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St. Louis Blues hold 15th annual blood drive

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St. Louis Blues hold 15th annual blood drive

ST. LOUIS — For those fans who have said they bleed blue, today was a chance to show it. The St. Louis Blues Blood Drive kicked off at noon Thursday.

“I know there is a blood shortage,” said Kevin Bersing, who donated blood at Enterprise Center. “I’ve been reading about that, and if there’s sick people, then I’m willing to give.”

This is the 15th consecutive year the Blues, the American Red Cross, Bally Sports Midwest, and Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield have asked fans to roll up their sleeves.

“This is our annual Blues Blood Drive where we have a lot of people who are always excited to get our T-shirts come out and get a chance to win an autographed puck today,” said Sharon Watson, the regional communications director for American Red Cross Missouri & Arkansas. “Then also, during the month of January, you have a chance to win tickets to the Super Bowl. So, a lot of incentives to come out to the drive today.”

A specially designed yellow St. Louis Blues T-shirt was given to fans who donated, while supplies lasted.

From Enterprise Center to Centene Community Center in Maryland Heights to American Legion Post 365 in Collinsville, Illinois, St. Louisans willing to brave the cold decided to help a good cause.

Blood supplies have been low nationwide, and the American Red Cross and area hospitals are asking individuals to consider donating blood.

“We have a blood crisis,” said Watson. “Basically, since January 11 we announced we are seeing a shortage of less than a day’s supply of blood available to hospitals to be able to use.”

Thursday, more than 900 people registered to give at least one unit, or a pint, of blood as part of the Blues Blood Drive.

The American Red Cross of Missouri and Arkansas said they’re seeing a 10 percent drop in donations across the country because of the pandemic.

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Wisconsin Republicans agree on ‘no endorsement’ option for governor’s race

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Wisconsin Republicans agree on ‘no endorsement’ option for governor’s race

MIDDLETON, Wis. — Wisconsin Republicans agreed Saturday to have a “no endorsement” option when voting on whether to throw the party’s official backing behind a candidate in the hotly contested governor’s race.

The top candidates in the governor’s race were slated to make their pitch later Saturday for an endorsement to more than 1,500 delegates attending the annual convention near Madison. But first, under pressure from those who argued the party shouldn’t back any candidate before the Aug. 9 primary, delegates voted to have an option of not endorsing.

Winning the endorsement requires support from 60% of delegates.

The party’s endorsement is important because it unlocks funding from the state party, which can then spend as much as it wants on the winner. Being united is all the more important when facing an incumbent such as Gov. Tony Evers in a race that’s a top priority for Democrats nationally.

The Republican Party has endorsed candidates since 2009, including the past three governor’s races. Winning that backing was crucial to U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson’s win in his first race in 2010. Johnson, who is up for reelection this year, focused his speech not on Democrats running against him but instead defending his record and attacking the media.

“I can’t even breathe without them taking my exhalation and distorting and twisting it,” Johnson said of the media. “My race is literally about the truth versus lies and distortion.”

He called for Republicans to unify to “defeat the radical left,” likening the upcoming election to the American Revolution and a “fight for freedom.” Johnson called on Republicans to run on issues such as backing law enforcement, growing the economy and protecting the border.

The gubernatorial candidates are former Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch, who polls show is the front-runner; construction business co-owner Tim Michels; business consultant and former Marine Kevin Nicholson; and state Rep. Timothy Ramthun.

Nicholson advocated for no endorsement, but he still wants his name in consideration.

Whether there is an endorsement or not, voters will decide who advances to face Evers in November. The primary is Aug. 9.

Beating Evers and reelecting Johnson are priorities for Wisconsin Republicans this year. But divisions within the party have been a distraction; Some Republicans have called for the ouster of Assembly Speaker Robin Vos for not pursuing former President Donald Trump’s false claims of election fraud vigorously enough.

All of the GOP gubernatorial candidates have questioned the legitimacy of President Joe Biden’s win in Wisconsin.

Ramthun, whose campaign for governor is focused on decertifying Biden’s win in 2020, said recently that Vos should be prosecuted over his response to the election.

Trump will hang heavy over the two-day convention. He hasn’t endorsed anyone in the governor’s race primary, but all of the main candidates except for Nicholson have met with him to try and get his blessing.

In addition to the governor’s race, Republicans will be voting on endorsements for statewide races for lieutenant governor, attorney general, secretary of state and treasurer. The state Democratic Party convention will be June 25 in La Crosse. Democrats do not endorse.

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Vocational Education receiving prime focus of J&K Govt; 70000 students of 9th to 12th being covered every year

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Vocational Education receiving prime focus of J&K Govt; 70000 students of 9th to 12th being covered every year

Vocational Education receiving prime focus of J&K Govt; 70000 students of 9th to 12th being covered every year

The move was aimed at to mainstream teacher education and curriculum reforms besides providing academic research, extension and training support in the field of school education throughout the UT.

According to official details, Skill Hub Initiative has also been implemented in 40 schools for out of school youth under Vocational Education. Vocational Education is being imparted in 714 Secondary and Senior Secondary Schools in 14 different trades across the UT. Besides, with inauguration of 626 Vocational labs by Lieutenant Governor, Manoj Sinha, the total number of this vital facility in J&K has reached to 850. The government is extending vocational education to 70000 students from 9th to 12th every year with most of them getting employment in their relevant fields.

As a part of National Education Policy (NEP), all the students of 6th to 8th have been mapped with vocational institutes to impart the basic skills of vocational education.

As part of NIPUN BHARAT MISSION, teaching learning material in the form of workbooks, worksheets and flash cards was provided to 522226 students of class I to V besides giving away resource material to 40318 primary teachers at a cost of Rs. 13.66 crore. Also, Rs. 4.03 crore were provided to DIETs to conduct training on FLN (Foundational Literacy and Numeracy) to make teachers abreast with new techniques of teaching.

Besides, 100 days reading campaign was conducted successfully in the UT of Jammu and Kashmir where more than 4 lakh students participated.

To take care of basic needs of schools ensuring that learning is not affected, Rs 45.94 crore were provided to 22250 schools as Composite School Grant varying from Rs 10000 to Rs 100000 per school, of which, Rs. 4.60 crore were spent on SWACHHTA activities in schools. Similarly, payment of Rs 47.29 crore was made through DBT into accounts of 788247 students of class I to VIII as cost of two stitched uniforms @ Rs 600 per student.

“Schools with high enrolment shall be developed as Smart Schools in the coming years, which shall be saturated with all the basic facilities, official informed. He added that there shall be no Gap in the Infrastructure and Sports facilities and teachers shall be imparted special trainings to enhance their academic standards.

To channelize youth energy, hone their personality and prepare them for future challenges, youth clubs are being formed in every panchayat of the UT with at least 5 members.

Similarly, sports and physical education grants of Rs 19.67 crore were provided to schools through district officers for procurement of sports equipment for the schools @ Rs 5000 for Primary Schools, Rs 10000 for UPS, and Rs 25000 for HS and HSS in 2021-22.

The post Vocational Education receiving prime focus of J&K Govt; 70000 students of 9th to 12th being covered every year appeared first on JK Breaking News.

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Australian Labor topples conservatives, PM faces early tests

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Australian Labor topples conservatives, PM faces early tests

By ROD McGUIRK

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Australia’s center-left opposition party toppled the conservative government after almost a decade in power, and Prime Minister-elect Anthony Albanese in his Saturday election victory speech promised sharper reductions in greenhouse gas emissions while he faces an early foreign policy test.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said he quickly conceded defeat despite millions of votes yet to be counted because an Australian leader must attended a Tokyo summit on Tuesday with U.S. President Joe Biden, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Albanese, who has described himself as the only candidate with a “non-Anglo Celtic name” to run for prime minister in the 121 years that the office has existed, referred to his own humble upbringing in the Sydney suburb of Camperdown.

“It says a lot about our great country that a son of a single mom who was a disability pensioner, who grew up in public housing down the road in Camperdown can stand before you tonight as Australia’s prime minister,” Albanese said.

“Every parent wants more for the next generation than they had. My mother dreamt of a better life for me. And I hope that my journey in life inspires Australians to reach for the stars,” he added.

Albanese will be sworn in as prime minister after his Labor party clenched its first electoral win since 2007.

Labor has promised more financial assistance and a robust social safety net as Australia grapples with the highest inflation since 2001 and soaring housing prices.

The party also plans to increase minimal wages, and on the foreign policy front, it proposed to establish a Pacific defense school to train neighboring armies in response to China’s potential military presence on the Solomon Islands on Australia’s doorstep.

It also wants to tackle climate change with a more ambitious 43% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 and net zero emissions by 2050.

Morrison’s Liberal party-led coalition was seeking a fourth three-year term. It held the narrowest of majorities — 76 seats in the 151-member House of Representatives, where parties need a majority to form a government. In early counting on Saturday, the coalition was on track to win 51 seats, Labor 72, 10 were unaligned lawmakers and 18 were too close to call.

The major parties bled votes to fringe parties and independents, which increases the likelihood of a hung parliament and a minority government.

Australia most recent hung parliaments were from 2010-13, and during World War II.

The minor Australian Greens party appeared to have increased its representation from a single seat to three.

The Greens supported a Labor minority government in 2010, and will likely support a Labor administration again if the party falls shott of a 76-seat majority.

As well as campaigning against Labor, Morrison’s conservative Liberals fought off a new challenge from so-called teal independent candidates to key government lawmakers’ reelection in party strongholds.

At least four Liberal lawmakers appeared to have lost their seats to teal independents including Liberal Party deputy leader Josh Frydenberg, who had been considered Morrison’s most likely successor.

“What we have achieved here is extraordinary,” teal candidate and former foreign correspondent Zoe Daniels said in her victory speech. “Safe Liberal seat. Two-term incumbent. Independent,” she added.

The teal independents are marketed as a greener shade than the Liberal Party’s traditional blue color and want stronger government action on reducing Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions than either the government or Labor are proposing.

The government’s Senate leader Simon Birmingham was concerned by big swings toward several teal candidates.

“It is a clear problem that we are losing seats that are heartland seats, that have defined the Liberal Party for generations,” Birmingham said.

“If we lose those seats — it is not certain that we will — but there is clearly a big movement against us and there is clearly a big message in it,” Birmingham added.

Due to the pandemic, around half of Australia’s 17 million electors have voted early or applied for postal votes, which will likely slow the count.

Early polling for reasons of travel or work began two weeks ago and the Australian Electoral Commission will continue collecting postal votes for another two weeks.

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