Money Diary: A Secondary School Teacher In Rural Scotland On 41k
·38 min read
Welcome to Money Diaries, where we're tackling what might be the last taboo facing modern working women: money. We're asking a cross-section of women how they spend their hard-earned money during a seven-day period – and we're tracking every last penny.
This week: "I’m a 31-year-old secondary school teacher living in rural northeast Scotland with my wife, M, and our 2.5-year-old puppy, A. We have been together for almost eight years and married for three and a half. After some time out of our careers to travel (M is a doctor), we settled in NE Scotland where M got a specialist training post which will take her through to being a consultant. This meant that we could buy a house and we are currently trying to live the country dream with our wee cottage that we bought in 2019. Somewhere in the future is starting a family and we are very fortunate to be entitled to NHS funding to support this.
In general, we don’t go out all that much (even before COVID) and so try to save a fair bit each month. We both see our money as shared and are happy to pool all our savings and pay for each other when out and about. In 2019 we were very lucky to be gifted £50,000 by my grandfather as a kind of ‘pre-death’ inheritance. This allowed us to put in an offer on a dream cottage, knowing that we would have enough money to make the improvements we needed/wanted (around £36,000 in total). We have slowly been doing up the cottage (replacing the windows, kitchen and bathroom, redecorating and making massive changes in the garden) and are happy to spend money to make our house a home. We can almost see the light at the end of the tunnel as we now only have carpets, new doors and a new wood burner to buy (although lockdown 2.0 has put a spanner in the works in terms of getting tradespeople in). I cannot wait for everything to be finished!
When my grandfather passed away (his will was settled last May) we were flabbergasted to receive £133,000. This is an enormous amount of money and we feel that it is very important to look after it – we know that we are very lucky to be in this position and want to make sure that we use it to future-proof our life. All this pressure (put on myself really) massively stressed me out as I had no clue about how to keep it responsibly. After deciding that we don’t really understand investments enough to go down that route (and me being worried about the ethical/sustainability implications of some investments) we decided to buy a property to let and are currently in the process of closing on a flat in the city that M works in. We won’t have time to manage tenants ourselves so are happy to pay a letting agency to do this for us, even if this reduces the rental return. Hopefully over time this flat will prove to be a safe investment. We plan to use the rental return to help overpay the mortgage on our cottage and we used some of the inheritance to do this last year (overpayment of £21,000).
M and I are very similar in our outlook on life: we both love walking, gardening and generally being outdoors. We also try to do our best to look after the planet and stop climate change. I can be a bit obsessive about being eco and M kindly supports me with this. We are both vegetarians (and were before we met each other – ideal!) and we try to grow as much as we can in our garden. We also try to reduce our plastic consumption by avoiding single-use plastics and getting staples like cleaning and laundry products, dried food and herbs etc. from our local plastic-free shop. The furniture we buy is almost always secondhand or reclaimed wood and I have massively tried to reduce my purchasing of unnecessary products and clothes. I try to only buy clothes from companies which are actively sustainable and/or ethical and I now only buy clothes that will last."
Industry: Secondary education Age: 31 Location: Northeast Scotland Salary: £41,412 Paycheque amount: £2,143 (after deductions). Number of housemates: One: M, my wife (and A, our dog).
I’ve included all of our joint expenses as M and I split things pretty evenly and see all of our money as shared. M’s take-home pay is around £2,900 a month.
Housing costs: £1,500 mortgage for a three-bedroom detached cottage. Our actual mortgage payments are £937 but we started overpaying in March to speed up paying it off. We will continue to do this for as long as we can and aim to use savings/return from the flat to top up the overpayment to the maximum penalty-free amount of 10% each year. If my maths is right this means that we could be mortgage-free in about six years. Loan payments: £165 student loan. Utilities: From my account: council tax £184, landline phone £30 (our cottage is in a signal blackspot so this is vital), house insurance £742 paid annually. From M’s account: internet £40 (for an EE wireless dongle as you can’t get broadband here – downside of rural living), pet insurance £164 paid annually. From our joint account: Vitality mortgage insurance £51, electricity £70 for our winter months (this decreases in the summer). We are with So Energy as they are fully renewable – this offsets the guilt of being on oil for our heating (another countryside drawback). Oil £350 for a 1,000l tank (we go through about three or four a year but it’s been more when I’ve been working from home). Emptying the septic tank ~£280 every two-ish years. Transportation: Petrol/diesel for both my car and M’s is around £200 a month (M’s commute is 50 minutes each way). Tax for both is £250 and is paid annually by whoever opens the bill, as are MOTs and any repairs (this year this was over £1,000 as my car needed a lot of work). Multi-car insurance, with business and personal injury cover and breakdown recovery, is paid annually and was £1,130 at the start of April. Phone bill: M pays for both of our mobile bills: £42 combined. Savings? Around £130,000 in several savings accounts. £95,000 - £100,000 of this will be spent on the flat purchase, legal fees, upgrading costs and legal requirements/checks to get the flat ready for letting. As well as overpaying the mortgage we also try to save as much as we can each month and will use some of this for finishing the cottage renovations. Other: Joint: £200 for our dog walker (who walks A for an hour each day as we are out of the house from 8am until around 5.30/6 most weekdays), £32 for Netflix, Now TV and Amazon Prime, dog training (in non-COVID times) £40 for five sessions, tick and worming treatments for A ~£50 every three-ish months, food for A ~£70 every few months (we buy organic food which is climate-friendly and in recyclable packaging – this costs a bit more but is worth it). Personal additional extras: Trade union membership £14, donation to Tree Aid (empowering women and helping stop climate change!) £20, rugby club membership £7.50, charges for Triodos accounts £6, iCloud extra storage £2, annual teaching registration £65 and annual teachers' association for my specific subject £35, annual Quizlet and Mentimeter subscriptions £112 (I use both when I teach and couldn’t cope with the limitations on the free accounts, especially during the lockdowns).
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All students in Grade 7 and up — as well as sixth-graders with early birthdays — will be eligible to get fully vaccinated against COVID-19 before the start of the 2021-22 school year, under Manitoba’s immunization projections. But it’s uncertain whether those pupils will be able to attend in-person classes on a full-time basis in the fall. “I am very pleased, as I am sure parents are, that adolescents are being included in the vaccine rollout,” said Dr. Sergio Fanella, a pediatric infectious diseases physician and associate professor of pediatrics at the University of Manitoba, in an email Wednesday. “This is another huge step in the right direction overall for achieving herd (or) community immunity, and in terms of resuming in-class learning.” Shortly after Health Canada approved the use of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine on patients who are 12 and older Wednesday, Manitoba officials announced plans to expand immunization criteria to include anyone who is in this age group or older by May 21. (Ottawa had approved the Pfizer jab for teenagers aged 16 and up, as well as youth who are high-risk and between the ages of 12 and 15, prior to Wednesday, but Manitoba’s initial rollout only targeted adults.) The medical lead for Manitoba’s vaccine implementation task force welcomed Wednesday’s development, noting the expansion — to include approximately 100,000 youth — speeds up the timeline when it comes to reaching herd immunity. “The more Manitobans we have eligible, the faster we can get to 70 per cent of us being immunized. If only 50 per cent of us are eligible, even if all of us got the vaccine, we can’t possibly have 70 per cent of all of Manitoba immunized,” said Dr. Joss Reimer. The rollout among youth will likely follow suit with the age-based approach, but officials are waiting on national recommendations, Reimer said. She added the province will rely on established practices related to mature minor consent when it comes to vaccinating youth against COVID-19. In Manitoba, 16-year-olds have the legal ability to make health-care decisions for themselves. The province plans to inoculate youth at supersites and pop-ups, citing the ability to quickly administer doses via these models. Those who receive their first dose of vaccine before June 15, no matter their age, are expected to receive a second dose by the end of July. During an afternoon pick-up game outside Isaac Newton School Wednesday, father Archie Casilan — who has received his first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine — said he’s happy to schedule an appointment for his 14-year-old as soon as possible, if she wants one. Casilan said he plans to educate his Grade 9 daughter on the benefits of the vaccine and hopes other parents will do the same with their children. “If she does feel comfortable getting the vaccine, I’ll encourage her,” he said. “The sooner we can make it to a point of herd immunity, the better for us.” Meantime, another parent at the junior high school in Winnipeg’s North End is unsure whether her children will be vaccinated just yet, owing to concerns about potential side-effects. “We don’t know how it’s going to be, the side-effects, for kids, so I really don’t know,” she said. “But I want it (for myself), for the safety of my kids… no parent wants their children to get COVID,” said Christine Flamiano, who is set to get a jab later this month. Dr. Terry Klassen, CEO and scientific director of the Children’s Research Institute of Manitoba, said both teachers and family doctors will play key roles in providing accurate information to youth and caregivers about the vaccine. “Schools are a very important venue to look at scientific literacy,” said Klassen, a professor of pediatrics and child health at the U of M. As youth start to get vaccinated, the researcher will monitor uptake levels, real-world effectiveness and potential side-effects. A spokesperson for Manitoba Public Health said Wednesday the ability for youth to receive the Pfizer vaccine is a step forward, but it is too early to speculate on what the upcoming school year will look like. Among the many factors that will determine whether restrictions will be loosened are: virus case numbers and rates, increases seen over time, transmission sources, health system capacity, test positivity rates, and vaccine uptake. — with files from Danielle Da Silva and Malak Abas , Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Winnipeg Free Press
The landscape of The Forks is set to change dramatically in the coming years, as parking lots between the CityTV building and Shaw Park are converted from pavement slabs into an expansive, mixed-use neighbourhood. On Wednesday, work began on the most essential of services: heating and cooling. Crews started drilling boreholes into the earth’s surface; laying the groundwork for a district geothermal energy system at the Railside at The Forks development. The ultra-efficient heating and cooling structure uses pipes beneath the ground to pull both from the natural hot and cold sink. It is, therefore, a completely renewable source of energy. “We try and be as green as we possibly can. We looked for ways to do that, and a district geothermal system is the best option for all of the housing and commercial space that will be here,” said Clare MacKay, vice-president of strategic initiatives at The Forks. The geothermal system, once complete, will service 1,200 new residential units and approximately 100,000 square feet of new commercial space. Partnerships to service other buildings on The Forks grounds, as well as the VIA Rail Union Station building, are also on the table. “We have successfully done this in the past. About 10 years ago, we did a retrofit of The Forks Market… And that’s a closed-loop system that goes underneath the Assiniboine River, and that heats and cools the entire Forks Market. What’s cool about it is that nobody really notices,” MacKay said. MacKay said technical estimates show if the development had used natural gas as a heating fuel instead, emissions from the site would have totalled approximately 12,200 tonnes of greenhouse gas each year — or approximately the same emissions as adding 2,600 cars to the road in that time frame. In Winnipeg, burning natural gas for heat is one of the biggest sources of greenhouse gas emissions. In the province, it accounts for about 18 per cent of all emissions. There have been no efforts by the government of Manitoba to move away from natural gas as a heat source, and Manitoba Hydro has made clear natural gas remains the key part of its strategy for providing heat for the foreseeable future. In March, Couns. Brian Mayes and Jason Schreyer pushed a motion through the water, waste and environment committee to have the administration study if and how the City of Winnipeg could bring a halt to the expansion of natural gas development. New builds, like the one at The Forks, show alternative heating technology is being pursued by developers even without the push of the city and province — though, at a slower rate than climate targets would demand. “There’s been a lot of interest in geothermal. It seems to be growing, but not anywhere nearly as much as it probably should be,” said Ed Lohrenz, a veteran of the industry and owner of Winnipeg-based Geoptimize Inc., a ground-source heat consultancy company. Most of Lohrenz’s work has been in cities such as Toronto and New York, where he says the uptake is driven by the desirability of the technology from residential buyers, as well as roadblocks put up to discourage the continued expansion of fossil fuel infrastructure. Universities, condos, malls — the possibilities for using the technology are endless, Lohrenz said. He believes the biggest impediment to geothermal development is the lack of familiarity amongst mechanical engineers. While straight electric heat sources might seemingly make sense in Manitoba — thanks to an abundance of hydroelectric power — the sheer amount of energy needed to move from natural gas to electric systems isn’t feasible, according to estimates from Lohrenz and Manitoba Hydro. “Expanding the electric heat infrastructure would be not good for Manitoba Hydro, and it would not be good for the province,” Lohrenz said. And so the boreholes are not only a sign of the Railside at The Forks development moving forward after many long years of consultation, but it is also a sign of the move away from natural gas by developers who are considering the decades-long impacts of new buildings. Other developments in the city that have used similar technology include the Seasons of Tuxedo development on Sterling Lyon Parkway, ALT Hotel on Portage Avenue, Hydro headquarters, alongside countless businesses and homes. “We’re working on heating and cooling right now. And with the buildings themselves, we’ll be looking at making sure that they’re as green as they possibly can be in terms of what the materials are, and what goes into the design of them,” MacKay said. The 12 acres of land is being developed slowly in various phases with different companies. The final touches are expected to be put on the last parcel of land up for development 20 years from now. Sarah Lawrynuik, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Winnipeg Free Press
Scott Morrison says India flights won’t resume before 15 May but medevacs possibleAmid mounting pressure over Australia’s hardline approach, PM says he’s ‘very confident’ repatriation flights will be restored after Covid travel ban expires ‘Rejected and betrayed’: Australians stranded in India speak of heartbreak Health workers carry the body of a person who has died from Covid-19 in New Delhi, India. About 900 of the 9,000 Australians stranded in India are considered vulnerable. Australia has banned all repatriation flights from India until after 15 May. Photograph: Naveen Sharma/Sopa Images/Rex/Shutterstock
Caribbean Utilities Company, Ltd. (TSX: CUP.U) ("CUC" or "the Company") announced today its consolidated unaudited results for the First Quarter ended March 31, 2021 (all figures in United States dollars).
The province just west of Manitoba, with equivalent if not higher COVID-19 case counts per capita, has come up with a detailed reopening road map for businesses and residents. Saskatchewan is using a three-pronged approach that hinges on vaccination levels for different age groups, which would allow that province to lift public-health restrictions using a targeted timeline this summer. So, why isn’t Manitoba following suit? In interviews with the Free Press, business leaders and stakeholders across the province said that’s something they’ve been asking for months. But the Manitoba government has yet to deliver, they said. “So far into this pandemic, no one has had any idea or opportunity to prepare for what comes next,” said Chuck Davidson, president and chief executive officer of the Manitoba Chambers of Commerce, on Wednesday. “Especially for businesses, we’ve found it to be an uncomfortable position of just being constantly frustrated. “What Saskatchewan is doing is exactly what needs to be done now, because it shows everyone when there might be light at the end of this... Or, if anything, it’s a carrot dangled in front of people who are hesitant to get vaccines or waiting on it to say, look, these businesses will open if you go get your shot and help your neighbour get one.” In a statement on Wednesday, the province was quickly defensive about its coronavirus road map. “Any reopening plan consists of more than just an one-page infographic (sic),” a Manitoba government spokeswoman said pointedly about Saskatchewan. “In August of 2020, Manitoba launched the #RestartMB Pandemic Response System — the first of its kind in Canada — an online public health toolkit to provide detailed, timely and localized information about the current risk of COVID-19 and the specific measures being taken to reduce its spread and protect Manitobans. “This system provides a guideline as to what can be open, and... In January 2021, Manitoba began its cautious and careful reopening process — which was covered by your paper.” The spokeswoman touted Manitoba’s “most generous” emergency support programs, which have yet to be extended or expanded, and said the Tories are in constant talks with the business community about “creating an environment for a sustained reopening of our economy.” She also lauded the “$2 million in traditional and digital advertising, daily media bulletins, almost daily press conferences with elected officials and/or public health leaders, telephone town halls, stakeholder and industry roundtable discussions and multiple public surveys on EngageMB.” However, leaders from that very business community said it couldn’t be a better time to actually apply their suggestions to Manitoba’s pandemic protocols. “The strength of the Saskatchewan approach is that it actually provides a path forward,” said Loren Remillard, CEO and president of the Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce. “It doesn’t provide certainty, and we don’t expect that of our government when things are constantly shifting. “But it’s a solid document which gives people a sense of control that cannot be overstated when so much fatigue and mental health burnout is happening right now. And it’s powerful because it enables a framework for recovery, while giving rise to consumer confidence.” Under Saskatchewan’s road map, three steps are dedicated to meeting the benchmark of 70 per cent people vaccinated for different age groups: people 40 and older (for Step 1, expected to be met by the last week of May); 30 and older (Step 2 by third week in June); and 18 and older (Step 3 by the second week of July). That approach would allow capacity limits for restaurants, bars, fitness centres, bingo halls, theatres, libraries and retail or personal services to gradually lift under each step. It would also slowly increase indoor and outdoor gathering sizes and change masking guidance. “It’s the biggest encouragement and peace of mind Manitoba could offer to businesses,” said Jonathan Alward, Prairies director for the Canadian Federation of Independent Business. “But more than that, it also allows them to anticipate hiring and anything else they need to be prepared for during the summer.” The average Manitoba business is currently $180,000 in debt, according to the CFIB. “There’s a lot that goes into paying back any of that money,” said Alward. “Businesses have been under the stress of closures or stringent capacity limits for more than a year now, so certainly anything to help them should be top of the list for the government.” Barry Cooper, vice-president of the Brandon Chamber, agreed. “At the end of the day, we’ve all consistently asked for something like this,” he said. “And if Manitoba has the opportunity to steal a good idea, I say, why not do it?” Temur Durrani, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Winnipeg Free Press
Previous to that, CME Group had paid $0.85 per share. As a business that throws off a lot of cash, CME Group typically has scope for dividend payments. As a result, CME Group's revenue has risen commensurately; from 2016 to 2020, its annual revenue advanced from nearly $3.6 billion to almost $4.9 billion.
MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. — Google says it expects about 20% of ifs workforce to still work remotely after its offices reopen this fall, while some 60% will work a hybrid schedule that includes about three days in the office and two days “wherever they work best.” The remaining 20% can change their location to a different Google office. The policy announced Wednesday relaxes the company’s stricter earlier stance. “The future of work is flexibility,” CEO Sundar Pichai wrote in an email to employees that was also posted on Google’s website. “The changes above are a starting point to help us do our very best work and have fun doing it.” Most of Google's 135,000 employees can continue to work from home through September of this year. For up to 20 days per year, Google employees will also be able to work from any location other than their main office. That's up from a previous allotment of 10 days. The company based in Mountain View, California, will also continue offering extra “reset” days — days off to help cope with the pandemic. Google was among the first major technology companies last year to tell its employees to work from home at the onset of the pandemic. Other tech giants, such as Facebook and Twitter, have announced that people can work from home permanently after the pandemic if their jobs allow for it. The Associated Press
Businesses don’t want to rely on government funding or emergency support — they’d rather be open at full capacity to make their own money, Manitoba’s minister in charge of economic development and jobs told business leaders Tuesday. “But when the time gets going and it’s really tough, government needs to step up and be there,” said Minister Ralph Eichler. “What we’re trying to do is keep our economy moving and, at the same time, our top priority has always been throughout the last year to keep Manitobans healthy and safe... it’s a balance, for sure.” That balancing act between public-health and economic concerns was at the heart of a virtual event hosted by the Manitoba Chambers of Commerce Tuesday afternoon, where Eichler answered stakeholder questions about the Tory government’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic so far. Much of his prepared address to attendees was filled with zingers about programs like the Bridge Grant, how Manitoba “provided the most generous support in the country,” and that they’ve “been there for all workers and businesses in a way no other government has.” However, asked whether the Tories are looking at expanding or extending support for businesses struggling due to capacity limits under current public-health orders, Eichler was hesitant to provide many details. “We have $300 million that we’ve actually set aside (under the 2021-22 budget) for this to happen if we need it,” said Eichler. “What I’ve heard from Manitobans and on our calls on a regular basis is that businesses want to be able to get back to capacity, and make their own money and have employees back and do those things on their own. “If we need to do another program, we certainly will. It may not be the same program we have before.” Chuck Davidson, CEO and president for the Chambers of Commerce, commended Eichler for looking at the current phase of pandemic protocols through a “business lens.” Under rules that came into effect last week and will remain in place until May 26, most storefronts are allowed to remain open but with varying visitor or customer limits. “Not all businesses are equal in terms of the impact that COVID has had on them. How important is it that we’re looking at sector-specific and really targeted programs that can really address the needs of what those business challenges are?” Davidson asked, as one of his many questions on behalf of Chamber members to the minister. This question among others allowed Eichler to cite relief packages and a reduction of taxes for specific businesses like restaurants and diners. He also mentioned a new program for the hotels, lodging and tourism industries. Eichler was also asked about the recent change to his cabinet portfolio, which changed his title from the minister of economic development and training to economic development and jobs. “Certainly, this gives me more time to rebuild our economy,” he said. “The premier and I had this conversation when we were talking about economic recovery... (my portfolio) was so big, I just didn’t have the time to focus on that completely,” Eichler said, adding a “full deep review” of his department will be announced soon. “I think Manitobans need to know how we’re doing this.” Obby Khan, a former Winnipeg Blue Bomber and local entrepreneur, was recently provided provincial support for his online initiative GoodLocal.ca that supports independent businesses. Khan asked Eichler whether the Tories will continue to fund “innovative ideas from the community” like that beyond the pandemic. “There’s always ongoing supports,” said Eichler. “Is it to the level that they need to be? Probably not. But certainly, we’re always open to new suggestions.” Looking back, Eichler said he’s “proud” of how the Pallister government has handled the economy. “Are we going to get it all right? No, we’re not... Can we do better? Yes, we can,” he said. “Overall, I think that the plan that we have and the responses that I’ve had is that we’re all doing this together. I think we’ve done a great job.” The Chambers will host another stakeholder event later this month with the two provincial ministers for health, Heather Stefanson and Audrey Gordon. Temur Durrani, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Winnipeg Free Press
VICTORIA — British Columbia is considering running COVID-19 immunization clinics in public schools before the end of the school year now that Health Canada has approved the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for those aged 12 to 17 years old. Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said Wednesday the province is looking at plans to immunize young people with their first dose by the end of June, and school-based clinics are a tried-and-tested option. "We have a lot of experience in public health at supporting immunization in schools," she said during a news conference. "It's a very efficient way of doing it." But Henry said plans are still in the early stages and clinics in communities are also an option. "We've been ruminating how best to do this for the last week," she said. "I do expect we'll be able to get younger people immunized prior to next year's school season, fully immunized with two doses." Henry said an expected increase in vaccine supplies to B.C. means there will be enough doses for youth and adults. B.C. is expected to receive 1.1 million Pfizer doses this month along with more shipments of the Moderna vaccine. Henry said earlier this week that the increased vaccines has the province looking at reducing the 16-week interval period between first and second doses. "The good news is we have a lot of vaccine coming if all goes as planned in the next few months," she said on Wednesday. "Between May and June we will have quite a lot of vaccine, so we should be able to fit this into our program." Henry said there are about 300,000 students in the 12-to-17-year age group. The province launched a program earlier this week to ramp up efforts to register the millions who are eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine shot. Health Minister Adrian Dix said more than two million people have already registered. More than 1.9 million doses of vaccine have been administered so far, and of those, 93,656 are second shots. Henry said she understands some people have concerns about vaccine risks, especially for those who are pregnant and youth, but all Health Canada-approved vaccines are safe. The province made pregnant people a priority for vaccination on Tuesday because of the added health risks if they are infected with COVID-19. B.C. reported 572 COVID-19 cases Wednesday, the first time case counts have been below 600 since March, and there have been no new deaths. However, the number of people in hospital remains high at 481, with 161 of those people in intensive care. Travel and other restrictions in the province will remain in place until at least May 25, the day after the Victoria Day long weekend. This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 5, 2021. Dirk Meissner, The Canadian Press
The highway patrol report did not say whether the Tesla was operating on Autopilot, its semi-autonomous driving system, when the crash occurred at about 2:40 a.m. Wednesday. The 50-year-old truck driver and the 30-year-old motorist who stopped to help him both sustained major injuries, the police report said. The 35-year-old man driving the Tesla was not identified in the report.
John David Washington is set to star in Gareth Edwards’ upcoming sci-fi film. Titled “True Love,” the new movie is a sci-fi story, set in the near future. Details of the plot, however, are currently undisclosed. After breaking onto the scene with his critically acclaimed directorial debut “Monsters” in 2010, Edwards helmed “Godzilla” and “Rogue […]
Bengaluru (Karnataka) [India], May 6 (ANI): The Karnataka High Court has directed the Centre to immediately increase the cap on allocation of liquid medical oxygen (LMO) to the state of Karnataka to 1200 MT per day amid the COVID-19 crisis.
LOS ANGELES — Caitlyn Jenner, a Republican whose campaign for California governor has elicited angry reaction from some members of the LGBTQ community, said Wednesday that “I move on” when it comes to her critics. Her comment came during a one-on-one interview with Fox News host Sean Hannity, which marked some of the first words in public since announcing nearly two weeks ago her candidacy in an expected recall election that could remove Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom. While discussing her place as a transgender role model, Jenner lamented the high suicide rate within the community and added, "For me to be a role model for them, to be out there. I am running for governor of the state of California, who would ever thunk that? We’ve never even had a woman governor.” But Hannity queried back: “But some are mad at you.” Jenner shook her head and stumbled over her initial response. “I move on,” Jenner said, according to short clips of the interview released by Fox. Last weekend, Jenner witnessed an outcry from many in the transgender community after she told TMZ that she opposes transgender girls competing in girls’ sports at school, calling it “a question of fairness.” During the interview, which took place at Jenner’s private airplane hangar near Malibu, California, she also endorsed the border wall that was a signature project for former President Donald Trump. “We can’t have a state, we can’t have a country without a secure wall," Jenner said. And she also acknowledged the obvious: As someone coming from outside government, she'll need advice from a brain trust of policy experts. In a Jenner administration, she said she would “surround myself with some of the smartest people out there.” “I am an outsider,” Jenner said. “I understand that.” The 71-year-old Jenner — who won the men's Olympic decathlon in 1976 and decades later became a reality TV star and transgender woman — announced her candidacy about two weeks ago in a written statement on Twitter. Since then, her campaign has been slow to unfold. Prior to the interview, she has been active on Twitter and has posted a video and other materials on her website. Thus far, Jenner, calls herself a “compassionate disrupter,” has provided only a rough sketch of how she would manage the nation’s most populous state. The taping took place in an exclusive area. Malibu is known as a playground for the wealthy, with sprawling mansions perched above the Pacific. It has about 12,000 mostly white residents, and the median value of homes is over $2 million, according to government statistics. Her cautious steps into the campaign highlight the risks for a political newcomer who could be tripped up by a vast array of complex subjects, from immigration to tax policy to vaccine distribution. The written statements and video released so far, which include shots of her Olympic competition and gold medal, appear intended to introduce Jenner’s story to voters who might know little about her. With the Olympics more than four decades behind her, she's probably best known these days for reality TV shows, “Keeping Up with the Kardashians” and the spin-off, “I Am Cait.” Hannity’s show is likely to prove a welcoming stage for a critic of California’s Democratic-led government. It was a favoured venue for former President Donald Trump. “For a candidate like Caitlyn Jenner to win, it has to be like a layered cake. The bottom layer has to be Trump supporters,” said Bill Whalen, a research fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution who was a speechwriter for former GOP Republican Gov. Pete Wilson. “Where do you go to get Trump supporters? Simple. Sean Hannity,” Whalen said. Jenner made headlines in recent years with her ties to Trump, who lost to Joe Biden in the state by over 5 million votes. Jenner supported Trump in 2016 but later criticized his administration’s reversal of a directive on transgender access to public school bathrooms. She also split with Trump after he said transgender people would not be allowed to serve in the U.S. military. Jenner’s first TV appearance comes as candidates in California's expected recall election are becoming more visible. On Tuesday, Republican businessman John Cox appeared with a Kodiak bear named Tag to relaunch his campaign in Sacramento. Cox lost to Newsom in a 2018 landslide. Former San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer and ex-Congressman Doug Ose, both Republicans, also are running. Despite her celebrity, Jenner is a longshot in her first try at elective office. Her threat to other Republicans — as well as Newsom — is her ability to capture the media spotlight, Whalen said. “She is the shiny article in this recall right now,” he said. “She can make news any time she wants.” The challenge she faces is getting past what Whalen called the “giggle factor” that comes with being a reality TV figure looking to run the largest state government in the country and the fifth-largest economy in the world. “Will there be policy behind the polish?” he asked. “She’s going to need to produce serious ideas.” Jenner took a small first step to answering those questions Tuesday, saying on her website that she would establish a working group to review state regulations, including those that could block the development of affordable housing, and promising to veto any tax increases. Newsom’s campaign sent out a fundraising appeal in advance of the interview, warning that “This is a huge event for the far right. It will introduce this recall attempt to people across the country. We have to be ready for what comes next.” Michael R. Blood, The Associated Press
COLUMBIA, S.C. — The South Carolina House voted Wednesday to add a firing squad to the state's execution methods amid a lack of lethal-injection drugs — a measure meant to jump-start executions in a state that once had one of the busiest death chambers in the nation. The bill, approved by a 66-43 vote, will require condemned inmates to choose either being shot or electrocuted if lethal injection drugs aren't available. The state is one of only nine to still use the electric chair and will become only the fourth to allow a firing squad. South Carolina last executed a death row inmate 10 years ago Thursday. The Senate already had approved the bill in March, by a vote of 32-11. The House only made minor technical changes to that version, meaning that after a routine final vote in the House and a signoff by the Senate, it will go to Republican Gov. Henry McMaster, who has said he will sign it. There are several prisoners in line to be executed. Corrections officials said three of South Carolina's 37 death row inmates are out of appeals. But lawsuits against the new death penalty rules are also likely. “Three living, breathing human beings with a heartbeat that this bill is aimed at killing,” said Democratic Rep. Justin Bamberg, rhythmically thumping the microphone in front of him. “If you push the green button at the end of the day and vote to pass this bill out of this body, you may as well be throwing the switch yourself.” South Carolina first began using the electric chair in 1912 after taking over the death penalty from individual counties, which usually hanged prisoners. The other three states that allow a firing squad are Mississippi, Oklahoma and Utah, according to the Death Penalty Information Center. Three inmates, all in Utah, have been killed by firing squad since the U.S. reinstated the death penalty in 1977. Nineteen inmates have died in the electric chair this century. South Carolina can’t put anyone to death now because its supply of lethal-injection drugs expired and it has not been able to buy any more. Currently, inmates can choose between the electric chair and lethal injection. Since the drugs are not available, they choose injection. The bill retains lethal injection as the primary method of execution if the state has the drugs, but requires prison officials to use the electric chair or firing squad if it doesn't. “Those families of victims to these capital crimes are unable to get any closure because we are caught in this limbo stage where every potential appeal has been exhausted and the legally imposed sentences cannot be carried out," said Republican Rep. Weston Newton. The lack of drugs, and decisions by prosecutors to seek guilty pleas with guaranteed life sentences over death penalty trials, have cut the state's death row population nearly in half — from 60 to 37 inmates — since the last execution was carried out in 2011. From 2000 to 2010, the state averaged just under two executions a year. The reduction also has come from natural deaths, and prisoners winning appeals and being resentenced to life without parole. Prosecutors have sent just three new inmates to death row in the past decade. Democrats in the House offered several amendments, including not applying the new execution rules to current death row inmates; livestreaming executions on the internet; outlawing the death penalty outright; and requiring lawmakers to watch executions. All failed. Seven Republicans voted against the bill, while one Democrat voted for it. Opponents of the bill brought up George Stinney, the youngest person executed in the U.S. in the 20th century. He was 14 when he was sent to South Carolina’s electric chair after a one-day trial in 1944 for killing two white girls. A judge threw out the Black teen’s conviction in 2014. Newspaper stories reported that witnesses said the straps to keep him in the electric chair didn’t fit around his small frame. “So not only did South Carolina give the electric chair to the youngest person ever in America, but the boy was innocent,” Bamberg said. Other opponents noted that fellow Southern state Virginia outlawed the death penalty earlier this year. They also pointed out that the three executions carried out so far this year in the United States are the fewest since 2008, when the U.S. Supreme Court was reviewing lethal injection. Newton said the bill wasn't the place to debate the morality of executions. “This bill doesn’t deal with the merits or the propriety of whether we should have a death penalty in South Carolina," Newton said. ___ Follow Jeffrey Collins on Twitter at https://twitter.com/JSCollinsAP. Jeffrey Collins, The Associated Press
Mary Moran announced Wednesday that she is retiring from her role as Calgary Economic Development CEO, effective immediately. Moran has served in the role for six years, and has spent more than a decade with the organization. CED said the search for a new CEO will begin shortly, and in the meantime the organization will be managed by its senior leadership and staff. "I am very proud of the strong foundation we have built at CED over my tenure as CEO, and I am grateful for the dedication of our employees in helping us achieve its goals," Moran said in an emailed release. "My decision to retire was a difficult one, but I believe now is the right time for CED to move forward with the fresh perspective that new leadership can provide. I wish the organization and the staff members continued success." Joe Lougheed, chair of the CED's board of directors, said Moran has been a remarkable leader for the organization. "Oh behalf of the board … I wish to thank Ms. Moran for her many years of hard work and dedication and her contributions to CED's growth and success," he said. Moran took leave from the organization in 2018 to the organization exploring Calgary's potential bid for the 2026 Winter Olympic Games. That bid was abandoned after the majority of voters rejected it in a plebiscite. CED said no additional information or interview subjects would be made available on Wednesday.CED Is a not-for-profit, funded by the city.