The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has extended the temporary suspension of premium processing of H-1B visas. It will also expand this temporary suspension to include certain additional H-1B petitions, the agency said. The recent suspension period can last until Feb.19, 2019. This extension of suspension is meant to process long-pending petitions, filed for expedition of the H-1B visa process, the USCIS said on Aug.28. The temporary suspension can reduce overall H-1B processing time, it said. The agency had announced in March that it will suspend premium processing for cap-subjected H-1B visa petitions till Sept.10, 2018. It has now extended this period of suspension up to Feb.19, 2019. The premium processing of H-1B visa requires submission of fee worth $1,225, in addition to all other filing fees required by the application.“During this temporary suspension, we will reject any Form I-907, Request for Premium Processing Service, filed with an FY 2019 cap-subject H-1B petition. If a petitioner submits one combined check for the fees for Form I-907 and Form I-129 (Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker), we will reject both forms. When we resume premium processing, petitioners may file a Form I-907 for FY 2019 cap-subject H-1B petitions that remain pending,” the USCIS said on its website. However, during the suspension of premium processing service, one can request to expedite an FY 2019 cap-subject H-1B petition, provided the petition meets the Expedite Criteria given on the USCIS website. Premium Processing Service provides expedited processing for certain employment-based petitions and applications. Specifically, USCIS guarantees 15 calendar day processing to those petitioners or applicants who choose to use this service or USCIS will refund the Premium Processing Service fee. Guarantee of 15-calendar day processing means that USCIS will issue an approval notice, a denial notice, a notice of intent to deny, a request for evidence, or it will open an investigation for fraud or misrepresentation within the 15-day period to those who opt for this service. The H-1B visa is the most common visa for highly-skilled Indian IT professionals to work at companies in the United States, and has been at the center of U.S. President Donald Trump’s crackdown on immigration. The visa is valid for three years, and can be renewed for another three years. There was a 42 percent increase in the denial of H-1B petitions for India-born professionals from the third to the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2017, which started July 1, 2017, the National Foundation for American Policy (NFAP) said in its report in July. Related ItemsH-1B visaUSCIS
Over the past year, the number of patients visiting Sharwan Kumar, a 33-year-old rural health practitioner in village Neem Taal Khusrupur in the North Indian state of Bihar, has almost doubled. Kumar holds diplomas in acupressure, acupuncture and naturopathy. There is no qualified doctor in his village, and Patna Medical College, the nearest hospital, is almost 35 kilometers away. When Kumar got an opportunity to start a SkyHealth center as a franchisee of World Health Partners (WHP), a New Delhi-based non-profit, he decided to take it. “For a villager, however much he may want to, it is next-to-impossible to consult a doctor in the city. Technology has now made it possible. I took up the WHP franchisee because I was sure it would work,” says Kumar.The SkyHealth center is equipped with a laptop, a webcam, Internet connection and a remote medical diagnostic kit to measure basic parameters such as blood pressure, heart rate, electrical activity of the heart, pulse rate and so on. Kumar has invested a total of $2,000 in his center to date. He charges each patient around $2 for a telemedicine consultation with qualified and experienced doctors in WHP’s central facilities in New Delhi and Patna. Kumar says his earnings have gone up by 40% since he joined the WHP network.Entrepreneurs like Kumar who have some expertise and experience in health care are a core part of WHP, which provides basic health care and reproductive health services to India’s hinterland through its wide franchise-based network.Launched in 2008, WHP currently has 599 SkyHealth centers in the states of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh and a marginal presence in Madhya Pradesh. Typically, each of these health centers caters to seven to 10 nearby villages. Most of these villages in turn have WHP-trained individuals called SkyCare providers who are equipped with low-cost mobile solutions to perform basic diagnostics and symptom-based treatments. When needed, they offer telephone consultations with doctors at WHP’s central medical facilities or refer the patients to the nearest SkyHealth center.For patients who need specialized procedures that cannot be delivered via telemedicine, health center operators like Kumar refer them to the nearest franchised SkyHealth clinics. The WHP network also includes diagnostic centers, pharmacies, and “last mile outriders” (LM0s) who deliver medicines to the remotest parts of villages on bikes.At present, WHP has two central facilities — one each in New Delhi and Patna — 599 health centers, 4,727 care providers, 35 clinics, 21 diagnostic centers, 10,173 pharmacies and 50 LMOs. There are 13 doctors at the facility in Delhi, three doctors in the Patna facility and 18 doctors who connect from different cities. Since inception, the WHP network has covered around 3.6 million people in Uttar Pradesh alone, of which two million reside in rural and remote villages.Leveraging Existing Resources“One way of serving small pockets of scattered population that rural villages represent and still attain project viability is by creating volumes with the help of a range of products and services,” says Gopi Gopalakrishnan, founder-director of WHP. Gopalakrishan believes that given India’s dismal health care delivery “leveraging existing resources is the only way we can achieve scale, and franchising is the only practical solution to standardize at a minimum cost.”WHP started as a pilot project in the Meerut, Muzaffarnagar and Bijnour districts of Uttar Pradesh with a focus on providing family planning products and services to the rural poor. To date, it has delivered 797,538 couple years protection (CYP — this refers to the estimated protection provided by contraceptive methods during a one-year period). Pointing out that family planning is a sensitive issue in India due to religious sentiments and also lack of awareness, Gopalakrishnan says: “Our experience reveals that rural clients are willing to adopt family planning if services are provided close to home.”According to Gopalakrishnan, the training imparted by WHP to its partners depends on the specific service being provided by them. For instance, if a health center operator provides family planning services, he is given a three-day training. For diagnosing and treating infectious diseases, he is given six days of training. For the same services, a care provider is given a more basic training of one day and three days respectively. Where needed, WHP franchisees are also given technical and administrative training like basic computer skills, financial accounting, etc.The health centers, care providers, clinics and diagnostic centers pay a franchisee fee of $500, $17, $166 and $83 respectively to WHP at the time of enrolment. The care providers also pay an additional 17 U.S. cents for every cellphone consultation given by the WHP doctors. The pharmacies and LMOs don’t pay any franchisee fees.Each health center costs approximately $1,000 to set up. Initially, the cost was shared in the ratio of 25:75 between WHP and the franchisee. In 2010, WHP stopped investing money in the centers. The idea was to encourage the franchisee to seek a return on investment and to be more responsible about the project. According to estimates by WHP, a health center takes three to four years to break even.Wouldn’t a for-profit approach by WHP be more helpful in achieving viability? No, says Gopalakrishnan. “By working in a for-profit mode, WHP will face the danger of ignoring its core constituency of the poor. The poor need care, some of which is unaffordable. A for-profit (approach) will be conditioned solely by market factors and will always gravitate toward a segment of the population which will give it the ability to maximize its profits.” Gopalakrishnan adds that the large subventions available from the government for providing health services to the poor also need conduits of delivery. “As a non-profit, WHP is in a position to provide this,” he says.Prachi Shukla, country director of WHP, elaborates on the organization’s business model. “There is a huge unmet demand for preventive services in India, yet the private provider’s interest in delivering such services is low (because) it is not very financially rewarding. Their interest lies mainly in curative services. Simultaneously, the client’s interest, especially of the women, in receiving preventive services is also pretty low…. They are not willing to travel long distances to seek care from a qualified provider.”Priya Anant, core team member of the Centre for Emerging Markets Solutions (CEMS) at the Indian School of Business in Hyderabad, who has over a decade’s experience in design, management and monitoring of health care service delivery programs in India, agrees. “Telemedicine could be a part of the solution to a lot of health care problems in India, not only because of the (poor state) of physical health care infrastructure, but also due to our population, the huge geographical spread, low per capita income, poor health seeking behaviors, and availability as well as willingness of trained medical care providers, including doctors, to go to areas where the burden of mortality and morbidity is the highest.”In 2008, WHP received $10 million funding from a businessman for its operations in Uttar Pradesh. For its work in Bihar which began last year, WHP has received a funding of $23 million for five years from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, primarily for the identification and treatment of four infectious diseases — tuberculosis, kala azar, childhood diarrhea and pneumonia.Apart from franchisee fees, WHP’s revenues come from the sale of medicines and contraceptive products, and consultations. Patients from “below poverty line” families are provided free consultation by WHP. While it charges 50 U.S. cents for general pool consultation where patients are randomly assigned to the doctors, patients have to pay more if they prefer to consult a particular doctor from the WHP panel.The Learning ProcessIt has been a constant process of learning and unlearning for WHP. For instance, to bring down the costs of telemedicine consultation, WHP shifted from the client server model to the Cloud. For better connectivity, it moved from VSAT to the local broadband. “We have tweaked our system to work on very low bandwidth. To overcome longer lag time, we have created a resumption module in our system. It helps resume consultation from where it dropped during the lag. Yet there are issues with the bandwidth … we’ll have to live with it until Internet services become robust and stable,” says Kamal Talreja, WHP’s technical manager.Adaptability of technology is yet another challenge. Most care providers use basic cellphones in which installing health care applications is next to impossible. And often, patients are not very comfortable using the applications that do get installed. For instance, when WHP installed an application to measure breath speed, very few people were able to use it.Maintaining quality standards across the entire chain is a key focus area at WHP. “In the (case of existing) medical clinics that can serve as a WHP franchisee (it is not always possible) to ensure that they adhere to a certain standardization of service and care …. (Therefore,) WHP has decided to facilitate establishment of new clinics where standards can be enforced from the start,” says Shukla.Shane Walker, associate director, consumer medical devices & digital health at IHS, a global information company providing analysis and insights into industries such as health care, believes that WHP has devised a strong model for delivering health care to rural populations. Walker, who has been tracking the WHP model closely, says: “Broadband connectivity issues are being circumvented with cellphones; last-mile supply challenges are being addressed by LMOs; reinforcement of quality standards and monitoring patient adherence is being done through mobile phone apps. I find it really interesting that WHP’s model is harnessing indigenous informal health providers as village-level franchisees. Fostering entrepreneurship is a good way to achieve sustainability without a reliance on public sector funds. Their approach of integrating preventive care with curative health care services is also forward-thinking.”Telemedicine in IndiaDespite the challenges, telemedicine in India has done progressively well according to Anurag Dubey, associate director, health care IT & health care delivery at business consulting firm Frost & Sullivan. Dubey notes that telemedicine has evolved into specific services like tele-ophthalmology, tele-radiology, tele-cardiology, tele-pathology, etc. “State governments of Punjab, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, Kerala, etc. have implemented telemedicine programs to improve health care services for the rural population. The ministry of health & family welfare, too, has launched the integrated disease surveillance program network with help of the Indian Space Research Organization,” he adds.ISB’s Anant says that telemedicine can be used to tackle some of the problems created by a non-functional primary health care system. “In India, we have struggled with the three-tier system of health care. The primary tier of the system is crucially dependent on the availability of doctors and nurses at the villages in the sub-centers, and at the next level in the primary health care centers. We haven’t been successful in ensuring this yet. As a result, in the backward states particularly, the first level of care for the poorest sections of the population comes from unqualified and untrained providers. This overburdens higher levels of care,” says Anant.According to a recent Healthcare Access Study conducted by IMS Health, a U.S.-headquartered consulting firm, 70% of the health care infrastructure in India (doctors, beds, nurses, etc.) is concentrated in urban areas where 30% of the population lives. Nearly 31% of the rural population has to travel over 30 km to access medical treatment.Neeraj Vashisht, senior principal consulting at IMS Health, suggests that telemedicine can play an important role in bridging this gap. Vashisht notes that premier medical institutions such as All India Institute of Medical Sciences in New Delhi have started curriculum and non-curriculum telemedicine training programs to increase the awareness levels and boost entrepreneurial activity in this space.Ravi Anupindi, professor of business management and operations management at the Stephen Ross School of Business, University of Michigan, suggests that most of the innovation in telemedicine technology appropriate for developing countries will occur in low-cost digital diagnostics. “That is the discovery part,” says Anupindi, adding: “Health care delivery using telemedicine also requires developing protocols for managing the myriad of services to be delivered. Training health workers in these protocols and deploying them in the field is a huge implementation challenge.” According to Anupindi, depending on the nature of technology deployed, costs can also be a concern. “Diagnosis alone is insufficient; a patient needs a solution which includes diagnosis and treatment. So, availability and provision of appropriate treatment is also essential for success.”Anupindi notes that while in the tertiary care space, Narayana Hrudayalaya of Bangalore (for cardiac care) and Aravind Eye Hospitals of Madurai (for ophthalmology) “are in the forefront of the use of telemedicine,” in primary care services use of telemedicine is still nascent. “Long term sustainability of (such) initiatives is still a big question,” he says. Related Items
Jan Graveson’s first visit to India was in 2001 and she immediately fell in love with the country. The actor and singer from north-east England continued to frequent India before finally shifting in the country two and a half years ago.“My whole life changed during that first trip to Goa, in 2001. I returned with a rucksack and traveled across the country for the next six months,” Graveson, who now lives in Mumbai, tells Little India.Graveson began performing at the age of six, with a desire and determination to excel on the stage. She rose to fame with the popular TV series EastEnders. Her work earned her a host of prestigious nominations, including the British Academy Film Awards (BAFTA), and a Tony Award nomination for the Best Featured Actress in a Musical. She has also performed on Broadway in New York.Graveson now wishes to collaborate with like-minded artistes in India and share her knowledge and skills with those passionate about performing on stage.“When people from different walks of life collaborate, things happen,” says the 42-year-old artiste, who is affectionately known as ‘Jaani’ in India.A 17-Year Love AffairI traveled to India for the first time in 2001 for a holiday after completing a long stint in a show in London. I was in Goa for a week and fell in love with the place and that altered my life.I visited a Saturday-night market and met an ace guitarist called Elvis Lobo. I was watching him perform when he invited me on stage. I sang with him and it was one of the most moving experiences of my life. The experience that I had in Goa had such a massive influence on me that I shifted here and, thus, began my love story with India.Jan GravesonPassion for Musical TheaterIn India, there’s a huge musical scene but it’s more cinematic than theater. The infrastructure for musical theater is not very satisfactory. The genre is getting noticed slowly, and has a long way to go. In a country where people burst into songs and dances quite often, the genre should be given an opportunity.I am in the process of collaborating with some notable people from India to initiate a curriculum to encourage musical theater. I have hosted workshops and masterclasses at the True School of Music, and Bollywood director Subhash Ghai’s Whistling Woods film school in Mumbai.Exchanging SkillsI am setting up my own theater group in Bandra that will serve as a powerhouse of creative ventures. I cannot set up an infrastructure in India as I feel it is an arduous task, but I can, at least, get the ball rolling and share my skills with people who are willing to learn.When I was in Goa, I set up a school called the Wow Performing Arts, which was predominantly for children and teenagers to learn skills related to performing arts. My theater group in Mumbai will be called Stageworks.Similar, Yet DifferentMumbai is a chaotic city but the energy is amazing. It’s diverse, vibrant and teeming with opportunities for everyone, whereas England is governed by rules and regulations. However, both places are quite similar in their own ways.For instance, if you’re occupied with work, both locations can be fabulous places to reside. However, if you don’t have work, it can get lonely and depressing, since people are mostly busy and keep to themselves. But Mumbai, I feel, has an edge over London as people here are ever willing to help those in need. People in Mumbai are also very accepting of foreigners, unlike those in London who live in their own shells.Freedom in IndiaI love the freedom that India has given me. I like mundane things, like you can park your vehicle without having to pay for it. I can eat anything from anywhere and say anything I want to. There’s freedom of speech here, as opposed to England where voicing opinions can be difficult.However, things in India don’t get done as smoothly as they should. Many things here work by placing one’s trust in the system and by praying that it will be okay.This notion can be difficult to believe for any foreigner living here, as we are brought up being taught that everything has a system and that we have to plan for the future. In India, life is led on a day-to-day basis. It’s beautiful and remarkable how things fall into place despite the lack of a proper system.Caring for AnimalsA lot of people visit Goa and adopt animals. However, once their vacation is over, they desert the animals on the streets and return to their respective countries. It’s very cruel and I feel that there is a need to rehabilitate these animals. I have rescued and rehabilitated over 100 dogs, and have two dogs and two cats in my house in Goa.Life Without WorriesWhile travelling across the country, I visited Varkala, a coastal town in Kerala, with the intention of staying there only for two days. But I ended up staying there for a month. I was sitting inside a temple thinking whether I should leave or stay, when this man came over and put his hand on my shoulder and said: “If you are in control of it, why worry? If you are not in control of it, why worry?” I did not know who the man was, all I know is that his words touched my soul. Those words have stayed with me and helped me tide through difficult times.British Rule in IndiaIn school, all we were told about India was that it is very far and that it rained a lot during the monsoon. I knew that women wore hand-woven saris because my uncle had gifted one to my mother from one of his trips to the country.We were taught nothing about the British rule in India and the atrocities they committed. We were taught utter lies in school. Sometimes, I come across people here who tell me about the terrible things that the British did. Although I tell them that I was not one of those who committed these atrocities, I still feel responsible. One of the reasons for my stay in Mumbai is that I want to do something for the people here.The interview has been condensed and edited. Expat Voice is regular column on expats in India. Email us at email@example.com to nominate yourself or another expat for the column. Related ItemsBritainGoaMumbai
Indian American pathologist Dr. Meenakshi Singh is facing a lawsuit by a Kansas-based woman who has alleged that she was wrongly diagnosed with having a pancreatic neuroendocrine tumour, which resulted in unnecessary removal of parts of her organs. The doctors then tried to cover up the incorrect diagnosis, the lawsuit adds.The complainant, Wendy Ann Noon Berner, has accused the University of Kansas Hospital and Singh, the former chairwoman of the pathology department, of fraud, negligence and civil conspiracy, KCUR reported.Non-cancerous Tumour?Berner was allegedly misdiagnosed as having a pancreatic neuroendocrine tumor, following which she underwent a surgery to remove a part of the pancreas and several other internal organs in September 2015, since the condition is believed to be fatal within five years in most cases. The 46-year-old resident of Shawnee says she got to know of the issue only when another pathologist, Dr. Lowell Tilzer, filed a case against the hospital over a year ago, claiming that he was targeted when he discussed the case with the Joint Commission that accredits and certifies hospitals. Tilzer later dropped the case.The misdiagnosis, according to the lawsuit, came to light when other doctors of the pathology department studied tissue samples from her pancreas after the surgery and found that the organ was not cancerous. The same conclusion was reached by an outside pathologist, it said.Berner’s lawsuit, which was filed on August 1 in Wyandotte County District Court, names Singh and Dr. Timothy M. Schmitt, who performed her surgery, as defendants, along with the hospital, the University of Kansas Medical Center and the University of Kansas Physicians.Hospital ResponseHospital spokesman Dennis McCulloch said in a statement that the health of its patients remains its top priority. “We need to be respectful of patient privacy and confidentiality, and because of that we are limited in what we can say on this matter,” read the statement. “That said, we do believe that our physicians and staff acted appropriately and with the best interests of our patient in mind.” Related ItemsIndian American pathologist lawsuitIndian doctor Kansas lawsuitIndian doctor sued in USIndian pathologist Meenakshi Singh suedLittle IndiaNRI doctorWendy Ann Noon Berner Meenakshi Singh
An Indian-origin man was arrested on Nov. 15 for the murder of a 20-year-old Indian student who was working as a clerk at a convenience store outside the city limits of Madera in California.Two robbers, including the suspect — Armitraj Singh Athwal, 21, of Modesto — stole cigarette boxes and some cash from the Tackle Box store before shooting Dharampreet Singh Jassar of Caruther on the way out.Jasser hid behind the cash counter but was shot by one of the robbers while they were leaving, a report said. The incident was reported to the police when a customer entered the and found Jasser on the floor.Armitraj Singh Athwal“Some people put way too low of a value on the lives both of the victims and the families that they disrupt by doing things like this,” Madera County Sheriff Jay Varney said in a statement. “I think this was a pretty cowardly act for this person to do that on the way out the door after the clerk had done everything to comply with their needs to take someone else’s property.”Fresno County police found an unregistered .38-caliber revolver, a .22-caliber assault pistol that had been reported stolen, drugs and a blue bandana noticeable, which was visible in the CCTV camera footage of the robbery at the store, in Athwal’s car. He was arrested for having multiple guns and drugs in the car. His car had veered off the road near Kerman. Police believe that the other robber and Athwal separated after the heist.“Madera County detectives were contacted and follow-up investigation revealed that Athwal is likely the suspect who shot the victim during the robbery,” the Madera County statement said.Athwal’s bail is set at $1 million. He will be transferred to Madera Department of Corrections.“Dharampreet was a completely innocent victim, just doing his job, when he was senselessly killed during this robbery,” Varney said.Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh requested External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj to look into the matter.Shocked at the gruesome killing of Nawanshahr’s Dharampreet Singh in California. @SushmaSwaraj ji, request to you to take up the issue at highest levels with US authorities to ensure justice for the family.— Capt.Amarinder Singh (@capt_amarinder) November 16, 2017 Related ItemsCaliforniaMurderRobbery
British businessman Ranjit Singh Boparan, who owns the 2 Sisters Food group, is planning to sell his Irish fish supply company Donegal Catch for £50 million after a scandal around food safety measures at his chicken warehouses was exposed, according to reports.Boparan has reportedly hired corporate finance advisers from Clearwater International to work on the sale of the Irish subsidiary. In January, he sold his Goodfella’s Pizza for £200 million to Bird’s Eye frozen food owner Nomad Foods.The food company 2 Sisters also said it would be closing three of its factories, Smethwick and Wolverhampton in the West Midlands, and at Cambuslang, South Lanarkshire, that would mean job loss for around 900 people. The company was in debts worth £824 million last year after acquiring multiple competitors like Northern Foods in 2011, turkey business Bernard Matthews and restaurant chains FishWorks, Giraffe and Harry Ramsden’s. Boparan also acquired Northern Foods’ final-salary pension scheme, which has 17,000 members.In 2017, an undercover investigation conducted by Guardian and ITV News showed employees at factories changing the best by dates on food labels, and picking up dead poultry from the floor to return it to a production line in a factory in West Bromwich.In October 2017, Boparan apologized for the unsanitary practices.“We absolutely apologize for the doubt this has caused to our customers, consumers and employees,” Boparan told MPs of the parliamentary committee, according to PTI. “These four weeks have been very difficult for a lot of people. Mistakes happen but what we try to do is learn from the mistakes and put them right.”In October 2017, the Indian-origin businessman was also in talks to merge his Fox’s Biscuits brand with the maker of Jammy Dodgers, produced by Burton’s Biscuit Company, to list it on the London Stock Exchange.The company reportedly has £250 million of bonds that have to be repaid in 2019 and hence the aggressive restructuring. Credit ratings agency Moody’s had downgraded 2 Sister’s debt rating into junk territory because of its massive debts and small profit margin.Boparan also landed in trouble recently for sending Christmas hampers to MPs investigating the hygiene scandal at his factories. Related ItemsBritish IndianUnited Kingdom
Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland’s office has condemned Indian officials in Canada for interfering in a cultural festival held outside Toronto, calling the interference “inappropriate.”The matter, which took place last year, is said to have involved Indian consular officials trying to dissuade the annual Carabram festival in Brampton, Ontario, from having separate Punjab and India pavilions, the Globe and Mail reported on March 26.“Interference in domestic affairs by foreign representatives in Canada is inappropriate,” Freeland’s spokesman, Adam Austen, wrote in an e-mail to the publication. “The federal government has no role in planning Carabram, but supports the right of its organizers to do so however they see fit.”The matter was raised with Freeland in August 2017 by Brampton Mayor Linda Jeffrey, who said that the interference was “unwarranted and unwelcome.”The Indian Consulate General in Toronto reportedly approached the organizers of Carabram to either cancel the Punjab pavilion, or merge it with the India pavilion. However, the Punjab and India pavilions were not merged.“The only objection from the Indian government is they don’t want anybody who is talking about Khalistan, but they label everybody and say they are Khalistani if they wear a turban,” Prithpal Chagger, the president of the Punjab pavilion, said, according to the report.“This type of unwarranted interference by Indian officials in a local cultural festival in Brampton was shocking,” Jeffrey wrote to Freeland. Indian officials had reportedly threatened to “go to the highest office in the country and cancel this festival.”Relations between India and Canada recently took another hit when a former Khalistan separatist was found present at an event organized by the Canadian government in India during Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s visit. Jaspal Atwal, who was convicted of attempting to murder a visiting Indian politician in 1986, was photographed with Trudeau’s wife, Sophie Grégoire Trudeau. Another Canadian leader, Jagmeet Singh — who is the leader of the New Democratic Party (NDP) — was also questioned recently for attending a rally where Sikh separatists were present.The Indian government has been wary of the Canadian government for being sympathetic to the Khalistan movement. Prior to Trudeau’s India visit, gurdwaras in Canada and then in the United States and the United Kingdom banned Indian officials in 2017 from entering the Sikh temple in their official capacity. Related ItemsCanadakhalistanPunjab
Read Next “The passion for basketball in Manila is unlike any other city in Asia,” said Nike Southeast Asia and India senior marketing director Bulbul Khera.“We want to inspire young ballers to realize their full potential through the physical and digital aspect of the sport.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutThe partnership that brings to life this unique experience exemplifies this union-waiting-to-happen. Google is working in tandem with Nike to perfect the marriage of technology and basketball science.The app is, indeed, novel. But perhaps the one that is expected to draw much attention are the Hyper Courts that feature comics-inspired artwork from American artist Arturo Torres, who painted images of Lebron James, Kobe Bryant, Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving and Russel Westbrook. LeBron James’ likeness is spread over two courts in Bonifacio Global City. —CONTRIBUTED PHOTOTorres is no stranger to millennial art, as he is known for his signature superhero-themed illustrations of rappers, basketball stars and New York Times best-selling books. Now, his artwork is sprayed in six hardcourts—a colorful encouragement for young kids to pursue their hoop dreams.“I want the kids that play on these courts to know that they can be like the superstars I’ve drawn,” Torres said. “Sure you have to put in the work, but no one can tell that you can’t do something. With Nike Hyper Court you can go out there and prove them wrong—to anyone that’s ever said no to you.”James’ image was placed in the Titan Love Court in Taguig, while Bryant’s Hyper Court is at the Ususan Court also in Taguig. The Comembo Covered Court in Makati was transformed into Durant’s image, while the Scarlet Homes Covered Court in Paranaque has a drawing of the fiery Westbrook. The YCL Covered Court in Quezon City bears the image of Kyrie Irving.Match the inspiration the illustration creates plus the training courses the app produces and Nike hopes the next star will be one of the young kids doing drills on the Hyper Courts.“Nike Hyper Court enables these ballers to train anytime without worrying about access to training drills and training costs,” said Khera.ADVERTISEMENT Kris Aquino ‘pretty chill about becoming irrelevant’ MOST READ Stronger peso trims PH debt value to P7.9 trillion A composite photo of all five courts featuring NBA stars (from left): Lakers legend Kobe Bryant at Ususan Court in Taguig, Oklahoma City’s Russell Westbrook at Scarlet Homes covered court in Parañaque, Cleveland’s LeBron James at Tital Love Court in Taguig, Boston’s Kyrie Irving at YCL Covered Court in Quezon City, and Golden State’s Kevin Durant at Comembo Covered Court in Makati. —CONTRIBUTED PHOTOStep into one of these custom-painted courts. Whip out your smartphones and tap on an app. Here, in Nike’s latest testimonial to Filipinos’ love for basketball, hoop artistry meets technology.The global sportswear giant unveiled five NBA-themed street courts and a specialized app that gives ballers access to drills and videos customized by some of the best players in the world.ADVERTISEMENT Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games Lascuña snatches crown with solid finish Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC View comments Japan ex-PM Nakasone who boosted ties with US dies at 101 Xavi Nunag, an assistant coach for Meralco in the PBA, designed the training drills on the app by studying the tendencies of Nike athletes in the NBA. App users can actually select which player they will pattern their drills after. Irving’s profile, for example, puts emphasis on shooting and ball handling.“Its a godsend for us coaches,” said Nunag of the app. “It’s like having a coach there in the app without really needing the presence of a coach.” QC cops nab robbery gang leader, cohort CPP denies ‘Ka Diego’ arrest caused ‘mass panic’ among S. Tagalog NPA LATEST STORIES Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa
Posted on August 31, 2010June 21, 2017By: Lorraine Thompson, Winner, Ashoka’s Maternal Health Blogging ContestClick 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 email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)On August 30 at 8:00am, the air was already hot and sticky as Ashoka’s Young Champions and Changemakers boarded an air-conditioned bus. After careening across Delhi’s bumpy streets, the young social entrepreneurs stepped into the bright light of downtown Delhi for their first day at the Global Maternal Health Conference (GMHC).In the morning they attended the Conference’s inaugural ceremonies. After lunch they absorbed new facts, figures and findings at special conference sessions. Later that evening, I caught up with two Young Champions and a Changemaker to ask a question:What was your most important takeaway from today’s GMHC sessions? How will it impact your work?Onikepe Owolabi“At the first presentation today, I was struck by the obstetric epidemiologist from Aberdeen (Wendy J. Graham from Immpact at the Univeristy of Aberdeen). She kept mentioning context of research. And it struck me that when we look at studies to influence what we do, we should always try to find out about the culture of the people there. And the other things was her idea of ‘failing forward’: learning to maximize our failures—to make them into successes and leverage them for future successes.”“In the afternoon, I attended a session on the social and economic impacts on maternal health. There was a young man who spoke about a qualitative study done in Nepal. Because of what I heard in the morning, I was a lot more open to qualitative research. Sometimes people think it’s not as scientific as quantitative data collection. He spoke about the cultural things that stopped women from accessing healthcare. He kind of sparked a thought in my heart—that culture is an integral part of people’s lives.”“I think the aim of our Young Champion projects should be to eliminate the harmful practices of culture. But maybe we will get women to access healthcare better if we can incorporate some good parts of culture. From my cultural context, many people use traditional birth attendants because they want the love, the prayers and the social support. So maybe if we could somehow incorporate those spiritual rituals into hospital birthing and institutional deliveries, women would be more open to using them—as against just insisting that they come to the hospital.”Seth Cochran“The partner I work with in Uganda uses these birth kits. She goes around to different women in the villages and shows them a little backpack filled with things that will make a pregnancy safer. Really basic stuff. Like soap to wash your hands. A razor to cut the cord—a sterile razor. A clean blanket.”“Originally I thought, it was a great idea. But it turns out it’s a pretty controversial idea. A lot of people worry that if you give a woman this kit of clean stuff, it’s going to tell her it’s okay to give birth at home. And that’s not what the institutional players want. They want the women having their babies in hospitals. Which I think is ideal—but in a lot of cases not realistic.”“Since the Women Deliver Conference, I’ve been thinking I need to better understand this discussion. So today I went to a session on birth kits. It was structured almost like a debate. Like, Here are some of the facts: What do you think?”“And it became very clear to me what I want to do. With these birth kits, there are all these possibilities, right? It doesn’t have to be a facility birth. If you manage it properly, not only can it make a woman want to go to the hospital, it can help the hospital more effectively treat her. It’s a packaged set of commodities—and the facility may be short of commodities.”At the hospital, they know, if they’ve been trained, how to receive this woman: The woman comes with a little package, they can immediately take every thing out, do the job quicker, more effectively, make sure everything’s there.”“Today the debate made it very clear in my mind that I’m going to do this as a fundamental part of my program. The specifics of how—I’m not quite sure about yet. But my mind was boiling with possibilities: You could sell these things. You could sell vouchers for additional care. You could give them vouchers for local transport—negotiate with taxis. It’s a physical good, a package that’s not only sellable to the woman in Africa—or donate-able—but it’s also saleable to the donating public. Because it’s tangible. And it’s low cost—probably less than $10 or $15.”Dr. Minal Singh“I liked meeting people from the same field, with a similar cause. The best part was I’m coming away with the feeling that I’m not alone—I’m not facing different values in the field of maternal health. The values are shared by people all over the world. So it gives me lots of inspiration to work with new energy when I get back.”“There are so many synergies. Though we had little time to connect with all the partners, I’m sure we have their contact details and their organization names. Thanks to the World Wide Web, we’ll be able to connect again. I can see much potential—people from whom I can learn and partner.”“In the afternoon I attended a session on the social and economic and cultural implications of maternal health. It was a very nice talk. And this is actually the problem we are facing—the gap in India between the rural and the urban and also the economic gap. So I hope this will help me implement better.”Lorraine Thompson is the winner of the Ashoka’s Maternal Health Blogging Contest and is live blogging for the Change Summit and the Global Maternal health Conference. Stay up to date with the conference happenings! Follow the Maternal Health Task Force and EngenderHealth on Twitter: @MHTF and @EngenderHealth. The conference hashtag is #GMHC2010.For more posts about the Global Maternal Health Conference, click here.For the live stream schedule, click here.Check back soon for the archived videos of the conference presentations. Share this: ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read:
Bengals claimed two players on waivers: former Cardinals’ WR Pharoh Cooper and former Redskins’ RB Samaje Perine.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) September 1, 2019Perine had a historic career with the Oklahoma Sooners from 2014 to 2016. As a true freshman, he set the NCAA rushing record with 427 yards and six touchdowns against Kansas. He would finish the year with 1,713 rushing yards and 21 touchdowns.He would go on to record over 1,000 yards and double-digit touchdowns in each of his next two seasons.When he left Oklahoma in 2017 to enter the NFL Draft, he was the Sooners’ all-time leading rusher, beating out Billy Sims by four yards for the mark.Perine will have at least one familiar face meeting him in the running backs room. His former Oklahoma teammate, Joe Mixon, is currently established as the team’s feature back.Will Samaje Perine have a breakout season for the Bengals in 2019? NORMAN, OK – NOVEMBER 12: Running back Samaje Perine #32 of the Oklahoma Sooners takes a hand off during warm ups before the game against the Baylor Bears November 12, 2016 at Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium in Norman, Oklahoma. Oklahoma defeated Baylor 45-24. (Photo by Brett Deering/Getty Images)It looks like Samaje Perine’s NFL dream isn’t quite over yet. After being waived by the Washington Redskins over the weekend, he’s quickly found a landing spot.According to ESPN NFL insider Adam Schefter, Perine has been claimed by the Cincinnati Bengals. They also claimed former special teams All-Pro Pharoh Cooper.Perine was a fourth-round pick by Washington in the 2017 NFL Draft. By the end of his rookie year, he was the starter, and finished the year as the team’s leading rusher with 603 yards.But his sophomore season in 2018 was considerably more frustrating, carrying the ball just eight times that year.
The medical officer of health is advising residents who use waterfrom Springfield Lake, in the community of Springfield Lake,Halifax Regional Municipality, that a water advisory issued Dec.12, 2004 is now lifted. Residents are reminded that drawing water for drinking, cooking,or bathing from a surface water source, such as a lake, is notrecommended unless the water is being treated. Untreated lakewater is not a safe drinking water supply. Water should befiltered and treated prior to consumption. -30-
Darjeeling: On the heels of the arrest of B P Bajgain, spokesperson, Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (Bimal faction), Trilok Chand Roka was also arrested. One Binod Rasaily was arrested from Jorebungalow on Thursday morning.Roka, who is a lawyer and a GJM (Bimal) leader, was produced at the Chief Judicial Magistrate Court, Darjeeling, along with Bajgain. While Bajgain has been remanded to two days police custody, Roka was sent to a day of judicial custody. Roka will be produced in court again on Friday. Also Read – City bids adieu to Goddess DurgaBajgain was arrested in connection with a case registered during the Assembly by-elections. The Sadar police station case is related to the forceful entry into government property on May 1. Incidentally on that day, the GNLF, BJP and GJM (Bimal faction) leaders and supporters had entered the old party office of GJM in Singamari on the Lebong Cart Road and put up party flags in the building. The building has been taken over by the government, stating that it had been illegally occupied. A police camp has been housed in the building. The police had initiated a suo moto case naming Niraj Zimba- the BJP candidate, Manoj Dewan- BJP president, B P Bajgain- GJM (Bimal) spokesperson and others in it. 4 persons had been arrested earlier. Also Read – Centuries-old Durga Pujas continue to be hit among revellers”The FIR had stated that 4 civic volunteers had been injured when the accused had forcefully entered the building. Out of the 4 injured, one Anmol Rai was critically injured. We had prayed for 5 days of police remand for the recovery of arms. The court has granted two days of police remand. He will be produced again on June 1,” stated Pankaj Prasad, assistant public prosecutor, Darjeeling. Bajgain has been charged under different sections of the Indian Penal Code and the Arms Act, while Roka has been arrested in connection with the case registered in the Sadar police station, Darjeeling, lodged by Darjeeling Municipality chairperson Prativa Rai Tamang.
NEW YORK, N.Y. – Ford Motor Co. has bought an electric scooter sharing company, expanding its presence in alternative modes of transportation.The century-old automobile company announced its acquisition of Spin, a San Francisco-based dockless scooter sharing company, on Wednesday.Spin operates in 13 cities and campuses and allows riders to borrow a scooter for $1 and an additional 15 cents per minute.Ford says the number of mobility options available to people has risen dramatically in recent years, and in some situations people use multiple forms of transportation during a single trip.Ride-sharing giants Uber and Lyft also have been investing in scooter-sharing companies.Ford also owns bike sharing system Ford Go Bike in the San Francisco Bay Area.Financial terms of the Spin acquisition were not disclosed.
New Delhi: Actor Rakul Preet says it is extremely tough for an outsider to get meaningful roles in the film industry. But she is glad that she is getting a chance to explore her calibre with films like De De Pyaar De. “I said ‘yes’ to the film because of my role. Let’s face the fact, it is very difficult for an outsider to kind of crack the film which has a great role for the girl and when you are an integral part of the story,” Rakul said. Also Read – I have personal ambitions now: Priyanka”When I heard the role, I was completely blown by it. I said ‘I will do anything to get this role’. I am extremely grateful that I am getting such a good response and people are noticing me in the trailer when it has two stalwart actors. I was overwhelmed with the response,” she added. The film, a romantic comedy, also stars Tabu and Ajay Devgn. Written and co-produced by Luv Ranjan and directed by Akiv Ali, it tells a story of how a 50-year-old falls for a girl much younger than him, and what happens when she meets his former wife. Also Read – Salman Khan remembers actor Vinod KhannaIn the film, Rakul will be seen essaying the role of a girl from London. On her look, the actor said: “My look is very different. When I got the film, Luv Sir asked me that to lose weight. The brief given to me was, ‘You need to look like Deepika Padukone from Cocktail. “Considering I own a gym myself, I couldn’t say no. I had 25 days before I started the film and I lost about 8-10 kg at that point of time. It was a lot of work in terms of getting the look right.” She continued: “I was training for four hours and there was a proper regime. I had to crash diet for a week and then build muscle. It was one month of intense training. It was probably the most hardworking month of my life in terms of fitness.” De De Pyaar De, produced by T-Series and Luv Films, will release on May 17. Rakul hopes the “film creates the same excitement as the trailer”.
Fez – Massive protests took place in the Agadir neighborhood in the district of Meriniyine in Fez on Friday, after the launch of a public swimming pool project that will be constructed on an old cemetery in the area.The residents of the neighborhood were angered after the bulldozers dug out the cemetery and uncovered human skeletons.Shocked by this “unethical” act of vandalism, violating the “due respect to the dead,” the residents of the neighborhood mobilized and prevented the bulldozers from continuing the destruction of the cemetery. According to the teachings of Islam, the deceased body must be treated with respect and due care, including the remains of the deceased that should be covered underground.According to Alyoum24, local authorities rushed to the place of the protests and ordered the contractor in charge of the project to stop and wait to address the matter with the concerned authorities.The same source said that the project enters within the framework of the National Initiative for Human Development, supervised by the Wilayat of Fez.In a statement to the same source, Azzedine bin Sheikh, a leader of the Istiqlal Party and head of the District of Meriniyine, said that “the old cemetery, where strangers and unanimous were buried, has been closed for more than 60 years,” adding that this “does not prevent respect for the remains of the deceased.”Bin Sheikh added that the province has ordered the contractor to move the remains and bury them somewhere else.
BERLIN — Germany’s central bank says it expects the country’s economy, Europe’s biggest, to turn in a feeble performance in the current quarter after returning to growth in the winter.Solid consumer spending and a construction boom helped the economy grow by 0.4% in the January-March period after contracting slightly in last year’s third quarter and stagnating in the fourth quarter.In its monthly report published Monday, the Bundesbank said the overall tendency remains weak. It said that “against this background, German economic output in the spring of 2019 will likely barely exceed the level it reached in the winter, which was supported by various special effects.”The German government’s full-year growth forecast currently stands at 0.5%, compared with 1.8% late last year. It sees growth accelerating to 1.5% in 2020.The Associated Press
In a speech entitled, “Solving the World’s Food and Security Problems,” Mr. Ban will talk about “the ways that the United Nations and the United States can work together in pursuit of common goals …and discuss the challenges that are common to all of us, from rising food prices to climate change,” Michele Montas told reporters in New York. Before the speech, Mr. Ban met with representatives of corporations, growers’ organizations and research institutes. “They explored how to increase agricultural productivity in the developing world and how to create synergies between smallholder and commercial farming,” Ms. Montas said. “They also talked about climate change and technology, including biotechnology.“All agreed to keep the collaboration going and to explore how to bring the power of these players to the table,” she added.While in St. Louis, he is expected to visit the Boeing Company to discuss global warming, the environment, energy-friendly corporate culture and business responsibilities. The visit is part of the Secretary-General’s ongoing outreach campaign which has already taken him to a number of US cities, including Jackson Hole, Chicago and Atlanta. 12 June 2009Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is in Missouri today to deliver a speech at St. Louis University on food security and other global issues, part of his campaign to reach out to the American public, his spokesperson said.
Despite a rough offensive day that saw both redshirt junior Cardale Jones and redshirt sophomore J.T. Barrett get an extended look at quarterback, the Ohio State defense shut out Hawaii to grab a home-opener 38-0 victory.Jones — who started for the second straight game to start the year — completed 12 of 18 passes for 111 yards. In the second quarter, he was yanked for Barrett, who started 12 games last season, but the Wichita Falls, Texas, native fared worse, going 8-of-15 for 70 yards.After the game, OSU coach Urban Meyer said much of the struggles from the quarterbacks came from poor blocking.“I wanted to throw them both,” Meyer said. “J.T. had 15 opportunities to throw the ball. Cardale, 18. That doesn’t include the pressures and the scrambles. Because we did not protect very well today. We have to get that fixed.”It was a sloppy afternoon offensively for both the Buckeyes (2-0) and Rainbow Warriors (1-1) in front of the crowd of 107,145, with OSU outgaining Hawaii 356-165 but struggling to gain any rhythm offensively throughout the contest.One possible factor for the poorer play than Meyer expects from his team was the fact that the Buckeyes had just played five days prior, on Monday in Blacksburg, Virginia. Despite the short rest, Meyer refused to use that as an excuse.“I think that’s a very solid excuse, one that’s not allowed. I made that clear down there,” Meyer said. “I mean, that’s good, that’s good to bring that up and say that’s the reason we didn’t play necessarily well on the offensive line.“You’ll never hear that. If I do, then that coach has got a problem and that player has got a problem. That’s not execution. That takes away from (Hawaii).”Jones followed his coach’s lead by not using the quick turnaround as an excuse, instead offering a much simpler explanation for the offensive struggles.“All credit goes to Hawaii,” Jones said. “They played a tough game. They played hard and they did things we didn’t prepare for.”After two scoreless drives by Hawaii and one by the Buckeyes to start the game, OSU brought the ball 77 yards on 11 plays to get on the scoreboard first. The drive, which included four runs by redshirt senior H-back Braxton Miller playing under center, culminated with junior running back Ezekiel Elliott getting in from one yard out for his second score of the season.The defensive struggle continued on each team’s next drive, with both punting. The Buckeyes’ drive ended with Jones fumbling a third-down snap for the second time in their first three series.Each team again was forced to punt on their next drives, bringing the total through eight overall drives to just one score, with six punts and a turnover on downs.The following drive did not end with a punt by the Rainbow Warriors, but it wasn’t a positive results for the visitors either as cornerback Gareon Conley picked off a third-down pass from Hawaii redshirt senior Max Wittek to give OSU the ball in Hawaii territory.After the game, defensive coordinator and linebackers coach Luke Fickell praised the performance of the sophomore whose interception was the first of his career.“No balls were completed on him,” Fickell said. “We ask our guys to do a lot out there. … He’s doing it all.”At that point following the interception, Meyer made the change, pulling Jones in favor of Barrett.Though the Buckeyes only had to go 35 yards for the score, Meyer’s decision immediately paid dividends as the Buckeyes used a nine-play drive to go up by two scores.Barrett completed two of three passes on his first drive, and Miller contributed a run and catch for 19 yards. Elliott scored his second touchdown of the day on a third-down run from the 3-yard line.Hawaii completed its first non-penalty first down of the second quarter on the following drive, but on the very next play a tipped pass found the hands of OSU junior safety Vonn Bell for the Buckeyes’ second straight interception.Barrett struggled on OSU’s final two drives before the end of the half, though, missing on three straight passes after a pair of first-down strikes to end the first one and then missing on three of four on the final one.In the first half, the Buckeyes outgained the Rainbow Warriors 232-89. However, the home team was hindered by seven first-half penalties for 55 yards.Jones went 6-of-9 for 89 yards in the half, while Barrett slumped to a 5-of-12 mark for 41 yards.Jones’ stronger first half was enough to convince Meyer to swap quarterbacks at the break as Jones jogged onto the field for the second half’s opening drive.Unlike the first quarterback swap, Jones’ re-entry did not show immediate results, as the Buckeyes went three-and-out on their first two drives of the half with OSU picking up just four yards on the two series.On the first play of Hawaii’s next drive, redshirt sophomore linebacker Darron Lee took the offensive struggles into his own hands, jarring a fumble loose from Wittek which was recovered by Conley at the 6-yard line.After a fumbled snap on first down — Jones’ third mishandled snap of the game — and a pair of unsuccessful bids for Elliott’s third touchdown, redshirt senior Jack Willoughby connected on his first field goal with the Scarlet and Gray to make it 17-0.Willoughby, a transfer from Duke who earned the field goal duties over sophomore Sean Nuernberger for the second consecutive game, is now 1-of-2 on field goal tries. A first-quarter attempt from 45 yards was mishandled by the holder, junior punter Cameron Johnston, who shoveled it forward for an incompletion.After preventing a 13-play Hawaii drive from resulting in a score, the Buckeyes began a long drive of their own, going 91 yards on 17 plays, culminating in Elliott punching in his third score of the game.Elliott did not have his strongest game despite the two touchdowns, carrying the ball 27 times for 101 yards, an average of 3.7 yards per carry. Additionally, 16 of the St. Louis native’s yards came on his first three carries of the game.On Hawaii’s following drive, sophomore defensive end Jalyn Holmes knocked the ball loose from Wittek. Bell then scooped the ball up after Lee knocked it forward and ran it in 14 yards for the score.With the game safely out of reach with a 31-point lead, Meyer called for Barrett to re-enter the game. The redshirt sophomore showed better results than in the first half, completing all four passes on the drive for 40 yards. The finishing touches on the victory came when redshirt junior running back Bri’onte Dunn ran the ball in five yards for the score.The game was the first in OSU’s last 24 contests — going back to Oct. 5, 2013 at Northwestern — in which it did not complete a passing touchdown.The Buckeyes are set to continue their three-game homestand by hosting Northern Illinois on Sept. 19. Kickoff is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. at Ohio Stadium. OSU head coach Urban Meyer greets fans before a game against Hawaii on September 12 at Ohio Stadium. OSU won 38-0. Credit: Samantha Hollingshead / Photo Editor
Rolling out high speed mobile phone coverage and internet to the forgotten corners of rural Britain will require at least 400,000 extra masts, many of which will need to be 80ft high, experts have predicted.In this month’s budget Phillip Hammond, the Chancellor, pledged to invest £1.1 billion the development of a 5g network which will bring faster and more reliable mobile broadband and phone coverage to the UK by the early 2020s.But a recent report by consumer watchdog Which? found that mobile users in half of England cannot even access 4g, while in Wales the fast signal is available for just one third of the time.Expert from the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET), King’s College London, and the universities of Surrey and Sussex, warned that people living the countryside may have to accept 80 foot (25 metre) masts if they want to catch up and enjoy the faster service.More than 10 times the number of masts and base stations, will be needed for full coverage across the country, but super-fast 1-2 gigabits per second speeds will always be confined to cities, they warned. Many people struggle with their signal even with the most up to date phones Credit:AP Professor Will Stewart, of the IET said: “There is nowhere near enough capacity to deliver what we think the system needs, there never has been.“The crucial thing is you need to be shorter range to deliver the extra capacity, that means more base stations, at least ten times more, maybe 100 times. There are between 30,000 and 40,000 masts now.“The coverage is enormously important. It’s not just ex-Prime Minister’s who are concerned that they can’t get coverage in Cornwall. We need services to always work, we see them now as a utility.“One of the things you are going to see in five years is the masts getting taller, to get more coverage. 25 metres is what the mobile operators are asking for. The UK has got the shortest masts in Europe. We’ve done something really stupid, we’ve kept the masts below the treeline, but the trees grow taller every year.”According to an HM Treasury report released this week, 5G will open the doors “to potentially revolutionary technologies such as automated cars and advanced manufacturing, as well as enabling the many thousands of connected devices, such as smart energy meters, that are predicted to enter our everyday world as part of the Internet of Things (IoT).”However the current signal in some rural areas is currently so bad that EE is preparing to launch a mobile mast suspended from a helium blimp as part of its effort to improve coverage.4G replaced 3G internet as a mobile communications standard several years ago and was designed to provide wireless internet access at a much higher speed, allowing customers to watch videos and use social media on the move. EE are considering using a blimp to improve the signal at the Glastonbury Festival 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. But even in London most people can only access a 4G signal 69.7pc of the time and the capital has one of the worst downloads speeds in the country. And fewer than half of mobile connections were made on a 4G service at the end of last year according to Ofcom.Mischa Dohler, Professor of Wireless Communication at King’s College said: “The rural coverage problem is a big headache. If coverage wasn’t there in 4g it won’t be in 5g.“The real problem is the cost to put up the base station in rural areas. So one recommendation is to deregulate street furniture. That’s what we really need. Then you can roll our the base stations you need.”Tom Fyans, director of campaigns and policy at the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE), said networks should consider siting base stations on churches or farm buildings to avoid the need for intrusive masts.“Super slow speeds continue to frustrate communities in more remote areas. Yet we need to ask whether we can deliver the type of coverage being suggested here without markedly harming the character of our precious landscapes.“Rather than building thousands of ever higher masts at the behest of industry, we need to maintain strong planning protections and help local communities add new infrastructure to existing buildings. Churches or farm buildings can provide the right structure, if damage to their heritage value is prevented.“Creative efforts that engage local communities will make sure rural areas are not left behind and protect the countryside.”Some communities are even being forced to pay for their own masts, or run fibres to nearby villages which do have coverage to pick up a signal.Prof Stewart, who clubbed together with locals in his village to pay £25,000 for internet link up to his village said: “We did it, and several villages around me have done so as well.“Since we did it BT has decided to come in to the billage, but it works our cheaper to do it through the community. BT charges £30 a month, but our community network is only £10 a month. So why would anyone ask for BT?”Prof Stephen Temple, of the Institute of Communication Systems at the University of Surrey, added: “The biggest headache for policymakers is going to be coverage over the next 20 years.”
Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedMinister Patterson’s brother charged with trafficking cocaine in GrenadaMay 15, 2018In “Court”If found guilty he must face the consequences- Minister Patterson on brotherMay 18, 2018In “Crime”Cocaine trafficking: Jagdeo calls on Gov’t to launch investigation into Minister’s brotherMay 16, 2018In “latest news” The younger brother of Public Infrastructure Minister, David Patterson, was on Thursday given the option of paying a hefty fine or being jailed for 3 years after he pleaded guilty in a Grenada Court to the charge of cocaine trafficking.Derrick PattersonDerrick Patterson, 47, of Guyana, confessed to the crime when it was read to him by Magistrate Tamara Gill at the St George’s Court in Grenada.Patterson was ordered to pay EC$75,000 (GYD$5.789M) or serve three years in jail, if he was unable to fund the fine.INews had previously reported that Patterson, was visiting Grenada and residing at Captain Harris apartments in Grand Anse, St George.However, on May 2, 2018, officers attached to the Drug Squad of the Royal Grenada Police Force (RGPF) intercepted a vehicle travelling in the vicinity of Springs in which Derrick Patterson was the driver.The vehicle was searched and the drugs – a total of 2.325kgs of cocaine, worth approximately $232,500- were found inside of a plastic bag.Meanwhile, back in Guyana, the Public Infrastructure Minister made a public statement noting that if his brother is found culpable of the offence, he will have to bear the brunt of his actions.“Our position is that Derrick [Patterson] is a matured adult of 47 years and he must bear full responsibility for the consequences of his actions. Neither I nor any other member of my family can take responsibility for his own, deliberate actions,” the Minister said in a public statement made on Facebook.The Minister further explained that his family’s initial reaction at the news was that of shock, and while they remain deeply distressed and concerned, there is some hope that the law enforcement officials in Grenada may have made a mistake.Nevertheless, he emphasised in his post that his younger brother must face the consequences if he is found guilty in the court of law.“We have no reason to believe that he will not be treated fairly by the Grenadian legal system. As a family, we will give him all support we legally can, but we will not condone any proven illegal conduct,” he said.Moreover, Opposition Leader, Dr Bharrat Jagdeo, had later called on Government to have a full scale investigation launched in Guyana to ensure that ‘our security was not compromised,’ given that the accused in a family member of a Government Minister and would have been granted certain “VIP treatment.”“This is where the Government should launch a full investigation into it since this is a clean Government that doesn’t tolerate drug dealing” he had stated.