The origin for the term leap year is derived from the Medieval Latin saltus lunae or “moon’s-jump,” which describes the nineteen-yearly elimination of a day from the lunar calendar. Later, this was transposed into Old English as monan hlyp or “moon’s leap.”
(If you think this already sounds odd, consider the fact that September means “seven,” and October means “eight,” yet these are the ninth and tenth months.)
The Gregorian calendar, modified from the Julian calendar used by the Romans, is the current standard calendar used by most of the world. In order to keep the common calendar cycle synchronized with the seasons, one extra day is added to a year. The addition of one day to the calendar every four years is intended to compensate for the fact that 365 days is actually six hours shorter than a solar year. The other three years are now known as common years.
Other calendars that synchronize with the Gregorian calendar include the Indian National calendar, the revised Bangla calendar and the Thai solar calendar, which uses the Buddhist Era (a lunisolar calendar) but has been synchronized with the Gregorian calendar since 1941.
If your birthday falls on a leap day, you’re called a “leaper.” A tradition dating back over four centuries holds that on a leap day, a woman may propose to a man. If the man refuses said proposal, according to some stories, he must pay a fine of a kiss or a silk gown.
Weakening Juan Hits Canada’s East Coast
AP Online September 29, 2003
AP Online 09-29-2003 Dateline: HALIFAX, Nova Scotia
A surfer watches the the surf at Lawrencetown Beach near Halifax on Sunday, Sept. 28, 2003. Hurricane Juan is expected to hit Nova Scotia later in the day.(AP Photo/Andrew Vaughan) Hurricane Juan lashed Nova Scotia with winds and torrential rains, killing at least one person and knocking out power to thousands before being downgraded to a tropical storm early Monday as it churned toward Prince Edward Island.
Hundreds of residents were evacuated from low-lying areas and Nova Scotia’s power authority warned people to stay indoors Monday because falling trees had knocked down a “terrific” number of still-live power lines. in our site category 1 hurricane
Halifax, the largest city on Canada’s east coast, received the brunt of Juan’s punch with wind speeds reaching 89 mph early Monday.
“It was quite a fantastic event,” said Carolyn Marshall, spokeswoman at Canada’s Hurricane Centre in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia.
At least one death was blamed on the storm. An ambulance driver was killed when an uprooted tree crushed his vehicle near the Camp Hill Hospital in Halifax, officials said.
In nearby Dartmouth, fierce winds tore off an apartment building’s roof and knocked down a wall in a hallway, trapping about three people inside, firefighters said. Police dug through the rubble but reported no injuries.
“We’re not sure how stable it is and we’re not taking any chances,” said fire chief Tim Bookholt. “It’s been a busy night. I hope the worst of it is over.” At least 200 residents were evacuated from the four-story building _ many of them seniors _ and bused to a local hockey arena as a temporary shelter.
In Halifax, the swirling storm system knocked out power to significant areas as downed tree limbs cartwheeled through city streets and damaged cars.
The exact number of people left without electricity wasn’t known early Monday, but it was “in the thousands,” said Margaret Murphy, a spokeswoman for Nova Scotia Power.
Audrey Russell, from the coastal town of Eastern Passage, grabbed a tooth brush, toothpaste, her cat and some clothes and then headed for refuge in a nearby firehall.
“I was kind of worried, so I didn’t want to stay around too long,” Russell said.
Juan was downgraded to a Category 1 hurricane earlier Sunday and had lost some of its ferocity by the time it reached cooler waters off Nova Scotia. A Category 1 hurricane has winds ranging from 74 to 95 mph. see here category 1 hurricane
In 1996, when Hurricane Hortense brushed past Halifax, the storm surge topped three feet, and winds uprooted trees and left tens of thousands without power. Tropical storms routinely soak Atlantic Canada each summer and autumn, but a full-fledged hurricane making landfall is rare.
Juan arrives a week after Hurricane Isabel hit the U.S. coast, killing 40 people from North Carolina to New Jersey and knocking out electrical service to 6 million customers as far north as New York.
Meanwhile, at 4:45 a.m. EDT, Tropical Storm Kate swirled in the Atlantic far from land. Its center was about 970 miles southwest of Lajes in the Azores Islands. Kate had maximum sustained winds near 65 mph and was moving toward the northeast near 14 mph.
The Atlantic hurricane season began June 1 and runs through Nov. 30.
Public interest is ill-defined in Walmart case zz Treasury calls for regulation of foreign direct investment.
The Star (South Africa) July 22, 2011 Everyone, it seems, has a view on Walmart. The views vary between the belief that Walmart’s arrival in South Africa is good news as it will bring low prices to consumers, and the opposing view that the cost of those low prices will be the destruction of South Africa’s manufacturing capacity, as well as the annihilation of small- and medium-sized retail operators. web site walmart price match
Those who believe that Walmart represents the ugly face of capitalism don’t put much store by the allure of Walmart’s cheap prices; they believe that those prices will be on offer only until Walmart, through its local agent Massmart, has got rid of the competition.
However, the pro-Walmart camp counters this belief, stating that not only is there sufficiently robust competition in South Africa to restrain Walmart’s aggressive instincts, there is also a Competition Act and competition authorities that will ensure Walmart will not be able to abuse its power.
Ironically, although representatives of poorer and smaller communities tend to fall into the anti-Walmart camp, the pro-Walmart establishment can frequently be heard proclaiming the benefits of Walmart’s prices for the poor of this country.
It is hardly surprising that Walmart generates so much passion – you don’t get to be the biggest retailer in the world without stirring some emotions and creating a few myths.
During the past week’s Parliamentary hearings alone, the portfolio committee on economic development heard that Walmart’s entry was behind the proposed retrenchment of over 3 000 workers at Pick n Pay, Woolworths’ increased level of imports and the 10-year-old demise of Metro Cash & Carry. This exaggerates even Walmart’s grand view of itself.
Of course the sad reality for the government is that, whatever the views of the average consumer, the full impact of Walmart’s entry into this country can only be known five or so years down the road.
Right now the only unquestionable beneficiaries of the Walmart-Massmart merger are the senior executives with share options who immediately benefit to the tune of a few hundred million rands.
In stark contrast is the uncertainty facing the general economy. If in five years time our manufacturing capacity has failed to compete with the Walmart price, it may be too late for the government to do anything.
And despite the great faith in our competition authorities, the reality is that Walmart’s scope to price competitors out of the market cannot be challenged by those authorities. The Competition Act only prohibits “predatory pricing” if it involves pricing at below cost.
Walmart’s enormous buying power and the Chinese government’s subsidisation of Chinese-made goods means that the cost of China-sourced goods is incredibly low.
Another sad, or certainly challenging, reality for the government is that some of its most powerful constituents are among the vocal opponents to Walmart’s entry.
There is much at stake in Walmart’s entry to South Africa. And it may be because the stakes are so high that the three government departments have been prepared to pursue a high-risk strategy.
However, this strategy not only creates the impression of a government with a disjointed industrial policy but threatens to undermine the credibility of one of the most effective of the post-1994 institutions, namely the competition authorities. here walmart price match
In the latter regard, one of the most damning sections of the “three ministers” affidavit supporting this week’s application for review of the Competition Tribunal’s decision is the suggestion that the Competition Commission only recommended unconditional approval of the deal because it believed the Economic Development Department had secured or was on the verge of securing “public interest” undertakings from Walmart.
This suggests that the commission is in thrall to its political master and lacks the necessary independence to do its job effectively.
But perhaps the critical question to ask here is: why are the competition authorities having to carry the enormous burden of expectations in this case? Why were they being asked to determine the outcome of a case that has profound and broad implications for this economy? And, while struggling with this burden, they are being squeezed, almost to death, by opportunistic politicians.
It was already evident in the run-up to the tribunal hearings that competition issues played a relatively small role in this merger. This meant that all the other issues, about which so many people feel so passionately, had to be squeezed into that catch-all term “public interest”, a term in the Competition Act that had previously never been vigorously interrogated. Inevitably some people were going to be disappointed and frustrated. As it happened those people had political clout.
It is clear that we need what most leading economies have – a policy regulating foreign investment. Without it we get the sort of messy opportunism that characterises the current attempts to deal with this controversial transaction.
To date only the Treasury has ventured into this arena. It recently released a discussion document relating to the need to regulate certain forms of foreign direct investment. There appears to have been little follow through.
Meanwhile, will Walmart bow to the pressure from the three departments and offer up a few more face-saving concessions or brazen it out and proceed with what is likely to be a lengthy appeal process?
The appeal does not stop the two companies from continuing to implement the merger, although it could delay any action with the R100 million fund to support small suppliers.
Walmart may not be able to concede anything more for fear of setting a precedent to which it does not want to be held as it continues to develop its international operations.
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