A Common Indian’s Perspective of COVID-19’s Impact on The Country

first_imgAs I put on my mask, and step out of my house for the first time in five days to get groceries, I cannot help but keep thinking about these last three months of 2020 that have reshaped society in lasting ways. Right from how we travel, to whether or not we invest in mutual funds, how much government surveillance we are willing to accept, and even how much compassion we show to our maids, drivers and other caretakers.A serious virus has kept us all imprisoned in our homes for more than a month now – and maybe for more weeks to come—and has completely reoriented the common Indian’s relationship with its immediate ecosystem, its businesses and economy, its own government, governments outside of our borders, and more importantly, with each other. These changes feel extremely unsettling, but more than that, they raise questions like – will this permanently change the notion of what India is?Take for instance our relationship with our government. Over the last few years, Indians have become more polarized than ever. After winning the general elections last year, the BJP-led government managed to conveniently put governance and economy on the back burner, and leverage its political capital to stay relevant and sway the masses. A key religious dispute – Ayodhya Ram mandir – that kept dividing us over decades also saw closure. But now, amidst this global pandemic, we have now all turned towards a common enemy. It has brought governance and economy back in the limelight. So much that even Yogi Adityanath was heavily criticised for shifting a statue of Lord Ram amid the lockdown, and even the ‘Hindu card’ that is used so often couldn’t help the politician. Not that we will become less communal after all this ends, but maybe we will be better able to see how all our fates are actually linked.The virus is also changing India’s definition of patriotism significantly. Once completely reliant on our armed forces, we have now started to recognize other heroes too – doctors, nurses, pharmacists, grocery vendors, farmers, teachers, caregivers, small-business owners. Perhaps, this shift will be more permanent and help us cultivate the idea of peace and health, over war with other supposed enemies.This crisis has also fundamentally changed the way Indian businesses operate. It’s not to say that we don’t function the same way as our global peers – we are a hotbed of business innovation. However, as Indians, our dominant method of working has always been heavily reliant on physical interactions with employees, clients and other stakeholders important to our business. Of course, we consider the digital as an important part of growing business but never have we been forced this way to completely reorient our style of working. It has made us realise the benefits of remote working, the flexible use of technology, and how a WhatsApp call can also be used to connect with colleagues and clients, and not just our friends, or our grandparents for a tête-à-tête.And above all this, what Coronavirus has definitely changed for Indians is our social interactions. We now share a revived appreciation for the outdoors, conversations with neighbours, gossips over evening tea and life’s other simple, but delightful pleasures. Indians are used to placing a certain amount of mistrust in everyone they meet; what if they are talking to us with the intention to steal or harm? This is our common worry. But now, everyone has suddenly developed a shared sense of empathy, probably arising out of shared misery.I don’t know what will come in the time ahead, but I am sure that we are all currently taking the best strike at the unknown. When the crisis ends, I hope that we will be able to reorient our Indian ideologies to make substantial new advancements into a better future. And even, hopefully, help us rediscover the best version of our Indian-ness.last_img read more

Virginia state trooper dies after getting shot during drug raid

first_imgVirginia State Police(FARMVILLE, Va.) — A Virginia State Police trooper who was shot in the line of duty Monday night has died, authorities said. Trooper Lucas B. Dowell, a member of the state police’s tactical team, was assisting the Piedmont Regional Drug and Gang Task Force with executing a search warrant at a home near the town of Farmville, Virginia. An armed man inside the residence opened fire on the team shortly before 10 p.m. local time Monday, according to a press release from the Virginia State Police. The tactical team returned fire, killing the suspect, police said. Dowell, who was shot, was taken to a local hospital where he died. He is survived by his parents and a sister, authorities said. “This is an extremely difficult day for the State Police,” Col. Gary Settle, Virginia State Police’s superintendent, said in a statement Monday night. “We are humbled by Lucas’ selfless sacrifice and grateful for his dedicated service to the Commonwealth. He will forever be remembered by his State Police Family for his great strength of character, tenacity, valor, loyalty and sense of humor.” No other troopers were injured in the shooting. The suspect, who was pronounced dead at the scene, was the only individual inside the home at the time of the shooting. Authorities are in the process of notifying next of kin. The Virginia State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation’s Appomattox Field Office is investigating the incident. The two troopers who fired their weapons have been placed on administrative leave in accordance with Virginia State Police policy. Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

Two young Spanish handball players died in car accident

first_img1 Comment Recommended for you ShareTweetShareShareEmailCommentsA huge disaster happened in Spain, where two young handball players lost their lives in car accident.Martí Batallé García and Xavier Pocurull Fuentes , the first junior player of the BM Granollers , and the second former player of the Vallesan team and currently of CH Canovelles , both aged 19, died in the late-night of Monday because of a traffic accident on the AP-7. In the same accident , Pau Navarro Baches, junior player of the BM Granollers , was seriously wounded and with minor injuries is Óscar Oller, also former player of said club .Young guys traveled to Girona to watch football match.Rest in peace, kids… Pingback: Two young Spanish handball players died in car accident – SportandoNews Handball in Germany is played by 750.000 people France beat Norway with Pardin&Mahe in main role! Related Items:handball 1 Comment ShareTweetShareShareEmail Veszprem wait clash with Zagreb, Davis: This is Champions League Leave a Reply Cancel replyYour email address will not be published.Comment Name Email Website Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.last_img read more

Charles ‘Charlie’ Strang, a former NASCAR national commissioner, dies

first_imgCharles “Charlie” Strang, a former NASCAR national commissioner, died Sunday. He was 96.Strang succeeded Semon E. “Bunky” Knudsen as NASCAR commissioner in 1998 and served in that position for 10 years. Before his time in stock-car racing, he served as the top engineer for Mercury Marine owner Carl Kiekhaefer, who promoted his outboard motor company through a successful racing team.Strang, who later served as director of Outboard Marine Engineering, was credited with inventing the sterndrive engine. The boating technology stemmed from sketches he made as a student at MIT in 1948.“Charles Strang joined NASCAR following a long tenure as an executive at Outboard Marine Corp., where he built a well-deserved reputation as a respected leader with a reasoned and measured voice,” NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France said in a statement. “He used those skills expertly in our sport for many years, holding the post of NASCAR National Commissioner for more than a decade.“Charlie was a valued friend and resource to both my father and I, and to many throughout NASCAR. On behalf of the France family and all of NASCAR, I would like to extend my deepest condolences to Charlie’s wife Barbara, his entire family and his many friends.”Strang was also an influential leader in the world of boat racing. He was president of the UIM, an international governing body for powerboat racing, and also headed the American Power Boat Association.last_img read more

Will Mahone arrested, suspended with felony charges

first_imgAfter two seasons of limited play due to injuries, junior wide receiver Will Mahone is facing yet another restriction on his playing time — disciplinary action.Monday, Irish coach Brian Kelly suspended Mahone indefinitely following Mahone’s arrest Sunday in Ohio on five charges, according to an announcement from sports information director Michael Bertsch.Mahone is suspended from all football-related activities.  He was arrested on Sunday around 10:30 p.m. after police in Austintown, Ohio, responded to a complaint about a fight, the South Bend Tribune reported.He has been charged with assault of a police officer, intimidation of a public servant/party official and vandalism of a government entity, all felonies in Ohio, as well as with misdemeanor resisting arrest and disorderly conduct, according to a Mahoning County Sheriff’s report.Mahone was arraigned Monday in Mahoning County Court with bond set at $75,000, according to the Tribune.Witnesses told police Mahone was intoxicated while head-butting, punching vehicles and trying to fight people, the Tribune reported. Mahone physically resisted arrest and shouted expletives and threats at officers, and allegedly responded to an officer’s request to get on the ground with “(Expletive), white boy.”He continued to resist arrest after being taken to the ground by an officer, the police report obtained by the Tribune alleges. Allegedly, the handcuffed Mahone repeatedly yelled at officers, “Take these cuffs off, and I’ll kill all of you.”Mahone also is accused of trying to kick police and of thrashing his head backwards and striking an officer on the forehead, according to the Tribune.Mahone was initially taken to a hospital to receive treatment for a cut on his eye, but he continued to shout expletives and was later transported to Mahoning County Justice Center for incarceration, the Tribune reported.“The University is aware of this incident and is confident that it will be handled in a prompt and professional manner through the criminal justice system,” Notre Dame officials said a Monday statement published in the Tribune. “Internal discipline is handled privately, in accord with our own policies and federal law.”The judge entered a not guilty plea on behalf of Mahone for the misdemeanor charges, but in Ohio judges cannot enter a not guilty plea for felonies, the Tribune reported. His next court appearance would be a pretrial hearing at 6:30 p.m. on July 7.last_img read more

Gordon Louis Alford III

first_imgGordon Louis Alford III, 62, of Port Arthur, passed away Saturday, February 18, 2017 in Beaumont, Texas. Gordon was born January 29, 1955 in Orange, TX to Mary Mendoza Hartman and the late Gordon Louis Alford, Jr. Gordon lived most of his life in the Port Arthur area, and worked as a deckhand in the boating industry.Gordon is survived by his loving wife Pam Alford of Port Arthur; mother, Mary Mendoza Hartman; step-mother, Helen Alford; step-children, Amanda Mortera, and Casey Longoria; sisters, Denise Walker, Stephanie LeBlanc(Wayne), Angela Belaire (Van), Stacy Green, Christine McGaughan (Paul), and Erica Alford; 7 grandchildren and several nieces and nephews. He is preceded in death by his father.A Memorial service will be Sunday, February 26, 2017 at 4:00 p.m. at New Covenant Church in Port Acres, TX with Rev. Robert Moore, and Rev. John Morgan officiating.In lieu of flowers, the family asked that the memorial contributions be made to Pamela Alford in memory of Gordon Alford and sent to Stewart’s Automotive, 1502 Spurlock Road, Nederland, TX 77627.last_img read more

Education & Academics in Charleston, Berkeley and Dorchester Counties

first_imgFinding the right schools and educational opportunities for each family member is an important part of any move. This chapter outlines Charleston, Berkeley and Dorchester counties’ public schools system, private schools, charter schools and home schooling criteria, as well as local libraries and higher education institutions. To be enrolled in a South Carolina school, a child must be at least 5 years old by Sept. 1 of the school year. Those wishing to register their child in school should bring the following to the school office: a birth certificate or other proof of the child’s age, and the child’s previous school records and immunization records. For more details on South Carolina’s minimum vaccine requirements for students in grades K-12, please visit the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control website at www.scdhec.gov. Check with the school for additional requirements.South Carolina does not use Common Core education standards. Instead, the state has set its own standards for public schools that can be found at http://ed.sc.gov/instruction/standards-learning. The state utilizes the Every Student Succeeds Act, which provides significant federal support for programs to serve students in kindergarten through 12th grade and replaces the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001. ESSA limits the power of the federal government to set education policy for states and increases state and local flexibility in the use of federal funds.Choosing a SchoolChoosing the right school is very important, so be sure to research each one before deciding. Contact the school by phone or by visiting its website, which is a valuable source to learn about a school district’s statistics and curriculum. Talk to people in the area, especially friends and colleagues who already live there.If the school shows promise, schedule a visit and bring a list of written questions about student-teacher ratios, computer availability, extracurricular activities, sports programs, music programs, gifted programs and grading standards.Discuss the potential school with your child: what they liked and what they didn’t like. Your family’s ability to readily adapt to a move and to find happiness in your new home may depend, in part, on how happy your children are in their new school.CHARTER SCHOOLSCharter schools are public schools of choice that are tuition-free, serve all students and have open enrollment. For more information or a listing of charter schools in South Carolina, visit the South Carolina Public Charter School District website at www.sccharter.org.HOME SCHOOLINGFor an introduction to home schooling in South Carolina, visit the South Carolina Department of Education’s website at https://ed.sc.gov/districts-schools/state-accountability/home-schooling. Here you will find information on home-school rules and regulations, home-school associations and more.VirtualSChttps://virtualsc.orgVirtualSC is a free state-sponsored online program serving students currently attending public, private and home schools in grades six through 12 and adult education programs. VirtualSC offers free online courses aligned to state standards that are developed and taught by South Carolina-licensed teachers.Palmetto Homeschool Associationhttp://palmettoha.orgPalmetto Homeschool Association is different from other accountability associations in that it protects parents’ freedom to choose their own curriculum and school calendar, allows flexibility with assessing progress and maintaining records, and provides guidance so that the home school is in compliance with the South Carolina Option 3 law.PRIVATE SCHOOLSTo search for local private schools in South Carolina, visit the National Center for Education Statistics website and use the private school search tool at https://tinyurl.com/ybhpwoyt. Users may search by location, religious affiliation, school type and more.PUBLIC SCHOOLSBerkeley County School District229 E. Main St.Moncks Corner, SC 29461 843-899-8600|www.bcsdschools.netBerkeley County School District has 25 elementary schools, one combined elementary and middle school, 11 middle schools, 10 high schools and two education centers. The district has an enrollment of more than 33,000.Charleston County School District75 Calhoun St.Charleston, SC 29401843-937-6300www.ccsdschools.comCharleston County School District, the second-largest school system in South Carolina, represents a unique blend of urban, suburban and rural schools that span approximately 1,000 square miles of coastal lands. The district serves more than 50,000 students in 85 schools and several specialized programs.Dorchester School District Two115 Devon RoadSummerville, SC 29483 843-873-2901www.ddtwo.orgDorchester School District Two serves more than 25,000 students at 15 elementary schools, six middle schools and three high schools. The district also has an adult education program and an alternative program for middle and high school students.Dorchester School District Four500 Ridge St.St. George, SC 29477 843-563-4535www.dorchester4.k12.sc.usDorchester School District Four serves approximately 2,500 students. The district offers three elementary schools, two middle schools, a high school and an educational center for grades 6-12.last_img read more

For up-and-coming triathletes – Gwen Jorgensen, USAT and ROKA launch scholarship…

first_imgProfessional triathlete, US National Team member and Olympian Gwen Jorgensen has launched a scholarship fund, with support from the USA Triathlon Foundation and Gwen’s wetsuit sponsor ROKA. The fund is for up-and-coming draft-legal triathletes or paratriathletes leading up to the Rio de Janeiro 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games.The Gwen Jorgensen Scholarship was created to assist junior draft-legal triathletes and paratriathletes in their pursuit of excellence in the sport. In 2014, US$15,000 and mentoring services with Jorgensen will be awarded to one or multiple applicants who demonstrate ‘financial need, creative use of funds and passion for the multisport lifestyle.’Members of the multisport community, including athletes, coaches and race directors, are welcome to apply, but funding must be applied to programming, training or travel costs for junior triathletes aged 19 and under.“With the goal of promoting excellence at an early age, I am excited to launch the Gwen Jorgensen Scholarship this year,” Jorgensen said. “The triathlon community has supported me and instilled values of excellence since I was introduced to the sport in 2010. I want to do the same and give back to the next generation of potential triathlon stars. I especially appreciate ROKA and the USA Triathlon Foundation for their commitment to match my contribution.”“We are honoured to be partnering with Gwen to establish this important scholarship, and to support our junior draft-legal triathletes as they pursue their Olympic dreams and quest to bring home the gold,” said Jacqueline McCook, President of the USA Triathlon Foundation.“Gwen’s example and initiative tie directly with the Foundation’s mission of ‘Opening Pathways to Triathlon for All through the Generosity of Donors.’ We are thrilled to support this initiative.”“We are honoured to support Gwen and her scholarship program,” added Rob Canales, Co-Founder and CEO of ROKA. “Gwen is a remarkable triathlete and person, one who is keenly aware that it takes support at many levels to achieve greatness. It speaks volumes for her character that so early in her career she wants to give back. We couldn’t be more pleased to help with that endeavour.”Details on how to apply for the scholarship are available online as a downloadable PDF. Applications must be submitted to gwenjorgensenscholarship[at]gmail.com by 1 November 2014, and the scholarship will be awarded on 1 December.Jorgensen, who competed in the London 2012 Olympic Games, is currently ranked number one in the world following four consecutive 2014 ITU World Triathlon Series wins in Hamburg, Chicago, London and Yokohama.A former collegiate runner and swimmer, Jorgensen was introduced to draft-legal triathlon in 2010 through the USA Triathlon Collegiate Recruitment Program.www.usatriathlon.orgwww.gwenjorgensen.comwww.rokasports.com Relatedlast_img read more

Sapeur Pompier show a success for Luxfer

first_imgSubscribe Get instant access to must-read content today!To access hundreds of features, subscribe today! At a time when the world is forced to go digital more than ever before just to stay connected, discover the in-depth content our subscribers receive every month by subscribing to gasworld.Don’t just stay connected, stay at the forefront – join gasworld and become a subscriber to access all of our must-read content online from just $270.last_img

Interview: Impact of Cheap Oil on Plugging and Abandonment

first_imgDecomWorld interviewed Tom Leeson, principal consultant & well P&A manager for Reverse Engineering on his views of the impact of low oil prices on decommissioning and well plugging and abandonment. Leeson believes that now is actually a good time to embark on decommissioning campaigns and discusses the options available for the industry.Will bargain-basement oil bring forward P&A?Not right away, says P&A expert Tom Leeson, though now would be a very good time to start In December, hotel occupancy rates in Aberdeen dropped 4.5% compared to the same period in 2013, according to market analysts LJ Research. It’s just one of the knock-on effects of the fall in oil prices, with other, more obvious ones being the abrupt slowdown in drilling and near-dailyannouncements of new job cuts across the sector.Other effects are harder to predict. For instance, cheap oil makes many developments economically unfeasible, so operators will face business and legislative pressure to bring forwarddecommissioning and abandonment campaigns. Equally strong, however, will be the countervailing pressure to cut costs and delay any expenditure that doesn’t directly boost revenue. One expert in plug-and-abandonment (P&A) believes that now is actually a good time to embark on decommissioning campaigns.Tom Leeson, until recently Halliburton’s global well abandonment strategic business manager, and now principal consultant and well P&A manager with Reverse Engineering, says business logicsupports operators grasping the P&A nettle.“In cases where companies have put aside funds for decommissioning this could be a very good time to do the work because the unit rates for the rigs and services you need are going to fall,” hetold DecomWorld. “They’re falling already.”However, he is not surprised that a burst of P&A activity has not happened yet, not least because no one knows how long the period of bargain-basement energy will last.“What I expect to see is an increased focus on strategic planning and engineering because there are going to be more assets that fall into that anticipated window of retirement,” he said, “and that window seems to have got closer because of the drop in oil prices. But by the same token everybody is short on cash, and that will put a squeeze on executing non-revenue-generating activity. So I do not predict any explosion in activity in the short term.”Meanwhile, the cash squeeze highlights a dilemma facing the industry. The costs of decommissioning and P&A are notoriously hard to estimate, but generally acknowledged to be high. To bring them down requires the oilfield services sector to invest in research and innovation, but to date the sector has been reluctant to make this investment because operators, who naturally focus on exploration and production, put off P&A for as long as they possibly can.“Unless the service sector has got line of sight on both a volume of work and schedule of when it will happen, there will be a strong reluctance to spend the money on developing the technology or building the tools,” said Leeson. “What happens then is that the industry piecemeals the business and the tools never get built. The service companies do not get the opportunity to make money out of new and better services and the buyers don’t get the benefit of innovation, so nobody wins. So for me what’s exciting is how to try and get everybody together to come to the party and make it happen.“For instance, one of the things you really ought to do to get well abandonment costs down is eliminate the need to bring a drilling rig to the location. That doesn’t mean you need to compromisethe standards of the barrier you put in the well: it means you need to think differently about how you execute those barriers. For example, a traditional method might involve section milling, and,again traditionally, to undertake section milling, you really need a rig.“How could you do it differently? You could come up with something that doesn’t need the rig’s capability. You would need a downhole technology that is an alternative to section milling. Thereare some on the market and some are getting some traction with at least reasonable results, although some operators are not entirely happy and the tendency is to section mill because they’re notconfident that an adequate solution has been brought to the table yet.“Or you could come up with a unit that has some of the rig’s capabilities but that doesn’t look like a rig and doesn’t cost what a rig costs. Now the economics of that are tricky because you wouldn’thave the flexibility of deploying it into the drilling market when decommissioning work dries up. But it could be a cost-effective alternative to the rig, and also release more rigs to go and do whatthey’re designed to do, which is drill. But who is going to invest in designing and building a unit like that when you don’t know when the work is coming?”Unknown unknownsThere is anecdotal evidence that the costs of decommissioning and P&A tend to turn out higher than the original estimate. This is a generalisation, and there are exceptions, but in some cases the costs are significantly higher.The fact is, operators are only just beginning to grapple with this. In 2013 the Performance Forum, the group of global operators who share data and commission research, completed a piece ofunprecedented research into actual decommissioning costs in the North Sea. “This is the first time anyone’s actually gathered completed project data to be able to come up with real numbers,” saidAileen Jamieson, Performance Forum director and vice president of natural resources for consultant Turner & Townsend. The full results were not made public, but the exercise was deemed important enough for the group to embark on a similar study for P&A costs.According to another expert, poor integrity from the beginning of wells’ lifecycle and a lack of monitoring after they are shut in creates nasty, costly surprises when it comes to permanentabandonment. “Conditions always change,” said Dr. Liane Smith, director and founder of asset-integrity company Wood Group Intetech, in a 2014 interview with DecomWorld. “So the fluidsselected for suspending the wells originally may no longer be suitable. And yet, those wells might have been off the radar for operational monitoring for several years and nobody has any recordsabout their conditions.”Leeson invokes US defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld’s famous formulation about “unknown unknowns”.“The difficulty,” he said, “is if the cost overruns are caused by unknowns, how do you estimate for that? It takes time and a high level of attention to detail to get reasonable numbers.“In one case I know of an organisation used what they thought was an appropriate methodology to isolate and abandon multiple reservoirs, and when they’d finished there was still pressure on theannuli. Where was that coming from? Whatever method they’d used, it hadn’t worked, and in some cases we don’t really know why the method fails. You can’t get your hands on a well bore like you can on a structure on the seabed to examine what you have. There’s no choice but to do it again.”“Over the past couple of years operators around the world have become aware that decommissioning and abandoning wells are serious issues. Wells comprise anywhere from 30% to 60% of the total decommissioning cost, and it’s the area decommissioning managers feel most uncomfortable about because it’s the area of biggest uncertainty and potential for cost overruns. Is it a problem on people’s desks now? Yes. Definitely.”last_img read more