Two Goa women drown near Karwar

first_imgHUBBALLI/PANAJI: Two women from Goa drowned and four other people were missing at Nagarmadi waterfalls at Chendia, 12 km from Karwar in Uttara Kannada district, Sunday. The police fear that more people may have drowned.The Margao police identified the deceased as Francila Pires (21) and Fiyona Pacheco (28). Those missing are Marcelina Estebio (38), Renuka (23), Siddarth Chari, (22) and Sameer Gavde (32).The Margao police said rescue teams were trying to trace the missing people. A group of 50 had gone from South Goa for a picnic to Karwar on Sunday.Superintendent of Police, Uttara Kannada, Vinayak V. Patil said the tourists had come in different vehicles, and hence the exact number of people who were washed away is yet to be ascertained. The police suspect that five or six people drowned. Mr. Patil said some of the tourists had entered a pool of water at the bottom of the waterfalls. The waterfalls are in a forest area, which has received heavy rain. As a result, the force of the water was strong, and some of those in the pool were washed away. The rescue team is facing difficulties as the water flow is still strong, Mr. Patil said.In July last year, a group of 10 tourists from Goa visiting Nagarmadi waterfalls were rescued from drowning by the Fire and Emergency Services.last_img read more

Flight operations suspended at Srinagar airport due to heavy snowfall

first_imgFlight operations were suspended on Thursday at the Srinagar airport due to poor visibility and heavy snowfall.“All flights to and from Srinagar were cancelled on Wednesday. No flight could land or take off from the airport today morning,” officials at the Srinagar International Airport said.“Flight operations will start only after visibility improves,” the officials said, adding that snow clearance on the runway was getting hampered by continuing snowfall.The Jammu-Srinagar highway remained closed for the second consecutive day on Thursday due to fresh snowfall and landslides.“No stranded vehicle is parked at any avalanche or landslide prone area along the highway,” a department official said.Authorities decided to allow one-way traffic from Srinagar to Jammu on Wednesday, but the move was halted due to the landslides in Ramsoo-Ramban sector and snowfall in Bannihal.The prices of essentials like vegetables, mutton and poultry products, have skyrocketed in the landlocked Kashmir Valley.last_img read more

England vs India: Men In Blue survive early scare in warm-up fixture against Essex

first_imgAdvertisement AdvertisementImage Courtesy: Hindustan TimesEssex bowlers gave the Indian top order a taste of what is to come after reducing them to 5-2 after the Men In Blue opted to bat at Chelmsford. Matt Coles dismissed Shikhar Dhawan for 0, and Cheteshwar Pujara for 1 to kick off things.📽️ Matt Coles strikes after just 3 balls as Dhawan is caught behind by Foster#ESSvIND pic.twitter.com/SC9RaitUIi— Essex Cricket (@EssexCricket) July 25, 2018 📽️ Second wicket of the day for Coles, as Pujara is caught behind by Foster#ESSvIND pic.twitter.com/wkfz3FfxmP— Essex Cricket (@EssexCricket) July 25, 2018Rahane faltered as well after scoring 17. The Indian innings came back to track after a 90-run stand between Murali Vijay and skipper Virat Kohli before the former departed for 53.India’s lower middle order proved heavy for the county side after Kohli, KL Rahul and Dinesh Karthik went on to score half centuries. India are currently 318-6 with Karthik unbeaten on 82 with Hardik Pandya as support at the other end.Here’s a short glimpse of captain Kohli’s knock of 68 off 93 deliveries.Read Also:Cricket: India shorten the practice match against county side Essex due to unbearable heat conditionsCricket: India shall get no rest before they face Pakistan at the Asia Cup 2018last_img read more

Thousands welcome Dipa Karmakar in Agartala

first_imgShe might not have won a medal but has surely won a billion hearts in India.Dipa Karmakar, the golden girl from far east state Tripura was given a grand welcome as she landed in her home town Agartala after her feat in Rio.Dipa was received by thousands of fans from all ages who had gathered to greet her on her return. (Exhausted Dipa focused on University exams)She was then taken to the stadium in an open vehicle where she was felicitated by the Chief Minister Manik Sarkar.Dipa expressed her gratitude for the support extended to her by the people of Tripura and India as well. (Exclusive: Thank you India, says Dipa Karmakar after returning home)Dipa and her coach Bishweshar Nandi were felicitated in a ceremony attended by thousands at Swami Vivekananda Maidan in Agartala.Despite being the first working day of the week the streets were flooded with her supporters ranging from school students to senior citizens.Manik Sarkar announced that Dipa would also function as Assistant Director and her coach Bishweshwar Nandi as Deputy Director of Sports and Youth Affairs Department of Tripura.The Tripura state cabinet committee will approve the proposal this week.Dipa became the first Indian to represent in the Gymnastics segment and successfully perform the Produnova Vault which in the most dangerous of all involving life risk.Entire state of Tripura has announced a holiday on Tuesday as a mark of respect to the grand performance by the golden girl who has assured a Gold in 2020!advertisement(With inputs from Pradip Chakraborty)last_img read more

Chennai Super Kings will look to retain players, support staff: Official

first_imgThe ban on Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals is over officially and a top CSK official said the franchise will look to retain as many players and support staff it had in 2015.”Super Morning, Lions! The wait is finally over. Time to rise and shine! #CSKReturns #whistlepodu,” the franchise said on its Twitter handle (@ChennaiIPL).According to George John, one of the directors of Chennai Super Kings Cricket Limited, which runs the team, “the ban is officially over. It is good that we are back. As far as possible we will try to retain the players and support staff we had.”About the teams marquee player M S Dhoni, who led CSK since the inception of IPL in 2008,” John told PTI, “we have to see what the BCCI has to offer. If there is an option of retaining of a player, it would be him (Dhoni.)””We havent spoken to Dhoni yet as his contract with Pune ends later this year. However, we will speak to him as and when we make our plans for the next season,” he added. Former New Zealand captain Stephen Fleming was head coach, while Andy Bichel (bowling coach) and Steve Rixon (fielding coach) were part of the support staff when team was banned in 2015.”In an effort to engage with fans, the CSK management started their promotional campaign from today with a couple of social media activities aimed at evoking memories of MS Dhoni & Co in the colours of CSK over the past decade,” John said.advertisementCSK and Royals were suspended for two years in July 2015 when they were found guilty in 2013 of betting and spot- fixing. Meanwhile, the franchises fans are celebrating the much-awaited return and super fan H Saravanan, who is famous for his body painting and wig, is getting to ready to “roar again for Lions in its den.””World over, fans have been waiting for the return of CSK. It is a big moment for us. We are already looking forward to IPL in 2018. I dont know to celebrate this,” he said.”I cant wait to see Thala (as Dhoni is referred to by the fans) back in yellow at the M A Chidambaram stadium. I wish the team management can bring back all the players who turned out for CSK,” he said, adding there were plans to organise mass feeding at some orphanages and blood donation camps in the days to come.last_img read more

Why Kate and Meghan need a wardrobe makeover right now

first_imgWhat is it with the English Monarchy and drab clothing? Unlike Indian households where newlyweds willfully dress up like Christmas trees, the two Duchesses – Catherine and Meghan – appear to be in competition over whose clothes better resemble a cup of dishwater.Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge was recently spotted in a custom made Alexander McQueen coat dress in pale blue, paired with a matching hat by Sean Barrett, clutch bag and nude pumps. Ordinary, at best, for the 100th anniversary of the Royal Air Force that could have done with something far more celebratory. Kate MiddletonBut if Kate looked plain, Meghan Markle’s shift dress by Rouland Mouret -worn at her first royal tour to Ireland – was altogether yawn-inducing. Meghan looked older and a tad frumpy in the dress that was ill-fitted at the bust. Even the Irish President’s wife, Sabina Coyne looked more cheery in her electric pink dress, so what if the weather didn’t permit the sentiment.Speaking of which, Queen Elizabeth II seems to have taken a 180 degree turn with her sartorial choices, sporting bright coat dresses in happy greens, pinks, yellows and purples – with floral hats to match. A welcome change, no doubt. Queen Elizabeth IICould it be that we’re confusing elegance with dull and boring? Confident dressing and self-expression hold great merit, and when you have the world’s labels at your disposal, playing safe is quite unnecessary.Also Read: Meghan Markle just gave us 3 back-to-back stunning looks in a single dayadvertisementAlso Watch: Prince Harry and Meghan Markle fans flood the streets of Windsor for Royal weddinglast_img read more

Xiaomi Redmi Y3 India launch on April 24: 32MP selfie camera, dot drop notch, big battery and more

first_imgAfter launching the Redmi Note 7, the Redmi Note 7 Pro and the Redmi Go, Xiaomi India is all set to launch its fourth smartphone of the year. Xiaomi has officially announced that it is going to bring the next Y-series phone in the country on April 24. The company is yet to reveal the name of the upcoming Y series phone — but going by the past records the phone may be called Redmi Y3. This is also what the rumours suggest. Similar to the Redmi Note 7 series launch, it is highly likely that the Redmi Y3 global launch will happen in India on April 24.Ahead of the official launch, Xiaomi has been teasing its upcoming Y-series phone aka Redmi Y3 a lot. The company is trying its best to woo consumers by releasing several video teasers and showing the beautiful selfies the upcoming Y series phone captured. Till date, all the Redmi Y series phones – including the Redmi Y1 and the Redmi Y2 — are about selfie camera. The Redmi Y3 will be no exception. It will also be mostly about good selfies.As teased by the company itself, the key highlight of the Redmi Y3 will be its selfie camera — which apparently will sit on a waterdrop notch or dot drop notch. Xiaomi India has confirmed that the Redmi Y2 successor will come with a 32-megapixel selfie shooter and will be able to click flawless selfies. The company is continuously teasing the capabilities of the 32-megapixel camera via new teaser videos almost every other day. In addition to the selfie camera, the company is also teasing other aspects of the Redmi Y3 like design, drop dot notch, core hardware, and battery. The Redmi Y3 will be available on Amazon India after it launches in the country on April 24. The phone is already listed on the e-commerce site. The landing page also reveals some of the key details of the all-new Y series phones.advertisementLet’s take a quick look at everything we know about the upcoming Redmi Y series phone so far:–32-megapixel selfie camera: This will be the key highlight of the Redmi Y3. Xiaomi has been teasing the Redmi Y3 selfie camera for quite some time now. The company says that the phone will be able to click unbeatable Instagram worthy selfies. The company is teasing the front camera of the upcoming Redmi Y series phone with the hashtag #32MPSuperSelfie. In fact, the company has also come together with Bollywood superstar Ranveer Singh and released a teaser video. In the video, Singh claims that the selfie camera of the new Redmi Y series phone clicks flawless selfies. Xiaomi is yet to reveal which sensor the company is planning to use for its selfie camera or whether it will use Pixel binning technology to shoot selfies similar to how the 48-megapixel camera of the Redmi Note 7 Pro works. Xiaomi India says that Redmi Y3 will “stand out from the crowd” and will be capable of clicking “ultra-clear selfie day and night”.–Dot drop notch: Like some of the previously launched Redmi phones this year, the upcoming Y series Redmi phone is also teased to come packed with a waterdrop notch on the top of the display, which Xiaomi calls Dot drop notch. The presence of waterdrop notch means the bezels on the upcoming Redmi Y series will be much slimmer when compared to the predecessor Redmi Y2.–Gradient finish: The landing page of the Redmi Y series phone is already listed on the Amazon website. The page suggests that the Redmi Y series phone may come with gradient finish or aura design, as Xiaomi may like to call it. The Amazon page shows the Nebula Red tone which suggests that the Redmi Y3 may also come in beautiful colours similar to the Redmi Note 7 series.–Redmi Note 7 series-like design: Overall, it seems the Redmi Y3 may look like the Redmi Note 7 or the Redmi Note 7 Pro. This suggests that the Redmi Y3 may come with Gorilla Glass 5 coating on both front and back, gradient finish, premium design, drop dot notch, slim bezels, and Redmi by Xiaomi logo on the back side of the phone.–Big battery: In one of the teasers, Xiaomi Redmi has teased the battery of the Redmi Y series phone. The teaser reveals that the Redmi Y3 can last longer than one can expect. This also means that the Redmi Y3 will sport a much bigger battery compared to the predecessor Redmi Y2, which includes 3080mAh battery. We believe the Redmi Y3 may come with the same battery setup as the Redmi Note 7 series – 4000mAh.advertisement–Snapdragon processor: The landing page of Amazon notes that the Redmi Y series phone will come with Snapdragon processor from Qualcomm. To recollect, the Redmi Y2 comes with Snapdragon 625 processor. Considering the Redmi Y3 is a successor to the Redmi Y2 we expect the phone to be powered by a much powerful processor. How about Xiaomi brings its favourite Snapdragon 636 to Redmi Y3? Or maybe Snapdragon 660 like the Redmi Note 7.–Fingerprint sensor: The Amazon India teaser also reveals that the Redmi Y3 will come with a rear-mounted fingerprint sensor that will sit next to the back camera setup.–Dual rear cameras: The Amazon India teaser also reveals that the Redmi Y3 will come with two cameras on the back panel paired with a single LED flash.–The Redmi Y3 is already up with the Notify Me button on Amazon India. Interested buyers can click on it and get updated when the phone comes in stock.As of now, Xiaomi hasn’t revealed any further details about the Redmi Y3. Overall, considering the teasers so far we believe the Redmi Y3 will be a much-upgraded version of the Redmi Y2, which launched in India last year, in terms of specifications, design, performance, camera, battery and almost every other aspect.Redmi Y2 specsAs for the specs, the Redmi Y2 comes with a 5.99-inch full-screen display with 1440x720p resolution and 18:9 aspect ratio. On the hardware front, the Redmi Y2 is powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 processor paired with up to 4GB RAM + 64GB storage which can be expanded up to 256GB via microSD card. The Redmi Y2 includes a 16-megapixel selfie camera on the front, while on the back the phone includes a 12MP+5MP AI dual rear camera configuration. The Redmi Y2 is backed by a 3000mAh battery and also supports dual SIM slot.Redmi Y3 India price expectedIn India, the Redmi Y2 3GB+32GB model currently sells for Rs 8,999, while the 4GB+64GB model of the phone comes for Rs 10,999. The Redmi Y2 is available in funky colours like gold, dark grey, blue, rose gold, and black. As of now, there’s no information about the India price of Redmi Y3, but we believe it either will be priced similar to the launch price of the Redmi Y2 or slightly higher than the current price of the Redmi Y2. To recollect, Redmi Y2 was launched in India for Rs 9,999 for 3GB RAM model and Rs 12,999 for 4GB RAM version.ALSO READ | Xiaomi Redmi Y3 listed on Amazon India, tipped to sport Redmi Note 7-like designALSO READ | Xiaomi Redmi Y3 with 32MP selfie camera, dot drop notch set to launch in India on April 24ALSO READ | Redmi phone with pop-up camera teased again, may come with Snapdragon 855 chiplast_img read more

Southampton v Wolves: match preview

first_img Goal attempts Match stats Substitutes 33 Targett 7 Southampton Off target 15 Wolves 6 Southampton On target 2 Wolves (s 84′) 9 Jimenez 8 Neves WOL SOU Southampton Substitutes (s 87′) Lineups Southampton 4 9 Fouls 17 Gibbs-White 7 Long 1 McCarthy 16 Ward-Prowse Reuse this content 16 Coady 14 Romeu 43 Valery Share on Messenger 27 Saiss 32 Dendoncker Match previews Share on Facebook news (s 61′) Wolverhampton Wanderers 23 Hojbjerg Share on Pinterest 17 Armstrong 29 Ruben Vinagre 39 Sims 15 Boly (s 69′) Topics 11 Rui Patricio 28 Joao Moutinho 69 31 21 Bertrand 28 Gunn 13 8 19 Jonny 37 Traore 2 Doherty (s 61′) 7 Ivan Cavaleiro Wolves WOL69SOU31% 5 Stephens 3 Yoshida Possession Corners 22 Redmond Premier League 10 Helder Costa (s 60′) 4 Vestergaard Share via Email Ralph Hasenhüttl has no new injury worries as his side enter the home straight, although Mario Lemina is still not fit. With six winnable games to go and a five-point cushion over Cardiff, the Austrian’s primary objective of avoiding relegation is within reach. Wolves may be more obliging opponents than expected – remarkably, they have earned more points per game against the top six than the bottom six. The Wembley collapse against Watford may have sharpened their focus though and Wolves have not lost to Southampton since a 6-0 thrashing in 2007. Niall McVeighSaturday 3pmVenue St Mary’sLast season n/aReferee Jon MossThis season G23 Y74 R5 3.43 cards/gameOdds H 17-10 A 2-1 D 9-4SOUTHAMPTONSubs from Forster, McCarthy, Jones, Davis, Lewis, Gallagher, Elyounoussi, Slattery, Ramsay, Johnson, Barnes, Targett, Austin, Yoshida, Sims, FlanniganDoubtful NoneInjured Lemina (abdominal, unknown), Obafemi (hamstring, unknown)Suspended NoneDiscipline Y63 R3Form LWLWWLLeading scorer Ings 7WOLVESSubs from Ruddy, Norris, Cavaleiro, Giles, Watt, Gonçalves, Traoré, Gibbs-White, Vinagre, Costa, Ennis, Kilman, SaïssDoubtful NoneInjured NoneSuspended NoneDiscipline Y62 R1Form DLWDLWLeading scorer Jiménez 12 21 Ruddy 9 Ings 5 Bennett 10 Austin Share on LinkedIn Share on WhatsApp 35 Bednarek Share on Twitter 18 Jotalast_img read more

a month agoSturridge pulled out of Trabzonspor clash at last minute

first_imgAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Sturridge pulled out of Trabzonspor clash at last minuteby Paul Vegasa month agoSend to a friendShare the loveDaniel Sturridge was pulled out of Trabzonspor’s clash with Sivasspor at the last minute.Fanatik says he was expected to start the Sivas match. However, he was withdrawn after complaining of achilles pain.After tests, it was found the former Liverpool striker had edema in the right achilles tendon. Sturridge immediately started treatment after being removed from the squad for the Sivas game.The setback isn’t serious, however, and there’s confidence he’ll be fit for their clash with Besiktas. last_img

Highway 103 Included in National Highway System

first_imgHighway 103, from Halifax to Yarmouth, has been added to Canada’s national highway system, making it eligible for federal funding. “We are pleased to have Highway 103 recognized for its strategic importance to national and regional movement of people and goods,” said Ron Russell, Minister of Transportation and Public Works. “It’s good news that Highway 103 is being added to the national highway system and it would be even better news if there was some extra funding to go along with it. We will be seeking a new federal-provincial financial agreement to address the 103.” The Nova Scotia government currently pays the total cost of twinning and upgrading Highway 103. Construction costs for the twinning project reached $20 million in 2004 and $8 million this year. The national highway system includes core, feeder and northern/remote routes, with eligibility criteria established for each category. The increased traffic and population along Highway 103 made it eligible for national highway status. In 2003, a national task force began a review of the national highway system and agreed this fall to include Highway 103. All provincial and territorial transportation ministers are calling on the federal government to provide a significant, long-term highway funding program. Mr. Russell said, “We have a lot of work to do on Nova Scotia highways and we can’t do it alone. Our success in creating safer highways depends upon the federal government’s commitment and contribution to the national highway system.” Canada’s highway system has more than 38,000 kilometres of interprovincial and international highway linkages. Nova Scotia has 1,199 kilometres of road included in the national highway system, up from 880 kilometres when the system was established in 1988. Highways 101, 102, 104, 106, 111, 118, and 125 already belong to the system.last_img read more

Train crews reject Canadian Pacific Railway oneyear contract extension

first_imgCALGARY – Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd. (TSX:CP) says it’s disappointed but not deterred that train crews voted to reject a one-year contract renewal.CP Rail said it’s meeting with leaders of the union representing rail workers on Thursday to discuss the results of the vote in which a majority of members rejected the proposed extension.“We look forward to working with the union membership to better understand this result and to discuss next steps,” said CEO Keith Creel.“We remain optimistic that we can come to a mutually beneficial agreement.”A memo posted by the Teamsters Canada Rail Conference said that of the 1,725 members who voted on the contract renewal, 1,158 said no to the proposal.The union represents approximately 3,000 Canadian conductors and engineers at CP Rail.“The TCRC is assessing the entire situation and consistent with the Labour Code will be contacting CP to begin the bargaining process,” said Teamsters president Douglas Finnson.last_img read more

Jet pilots threaten to stop flying from Apr 1

first_imgMumbai: The umbrella body of the domestic pilots of the nearly crippled Jet Airways Tuesday threatened to stop flying from April 1, if the resolution plan is delayed and salary dues are not cleared by the end of this month.The decision was taken at the annual meeting of Jet Airways domestic pilots body National Aviators Guild after a meeting here lasting for over 90 minutes. The guild, which came into being almost a decade ago, represents around 1,000 domestic pilots at the airline. Also Read – India gets first tranche of Swiss bank a/c details”If there is no proper clarity on the resolution process and salary payments, by March 31, we will stop flying from April 1,” the guild said. Having failed to get any assurance from the management on salaries, the guild last week had written to Union labour minister Santosh Gangwar, seeking his intervention. Meanwhile, as Jet Airways, one of India’s largest airlines, hurtled towards bankruptcy, the government on Tuesday called an emergency meeting with its management. The cash-strapped carrier is struggling to make payments to its creditors and has been forced to cancel hundreds of flights as it fights competition, a weak rupee and rising fuel costs. The maintenance engineers’ union of the airline Tuesday wrote to the aviation regulator DGCA that they are owed three months of salary and flight safety “is at risk”. Also Read – Tourists to be allowed in J&K from ThursdayCivil Aviation Minister Suresh Prabhu tweeted Tuesday morning that he had asked for a compliance report from Jet and the aviation watchdog, the DGCA (Directorate General of Civil Aviation) immediately. Prabhu also said he had asked for an emergency meeting on the issues such as the grounding of aircraft, advance bookings, cancellations and refunds. There are reports that the government has asked central banks to bail out Jet Airways for the moment to prevent the airline from going bankrupt. “It is a dynamic situation and there may be further attrition in coming weeks,” the aviation regulator said in a statement. Asserting that it is ensuring that all aircraft in the fleet are maintained in accordance with the approved maintenance programme, DGCA said it is “continuously monitoring the overall situation and based on the same, will take appropriate steps by the end of the month, if needed.” Earlier Tuesday, the airline said it had grounded four more planes and would delay paying interest on maturing debt in a fresh sign of deepening liquidity crisis engulfing the carrier.last_img read more

Bernie Sanders endorses Hillary Clinton for President

By Bryn Miller,Rabat – On Tuesday morning, Senator Bernie Sanders formally endorsed presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and urged his supporters to back her campaign.Taking the stage next to Secretary Clinton at a rally in New Hampshire, Sanders thanked the millions of Americans that had voted for him and supported his campaign. “I am proud of the campaign we ran,” the Senator said. “Our campaign won the primaries and caucuses in 22 states, and when the roll call at the Democratic National Convention is announced, it will show that we won almost 1900 delegates… But it is not enough to win the nomination. Secretary Clinton goes into the convention with 389 more pledged delegates than we have and a lot more super delegates. She will be the Democratic nominee for president, and I intend to do everything I can to make certain she is the next president of the United States.”Sanders noted the critical importance of this election for both America and the world, asserting that Clinton is “far and away the best candidate” to address the crises the United States faces.Although Sanders had previously stated  that he would vote for Secretary Clinton in November, he had not yet formally endorsed her. After the primaries ended and it became clear that Secretary Clinton would become the nominee, Sanders used his remaining leverage to influence the party platform. However, after a progressive draft  of the platform was released on July 1, there was little reason to withhold his endorsement.Sanders’ endorsement is a crucial step towards unifying the Democratic party as the Democratic National Convention and general election draw nearer. read more

Preliminary report says Ethiopia crew followed Boeing rules

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia — The preliminary report of the data from the Ethiopian Airlines jet that crashed last month states that the flight crew performed all procedures from Boeing but could not control the jet.Ethiopia’s Minister of Transport Dagmawit Moges made the announcement at a press conference Thursday citing data from the doomed plane’s recorders.The Boeing 737 Max 8 jet crashed on March 10 shortly after takeoff from Addis Ababa, killing all 157 on board. It was the second crash of a 737 Max within five months, following a Lion Air crash in Indonesia.Following the Ethiopian disaster, the Max jets have been grounded worldwide pending a software fix that Boeing is rolling out, which must still receive approval from the Federal Aviation Administration and other regulators.The Associated Press read more

UN endeavours to ensure that children have a say in climate change

Some 100 heads of State and government are gathering at UN Headquarters in New York today for a meeting on global warming convened by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who hopes that the event will generate political momentum towards ‘sealing the deal’ in the Danish capital in December on an ambitious agreement on curbing greenhouse gas emissions.“But the issue of children is very easily overlooked,” according to Ken Maskall, a special advisor for the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF). Texts being negotiated by nations, he said, include “scant reference to children.”Characterizing climate change as an issue of “intergenerational justice,” which exacerbates already existing problems such as poverty, inequity and degraded environments, he emphasized that “if we’re failing to act, we’re doing harm and infringing upon the rights of future generations.”According to the World Health Organization (WHO), children bear a disproportionate burden of disease caused by environmental factors, exacerbated by social and economic conditions such as conflict, poverty and malnutrition. Although they account for only 10 per cent of the global population, children under the age of five are victims of over 40 per cent of serious health risks resulting from environmental hazards, WHO said. Diarrhoeal diseases also claim almost 2 million children’s lives yearly, with most cases related to environmental conditions, such as contaminated water and inadequate conditions.Global warming poses health risks – triggering catastrophic weather events, affecting food and water supplies, increasing air pollution and leading to the emergence of new infectious disease outbreaks – and will likely have the greatest impact on developing nations, which are the least able to cope and respond, according to the agency.UN experts, however, point to health indicators as only one benchmark of measuring global warming’s impact on children.“You have to look at the cumulative impact of climate change, which sets off a chain of reactions,” including aggravating poverty and malnutrition, said Maaike Jansen, who works as a Programme Officer for the UN Environment Programme (UNEP).These, in turn, she said, could potentially interfere with a child’s mental development and educational achievements, leaving lasting effects.Mitigation measures to curb greenhouse gas emissions are vital, Ms. Jansen pointed out. Equally crucial are adaptation strategies, ranging from improving disaster risk reduction activities, such as teaching children how to swim, improved water management and creating drought-resistant crops.An end to “development as usual” is necessary to tackle climate change, said Lucy Stone, Climate Change Project Manager for UNICEF in the United Kingdom.“All development now will have to factor in how to adapt to the changing climate” by erecting homes away from flood zones and hurricane-proofing buildings, among other measures, as well as how to move towards a low-carbon society, where renewable forms of energy replace fossil fuels as the main sources of energy, she noted.World leaders are discussing the future of the war against global warming today and nations are gearing up towards Copenhagen, but children hold the “moral card” in the climate debate since they are the ones who will live with the decisions made now, Ms. Stone underscored.Behavioural change can only be brought about by children, Mr. Maskall said, stressing the value of empowering kids and of environmental education targeted for young people. “Children want to be taken seriously, and there is a new generation of young activists using all available media technology and increasingly are going to play a more forceful role in changing direction of debate,” he predicted.UN agencies, including UNICEF, UNEP and the UN Development Programme (UNDP), are supporting an initiative called Unite for Climate, which seeks to heighten youth actions in finding solutions to global warming.That scheme aims to swell the number of children involved in the fighting climate change, as well as bring together various climate campaigns from around the world.Last month, the largest-ever youth climate change conference, organized by UNEP, was held in the Republic of Korea, with the 800 young participants pledging to plough ahead with efforts to ensure that global warming remains an international priority.During the week-long Tunza International Youth Conference on Climate Change, young people agreed on regional action plans calling for, among other measures, reaching out to other environmental groups, educating others about the upcoming Copenhagen conference and utilizing social networking sites, such as Twitter and Facebook, to spread the message. “There are a lot of indigenous cultures that are losing, because nobody wants to hear what we want to say, what we know about mother earth, and it is frustrating for us because we have so many things to share and the world doesn’t listen to us,” said Yaiguili Alvarado Garcia from the Kuna indigenous group in Panama. “There are many things we asked the governments to do and we know it is hard, but we want to work with them. We just want to make a better place for the children, for the animals and plants. It is about time we stop thinking just for us and think also for other beings that cannot speak for themselves. It is time to stop being selfish,” she added. 22 September 2009As negotiations for a new climate change agreement to be reached in Copenhagen, Denmark, at the end of the year enter their final stretch, the United Nations is continuing its push to ensure that the voices and needs of children – among the most vulnerable to global warming – are not ignored. read more

Brock nursing team enters Alzheimer Society walk

A group of future nurses from Brock is entering a team in the Alzheimer Society of Niagara Walk for Memories this weekend.Under the banner of “Brock’s Future Nurses,” the team is led by student Michelle Richardson. Fourth-year student Samantha Micsinszki is participating, as is Lynn McCleary, associate professor of Nursing.The walk is an annual event to raise money for programs at the Alzheimer Society of Niagara. The walk will be Sunday, Jan. 29 at the Pen Centre.Click here to sponsor the Brock team.

Environment the focus of market fair on campus

Gardening, beekeeping and renewable energy will be among the many topics highlighted during an event on campus Saturday, Oct. 28.The Let’s Learn Together Market Fair, taking place at Pond Inlet from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., will bring together experts and community leaders to discuss waste management, water conservation and other environment-related concepts and activities.The free family-friendly market fair is hosted by the Niagara Farm Project, in conjunction with Brock Student Life and Community Experience, Healthy Kids Niagara, Textile Waste Diversion and Social Enterprise Niagara.Various community organizations will have booths set up to provide information and will be running a series of workshops throughout the afternoon.Participants are encouraged to bring seeds to be include in the Niagara Wide Seed Library, as well as healthy nonperishable food items to support Niagara Farm Project’s food drive and low-cost food program.Gently-used clothing donations will also be accepted for a clothing drive organized by Textile Waste Diversion.For more information, visit the Let’s Learn Together Market Fair Facebook page. read more

Sir Isaac Brocks birthday celebration Thursday

PRE-SEASON BASKETBALL GAMEThe Brock men’s basketball team will be hosting St. Francis Xavier from Nova Scotia for their first pre-season game at 7 p.m. in Bob Davis gym. Tickets are available at the door. Let’s show the east coast that the Badgers are the best fans in Canada.Top 5 facts about Major-General Sir Isaac Brock:He was born on October 6, 1768 on the Island of Guernsey, one of Britain’s channel islands.Brock University offers an annual Brock Guernsey Undergraduate Scholarship to a resident of Guernsey, commemorating Isaac Brock’s place of birth.He is remembered for his distinctive British red coat and white trousers.Most of the portraits of Isaac Brock are artists’ impressions. Only two are known to be authentic, or done during his lifetime.Before passing in the War of 1812, he was reported to have told his comrades ‘Surgite!’, Latin for ‘push on’ – the motto for Brock University. A grand celebration fit for the hero of Upper Canada.Brock University invites all members of the community to join in celebrating Major-General Sir Isaac Brock’s 247th birthday on Oct. 6.The second-annual event kicks off at 12:30 p.m. in front of the statue with free cupcakes, lawn games, live music and performances and the singing of Happy Birthday.Miniature paper models of Sir Isaac BrockMiniature paper models of Sir Isaac Brock himself will also be given away.The party doesn’t stop there, as more events are being hosted on-campus to turn the birthday party into a day-long celebration.RED DAYFaculty, staff and students are encouraged to wear red Thursday in honour of Brock’s big day.SOCIAL MEDIAShare your Brock statue selfies and use the hashtag #Surgite on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. read more

Ohio State baseball swept at home by Illinois

Sophomore right-handed pitcher Travis Lakins (1) delivers a pitch against Illinois on May 2, 2015. OSU lost, 6-5.Credit: Elliot Gilfix / For The LanternWhile the No. 25 Ohio State baseball team is enjoying its best season in several years, a weekend visit from the No. 7 Illinois Fighting Illini stood as a harsh reminder of who the class of the Big Ten is.Illinois (40-6-1, 16-1) won its 19th, 20th and 21st consecutive games with a weekend sweep of the Buckeyes (31-13, 12-6) at Bill Davis Stadium.OSU, looking to salvage the series with a win on Sunday, knocked in a run in each of the first two innings to grab an early 2-0 lead. However, that would be all they would muster off of one of the nation’s top pitching staffs.The Buckeyes were shut out by the Illini the rest of the way, and Illinois scored one in the third and two in the fourth to grab a 3-2 lead. It would remain that way until the top of the sixth, when Illinois blew it open with a three-run inning.A throwing error by OSU senior left-hander Ryan Riga put Illinois up by two runs, and a two-run single made it 6-2, which stood as the final score.Riga, who came into the game second on OSU’s staff in earned-run average, was hit hard to the tune of six runs, nine hits and three walks in six innings. He dropped to 5-3 on the year with the loss.Saturday’s contest was a back-and-forth affair in which the Buckeyes came up just a little short.OSU, just as they would the following afternoon, jumped out to a 2-0 lead after two innings, scoring a run in each of the first two frames. The score remained that way until the fifth inning, when Illinois took advantage of two OSU errors to grab a 3-2 lead.The Buckeyes would answer immediately, as just two batters into the bottom of the frame, the game was tied.Sophomore outfielder Troy Montgomery scored freshman outfielder Tre’ Gantt from first with a double. Montgomery then came in on a two-out RBI single by sophomore outfielder Ronnie Dawson to put the Buckeyes back ahead.Just like the Illini lead, however, that would prove to be short-lived.A three-run top of the sixth put Illinois up 6-4 and chased OSU sophomore right-handed pitcher Travis Lakins from the game.While the Buckeyes would add a run in the bottom of the seventh to make it a one-run game, they ran into the nearly impenetrable force that is Illinois preseason second-team All-American, junior left-hander Tyler Jay.Jay, who is second in the nation with a 0.73 ERA, worked 2.1 innings, allowing just one hit for his ninth save of the season to preserve the 6-5 victory.Unfortunately for the Buckeyes, the man who is just a tick behind Jay at third in the nation in ERA also resides in Champaign.Junior left-hander Kevin Duchene actually raised his 0.74 season ERA with an eight-inning, three-hit, one-run domination of OSU in Friday night’s series opener.The Buckeyes fell behind 4-0 after two innings, as OSU sophomore left-hander Tanner Tully was ineffective against the Illinois bats.Tully, the 2014 Big Ten Freshman of the Year, surrendered eight earned runs in five innings.The Illini outhit OSU 13-4 and featured four hitters with multi-hit performances.OSU’s bullpen was a highlight of the weekend for the home team, as five Buckeye relievers combined for 10.2 shutout innings in the three games, allowing just six hits.Over 2,000 fans were in attendance at Bill Davis Stadium for each of the three weekend contests, OSU’s three largest home crowds of the season.The Buckeyes will look to get back on the winning side with a pair of nonconference in-state matchups. They are set to travel to Oxford, Ohio, to take on Miami (Ohio) on Tuesday before heading south to Cincinnati to take on the Bearcats the following night. Both games are scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. read more

Knotweed The unstoppable scourge of British gardens

first_imgThe Reverend Grenville Fisher stands at the graveyard at Mynyddbach Chapel, which has recently been treated for Japanese knotweed Knotweed engulfs a public footpath in SwanseaCredit:Mark Griffiths The only thing it has to  do is grow, which it does, up to four inches a day in summer Her husband, Bill, a butcher, 69, discovered knotweed on a piece of land he owned near their home in Stourbridge, West Midlands, earlier this year. ‘He’d had the land for 30 years and then it [knotweed] just suddenly appeared. He didn’t recognise it immediately. But then he went on the internet.  ‘Bill’s biggest worry was the financial aspect,’ she continues. ‘That if the knotweed encroached on neighbouring land, he would be liable. Towards the end he was desperate. He thought we’d have nothing left.’An alarming invasionThe couple had raised four children (now aged between 20 and 30) and had bought their house in the 1990s. On February 13 this year, he went to work. Later that day, he was found at home having attempted suicide. He died the following day in hospital. It’s likely the suicide was an expression of a deeper problem. Helen says her  husband had ‘occasionally’ suffered from depression before. But she is convinced the precipitating event was the knotweed. ‘Bill was a very strong character. But this was something he couldn’t cope with.This was something he didn’t have an answer to. He couldn’t sleep. He could hardly eat. He just spiralled downwards.’ Japanese knotweed first arrived in Britain in a box of 40 Chinese and Japanese plants delivered to the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew, west London, on August 9, 1850. ‘Plant number 34’ was a simple shrub with reddish, hollow canes and heart-shaped leaves on a bowing stem. Fallopia japonica was disseminated throughout the UK by the fashion for ‘wild’ gardens – a departure from the Victorian craze for regimented carpet bedding.  There are two methods of killing knotweed: poison (it can take five years of repeated applications, costs around £2,000, and shoots can still rise from a plant you thought you’d killed years earlier); and digging it out completely. This means excavating to a depth of at least two metres and taking the resulting earth to a  specially designated landfill. The remaining soil may have to be lined with a heavy-duty plastic membrane.This can cost upwards of £10,000, even for a domestic property. A source of excitement in recent years has been biological control – using natural enemies to keep knotweed in check. The key was to find an insect that only fed on knotweed and didn’t attack any of the UK’s native plant species. Dr Shaw and his team at Cabi tested nine insects and whittled it down to one – the psyllid  . Releases have been made annually since  2010. But the bug, a sap-sucker, has not adjusted well to the UK. ‘It has got all the characteristics of a successful agent: it lasts a long time; it  produces hundreds of eggs; but it’s not taking off and we don’t know why,’ Shaw explains. ‘It might be because it’s been 140 years under a Japanese summer and then it’s suddenly thrown out in Berkshire in the spring.’ The plan is to collect new stock from Japan. ‘Quite often these things lose their mojo when they’re in the lab,’ he says. Shaw is also investigating a second control agent: a leaf-spot fungus. In the meantime, knotweed professionals worry about an impending  cataclysm that will result in unimaginable amounts of knotweed, possibly in our own lifetime. Fallopia japonica (a female plant) has already cross-bred with her cousin, the less intrusive giant knotweed. ‘You can get all sorts of hybrids back-crossing with Japanese knotweed and  the danger is that we will eventually end up with male Japanese knotweed,’ explains Brian Taylor, who runs The Knotweed Company, a firm specialising in knotweed eradication, based in Daventry, Northamptonshire. The weed’s seeds, which are currently barren,  would, effectively, be switched on.   In 1823, Philip Franz von Siebold, a Bavarian doctor and ethnologist, was appointed  doctor-in-residence for a community of Dutch traders based in Dejima, a man-made island in the harbour of Nagasaki, in Japan. At this time Japan was a closed country with wide-ranging restrictions on the activities of foreigners (for example, learning to read  and write Japanese was against the law). But Siebold’s medical skill won him influential  contacts and he was granted unprecedented access to the country.For the next five years, Siebold, with a commercial objective, secretly collected specimens (plants, animals, objects).  On September 18, 1828, as he prepared to sail for Europe with 89 crates of illicit goods, a storm forced the ship aground. Siebold hid  the precious specimens in false-bottomed flower boxes.  The ship sailed but Siebold was detained, interrogated and later banished  from Japan for life.  He moved to Antwerp, in Belgium, and then to the Netherlands, where he tracked down  his scattered collection.In 1842, he opened  a nursery in Leiden and began to market his collection of ‘exotic’ plants across Europe. And so it was that in 1850 he sent an unsolicited package to Kew Gardens. At the time of Siebold’s death in 1866, his nursery boasted 1,000 different species and varieties of plants. When FW Burbidge and  P Barr, two well-known English horticulturalists, visited the nursery in 1883, they found a neglected jungle, overrun by just one plant: Japanese knotweed.  Some would go a bit further and put a bit of diesel on it. They’d say, “Whatever I do, it just comes back.”’ Three years ago, he decided to investigate. ‘Some of the infestations had reached the point where the tenants were unable to enjoy their gardens,’ he reveals. One garden was two-thirds knotweed. In 2013, Sawyer decided he needed to  spearhead what he describes as a ‘strategic approach’ and ask his board for funding.  I wonder how difficult it was to get money  for what some might say is just a weed. ‘They’d gone beyond that. They know it’s the dark force,’ he replies.  He asked for £90,000 and got £15,000 a year, for a five-year programme of repeated applications of herbicide in 25 properties.  ‘What worries me is we’re just tinkering at the margins,’ he admits. ‘Knotweed will develop. We’ve seen how it spreads and it’s very aggressive. We don’t have the budget to deal with the entire estate. We are treating 25 properties. Next year I know there will be 35, and the year after there will be 45. We can probably add 10 every year.It’s almost like trying to resist gravity. It has taken over the valleys.  It’s not a battle that we are ever going to win.  ‘In the quiet hours of the morning when I can’t sleep and I think of all the roofs leaking, all the central heating I need to put in, I’m  now thinking about knotweed and how we have got properties that back on to council-owned land and private land. We are trying to do our bit, but unless every landowner is prepared to do theirs, it’s no good. And we have very little control over private landowners, and almost no working relationship with the  council because they say they are almost  skint. Meanwhile I am just watching this vast army advance towards us.’ Knotweed leaves absorb the summer sun Credit:Mark Griffiths Taylor goes on to present compelling evidence of knotweed’s growing immunity to  herbicides, which is another worry. Taylor  is interesting to listen to, if unbelievably  alarming. ‘If we’re to get evolution and resistance, what could we do?’ he asks. ‘We are  literally just looking at excavation as a  control measure.’  I meet Sean Hathaway, an agile, fleece- wearing man, in mid-August – when the knotweed is starting to produce frilly, white blossomy flowers. ‘One of its few benefits – if it has any – is bees love it,’ he says.The battle continuesHathaway works for Swansea council and is known locally as the ‘knotweed officer’, owing to his 20-year battle with the plant.  Swansea, Wales’s second city, has for decades now been beset by knotweed. Its history of copper mining and processing, combined with widespread redevelopment in the 1960s and 1970s, when derelict factories were turned into enterprise parks and shopping centres, is, Hathaway suspects, behind the apparently unstoppable infestation. Officially, Swansea has around 250 acres of knotweed. But the last survey was done back in 1998. He describes the battle against knotweed  as ‘stable’. Every year he poisons a few thousand square metres, every year it takes hold elsewhere. He takes me on a tour of knotweed sites. This includes a very considerable hillside, rising from the site of an old quarry, not far from the city centre, which is so uniformly green it’s hard to tell from a distance what is knotweed and what is not. Close-up I realise it is all knotweed. Knotweed leaves absorb the summer sun Denise Rees in the graveyard at Caersalem Chapel,Swansea:  she struggles to find the graves of her parents because of the knotweed infestationCredit:Mark Griffiths The potential cost of trying to eradicate the plant in Britain has been estimated at more than £1.25 billioncenter_img Knotweed engulfs a public footpath in Swansea It’s almost like trying to resist gravity. It has taken over the valleys.  It’s not a battle that we are ever going to win Denise Rees in the graveyard at Caersalem Chapel,Swansea:  she struggles to find the graves of her parents because of the knotweed infestation In the mid-1800s, when Japanese knotweed was a ‘new’ exotic species just becoming available here, gardeners were urged to consider its benefits. It was reliable, hardy and had ‘great vigour’. It was fodder for cattle (untrue), a reliable screen for the outdoor privy; its underground stems or rhizomes were an effective means of stabilising sand dunes and, especially versatile, its canes could be used to make matches. ‘A capital plant for the small town garden,’ wrote John Wood, who went on to open a nursery in Leeds.Today, Japanese knotweed is Britain’s most destructive invasive plant, costing around £166 million a year to clear and control. It cracks through roads, undermines buildings, eats up property values. It is deeply disgruntling to wildlife: insects can’t feed off it; birds rarely build nests in it. But the animal it most clearly affects is us.  Birmingham couple Nasreen and Sajid Akhtar claimed recently that they were unable to sell their home, after an infestation of Japanese knotweed in a neighbour’s garden. Despite 20 viewings with three estate agents, they could not to find a buyer.It was only when they tried to remortgage the terraced house – and were turned down – that they learnt the reason why. The weed was threatening the foundations of their property, meaning that no bank would lend against it. The couple were now ‘in limbo’, according to Nasreen. ‘It is putting my future and my children’s future on hold and it is totally out of control.’ ‘It does seem trivial but for some people it has become a big worry,’ says Helen Jones, 60. ‘It’s choked everything else,’ he says, explaining the harm that would have come to the shrubs and grasses. ‘It is impressive,’ admits Hathaway, who, like many who make a living killing or studying Fallopia japonica, is simultaneously horrified and awed by its power.  The council received its first knotweed  complaint in 1970. But since 2012, mortgage lenders have started rejecting loans outright if knotweed is found on a property (even an infestation on a neighbouring property can be enough to put them off). Liz Wakeman, a project manager from Bristol, had a great-aunt who lived in Swansea. ‘She was bedridden with quite severe dementia and about 18 months ago, it got to the stage where we had no option but to get her into a nursing home. So we decided to sell her house to raise money for her care,’ she explains. The estate agent went to value the property.  ‘He called me,’ Wakeman recalls, ‘and said, “You’ve got a massive problem.”’ After enlightening her about the knotweed, the estate agent estimated the value of the house – not £100,000 or so, as Wakeman had anticipated, but £45,000. ‘Unfortunately, I don’t think people understand the impact not only on property prices but also on what it’s doing to their property. When we got Environet [a firm specialising in the eradication of Japanese knotweed] to do the first treatment and they cut it back, we saw the extent of the damage: there was a wall at the bottom of my great-aunt’s garden and the knotweed had literally pulled it over.’  After treatment (costing £10,000) the house sold for £73,000. Wakeman’s great-aunt died while the sale was going through. ‘Some of the neighbours have got it up to their back door and they don’t seem to care,’ she says. The Reverend Grenville Fisher stands at the graveyard at Mynyddbach Chapel, which has recently been treated for Japanese knotweed Credit:Mark Griffiths Half a mile away, on Llangyfelach Road, is Caersalem Newydd Baptist Chapel. Denise Rees, 75, has been a member of the church since she was a child and she swears  knotweed has been in the churchyard for as long. ‘As children we used to go up there, cut off a piece and use the tube as a pea-shooter,’ she says. ‘Many years ago, when we had more members, the youngsters used to go up and try to clear it. But they never got rid of it. And now it’s just got worse and worse.’  The knotweed is so advanced it has smashed up gravestones and tipped them over, like a violent intruder.For the past two years, the  congregation of 40 has funded a professional knotweed killer out of the collection money. But the cost – £700 so far – only covers the lower end of work. ‘My parents are buried right at the top and my grandmother’s grave is next door,’ says Rees. ‘We try to keep it clear, so we can visit. My husband sprays it with Roundup [the systemic herbicide], but it’s awful.’   Thirty or so miles north-east of Swansea is the valley town of Merthyr Tydfil, once a centre of iron production and now one of the 10 most deprived areas in Wales.Mark Sawyer works for  Merthyr Valley Homes, the social-housing company, and is responsible for 4,200 houses and flats  in the area.   He’d been receiving knotweed complaints for some years, but, initially, placed the blame on the tenants. ‘When a tenant says, “I’ve got weeds in my garden,” you tend to think, well cut them back then. Or look after your garden, because we don’t provide that service. We do roofs, kitchens, bathrooms.  ‘And the tenants would say, “Well I have been cutting it back.” The only thing it has to  do is grow, which it does, up to four inches a day in summer.  The other problem is the ease with which it spreads – not by seed, the plant is infertile. It reproduces by regenerating its rhizomes, which creep out horizontally deep underground, and sends up shoots. And even a tiny bit of rhizome (just 0.7g, the size of a fingernail) can generate a new infestation. ‘We are a small island with a lot of people and we move soil around a lot – to build roads, develop brownfield sites – and that is how it spreads,’ points out Dr Richard Shaw, regional coordinator for invasive species, at the Centre for Agricultural Bioscience International (Cabi), an intergovernmental research organisation. ‘The main issue is redistribution through human intervention. ‘It’s definitely spreading and the spread is exponential,’ he continues. It is also a problem across Europe and America, but is more extreme in Britain.   The potential cost of trying to eradicate the plant in Britain has been estimated at more than £1.25 billion (just clearing it from the 10 acres of the Olympic Park for the London Olympics in 2012, cost more than £70 million). Last year, George Eustice, an environment minister, said there were ‘no plans to attempt a national eradication’ because of the cost. Combatting the enemy‘Our strategy is really focused on trying to stop the next Japanese knotweed from getting into the country and from spreading,’ says Olaf Booy, technical coordinator of the Non-Native Species Secretariat, a team based within the Animal and Plant Health Agency, which works on behalf of the Government. ‘But the Government is investing in a bio-control agent [more about this later] and has been helping to fund local groups that are dealing with Japanese knotweed,’ he adds. Defra (the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs) spent £1.5 million on such groups from 2011 to 2015. It is currently employing a Local Action Groups coordinator to assist with  funding bids.  ‘We ought not to forget the quick growing ways of the great Japan Knotweeds growing fast and tall,’ wrote Gertrude Jekyll, the influential horticulturalist, in a 1900 edition of Home and Garden. Jekyll thought it was an excellent flanking plant for a woodland walk. And when, inevitably, the weed breached the garden walls, and began to run amok in someone else’s garden, break into someone else’s drains, qualifications began to creep in. Japanese knotweed, warned William Robinson, the Victorian gardener, in 1898, ‘…springs up everywhere’.Nevertheless, it was sold as a fashionable exotic until the 1930s.  It was first spotted growing in the wild in Maesteg, a small town in south Wales. Japanese knotweed, noted John Storrie, a curator at Cardiff Museum, in The Flora of Cardiff (1886),  was ‘very abundant on the cinder tips’ near the town. It has since colonised just about every corner of the British Isles (with hotspots in London, Wales, Cornwall and the West Country), growing in all sorts of places plants are not supposed to grow: sandy, salty beaches; heavy asphalt; swamps and marshes. The source of its almost supernatural resilience lies in its native habitat – it was dug up from volcanic fumeroles, outcrops of volcanic ash, near Nagasaki, where it thrived amid lava and poisonous gases owing to an extensive network of underground stems (rhizomes) that sucked up the limited nutrients available.  But in Japan it has enemies, specifically 186 bugs and about 40 fungi. Here, it luxuriates in being predator-free. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings.last_img read more