when darkness is cast out of the human mind and heart, and illusions are destroyed by the cleaving sword of Lord Shiva, driving humanity out of its blindness and into the light.
The Scoil Mhuire gan Smál debating team has won the Letterkenny and District Debating League for the second year in a row-a wonderful achievement for the school. Primary schools in the Letterkenny area competed in four rounds of this league since the beginning of the school year. Adjudicators commented on the very high standard of the debates. The team is pictured with members of the Woodland debating team, teachers and adjudicators.SCOIL MHUIRE gan SMAL ARE CHAMPS – AND IT’S NOT UP FOR DEBATE! was last modified: May 5th, 2016 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)
San Fernando Valley business leaders and city officials, often at odds over development issues, are pledging a coordinated effort to attract high-paying jobs to the 26-acre Los Angeles Times printing facility that is closing early next year. While it’s still early in the process, some business executives and city officials, including Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, agree the initial emphasis should be on luring high-wage manufacturing jobs to the Chatsworth site on Prairie Street between Corbin and Winnetka avenues. “It’s a beautiful piece of property, and this will be our highest priority as business development goes, probably for the coming year,” said Los Angeles City Councilman Greig Smith, whose district includes Chatsworth. “I think if anybody came to me and said, we want to put a retail center there, I would probably say no. But … it’s kind of early to tell.” AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREBlues bury Kings early with four first-period goals The Times announced last week that it was ending a costly foray into the Valley that began more than 20 years ago. The company plans to shut the facility, consolidate printing operations at three other locations outside the Valley, eliminate 110 jobs and put the 250,000-square-foot building and land up for sale in early 2006. The parcel is zoned for industrial use, and Smith wants his staff and Villaraigosa’s business team to map out a recruitment and development strategy. “Obviously, it’s a valuable property and it is something the city can’t afford to let go to waste,” Villaraigosa said. “What I want to see are ways we can create more high-paying jobs for the San Fernando Valley.” The mayor said he’s instructed his business team to meet with Times executives to see how they can take advantage of this development opportunity. “At this very early stage, it appears there’s been a significant amount of interest in the property,” Times spokesman David Garcia said in an e-mail response to questions. Trammell Crow’s downtown office will handle the sale. Onno Zwaneveld, a Trammell Crow senior vice president, said the company is just starting its pricing and use-evaluation process and then deciding what the best use would be. “We want to understand what the alternative uses would be by right given the existing zoning and talk to the city and see what other uses they would consider for the property,” he said. Bruce Ackerman, president and chief executive officer of the Economic Alliance of the San Fernando Valley, said that given its location, adjacent rail line and room for expansion, the site is a natural for some type of manufacturing operation. “We want to be plugged into it,” he said. “We want to do what we can to make sure it’s a high-quality job generator. The biggest fear we have is it gets … turned into a big-box retailer, which is not the highest and best use for that locality.” Bud Ovrum, deputy mayor for economic development, said the site has been underutilized as a printing facility. It is also important to preserve the city’s job base so an incentive package will likely be put together, he said. “It’s a site that really lends itself to hitting a home run because it’s that much land with very few jobs on it,” he said. Commercial brokers familiar with the property are not sure what would be built there, saying retail and residential uses are the least likely, while office and industrial uses make sense. John Sabourin, a broker at the commercial firm Studley, said it’s rare for a parcel this big to come on the market in the middle of the Valley. “That would just be a natural location for more industrial,” he said. John DeGrinis, senior vice president at Colliers International’s office in Encino, has already discussed the property with the listing agent. He said he thinks an office campus might make more sense and since the building is configured for a newspaper printing operation, it’s a tear-down candidate. High-tech manufacturing might be a stretch. “Over the last five or six years since the high-tech wreck, we have not seen a lot of significant activity from those users,” he said. “They currently have excess capacity.” Staff Writer Rick Orlov contributed to this story. Gregory J. Wilcox, (818) 713-3743 email@example.com 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!
Join us for live news and analysis Wednesday at 4:30 p.m. as the Warriors hope to make themselves at home in Miami.The Heat (26-33) have lost six straight games at home after Monday’s debacle when it allowed the Suns to break their 17-game losing streak Monday. Home troubles have been a season-long issue for the Heat, which has lost 18 of 29 games at American Airlines Arena.The Warriors (43-17), who beat the Hornets 121-110 on Monday to start their four-game road trip, will be …
Bees stabilize their flight in windy conditions by extending their hind legs. Even though this costs 30% more energy and produces more drag, it provides stabilization against turbulence by increasing their moment of inertia (i.e., their resistance to being flipped over). A team of scientists videotaped the insects flying when blasted by powerful bursts of air, Science Daily reported. “In every case, the bees displayed a side-to-side rolling motion at high flight speeds, negotiating the turbulence by extending their rear legs while in flight.” They only studied ten species of bees. The team thinks this may be a universal skill among other members of their class Hymenoptera (bees, wasps, ants, and sawflies), but are not sure. There was no mention of evolution in the article, except that one of the scientists is a Harvard evolutionary biologist who said, “we know remarkably little about how animals navigate windy conditions and unpredictable airflows.”Who taught these bees about physics and aerodynamics? Did they learn it in Bee’s Knees Flight School? Did a lucky one figure it out and share the idea with its fellow aces (Lamarckism)? Did a lucky mutation arise, after trillions of bees fell dead from gusts of wind (neo-Darwinism)? Did the right engineering solution just emerge (naive Darwinism)? Those ideas don’t fly, even in hot air.(Visited 12 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0
These two traditional midwives or matronnes are now part of a campaign to get women to deliver in hospitals in Madagascar.(Image: Serge Ralaiarivony/UNFPA)MEDIA CONTACTS• Ben ParkerDirector, Irin News+254 20 762 2147 or +254 733 860 08RELATED ARTICLES• Taking the risk out of giving birth• Breathing new life into Hillbrow• SA’s second health train rolls out • SA triage system to go global Source: Irin NewsMadagascar’s traditional midwives, or matronnes, are often thought to undermine safe childbirth practices, delivering babies in unsanitary environments and without provisions to manage complications. Yet they are now being recruited to a campaign to get women to deliver in clinics or hospitals, part of a move to lower maternal and newborn death rates.“We have more work than ever,” said matronnes Bertine, 52, and Marnette, 51. The women, who are cousins, learned the trade from their grandmother 20 years ago.Now they are cooperating with the Centre Sante de Base (CSB II) in Betraka, a tiny village 50km north of the coastal town of Manakara, to ensure that all pregnant women in the area deliver at the clinic.“Sometimes women ask us to do their delivery at home, but we tell them it’s forbidden. It’s much better here, as there are materials. Before, we only had our own two hands,” Marnette told Irin. State of maternal careMadagascar is “facing the triple challenge of fast population growth, growing poverty and political instability”, according to the UN Population Fund’s (UNFPA) 2011 State of World’s Midwifery report.Though the country – which has the highest adolescent fertility rate in Africa – has reduced its maternal mortality since 1990, it still has a moderately high maternal mortality ratio (MMR), according to a new report on MMR trends produced jointly by UNFP, the World Health Organisation, Unicef and the World Bank.Madagascar’s MMR dropped from 710 deaths per 100 000 live births in 1990 to 240 per 100,000 live births in 2010.According to 2011 estimates by the UN Inter-agency Group for Child Mortality Estimation, of every 1 000 live births in a given year in Madagascar, 43 infants die before they’re even a year old. This number has dropped from 50 deaths per 1 000 live births in 2007, but it is still unacceptably high.“Weak infrastructure, referral systems and equipment, and lack of qualified staff make access to health care especially difficult in the provinces,” the UNFPA report said about Madagascar, which has about 3 000 health centres, but many are in disrepair or are closed because of the country’s ongoing political crisis.The country only has four trained midwives per 1 000 live births. And although there are 21 midwifery schools which train skilled midwives to hygienically deliver babies and deal with complications, the number of graduates is not meeting needs. In many areas, people have to rely on traditional midwives as their main maternal care providers. Priority focus The government had made maternal and newborn health a top priority in 2008; a national plan for maternal and newborn health was launched the same year. A policy of free healthcare at birth – including expensive caesarean sections – aims to promote institutional birth and increase the use of skilled birth attendants during delivery to a target of 75%. Yet many areas struggle to meet this target.The Centre Sante de Base in Betraka offers a success story.“The mayor of this town had lost a family member to childbirth, so when we went to see him, he immediately set a new rule: anyone who doesn’t come to deliver at the CSB could be fined,” said CSB head Hasiaina Rakotoarinaivo. “We also went to see the local [heads] and matronnes. They signed a letter saying that they agreed with the new rule. The amount of deliveries in the CSB doubled to 30 a month after that.”With encouragement from the matronnes, women in labour walk or are carried into the CSB. The matronnes come with them and assist at the clinic; they still receive their usual fee and five cups of rice.In the 1980s, aid agencies tried to train traditional midwives, supplying them with sterile delivery kits, but the project failed because the women were not taught how to deal with complications..“By the time they see that a delivery is not going well, the patient is often too far away from a hospital to be saved, as the most dangerous time for the mother is the first two hours after delivery,” Achu Lordfred, chief technical adviser at UNFPA, told Irin. ”When the woman tries to deliver at home, there are too many delays for her to receive the help she needs.”But by convincing matronnes to promote hospital deliveries, health workers have found a valuable ally.“It’s good these matronnes come here. They assist with tasks we don’t have time for, like fetching water and walking the women around the courtyard,” said a skilled midwife.“When I was in school, the teacher told us that there will be matronnes to deal with once we started practicing. He said, ‘You can either work with them, or against them, but I advise you to cooperate’,” said one of her colleagues. Co-operation between matronnes and skilled midwivesMatronnes often use traditional practices that can harm women. Local doctors complain that they make women drink traditional herbs to speed up labour – a practice they say can rupture a patient’s uterus.Skilled midwife Miora Tahinjanoihay said women around Betraka are made to drink water with gold in it, which supposedly proves that the husband is the father’s child. “Then, when there are complications, the women think it’s the magic working and they become afraid,” she explained.“We show the townspeople the consequences of these methods. Sometimes women are brought in with convulsions because they drank this kind of herbal tea. After treatment, we use their examples to inform the villagers,” she continued. “Women believe the traditional herbs will speed up delivery and clean the baby, but it often has the opposite effect.”“We found that it’s easy to convince the matronnes to take patients to the hospital,” said Lordfred. “These women are merely looking for respect and a special position in society. The problem we’re working on now is for the [skilled] midwives to accept them. Often, when a matronne takes a patient to the hospital, the midwife will start to insult her and tell her off for giving traditional herbs.”The agency is trying to reinforce hundreds of CSBs to handle the influx of deliveries. UNFPA has spent US$2.6-million (R22-million) since 2008 to get 200 health centres up to a basic level for deliveries; a further 44 centres are now equipped to perform C-sections and blood transfusions.“Some places are easy to transform – they just need light or water. It’s the more advanced units that are expensive, as they need equipment for operations,” Lordfred said. The agency also trains midwives and pays their salaries.“I came here because all my friends deliver here,” said 28-year-old Raharisoa in Bekatra. She is expecting her second child; the first was born 15 years ago, at home with a matronne. “I didn’t know there was a hospital then. I didn’t have problems during the first delivery at home, but I heard it’s better for your health to come here.”
After Silicon Valley and London, Bangalore has the third highest number of startups in the world, according to a report by trade body Nasscom released Oct. 25 and India’s startup ecosystem is the world’s third largest, the report said.Between 2013-2018, India saw between 7200-7700 startups starting, and the overall base is growing at 12-15 percent, the report said. The Indian startup ecosystem created 40,000 direct jobs in 2018 alone taking the total employment in the segment to 1.6-1.7 lakh, Times of India said in its report adding another 4-5 lakh people are estimated to be employed indirectly.In 2018 alone, over 1200 startups started across India and eight startups became unicorn in the year, the highest in any single year, Nasscom said.Between January and September 2018, Indian startups received $4.3 billion funds, which is more than 100 percent year on year growth which means each deal had an average of $9.4 million funding per deal, an increase of 144 percent over 2017. In the current year, seed stage funding went down 21 percent.The year 2018 was also good for mergers and acquisitions as there were over 70 such activities which is a 15 percent rise over 2017, Nasscom said.As far as startup ecosystem enablers are concerned, India has over 210 active accelerators/ incubators, which is a 11 percent increase when compared to 2017. In the last three years, over 35 corporate accelerators/incubators have been started by corporate firms in India. There are also over 14 international startup exchange missions active in India as of 2018.According to Nasscom, 50 percent of all startups in India comprise of Enterprise Software, FinTech, and HealthTech leading verticals, while Advanced Tech startups grew over 50 percent in the last year alone. Data Analytics, Artificial Intelligence, and IoT startups are witnessing fastest adoption across industry verticals, Nasscom said in its report. Related Items
The US doubled their lead in the 37th minute with a goal The US doubled their lead in the 37th minute with a goal that owed everything to the tenacity of Colorado Rapids midfielder Jones, who won the ball in midfield to send Dempsey into space. The Seattle Sounders man jinked clear of one marker but looked to have taken a touch too many as Costa Rica scrambled to get back to cover. Jones however had sprinted up in support and swept an emphatic low drive into the bottom corner beyond the dive of Pemberton for 2-0. It got better five minutes later with another counter-attacking goal which began when Alejandro Bedoya and Dempsey combined to find Wood on the edge of the penalty area. Wood, the Germany-based forward whose 17 goals in 31 games for Union Berlin last season helped earn him a move to Hamburg, turned his marker Oscar Duarte cleverly and then lashed home a low shot. Costa Rica rallied after the break, and Bryan Ruiz saw his header hit the post on 67 minutes, but the United States were never in danger. Zusi added the final home goal in the 87th minute, pouncing on a mistake to skip clear and shoot past Pemberton. The Americans face Paraguay in their final group game where a win will guarantee them a place in the quarter-finals. AFP KHS KHS