India sends water rice as Sri Lanka faces severe drought

Water shortage has also compounded problems for the energy sector of the country that depends on hydro-power. (Colombo Gazette) “In response to a request from the Government of Sri Lanka for drought relief assistance, Government of India has announced the decision to provide 8 water bowsers and 100 metric tonnes of rice to Sri Lanka. The supply of these items is in the nature of emergency assistance to augment relief measures undertaken in the wake of severe drought faced by Sri Lanka,” External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj told Parliament in a written reply. The lorry-mounted water bowsers were given to the Government of Sri Lanka on March 21. “India has always been among the first to respond to requests from the neighbouring countries in times of crisis. The current gifting of the water bowsers and rice is part of that policy,” Swaraj added. With Sri Lanka staring at one of the worst droughts in the last four decades, India has provided an emergency assistance of water and rice to the Island country, The New Indian Express reported.The Government has already handed over eight water bowsers to the Sri Lankan authorities and the consignment of rice would be delivered soon. Sri Lanka is suffering from the worst drought in 40 years with over a million people facing acute water shortages. The Island country has experienced prolonged dry season with some districts having 60-70 percent less rainfall. The local wells and reservoirs are running dry.The harvest of rice is going to be hit due to water shortage and the prospect of rice shortage later this year is looming large. The Sri Lankan Government has also taken slew of measures to contain the fallout of the rice shortage. It has already waived off taxes on rice imports and is expected to increase rice imports to meet the demand at home. read more

Ford recalls 230000 minivans to fix rust problem that can cause rear

Ford recalls 230,000 minivans to fix rust problem that can cause rear seats to come loose by The Associated Press Posted Mar 7, 2013 12:19 pm MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email DETROIT – Ford is recalling 230,000 minivans in 20 cold-weather states and Washington, D.C., to fix rust problems that can cause the third-row seats to come loose.The company says the recall affects Ford Freestar and Mercury Monterey minivans from the 2004 through 2007 model years. They were sold mainly in Canada and U.S. states where salt is used to clear roads in the winter.The recall covers 196,500 minivans in the U.S. and another 33,500 outside the U.S., mainly in Canada.Ford said Thursday that rust can weaken the mounting brackets that hold the removable seats to the van floor. The company says no crashes or injuries have been reported from the problem.Dealers will install new seat mounting brackets, placing them outside of the area that can rust. They’ll also install panels above the rear wheels to prevent water from entering, Ford spokeswoman Kelli Felker said. Owners will be notified of the recall by letter during the last week of March.“The panels will protect that area so that it won’t get any other exposure to corrosive elements,” Felker said.The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration began investigating the vans from the 2004 model year in December, and added 2005 through 2007 to the probe in April because they all have similar seat designs.Vans in Connecticut, Iowa, Minnesota, Ohio, Wisconsin, Delaware, Maine, Missouri, Pennsylvania, Maryland, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Illinois, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Vermont, Indiana, Michigan, New York, West Virginia and Washington, D.C., are being recalled. read more

Ohio State womens hockey set for weekend series against North Dakota

Senior defenseman Sara Schmitt (22) attempts a shot on goal during a game against Minnesota on Nov. 15 at the OSU Ice Rink. OSU lost, 5-3. Credit: Ed Momot / For The LanternThe Ohio State women’s hockey team will try to put an end to its three-game losing streak as the Buckeyes prepare for a weekend series against the University of North Dakota.The Buckeyes (7-6-0, 5-5-0) hit the road this weekend to play UND (5-7-1, 3-6-1) in a Western Collegiate Hockey Association battle.Last weekend, the Buckeyes dropped two games to No. 2 Minnesota to extend their losing streak to three. OSU coach Nate Handrahan said despite the team’s inability to pull out a win in those three games, its energy and morale hasn’t changed.“We did a lot of good things inside those games against very good teams,” he said. “We need to make some adjustments but the players have done a good job of getting back to work.”One thing that Handrahan has consistently worked on this season with his team is specialty situations and special teams play. This weekend, all of that practice will be put to the test.So far this season, UND is undefeated when scoring on the power play.“Coach really stressed in practice this week, being active and knowing their personnel,” OSU senior forward Taylor Kuehl said. “They have a couple great shooters that can really hit one-timers. Coach stressed knowing who is on the ice.”Senior captain Sara Schmitt said, as a defensive player, killing the power play is something she has focused on personally.“Just working on blocking shots and reading the play,” Schmitt said. “We have to clear the puck whenever we have the chance.”UND coach Brian Idalski said that Schmitt is a key player for the Buckeyes both defensively and offensively.“Defensively (OSU is) very strong, the Schmitt girls are terrific. In fact one of them (Sara Schmitt) is leading the team in scoring,” Idalski said during a Wednesday press conference. “Very aggressive fore-check. They are going to work hard all over the ice, a lot of physical battles. It’s going to be a grind.”Schmitt’s sister — Kari — is also a senior defenseman for OSU.Even though the Buckeyes excel in their defensive play, Kuehl said there is still work to be done offensively.“We’ve struggled scoring goals. For offense we are still looking for production and chemistry between lines,” Kuehl said. “We’ve changed lines quite a bit this season and we are trying to find who works well together to create something specific, like aggressive lines or more skilled lines.”One thing UND is set to have to their advantage for the series is their home ice support. Attendance at UND women’s hockey games is ranked third this season, while OSU is ranked 20th, according to U.S. College Hockey Online. UND averages an attendance of more than 1,314 where OSU averages an attendance of around 300.Both Schmitt and Kuehl said that being seniors, they are use to stepping on the ice and having fans root against them. Kuehl said there is something about it that she actually likes.“I think its fun playing in an atmosphere with a bunch of fans against us,” Kuehl said. “It’s a goal of ours to take the energy from them, play our game and take the crowd from them.”The series between the teams is scheduled for Friday and Saturday at in Grand Forks, N.D. Friday’s game is set for an 8:07 p.m. start, with Saturday’s set to begin at 5:07 p.m. read more