13 June 2014 South Africa is targeting at least 43 medals at this year’s Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, the SA Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (Sascoc) said at this week’s announcement of an initial squad of 155 athletes, spread across 15 sporting codes, to contest the event. Addressing a media briefing in Johannesburg on Wednesday, Sascoc president Gideon Sam said the committee wanted South Africa to place within the top five countries on the medals table in Glasgow. The Games start on 23 July and run through to 3 August. “We are not on the same level with Australia yet – one down; we are not at the level of Canada – two down; we battle with England – three down. Therefore, we will be contesting for the fifth spot with India and the home team, Scotland,” Sam reckoned. “In terms of our projection, we are saying if we put on the table 15 gold medals, 12 silver medals and 16 bronze, that will take us to 43 medals, that’s what we are going for now. “Fifth in New Delhi At the previous Commonwealth Games in New Delhi, India, four years ago, Team South Africa won 33 medals and finished fifth on the medals table with 12 gold, 11 silver and 10 bronze medals. “The majority of the team are within the top five rankings of the Commonwealth and that is very reassuring for us,” Sam said, adding that those rankings also gave him confidence that South Africa would be able to send a strong team to the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in 2016. “Glasgow is going to be tough but also great fun,” he said. “Our athletes will gain tremendously from these Games and, judging by the teams already announced by both Australia and Canada, it is not going to be a walk in the park for any country.”Sporting codes Sporting codes that Team South Africa will contest at the Games include aquatics (including para-swimming), athletics (including para-athletics), badminton, boxing, cycling, gymnastics, hockey, judo, lawn bowls, netball, para-powerlifting, rugby sevens, shooting, triathlon, weightlifting and wrestling. While the team announced by Sam accommodated promising juniors, a surprise omission was that of 800 metres runner Caster Semenya. Bryan Habana, who is closing in on 100 test caps for the Springboks, will be part of South Africa’s rugby sevens team at the Games.Olympic gold medallists The swimming squad includes Roland Schoeman a veteran of four Olympic Games, and 2012 Olympic gold medallists Cameron van der Burgh and Chad le Clos. The track and field squad includes Sunette Viljoen, who will be aiming for her third consecutive Commonwealth Games gold in the women’s javelin, LJ van Zyl, winner of the 400m hurdles in 2006 and runner-up in 2010, and Simon Magakwe, who earlier this year set a South African 100 metres record of 9.98 seconds. Richard Murray, who finished second in the ITU World Triathlon Series in London at the beginning of the month, is currently ranked fourth in the world and will be one to watch out for in Glasgow.Returning gold medal winners The bowls team includes Gerry Baker, who won gold in the pairs with Shaun Addinall in Delhi four years ago, and the trips gold medal winning team of Tracy-Lee Botha, Susan Nel and Susanna Steyn. The men’s and women’s hockey squads, which are currently in action at the Hockey World Cup in the Hague, are expected to be announced at a later date.Money for medals Sam said athletes who win gold medals will also receive R40 000, silver medallists will be rewarded with R20 000, and bronze medal winners will be paid R7 500. The coaches of gold medallists will receive R10 000, while R5 000 will be paid out for silver medallists and R2 500 for bronze medallists. This year’s Commonwealth Games will be contested by 70 nations.TEAM SOUTH AFRICA AQUATICS Cameron van der Burgh, Chad le Clos, Bradley Tandy, Dylan Bosch, Myles Brown, Sebastien Rousseau, Roland Schoeman, Leith Shankland, Caydon Muller, Clayton Jimmie, Calvyn Justus, Darren Murray, Tara-lynn Nicholas, Karin Prinsloo, Erin Gallagher, Trudi Maree, Marne Erasmus, Rene Warnes, Marlies Ross, Jessica Ashley- Cooper Management: Shawn Adriaanse (manager), Coaches: Graham Hill, Cedric Finch, Igor Omeltchenko, Wayne Riddin Para-swimming Craig Groenewald Manager/coach: Theo Verster ATHLETICS Simon Magakwe, Akani Simbine, Wayde van Niekerk, Andre Olivier, Johan Cronje, LJ van Zyl, Cornel Fredericks, Zarck Visser, Ruswahl Samaai, Khotso Mokoena, Orazio Cremona, Rocco van Rooyen, Willem Coertzen, Fredriech Pretorius, Sunette Viljoen, Wenda Nel, Hendrico Bruintjies, Shawn De Jager, Victor Hogan, Anaso Jobodwana Management: Motlatsi Keikabile, Coaches: Brandon Du Plessis, CarlPreller Para-athletics Fanie van der Merwe, Charl du Toit, Andrea Dalle Ave, Juanelie Meijer, Lean Simon Management: Karin le Roux (Manager/coach), Coach: Suzanne Ferreira BADMINTON Willem Viljoen, Andries Malan, Jacob Maliekal, Prakash Vijaynath, Jennifer Fry, Sandra le Grange, Elsie de Villiers Management: Stewart Carson (Manager/Coach) BOXING Ayabonga Sonjica, Thulani Mbenge, Siphiwe Lusizi, Luvuyo Sizani, Paul Schafer, Pathiswa Thingana Management: Nkosinathi Hlatshwayo (coach), Johan Prinsloo (Manager/Coach) CYCLING Ashleigh Moolman Pasio, Cherise Stander, Heidi Dalton, Lise Olivier, Anriette Schoeman, Andri Coetzee, Bernard Esterhuizen, Nolan Hoffman, Evan Carstens, Theuns vd Bank, Kellan Gouveris, Oupa Maluleke, Morne Van Niekerk, Mariske Strauss, Phillip Buys Management: Brett Coates (manager/MTB coach), Elrick Kulsen (Coach/track), Dean Edwards (coach/road/time trial), Ruan Lochner (mechanic) GYMNASTICS Kirsten Beckett, Claudia Cummins, Bianca Mann, Cameron MacKenzie, Tiaan Grobler, Siphamandla Ngcobo, Siphesihle Biyase, Grace Legote, Aimee van Rooyen, Julene van Rooyen Management: Ilse Laing (Manager/coach), Coaches: Tatiana Lavrentchouk-Vizer , Jesse Abraham Kitzen-Abelson HOCKEY Men’s and women’s sides to be announced after completion of the World Cup in the Netherlands JUDO Daniel le Grange, Siyabulela Mabulu, Jacques van Zyl, Zack Piontek, Tobie Snyman, Sinothando Mva Management: Ina van den Heever, (Manager), Vintcent Redpath (Coach) LAWN BOWLS Colleen Piketh, Tracy-Lee Botha, Susanna Nel, Susanna Steyn, Esme Steyn, Robert Donnelly, Gerald Baker, Josephus Jacobs, Jason Evans, Mmboniseni Neluonde Para-bowls Gyndolene Nel, Hermanus Scholtz, Geoffrey Newcombe, Johanna van Rooyen, Derrick Lobban, Roger Hagerty, Deon van de Vyver. Management: Jessica Henderson (Manager), Martinus Fraser (Coach),Brian Sneag (Manager/para-bowls) NETBALL Adele Niemand, Bongiwe Msomi, Chrisna Bootha, Erin Burger, Lenize Potgieter, Karla Mostert, Kefiloe Tsotsetsi, Maryka Holtzhausen, Melissa Myburgh, Precious Mthembu, Zanele Mdodana, Zanele Vimbela Management: Kitiana Lekalakala (Manager), Coaches: Elizabeth Kotze (coach), Ilze Pheiffer PARA-POWERLIFTING Chantell Stierman Management; Jan Flemming (Manager/Coach) RUGBY SEVENS Chris Dry, Schalk Brits, Frankie Horne, Kyle Brown, Branco du Preez, Cheslin Kolbe, Justin Geduld, Cecil Afrika, Bryan Habana, Seabelo Senatla, Cornal Hendricks, Warren Whitley Management: Ashley Evert (Manager), Coaches: Neil Powell, Allan Temple Jones SHOOTING Alexander Coetzee, Johannes du Toit, Esmari van Reenen Management: Bernand de Beer (Manager /Coach) TRIATHLON Richard Murray, Henri Schoeman, Wian Sullwald, Kate Roberts, Gillian Sanders Manager: Lindsey Parry (Manager/Coach) WEIGHTLIFTING Portia Vries, Mona Pretorius, Anrich Phillips, Greg Shushu, Gordon Shaw Management: Aveenash Pandoo (Manager/Coach) WRESTLING Bokang Masunyane, Marno Plaatjes, Terry van Rensburg, Gerald Meyer, Armando Hietbrink, Adem Digovich, Mpho Madi, Jeannie-Marie Coetzer, Norma Gordon, Zumicke Geringer, Refilwe Molongwane Management: Nico Coetzee (Manager/Coach), Esta van Zyl (Coach) SAinfo reporter and SAnews.gov.za
The 116th Congress, divided between a Democrat-controlled House and a Republican-controlled Senate, will more than likely continue to be driven by party rivalry, but reforming the broken National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) could, and should, be one area where bipartisanship is possible. Flooding disasters ignore political boundaries, impacting both red and blue communities. And for communities not directly impacted, flooding is still a financial drain since the federal government has spent billions of taxpayer dollars to help communities recover after flooding, including bailing out the NFIP. The new Congress must not continue to dither and delay on reform; its predecessor kicked the can on reform 10 times since September 2017. The NFIP expires May 31, 2019. The 116th Congress should use the next five months to make the NFIP the cornerstone of United States’ post-flood recovery efforts, because in its current form the NFIP is a liability. As climate change continues to expose more Americans to devastating flooding, the new Congress must make NFIP reform a priority.RELATED ARTICLESFlood, Rebuild, Repeat: The Need for Flood Insurance ReformHome Buyers Face Stacked Deck to Learn of Past FloodsResilience: Designing Homes for More Intense StormsBuilding Resilience for a ‘Close Encounter’ with DisasterClimate Change Resilience Could Save Trillions Major flooding disasters are occurring more frequently, and will continue to increase in frequency for the foreseeable future due to climate change and population growth, causing greater damage to people and property. To better help people mitigate, or even better, avoid flooding impacts, Congress should do the following: Help more homeowners access voluntary buyouts Through the NFIP, Congress should provide more assistance to help homeowners, who so desire, move out of harm’s way. Currently, the NFIP places significant emphasis on rebuilding flooded properties — often multiple times — instead of helping homeowners voluntarily relocate out of high-flood risk areas. Nationwide, the NFIP has paid to repair or rebuild more than 30,000 properties an average of five times. As the climate changes and flooding disasters occur more often, the number of families whose properties have flooded and are repeatedly rebuilt by the program is growing. Provide greater access to flood risk and NFIP data Prospective home buyers, as well as renters, are often kept in the dark about a property’s flood history and risk of flooding in the future. NRDC: How States Stack Up on Flood Disclosure. The key to the color bar at the bottom reads as follows: “None [red] / Inadequate [yellow] / Adequate [light green] / Better [medium green] / Best [dark green].” For example, in 21 states, there are no statutory or regulatory requirements that a seller disclose a property’s flood vulnerability to a buyer. The other 29 states have varying degrees of disclosure requirements, creating a hodgepodge of state and local laws. Additionally, very little information collected by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) through the NFIP, like the number of repetitively flooded properties that are located in a community (an indicator of flood risk) is made publicly available. This information deficit distorts market signals and hinders fully informed decision-making about how to best avoid or mitigate damaging floods, putting people, property, and the NFIP at greater risk. As part of NFIP reform, the new Congress should mandate greater disclosure and transparency of flood risk data. Such reforms should include: Nationwide disclosure requirements of flood risk information upon the sale or lease of a property. As a condition of participation in the NFIP, states should be required to enact disclosure laws that provide the following information about flood risk: Whether the home has ever been damaged by a flood and the cost of the damage; Whether the home is located in a 100-year or 500-year floodplain; Whether the seller and/or previous owners ever received federal disaster aid that would require all future owners to obtain and maintain flood insurance on the property. A public right-to-know provision. FEMA should be required to create a centralized, free, open-to-the-public data system to share information related to flood damage claims, number of repeatedly flooded properties, and whether communities are properly enforcing local building and zoning codes required under the NFIP. A homeowner right-to-know provision. Upon request, FEMA should be required to provide homeowners a “right to know” about their property’s past history of flood insurance coverage, damage claims paid, and whether there is a legal requirement to purchase flood insurance because of past owners’ receipt of federal disaster aid. The House of Representatives earlier provided for such reforms in the “21st Century Flood Reform Act” (HR. 2874), which passed in 2017. But a new Congress will have to start with a new bill, which should also include these measures to ensure that homeowners and communities have a right to know about past floods and the potential for flooding in the future. Improve the flood mapping program The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is responsible for mapping the nation’s hazardous flood areas, including coastal areas susceptible to storm surge. Federal, state, and local governments, property developers, and community planners rely on the risk information in FEMA flood maps to decide what to build, where to build, and how to build. Additionally, FEMA’s minimum floodplain building and land use requirements only apply in areas that are mapped to the 100-year flood level. However, a 2017 investigation by the Department of Homeland Security’s Inspector General revealed that 58% of all FEMA flood maps are considered inaccurate or out-of-date. Inaccurate and out-of-date flood maps put communities at risk. Moreover, flood maps produced by FEMA fail to account for escalating flood risks in the future that are attributable to sea level rise, increasing incidents of severe weather, and other impacts of climate change. Development decisions that would appear safe today, will still face a serious risk of flooding in the future. FEMA flood maps must not only be accurate and up-to-date, but also forward-looking to better protect people and property, and ensure long-term sustainability of the NFIP. A Federal advisory committee, established to review and make recommendations to FEMA on how to improve the mapping program, specifically recommended such an approach. Congress must ensure FEMA’s flood maps are current and are set on a glide path to include projections of future conditions to accurately depict flood risk. Fully funding the mapping program and encouraging states and NFIP communities to develop more granular flood maps, including future conditions projections, in exchange for greater grant funding should be included in any NFIP reform package. Continue to move the program toward risk-based rates Congress should continue to move the NFIP toward full risk-based rates to impress upon homeowners their true risk of flooding. Subsidization of policy premiums masks flood risk, distorting market signals that may normally discourage investment in flood vulnerable areas. In contrast, according to the Wharton Risk Management and Decision Process center, insurance premiums based on risk “provide individuals with accurate signals to the degree of hazard they face.” However, a transition to full risk-based rates raises potential equity concerns. As policy premiums transition to full risk-based rates, low- to moderate-income households could be priced out, choosing either to continue to forgo coverage or drop existing coverage if the cost becomes too burdensome. Unfortunately, simply providing affordable insurance will not stop flooding from happening. If inexpensive insurance is the only assistance a low-income household receives, they can become trapped in a cycle of flooding and rebuilding. NRDC highlighted this growing problem in the Seeking Higher Ground report. Any reforms aimed at providing affordable flood insurance must also be coupled with assistance that helps people reduce or eliminate their vulnerability to flooding in the future. Congress should create a means-tested affordability mechanism to assist low- to moderate-income NFIP policyholders to obtain and/or maintain coverage, and also couple that assistance with greater access to mitigation assistance. Possible mitigation assistance could include: Provide qualifying NFIP policyholders the option of a voluntary buyout as an alternative to an insurance payout if the property is substantially damaged. Provide qualifying NFIP policyholders a higher amount of Increased Cost of Compliance assistance to cover the costs of elevation, relocation, or floodproofing. Provide qualifying NFIP policyholders access to grants or low interest loans to fund mitigation projects. Climate change impacts will exacerbate flooding Climate change is exposing, and will continue to expose, the vulnerability of the flood insurance program. As sea levels rise and heavy rains become more common, coastal and riverine communities can expect increasing vulnerability to flooding. Absent reform, the NFIP will only become more vulnerable. One only needs to look to the 2017 and 2018 hurricane seasons as examples of what may come and the inadequacy of the NFIP to address rising disaster costs. Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria caused $9.8 billion in NFIP damages, and Hurricanes Florence and Michael are projected to have caused another $5 billion and $3 billion, respectively. And these are just the costs to the NFIP. The federal government will likely spend tens of billions of dollars more in disaster aid. Democrat or Republican, no one will be immune from a future of more intense and costly flooding. The 116th Congress has the power to enact meaningful reforms to the NFIP. There are Democrats and Republicans in both houses who see the same problems and agree on the same solutions; now leadership just needs to set aside politics and actually make reforms that have bipartisan support. Joel Scata is a water and climate attorney with the Healthy People & Thriving Communities program at the Natural Resources Defense Council. This post originally appeared at the NRDC Expert Blog.
Want to improve your color correction and color grading skills? Check out this new app from video editing software creator Crumplepop!You may not know the name “Dale Grahn” but any film buff has certainly seen the results of his work. As the lead color timer for many of Steven Spielberg’s films (and a TON of other legendary Hollywood movies – see list below), Dale is certainly the expert on color timing. For those unfamiliar with the lingo, color timing is an earlier counterpart to digital color grading, where color correction was applied to film in a lab.Take Dale’s color timing and color grading skills and pair them up with Crumplepop’s knack for creating polished software and the result is the new “Dale Grahn Color Timing App”. The app is designed not as a tool to be used in your post production pipeline, but rather as a trainer for those interested in improving their color timing and color grading skills.The app is setup like a game where you are tasked with copying one of Dale’s color timed images and are then graded on how close the match is. Discover how to modify a video or still image using only basic color grading tools (no fancy effects or plugins). In addition, you can upload and practive with your own photos and view 20 video tutorials from Dave Grahn himself.If you’re interested in increasing your photo and video color grading training this app looks like a fun and interesting way to do it. Dave Grahn Color is currently selling for $3.99 on the Apple App Store.A selection of films Dale Grahn color timed:2009 Up in the Air (lab color timer: Deluxe – as Dale Grahn)2008 Valkyrie (color timer – uncredited)2008 Burn After Reading (color timer – uncredited)2005 Munich (color timer)2005 The Island (color timer – as Dale Grahn)2005 Mr. & Mrs. Smith (laboratory color timer – as Dale Grahn)2004 The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou (film color timer)2004 The Terminal (lab color timer – as Dale Grahn)2002 Catch Me If You Can (color timer – as Dale Grahn)2002 Gangs of New York (color timer – as Dale Grahn)2002 The Ring (color timer – as Dale Grahn)2002 Minority Report (color timer – as Dale Grahn)2001 Training Day (color timer – as Dale Grahn)2001 A.I. Artificial Intelligence (color timer – as Dale Grahn)2000 Gladiator (color timer – as Dale Grahn)1999 Toy Story 2 (color timer – as Dale Grahn)1998 You’ve Got Mail (color timer – as Dale Grahn)1998 The Waterboy (color timer)1998 Saving Private Ryan (color timer – as Dale Grahn)1997 As Good as It Gets (color timer)1997 Amistad (color timer – as Dale Grahn)1997 The Devil’s Advocate (color timer – as Dale Grahn)1995 Toy Story (color timer – as Dale Grahn)1995 Outbreak (color timer)1994 Quiz Show (color timer)1994 The Lion King (color timer – as Dale Grahn)1992 Aladdin (color timer – as Dale Grahn)1989 When Harry Met Sally… (color timer – uncredited)1989 Road House (color timer)1989 Field of Dreams (color timer – as Dale Grahn)1988 Rain Man (color timer – uncredited)1988 Die Hard (color timer – as Dale Grahn)1988 Big (color timer – uncredited)1987 Predator (color timer)1979 Apocalypse Now (color timer – Redux version)
The much-anticipated successor to the highly successful 300d LED light fixture, the 300d II comes jam-packed with all of the new features we were looking for in a powerful on-set light package.If you saw our post covering the announcement of both the 300d II and the lantern attachment during NAB week, you might know how excited we were to check it out in person. It checked off all of the items on our wishlist: more brightness, an attachable ballast, and even app control from their new Sidus app. The 300d II is available for purchase now, but before you go off and buy it, take a look at some of the new features.All-New Redesigned Control BoxOne of our biggest gripes with the original 300d was its convoluted power ballast system. There were two separate boxes — one for power, and one for the controls — and they were constantly just . . . in the way on set. But we have nothing to gripe about anymore. Aputure’s all-new control box is a marvel in the lighting world. There’s really nothing else like it out there right now. It uses a fanless design that utilizes heatsinks, which renders the box completely silent. The control box can also attach directly to a C-stand using the new quick-release tool, which makes organization a whole lot easier on set. If you’re shooting in an area without access to power, you’re in luck: you can power the 300d II with two V-Mount or Gold Mount batteries — or even with just one battery at half output. That’s pretty useful if you don’t have access to a generator.On top of all the other crazy-good ballast features, there are now built-in lighting FX that we’ve seen on Aputure’s other products, like the AL-MW, that include useful on-set effects such as “Paparazzi,” “Fireworks,” “Lightning,” “Faulty Bulb,” “TV,” “Pulse,” ” Strobe,” and “Explosion.”Sidus Link ControlWe’ve been absolutely psyched to find out more about Aputure’s new light-linking app Sidus, and it’s looking like we’ve got our first product that will feature connectivity to the software. Here’s what Aputure says about the connectivity features with the 300d II:Featuring all-new Bluetooth SIG mesh network technology, the 300d Mark II will also the first app-controllable Aputure lighting fixture. This technology will allow you to control a 300d Mark II from up to 400 meters away, by linking multiple lights up to 80 meters apart. Using the Sidus Link app, you’ll be able to access all of the functions of the control box, in addition to being able to save presets, finely tune and trigger additional lighting FX, as well as install firmware updates, all from your smartphone or tablet.Aputure has said that it will be making backwards-compatible attachments that can connect to your non-Sidus Aputure lighting gear to the app, but we’re just going to have to wait on that release.More Power and EfficiencyHaving more available power on set is always a good thing. The 300d II is 20 percent brighter than its predecessor. It also comes with Aputure’s brand-new, hyper-efficient, 55-degree reflector. After redesigning the shape and coating of the inside of the reflector, Aputure increased the output by more than three times, compared to the original 300d.Bonus: The Aputure LanternNow I’m not going to lie: I’ve been excited about this for a long time. I am a huge fan of using china balls on set, but they can be a nightmare to work with. The paper rips constantly, and they have the penchant to accidentally catch fire if exposed to too much light. The Aputure Lantern fixes that problem by providing ample soft lighting with just a quick attachment to your 300d II. It’s also a tension-based system that can fit in a small carrying case, which makes it incredibly portable and easy to access for run-and-gun filmmakers.One of the coolest features of the Lantern is the skirt attachment. It’s a black cloth that can direct and block your soft light toward your desired target. It’s great for lighting a table scene — or a single person in a crowd.Both the Aputure 300d II and the Lantern attachment are available for purchase on the Aputure website.All images via Aputure.Looking for more on film and video gear? Check out these articles.Sony Announces The A7R IV with a 61-megapixel SensorThe 5 Best Sliders to Pair with Mirrorless Video CamerasCanon Announces an Affordable Full-Frame 24-240mm All-in-one Zoom LensBuilding A Low Budget Handheld Rig For The Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4KViltrox vs. Metabones: Speed Booster for the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera
Sharad Yadav and Rabri Devi will be looking to get Rajya Sabha seats.With Bihar’s three Rajya Sabha seats set to fall vacant in the wake of its incumbents Ram Vilas Paswan (LJP), Rajiv Pratap Rudy and Ram Kripal Yadav (both BJP) making it to the Lok Sabha, former Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar is once again back in the focus, as he holds the key to the entry of three aspirants to the Upper House.The list of aspirants include JD-U national president Sharad Yadav, who lost to RJD’s Pappu Yadav from Madhepura and Lalu Prasad’s wife Rabri Devi, who lost to BJP’s Rajiv Pratap Rudy from Saran Lok Sabha seat.Unless nominated to the Rajya Sabha, both Sharad Yadav and Lalu Prasad may have to vacate their government residences in national capital- an unenviable situation for the two Yadav chieftains.RJD Chief Lalu Prasad can always get his house allotted in his wife’s name if Nitish Kumar agrees to send Rabri to Rajya Sabha.The political corridors are also agog with suggestions that Nitish Kumar may pick himself for the third Rajya Sabha. Some JD-U leaders, however, deny this, arguing that having got himself a government residence in Patna; Nitish Kumar will stay rooted to Bihar in the wake of 2015 Assembly polls.Nitish Kumar has had a promising political career till his latest electoral setback in Lok Sabha election made him lose his chief minister’s job and his status as the man most preferred by Bihar’s masses.If Nitish is still manning the helm of the Janata Dal United, a party with 117 MLAs in Bihar Assembly, it is because each of these legislators knows that only Nitish can get them re-elected. No wonder, Nitish Kumar is still mentoring both the Jitan Ram Manjhi Government and the party JD-U, which is otherwise headed by Sharad Yadav.advertisementThe unique authority has once again given Nitish the carte blanche to decide the names against the three Rajya Sabha vacancies.Given the composition of Bihar Assembly, the main Opposition party BJP with 87 MLAS cannot retain the two Rajya Sabha seats earlier held by Rudy and Ramkirpal Yadav. Similarly, Ram Vilas Paswan’s Rajya Sabha seat will also fall in JD-U’s kitty.The three leaders were scheduled to complete their terms on July 7, 2016, along with the JD(U)’s Ram Chandra Prasad Singh and K.C. Tyagi. Now, the three members who would be elected to the Rajya Sabha against the casual vacancies will get only over two years of tenure in the Upper House.On May 23, when the Jitan Ram Manjhi government sought the vote of confidence, 145 MLAs backed the motion in the House with the effective strength of 237. The number included 21 members from RJD backing the government. With this majority, JD-U is likely to win all the three Rajya Sabha seats.Incidentally, JD-U already has 9 MPs of the 16 Rajya Sabha seats allocated to Bihar.
APTN National NewsThe Pimicikamak Cree Nation is crying out for help.Tonight, there are provincial health workers headed to the community trying to halt a series of suicides and suicide attempts.APTN’s Dennis Ward has just returned from the community.He says the deaths have left many in a state of shock, and many more looking for the key to stopping the email@example.com