UK snow map: Brutal weather patterns to bring snow to Britain in wake of Storm Dennis

Temperatures are expected to drop after Storm Dennis moves on. Further unsettled weather and colder temperatures following the storm are likely to bring snow to the UK.

The aftermath of Storm Dennis will bring snow to higher ground in Scotland tomorrow and Tuesday, according to the latest WX Charts map.

The storm was dubbed a “weather bomb” because its pressure levels dropped dramatically in 24 hours.

Looking ahead, John Hammond of weathertrending said: “Dennis will usher in chilly north-westerly air with frequent wintry showers in the north.

“Computer models bring further wet weather from midweek in an ominously strengthening jet stream.”

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  • Weather radar LIVE maps: When will Storm Dennis stop?

Snow looks to be more widespread on Thursday with Net Weather showing most of the country at risk.

The snow risk map covers the entirety of the UK with the exception of eastern Scotland.

A WX Charts forecast shows the Highlands as the most likely to see snowfall at midday.

A Met Office spokesman said: “It turns colder after the weekend, with wintriness over northern hills.”

From Friday onwards, the Met Office says: “Unsettled and often windy conditions are expected to continue with areas of rain moving east across the UK interspersed with brighter, showery interludes.

“Rain is likely to be heaviest across western and especially northwestern areas with the driest and brightest weather across the east and southeast.

“Hail and thunder are also possible in the showery interludes with snow at times over northern hills.

“Temperatures will generally vary between near normal and mild as weather systems cross the country.

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  • Storm Ellen WARNING: Storm Dennis to be followed by ANOTHER system?

“Some brief quieter, colder spells are also likely with more in the way of night frost.

“These are more likely later in the period and could give snow showers more widely to low levels in the north.”

Monday 24th looks to be a chilly one for northern regions where an east to west band can be seen above Scotland and northern areas of England.

And there might be more storms on the horizon thanks to an Atlantic jet stream.

This month’s storms are being attributed to a powerful high-altitude Atlantic jet stream that has propelled the weather systems towards Britain.

The next name on the Met Office’s list is Ellen, and no February has had more than two named storms since they began naming them in 2015.

Weather maps indicate potential storms coming in on Thursday, Saturday and Sunday, as well as further ahead on February 26.

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Women still under-represented in Nova Scotia politics: ‘We need those voices’

The deputy mayor of Halifax, Nova Scotia’s deputy premier and the deputy prime minister of Canada are all women, but the number of females in elected positions in the Maritimes remains far lower than that of their male counterparts.

Women who have chosen a life in politics say more needs to be done to encourage others to let their voices be heard.

Of Halifax’s 17-person city council, only two are women, and only one-third of MLAs elected in the 2017 Nova Scotia General Election were female. Two of them have recently stepped down, lowering that figure even further.

Increased diversity of thinking, better focus on issues that affect women (who make up roughly half of the population) and more well-rounded decision-making are key reasons why female representation is a benefit for elected bodies.

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Clock's ticking for Nissan boss Uchida to show he has a plan: sources

TOKYO (Reuters) – Nissan’s new CEO Makoto Uchida doesn’t have time to work his way into the job. He is effectively on probation and has a matter of months to show he can revive the ailing automaker, according to three people familiar with the thinking of some on the company’s board.

The mission: the new boss must prove to the board he can accelerate cost-cutting and rebuild profits at the 86-year-old Japanese giant, and that he has the right strategy to repair its partnership with France’s Renault REN.PA, the sources told Reuters.

The pressure intensified on Thursday when Nissan, which has had a year of turmoil since the arrest and sacking of long-time leader Carlos Ghosn, posted its first quarterly net loss in nearly a decade and slashed its annual profit forecast.

One of the people familiar with the intentions of some on Nissan’s 10-member board said an assessment of Uchida’s efforts and a decision on his future would likely be made toward the middle of the year.

“Probation is more or less the right way to describe the situation Uchida is faced with, if not more serious,” the source said this week.

“In the worst-case scenario he could be shown the door.”

Uchida referred Reuters queries to Nissan about whether he had just months to demonstrate he could turn the carmaker around, whether board members were satisfied with his work, and his relationship with other senior executives.

The company rejected suggestions of Uchida’s uncertain circumstances as having “no factual basis”. “Effectively or otherwise, Uchida is absolutely not on probation,” a Yokohama-based spokesman added. “There does not exist such a concept or system within Nissan to put a CEO on probation. He is CEO.”

Some supporters also stressed that Uchida has only been in the top job for little more than two months, while Nissan’s business has been in decline since 2017. Executives and analysts have previously said the company’s current woes are not of Uchida’s making, but are the fallout from an aggressive and poorly executed global expansion under Ghosn and Uchida’s predecessor Hiroto Saikawa.

“Nissan is on the right path for recovery … although it might be a gradual process,” Uchida, formerly Nissan’s China chief, said in a video message to employees in October, shortly after being named CEO.

ROCKY START

Still, it has been a difficult start for the new CEO, who officially took the helm at the beginning of December and must act swiftly to counter a slide in sales that is accelerating in key markets like the United States and China.

When he took the stage at corporate headquarters in Yokohama early that month, Uchida billed himself and his senior leaders – No. 2 Ashwani Gupta and No. 3 Jun Seki – as a tight “one team” that could deliver a bright new dawn for the automaker.

Later in December, two board members sat down with Uchida – whose elevation has been opposed in some quarters – to tell him he needed to consult more with Seki and Gupta, stressing he had been given the top job on the condition that he worked closely with the pair, according to two of the sources.

The “one team” hasn’t shown much unity, though.

Seki resigned in late December and joined electric motor producer Nidec Corp as president.

Chief Operating Officer Gupta, meanwhile, has griped privately to colleagues about having a dysfunctional working relationship with the new CEO, according to two of the sources, but he is committed to work with Uchida to turn Nissan around.

One source said the board would not brook internal squabbles or procrastination among Uchida, Gupta and the rest of the executive team: “The biggest problem is nothing getting done, at a time when we need to take decisive actions.”

Gupta referred Reuters queries to Nissan, which said Uchida and Gupta were “cooperating closely, sharing information, and are engaged with executing the performance recovery plan and other reform moves, including fixed cost-cutting”.

UNRAVELING

Nissan, Japan’s second-biggest automaker after Toyota (7203.T), faces an array of structural woes, from high fixed costs to weak management to a strained partnership with Renault, which began unraveling after Ghosn’s arrest in late 2018.

The problems come at a pivotal time when Nissan and other automakers are attempting to come to grips with a major, and costly, technological shift toward electric and self-driving vehicles.

The carmaker posted a net loss of 26.1 billion yen ($238 million) for the October-December third quarter and it cut its annual operating profit forecast by 43% to 85 billion yen.

Though Nissan expects to report a small profit for the year ending in March, some executives are worried it could post a loss, according to the sources, especially given the fact that the forecast does not take into account the impact on sales in China and beyond from the coronavirus outbreak.

Uchida said, at the earnings media conference on Thursday, that Nissan was looking at the possibility of accelerating existing restructuring plans, as well as implementing additional measures – but he added the company would not be able to provide details of those extra steps until May.

(GRAPHIC – Nissan’s sales woes: here)

(GRAPHIC – 2023 recovery goals: here)

‘CRISIS MODE’

Uchida replaced Saikawa, who resigned in September after admitting to being improperly overpaid. His appointment was contentious, with some members of the board’s six-strong nomination committee pushing for Seki or Gupta, according to two of the sources.

Seki, in fact, garnered the most first-choice votes – three – but not a majority, leading to another round where second preferences were taken into account, Uchida received five second-choice votes so won the job, the people said.

By mid-January, however, some board members were starting to regret the decision, said the sources. While Uchida had touted a fresh start in his speech in December, he has still not publicly spelled out specifics on strategy.

Some members of the board complained that he was even sitting on some of the turnaround measures hammered out by Nissan executives last year, before he took the reins of the company, the sources said.

A team led by Seki, and charged with formulating a series of turnaround measures, had proposed effectively pulling out of Indonesia, where the Nissan group’s market share fell below 2% in 2018, according to a separate source close to that team.

Under the plan, the company would ask partner Mitsubishi (7211.T), an SUV powerhouse in Southeast Asia, to contract-manufacture Nissan cars and help market them in Indonesia, the person said.

When Uchida became CEO, however, he struck a cautious stance and made no decisions on that proposed pullout, though the idea has more recently began gaining momentum after much prodding by Uchida’s subordinates and the board, according to the source.

In November, Seki’s team also suggested Nissan go into a more intense “crisis mode”, significantly stepping up spending cuts, including sizable reductions in year-end bonuses for top executives, said the source, adding that the proposals had not been implemented under Uchida.

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Round dance held in Regina in solidarity with Wet’suwet’en Nation

For the second week in a row, supporters of Wet’suwet’en Nation blocked off Albert Memorial Bridge, in solidarity with protests happening across the country.

“We’re hoping to send a clear message to the Regina public that we are not in agreement with what’s happening there,” said Wendy Lynn Lerat, a co-organizer of the protest. “There’s growing support and we’re doing our part.”

On Saturday, protesters held hands for a round dance while others formed a barricade to block traffic from driving through the Albert Street bridge. They eventually marched north on Albert Street to about 14th Avenue. Police were there to assist the flow of traffic.

“We’re not doing this to make people feel inconvenienced,” said Lerat. “We’re hoping by being confronted by a blockade, you’ll be reminded of a history that no one reminds you of enough.”

“Not everyone wants the kind of development colonialism has brought us. We’re seeing incredible destruction across the world and ecosystems that are in jeopardy and will never recover.”

Protesters are standing with Wet’suwet’en Nation in British Columbia where some hereditary chiefs oppose the construction of the Coastal GasLink pipeline. Protests continue to pop-up daily throughout Canada, from Newfoundland to British Columbia – with protesters blocking off railways, city intersections and ports.

Lerat said the protests will persist until sovereignty is addressed.

“The messaging needs to switch to recognize the need to have a different narrative. What’s happening in Wet’suwet’en is a reflection in the sickness and desire for change in general society,” Lerat said.

She said Regina protesters want the government to recognize Indigenous sovereignty, and until they do, rallies will continue to grow.

“It’s not so much to cause inconvenience or get a violent reaction like last time. But we’re hoping they’ll be an opportunity in the near future to collectively say ‘What do we need to do differently here.’”

On Saturday, Federal Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller met with the Mohawk First Nation in Ontario to discuss the cross-country rail blockades.

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Montrealers dive into competition season with Pointe-Claire as first hosts

Some of Quebec’s finest young athletes took the big dive into competition season on Sunday as Pointe-Claire hosted the first of three provincials.

The competition is split between senior and junior, male and female.

The divers need to accumulate enough points throughout the three provincials to then move on to nationals, according to Plongeon Quebec coordinator Claudie-Anne Leblanc.

“As amateurs, we all look at that perfect rip entry and we think, wow that’s a 10!” said Plongeon Quebec judge Shannon Bisson. “But we’re also looking at their position as they come off the board, the trajectory from the board, their position in the air, also how they enter the water.”

Quebec has developed some of the sport’s greatest athletes — like Alexandre Depatie and Roseline Filion, who have each won several Olympic medals.

Now, the next generation of divers is looking to make it big.

“My goal this year is to go to the national championships and go on the three podiums,” said CAMO club diver Charles-Antoine Labadie.

“I would like to go to the Olympics,” said 11-year-old Team Quebec diver Dean Calfacacos. “It’s fun doing flips. Almost every day you learn something new and that’s really fun.”

Parents and competitors said there’s truly nothing like the support the sport brings — regardless of the result.

“It’s a sport where everybody’s really tight, everybody’s rooting for each other,” said Bisson. “Everybody wants to see everybody do well, but at the end of the day, we have to be fair and we’re not doing the kids any favours to not judge them fairly.”

But it’s not always easy.

“The hardest part is to be relaxed because the dives you did a lot of times in practice, now it’s just to do the best you can without getting nervous,” said Labadie.

Bisson — who is the mother of a competitive diver and a judge for Plongeon Quebec — is in a tougher spot than most.

“When I don’t dive for one week I just want to go dive again,” said ARO club diver Marie-Laurence Forest.

National Championships are set to take place in July.


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North Macedonia parliament dissolves, sets poll date, after EU shuns talks

SKOPJE (Reuters) – North Macedonia’s parliament dissolved itself on Sunday and set April 12 for an early election, eight months ahead of the end of the current term, in what is seen as a major test for the pro-EU policies of former Prime Minister Zoran Zaev’s Social Democrats.

The move, endorsed by 108 deputies in the 120-seat parliament, follows Zaev’s resignation last month that came after the European Union failed to give his country a date to start talks on joining the bloc.

Zaev’s cabinet was replaced by an interim government led by Interior Minister Oliver Spasovski which was tasked to ensure conditions for a free and fair vote.

“I have signed the decision (to set the date) for early elections on April 12,” Talat Xhaferi, the parliamentary speaker, told deputies.

French President Emmanuel Macron in October refused to let North Macedonia start EU entry talks, despite concerns over increased Chinese and Russian meddling in the Balkans.

Skopje had expected to be granted a date to start accession talks after settling a dispute with neighboring Greece by changing the country’s name to North Macedonia from Macedonia. Macron also led a group of EU leaders who ruled out opening talks with Albania.

Serbia and Montenegro also aspire to join the European Union but the enlargement process has also largely stalled amid concerns in the West about immigration and the strains of Brexit.

Bosnia and Kosovo, the other two EU hopefuls from the Balkans, are lagging far behind.

Earlier this month, EU’s enlargement commissioner, Oliver Varhelyi, proposed giving EU members the power to delay or reverse the process of admitting new nations or to force them to restart entry talks in some policy areas.

North Macedonia is expected to become the 30th member of NATO early this year, once its accession has been ratified by all the member states of the U.S.-led alliance.

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Vancouver police execute search warrant for drug investigation at downtown apartment

Vancouver police, fire crews and hazmat teams descended on a downtown apartment building Sunday to execute a search warrant related to a drug investigation that may involve fentanyl.

The building at 1255 Seymour Street was surrounded by crews and vehicles as police investigated a suite inside in the late morning.

Police said fire crews and hazmat were on scene “due to a possible prevalence of fentanyl” and to ensure the search “can be processed in a safe manner for police and the public.”

Police would not speak to whether anyone has been arrested or if any drugs had actually been found inside the suite. The investigation is active and ongoing, they added.

The building sits close to the northeastern exit ramp of the Granville Street Bridge, and the heavy police and fire presence is affecting traffic coming off the bridge.

Drivers are being advised to avoid the area.

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Nova Scotia Lung Foundation hopes to make Stair Heroes fundraiser an annual event

The Nova Scotia Lung Association knows that in order to make your way up 18 flights of stairs, you need strong, healthy lungs.

That’s why Sunday saw more than 150 people sign up for the association’s fundraiser, known as Stair Heroes, with individuals raising their heart rates for a good cause.

“This is actually the first time a stair climb has been done in Nova Scotia, so we’re really proud of that,” said Robert MacDonald, the president and CEO of the Nova Scotia Lung Foundation.

The foundation tries to help people with lung diseases and advocates for policies and procedures on vaping and smoking regulations.

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Costa Rica seizes five tons of cocaine bound for Holland in largest ever drug bust

SAN JOSE (Reuters) – Police in Costa Rica seized more than 5 tons of cocaine bound for the Dutch port of Rotterdam in the country’s largest ever drugs bust, officials said.

The authorities on Saturday found the cocaine in Costa Rica’s Caribbean port of Limon, stashed inside a shipping container of decorative canopy plants bound for the Netherlands.

The anti-narcotics police discovered the drugs in 202 small bags and said the cocaine was produced in South America, though did not specify where.

The drugs had an estimated street value of about 126 million euro ($136 million) in Holland, Costa Rica’s Security Minister Michael Soto said late on Saturday.

“It’s a historic seizure,” Soto said in a statement. “It is a blow to the regional criminal structures.”

A Costa Rican man, who drove the shipment from north of the country to Limon port, was detained, authorities said.

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Syrian government forces make advances in northwest, further securing Aleppo region

Syrian troops have made significant advances against the last rebel held enclaves in the country’s northwest, state media said on Sunday, consolidating the government’s hold over the key Aleppo province.

The Syrian government advance also appeared to put the provincial capital of Aleppo out of the firing range of opposition groups for the first time in years, another sign of Syrian President Bashar Assad’s growing control of the area.

The armed opposition had been driven out of Aleppo city’s eastern quarters in late 2016, which they controlled for years while battling government forces who were in charge in the western part. Rebel groups had continued to harry government forces, however, from outside the city with mortar rounds.

State news agency SANA reported 30 villages and towns around the city in the western Aleppo countryside were captured on Sunday.

Rami Abdul-Rahman, the head of the Britain-based war monitor Syria Observatory for Human Rights, confirmed the report.

“This means the control of Aleppo (city), and the countryside and securing all of Aleppo,” Abdul-Rahman said.

The state-run Al-Ikhbariya TV said government troops were still besieging remnants of opposition fighters in a small part of rural Aleppo.

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