Guy Ouellette accuses anticorruption unit of unprecedented intimidation

first_imgQUEBEC – The Quebec member of the legislature who was arrested by the province’s anti-corruption unit accused the organization Tuesday of trying to use “unprecedented intimidation” against him.Guy Ouellette says he was the victim of a setup by UPAC, as the unit is commonly known.Ouellette, 65, was arrested last Wednesday in connection with a UPAC investigation into an important information leak to the media last April.He was later released and has not been charged.Ouellette, who specialized in fighting biker gangs when he was a member of the Quebec provincial police, stood up in the legislature Tuesday afternoon and told his fellow elected members he has done nothing wrong.“Preventing members of the national assembly from exercising the mandate they have been given by the population is an extremely serious attack on the democratic process,” he said.“Trying to trap them in order to prevent them from doing their work must be unequivocally denounced. What I am accused of has no basis at all. My move from the police to the political world has done nothing to alter the principles that have guided my commitment in public life over the last 48 years.“I have always been, still am and always will be an ardent defender of social justice, of democratic values, of freedom of expression and of the truth.”His comments were preceded by Speaker Jacques Chagnon coming to Ouellette’s defence in an address to the national assembly.Chagnon said it is “intolerable” that police arrested a parliamentarian without any charges having been laid a week later.“Today, a member of the legislature has lost an important role and his reputation has been tarnished,” Chagnon said, referring to Ouellette no longer being the head of the legislature committee that oversees UPAC’s activities.“I think we must demand clarity in this situation,” he added, noting that either charges should be laid or a public apology should be forthcoming.Earlier in the day, Premier Philippe Couillard urged UPAC brass as he spoke to reporters to publicly release as many details as possible about the arrest.A few hours after Couillard’s request, UPAC held a news conference in Montreal where its director, Robert Lafreniere, described Ouellette’s arrest as “a step” in the investigation.“There will be others (steps),” he said. “There is a phenomenal quantity of analysis that needs to be done,” he said, referring to evidence collected during a series of police raids.“We will send our case to the Crown prosecutor’s office and I am strongly convinced there will be charges in this case.”He specified he was not talking particularly about Ouellette.Ouellette was linked to a UPAC probe called Machurer, which looked into suspected illegal financing within the Liberal party under former leader Jean Charest.The April leak to a news organization revealed the unit had been looking at the comings and goings of Charest and Liberal fundraiser Marc Bibeau up until 2016.During an interview with a Montreal radio station that was broadcast Monday, Ouellette replied, “No, absolutely not,” when asked if he were the leak of the source.Ouellette said authorities told him he was detained on suspicion of breach of trust and obstructing justice as well as conspiring to commit those two infractions.Andre Boulanger, UPAC’s operations director, told the news conference Tuesday the politician’s reaction when investigators met with him justified his detention without a warrant in order to preserve evidence.— With files from Giuseppe Valiante in Montreallast_img read more

Colombia UN official seeks improved response to Wests worst humanitarian crisis

Jan Egeland, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, is expected to meet with President Alvaro Uribe, the Ministers of the Interior and Foreign Relations, Cardinal Rubiano, the High Commissioner for Peace, the Procurator General, and the Ombudsman of the Government of Colombia. He is slated to hold talks also with diplomatic representatives and representatives of the civil society, and with the heads of the UN system in the South American country. Mr. Egeland is scheduled to visit internally displaced persons (IDPs) and victims of the conflict in Cartagena, Soacha and in the south of Bogotá. Currently, there are an estimated two million IDPs in the country. read more

Wrestling Ohio State wins 3 individual brackets team title in Cliff Keen

Ohio State junior wrestler Myles Martin faces off against Arizona State’s Kordell Norfleet. Martin won the match and the Buckeyes won the meet 31-12 on Nov. 12. Credit: Colin Hass-Hill | Sports EditorNo. 2 Ohio State wrestling left Nevada and the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational tournament with its second straight team title in the event and three individual championships won by redshirt sophomore Kollin Moore (197 pounds), junior Myles Martin (184 pounds) and sophomore Luke Pletcher (133 pounds). The Buckeyes finished with 155.5 total points. Following Ohio State was Michigan with 140 points and Arizona State with 113.5 points. The event that featured over 100 ranked wrestlers saw seven Buckeyes finish in the top four in their respective weight classes. Moore finished his tournament run with an impressive victory over Virginia Tech’s Jared Haught. The Buckeye redshirt sophomore pinned Haught in the finals to remain undefeated on the year. Moore and Haught entered the match ranked first and second in the country, respectively. In the 184-pound finals, Martin defeated Michigan’s Domenic Abounader by way of an 8-5 decision. Martin’s victory clinched the team title for Ohio State. Pletcher won the first individual title of the day for the Buckeyes at 133 pounds with his 9-3 decision triumph over Josh Terao of American in the finals. Pletcher’s record on the year now stands at 13-0 with two tournament championships. No. 3 redshirt senior Bo Jordan finished second at 174 pounds after dropping his finals match to No. 1 Zahid Valencia of Arizona State by a 9-6 decision. The loss to Valencia was Jordan’s second this season after the Sun Devils visited Columbus on Nov. 12. Redshirt junior Micah Jordan finished second as well at 157 pounds and fell in the finals to Michigan’s Alec Pantaleo by a 10-3 decision. Micah’s 8-6, sudden victory, semifinals win over Arizona State’s Josh Shields leveled the series between the two after Shields’ victory on Nov. 12 in Columbus. In the third-place match at 149 pounds, redshirt sophomore Ke-Shawn Hayes of Ohio State dispatched Max Thomsen of Northern Iowa by a 4-3 decision. Junior Buckeye Te’Shan Campbell (165 pounds) finished in fourth place in Las Vegas after losing to Nebraska’s Isaiah White in the third-place match. Also competing out west for Ohio State were redshirt freshman heavyweight Kevin Snyder, sophomore Brendan Fitzgerald (141 pounds) and freshman Brakan Mead (125 pounds). All three fell to opponents in the consolation round of 32. Ohio State was without junior Joey McKenna (rest) and senior Kyle Snyder (international competition) for the two-day meet. The Buckeyes will continue their season on Sunday, Dec. 10 with a dual meet against Indiana at Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio. read more

Continued progress for iron ore projects in Western Australia

first_imgAs International Mining’s September issue iron ore update nears completion, Gindalbie Metals welcomed the August 3 announcement by the WA Government that it has committed to building a major power line in the Mid West region that will help underpin the planned significant expansion of the Karara Iron Ore Project. Western Australia  Premier Colin Barnett and Energy Minister Peter Collier announced the State Government would build a 330 kV power line from Pinjar, north of Perth, to Eneabba.Gindalbie was pleased to note Collier’s comments today that following a recent review: “…there are a number of major Mid-West projects that are well under way and will require access to substantial electricity supply.  As a result, the review team proposed that the 330 kV line initially extends from Pinjar to Eneabba to encourage progress of Gindalbie’s Karara mine, six prospective wind farms and a major new power station.”While the existing 132 kV power network is suitable for Karara’s start-up capacity of 10 Mt/y, the increase in transmission capacity is required for the planned expansion of the project to a production rate of more than 30 Mt/y.Gindalbie and its joint venture partner, Ansteel, are building a 330 kV power line from Karara to Eneabba as part of the project infrastructure which will connect into the State grid. The project will draw power under a 15-year supply deal with the State Government’s power generation arm, Verve Energy. Until the new Pinjar-Eneabba line is built, Karara will tap into the existing 132 kV network at Eneabba and be able to draw sufficient power for project start-up.“The Government has shown tremendous leadership and support for the development of the resources sector in the Mid West region,” Gindalbie’s Managing Director Garret Dixon said. “The Premier has shown his commitment to Mid-West iron ore and infrastructure development, and particularly has demonstrated strong support for Karara and its long-term potential. This latest decision to ensure the region has sufficient power infrastructure, is testament to the Government’s belief that the Mid West is set to become the next resources growth centre in WA.”The initial focus of Gindalbie’s growth strategy is the Karara Iron Ore Project, located 225 km east of Geraldton, where it will deliver initial production of Direct Shipping Ore (DSO) hematite in 2010 to be followed by production of high grade magnetite concentrate and blast furnace quality pellets in 2011. Karara is being developed through a 50:50 Joint Venture with Ansteel, one of China’s leading steel and iron ore producers. Gindalbie’s longer term growth will be propelled by the exploration and development of its extensive 1,900 km2 tenement portfolio, which includes numerous prospective magnetite and hematite exploration targets expected to deliver a long-term pipeline of growth opportunities.Ansteel is currently China’s second-largest steel producer and the biggest iron ore miner. It is the major producer in the north-east region of China, with crude steel production of 35 Mt and plans to increase output to some 50 Mt/y.  Ansteel is considered to be one of the country’s key growth companies and has strong government support in securing new sources of long-term iron ore supply through international investment.Ansteel has developed a new integrated iron and steel making facility at Bayuquan, adjacent to the Port of Yingkou, approximately 100 km southwest of its current steel making facilities in the city of Anshan. The new facility has the capacity to produce 6.5 Mt/y of finished steel products. Once the Karara Project is in production, its products will be the key feed source for Bayuquan.last_img read more

Youngstar Matej Asanin to Ademar Leon

Ademar LeonC.O ZagrebHandball talentsMatej Asanin One of the most talented young Croatian goalkeepers, Matej Asanin (19) will be replacement for Venio Losert in Spanish Ademar Leon. Young Asanin signed two-year contract with the Spanish team, who has to recontruct almost 100% of team after many players left the team this summer.Asanin spent two last season as player of C.O Zagreb, but on loan at RK Split and RK Varteks.A few days ago, Leon got a new-old coach, Manolo Cadenas, who came back to the team after five years. ← Previous Story Men’s U18 ECh: Germany wins gold! Next Story → Renato Vugrinec joins Maribor Branik! read more

Heaviest snow in decades leaves 11 dead over 1000 injured in Japan

first_imgTHE HEAVIEST SNOW in decades in Tokyo and other areas of Japan has left at least 11 dead and more than 1,200 injured across the country, reports said today.As much as 27 centimetres of snow was recorded in Tokyo by late yesterday, the heaviest fall in the capital for 45 years, according to meteorologists.The storm hit Tokyo on the eve of its gubernatorial election.Observers said the weather may affect voter turnout in the city of 13 million people. As of 6pm turnout was down more than 10 percentage points from a previous poll during the last mayoral election. The government-backed candidate Yoichi Masuzoe was today announced the winner.People walk against blowing snow in Tokyo today (Image: Koji Sasahara/AP/PA).As a depression moved along the Pacific coast yesterday, the northeastern city of Sendai saw 35 centimetres of snow, the heaviest in 78 years.Local media said at least 11 people have been killed with one person also in critical condition in snow-linked accidents – mostly crashes after their cars skidded on icy roads.In central Aichi prefecture, a 50-year-old man died after his car slipped on the icy road and rammed into an advertisement steel pole, a local rescuer said.Public broadcaster NHK reported at least 1,253 people were injured across the nation, many of whom had slipped on the ground or fallen while shovelling the snow off their roofs.A child holds a ball of snow near a half buried motorcycle in Yokohama, near Tokyo (Image: Junji Kurokawa/AP/PA).More than 20,000 households were without electricity early today while airlines cancelled more than 400 domestic flights a day after over 740 flights were grounded.Nearly 5,000 people were stranded at Narita airport Saturday as traffic linking the airport to the capital was disrupted, NHK said.Further snowfall is expected today  in the northern part of the country, the Japan Meteorological Agency said.- © AFP 2014.Read: Runner suffers utterly mortifying fate on live TV report>Your pics: Yep, it’s snowing in parts of Ireland>last_img read more

Dozens of hotels on sale despite record tourism year

first_imgAlthough 2013 has been a record one for Greek tourism, a high number of hotel owners, including some on popular resort islands, put their units up for sale at the end of the season.A Kathimerini survey involving a leading online real estate agency in the November-December period found as many as 125 for sale advertisements for mostly small and medium-sized hotel units at 19 Greek island destinations.The combined price sought by the owners for the sale of those 125 hotels was 378.5 million euros, with the asking prices for most small and medium-sized units being up to 3 million euros.Bigger hotels were found for sale on islands with a higher hotel bed capacity: A hotel with 220 beds on the island of Rhodes had an asking price of 22 million euros, while on Corfu two hotels with 110 and 155 beds were for sale for 15 and 16 million euros respectively.Besides Rhodes and Corfu, the other islands where hotels have been put on the market are Milos, Santorini, Paros, Antiparos, Andros, Tinos, Serifos, Syros, Myconos, Naxos, Sifnos, Ios, Patmos, Kos, Crete, Cephalonia and Zakynthos.The islands with the highest number of hotel for sale ads during the two-month period were Corfu and Santorini. On Santorini there were 29 units on the market for a combined asking price of 64.5 million euros, while the owners of the 28 units for sale on Corfu are hoping to pocket 134.7 million euros. Paros follows with 15 hotels for sale for a total 32.7 million euros, Myconos with 11 units for 49.6 million, Crete with 10 hotels for 19.5 million, Rhodes with seven units for 29.65 million, and Zakynthos and Naxos with five hotels apiece on the market.Despite the multitude of options, transactions in the hotel sector have been few and far between in recent years. Market experts say that buyers are waiting for prices to drop further. As Greek tourism is expected to reach a new record in 2014, both in terms of arrivals and revenues, experts believe that hotel transactions will increase considerably in the next few years. They also expect banks to take ownership of indebted units ahead of their resale to the private market.As for international hotel groups, any interest they have in the Greek market is focused on undertaking the management of local hotel units. Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img read more

Les 8 actus science que vous devez connaître ce 22 mars

first_imgLes 8 actus science que vous devez connaître ce 22 marsDes patients aveugles qui recouvrent la vue, un adieu à la fourrure et une étrange créature, voici votre concentré d’actualités scientifiques pour ce 22 mars.  – En Antarctique, des chercheurs ont réussi à filmer des images exceptionnelles de baleines de Minke. Leur vidéo montre au plus près ces cétacés méconnus évoluer sous la glace. Un joli coup de chance quand on sait que l’expédition visait au départ à étudier les orques de cette région. – Des patients souffrant de dégénérescence maculaire liée à l’âge ont recouvré leur vue grâce à un traitement expérimental. Il a consisté à utiliser des cellules souches pour remplacer les cellules déficientes de l’oeil. Ceci a permis à l’un des patients quasi aveugles de lire à nouveau le journal. Des résultats qui ouvrent une nouvelle piste pour soigner la DMLA.- San Francisco dit adieu à la fourrure. La ville californienne vient de voter l’interdiction de la vente de fourrures nouvelles à partir de janvier 2019. Elle est ainsi devenue la plus grande ville américaine à adopter une telle mesure pour protéger les animaux.  – Les volcans auraient favorisé la conversion des Islandais au Christianisme. Des chercheurs ont établi un lien entre une éruption massive survenue au Moyen-Âge en Islande et la conversion au monothéisme des habitants. L’explication résiderait dans un poème prédisant comment une éruption volcanique marquerait la chute des dieux païens et leur remplacement par un dieu unique.  – Il y a 70.000 ans, une étoile aurait créé du remue-ménage dans le système solaire. Une étude a permis de découvrir que cet astre, nommé étoile de Scholz, s’est approché très près de notre système. Un survol qui aurait eu pour effet de perturber la trajectoire des comètes et astéroïdes les plus proches.  À lire aussiInfection, gaspillage et Facebook, les actus sciences que vous devez connaître ce 29 août- Les glaciers ont atteint une situation critique. C’est la conclusion inquiétante d’une étude menée par des chercheurs autrichiens. Selon leurs travaux, la fonte des glaciers aurait désormais dépassé le point de non-retour. Il serait devenu inévitable que les glaciers continuent de fondre, même si les émission de gaz à effet de serre sont stoppées.- Le Sidaction s’alarme des fausses idées sur le SIDA qui semblent progresser chez les jeunes. D’après un récent sondage, 21% d’entre eux pensent désormais que le virus peut se transmettre en embrassant un séropositif. Un chiffre qui traduit un net “manque d’informations” sur le VIH, affirme l’association qui organisera le week-end prochain son évènement caritatif annuel. – Une étrange créature d’1,5 mètre s’est échouée sur une plage de Géorgie. Avec son long cou et ses nageoires, l’animal a des allures de monstre marin préhistorique voire de monstre du Loch Ness. Si de nombreuses théories circulent, on ignore aujourd’hui de quel animal il s’agit réellement.   Le 22 mars 2018 à 00:15 • Maxime Lambertlast_img read more

Planet of the Apes Visionaries is Unpredictable Stunning and Wild

first_imgStay on target “Taylor is Thomas, and Ape City isn’t a crude, primitive grouping of huts, it’s a bustling and urbane metropolis filled with cars and skyscrapers and a vibrant ape culture. Apes wear modern clothes and drive modern cars, they have talk shows and nightclubs and alcohol. How does a human fit into this world, and what will his presence mean to how Apes—and humans—view themselves. Based on the original, never-before-realized Rod Serling screenplay!”PLANET OF THE APES: VISIONARIES(W): Rod Serling, Dana Gould (A): Chad Lewis (I): David Wilson (C): Darrin Moore, Miquel Muerto, Marcelo Costa (L): Ed Dukeshire (CA): Paola RiveraOne of the men that I most admire (and a high-key childhood hero) in the craft of storytelling is Rod Serling. He has a particular and diverse vision for narratives that can’t be compared to anyone else. He’s so different from the status quo and makes you marvel at his brand of storytelling. He gives you another glimpse of our world upside down. I’m also an absolute geek for anything Serling, Twilight Zone and every single thing that Rod Serling has written or injected into our universe.via BOOM! StudiosThat being said, one of the most fascinating things that have ever been produced by him (besides everything) is the original screenplay for Planet of the Apes. Before Michael Wilson took over to shift and change a few things around, Rod Serling’s Planet of the Apes was a monumentally unpredictable story that leaves you holding your breath with uncertainty. In smaller words: it’s an absolute masterpiece.Dana Gould adapts Rod Serling’s script for comics and hot damn does he do a phenomenal job. Reading the original script to seeing it in a graphic novel form is WILD. Gould embodies that vision which aligns with Serling’s original script to the T. Things such as the intricate and stellar details from Thomas, Zira, Zaius and Nova’s looks. The figuring out how to make those Serling moments pop while adapted to the page. These are some of the many things that hit you as a reader and Gould brings with such love, care, and respect. Gould and Serling’s visions are almost one in the same. They’re undeniably different from the version of Planet of the Apes we see today. With that said, I feel we have to talk about Serling’s script from it’s eventual shift to Michael Wilson.via BOOM! StudiosThere’s such a varying difference between the shot script by Wilson/Serling and the original draft by Serling alone. I have to say. I wish Serling’s script was shot just the way it was without interference. Wilson’s changes to the script are meant more in the veins of entertainment. Serling’s script is much more of a philosophical message. Slowly gaining momentum to reveal these epic moments he wants to come across. This is what he was best known for and what comes across in his original script and Gould’s adaption. It feels like there’s so much more to Serling’s script that what was on screen. The skeleton of Serling’s draft is well within the movie, but Serling’s moments and the moments in Visionaries bring such a darker, shader and more twisted kind of ApeWorld.The one thing that is one of my favorite parts about the adaption versus what we got with Planet of the Apes was how real it felt. It didn’t feel as adventure-driven or primitive, but more of it feels like something that could happen. It’s more of a modern type look at Planet of the Apes. The moments are hard-hitting. The reveals blow your mind. If this was something that was shot, no director could have done this as much justice as it should have been. Gould being able to adapt Serling’s script into a Mad Men-era styled Twilight Zone twistable narrative with a 50’s to 60’s flair. I won’t be able to get out of my mind. And, trust me, you won’t either.via BOOM! StudiosFrom the first pages of this graphic novel, you’re immediately immersed in Chad Lewis’ art like nobodies business. The one thing that’s so incredibly dope about Chad Lewis’ art is the worldbuilding. Serling and Gould set these into place. However, when Lewis gets ahold of it with his pencils, it’s on another level. With the help of David Wilson on inks, they pay attention to so many of the important details.The moments of revelation in the script to the character designs of the many infamous characters allow readers to be fully developed into this world. You’ll only find yourself falling deeper in. They carve out the words with pencil and ink that enable you to follow every facial expression, moment and more within their panels. This is only fueled by the three who put together their colors to take this even further.via BOOM! StudiosDarrin Moore, Miquel Muerto, and Marcelo Costa join forces and color pages for this graphic novel. These colorists envoke the same mood throughout while being completely different at the same time. They carry their colors to bring a realistic yet heartbreaking feel. One that brings you a feel of an alternative world but still grounds you in the hear and now. They do an incredible job in lightning. Both playing on artificial like from the lab, the time of day and other sources like flashlights and hotel rooms. (The pages when they’re down in the bunker are to die for.) They never let you pull out of this world. Their colors fan even more of the mysteries within and leave you with an uneasy yet grounded feeling the way.Ed Dukeshire’s letters catch your eye upon arrival. Dukeshire’s letters within this graphic novel are some of the best I’ve seen because it’s placed flawlessly. Dukeshire’s balloon placement swings from panel to panel that gives the script more weight as you read and as you dive into the art. He also varies between his balloon placement and in his voiceover’s as well. Letting you soak in everything it has to offer. The two places that this is brought out the most is the last six pages of the graphic novel and when Thomas speaks for the first time. It’s a brilliant combination of reaction shots from the art with warm colors, a script too legit to quit and perfectly placed letters. It’s a winning combination all around.via BOOM! StudiosPlanet of the Apes: Visionaries is another piece of a franchise begging to be told. Rod Serling and Dana Gould bring this story into the light and casts another brilliant bit of storytelling our way. Planet of the Apes: Visionaries is a brilliantly adapted graphic novel that’s unpredictable, stunning, wild and, oh so twisted. Planet of the Apes: Visionaries is now available on Comixology and your local comic shop.Want to support great indie creators, we’ve got 5 Kickstarter campaigns to kick money to. Read up on Jen Bartel’s inspiration for Blackbird before you grab the new Image book. Check out our review of creator-owned lady gamer book, Renegade Rule. But as always stay on top of all things graphic novel here. Marvel Censors Criticism of America From Marvel Comics #1000Can Even Jonathan Hickman Save the X-Men? center_img Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey.last_img read more

Fires put infrastructure at risk officials balance access safety

first_imgFires burning in the Columbia River Gorge are threatening infrastructure from state parks to regional transmission lines, and officials are trying to balance access with safety.Interstate 84 in Oregon is closed due to the Eagle Creek Fire. Although state Highway 14 is still open, the Washington Department of Transportation is urging people to avoid driving through the Columbia River Gorge unless it’s necessary.Trucks over 10,000 gross vehicle weight are prohibited from using the highway between Washougal and Dallesport.“We’re now fighting a wildfire on this side of the river,” said WSDOT spokeswoman Tamara Greenwell. “For safety, the less vehicles that are in the area the better it is for crews to respond to the fire.”As the Archer Mountain Fire burns less than five miles west of Beacon Rock State Park, the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission took precautionary measures and closed the facility early Tuesday morning.“If an ember or spark came and landed on one of the trails, (park staff) wouldn’t want to have to worry about evacuating people hiking,” said Toni Droscher, a spokeswoman for state parks.last_img read more

Vancouver schools support staff contract talks hit snag

first_imgWhen Vancouver Public Schools staff and students left for the holiday break last month, Superintendent Steve Webb sent them off with some good news. The district and its support staff union had reached a tentative agreement, ending months of contentious negotiations.Now, nearly a month later, the two sides are at odds over a key component of that agreement: whether it exists at all.Leadership and members of the Vancouver Association of Educational Support Professionals said Tuesday that the district has backed out of the tentative agreement. District spokeswoman Pat Nuzzo, however, denied that.“There must be a misunderstanding,” Nuzzo said. “The district absolutely has not pulled out or canceled the tentative agreement.”The disagreement is the latest wrench in bargaining between the support staff union and the district. The two sides have been at odds over how much additional state money should be allocated toward staff salaries. Union leadership say they still can’t agree with the district on a salary schedule, a grid assigning staff an hourly salary based on their position and years of experience.The district offered a lump sum of money to be allocated toward salaries, but the two sides disagreed on how much of a raise any given employee could expect to see, said Lynn Davidson with the regional office of the Washington Education Association.Nuzzo, however, said bargaining was done last month.“At this point we’re going to try to find out why they think … we walked away from the table,” Nuzzo said.The exact details of the contract are still scarce. The only hint of the scale of the deal came last week in a press release announcing district budget cuts. The district pointed to VAESP’s contract among the reasons for an expected $11.4 million budget deficit in 2019-2020, noting the contract will cost about $3 million.last_img read more

Defensive Approach By Ministers Will Turn The Assembly Into A Battle

first_imgBy: Kebba AF TourayThe Member for Wuli West, has said if Ministers go to the National Assembly and take a defensive approach on issues, then they will turn the chambers into a battle ground. Hon. Jatta made this statement during the adjournment debate of Friday 29th December 2017. He said every member in the National Assembly understands the fundamental problems which the country is confronted with; that the essence of Ministers’ presence during sittings of the National Assembly is precisely to hear the problems confronting the country through their representatives; but that the approaches of two of the Ministers who spoke on Thursday, left much to be desired; that their deliberations as Ministers should neither be defensive nor propagandist; but that hearing some of them speak, one tend to think that they are on a political platform and engage in propaganda.Hon. Jatta said they know what they are talking about and they know the President; that they know who he is and how he is; that Ministers should not come to the assembly, to tell them about the President, but instead for them to look at the issues of the country and how best to solve them. ‘‘That is your essence of being here. The information we have is a tool that you can use in many ways to solve the problems that are being confronted with this country”, Hon. Jatta said. He further said that they are not telling anyone to provide answers to the questions, but that the NA in collaboration with the Ministers, should look at those problems and see how best they can be solved; that among them is poverty; that for 50 years, interventions have been made into poverty alleviation, but paradoxically it keeps on increasing.“So there is a problem somewhere. Why can’t we sit down and question the different methods that have been used to alleviate poverty and they have not succeeded? What is the problem?’’ he remarked.Hon. Jatta said when Members talk about poverty, they know what they are talking about and they can propose solutions; that the combination of the perspectives of Members and the Ministers, can help solve the problem of the country; that this is their essence of being together.“I was not going to speak today if you have not come. That was my position. Because for me engagement with the National assembly takes precedence over all engagements. That is the position in PAC and PEC Committees, because we cannot deal with these problems without you and you cannot deal with the problems of the country without us. We must work together to solve these problems. That is the essence of it”, he pointed out.He emphasized that interventions have been made into these problems for five decades, but we continue to have the same end results; that if the approach given in section 217 3(c) of the Constitution was applied since 1965, a balanced development of all parts of The Gambia, improvement in the quality of life of the rural communities and redressing economic imbalances between rural and urban communities, should have been realized by now; that there are two types of migrations in The Gambia namely Internal and external migrations and that the causes are similar.“There is internal migration because all the opportunities are concentrated in the urban areas. So everybody comes to the urban areas to look for those opportunities. But we know that we can change that situation even overnight, because in the provinces people are producing almost everything. Why not create the facilities of transforming what is being produced there into something else, to create jobs and means of generating revenue, because if you create groundnut processing plants anywhere in the provinces, you are creating jobs there,” he stressed.He said last year almost nothing was exported in terms of groundnut and it is the mainstay of the economy. He urged that efforts should be made to ensure groundnut is utilized in the country and not exported, adding the country will be left with nothing to hang on and unless they address the problem from that point, poverty will never be alleviated; that it is not by putting in grants into things to eradicate poverty.“You must give the poor person the means to do away with his or her poverty. Give farmers the means to do away with their poverty”, he explained.Hon. Jatta said this can be done if groundnut production is not made a liability, but a means of going forward and living better; that thus one must create the means for the farmers to be able to market and transform their produce into something else and not to market it raw.“So when you say it is not who is criticizing who, they spoke as if you are criticizing them. We are not criticizing you. We know what you are criticizing is the same thing we are criticizing and having done this, we must think of how we must transform that criticism into a tool to transform negative into positive. That is the essence”, he saidHe said what the Constitution says has never been given any serious consideration; that he believes the Agriculture Minister thinks the same way as he disclosed his ambitions to revitalize the mixed farming centers which were key to the little progress that was made then and it is fundamental, adding that the Minister cannot do without that. He said the country must now think about new seeds and go for early maturing crops, because the rainfall pattern has changed and will keep on changing; that this is what they are talking about. He further said section 215 4 (a) and (b) talks about giving adequate priority in those sectors of the economy that can promote national prosperity; that the number one priority sector is agriculture which he said is vast and called for farmers to be paid in cash instead of promissory notes.Hon. Jatta said there are sectors of the economy which are not given the due considerations and among them, is mining taking place in kombo and the one that was taking place in Tumana. “Do we know anything about this and when the new government took over, did it make efforts to find out what was happening there? For four to five years and it was closed to the population, but nobody knows what was going on there?’’ he asked.Hon. Jatta asserted that the country should know what was being produced there; that if anything was coming from there, it should appear in the country’s estimates. “These are the things that we must know and utilize to help us move forward. That there is something in this country. Mining or not, we can develop and we can move forward with agriculture. We can transform this country into heaven on earth. But it is just a question of what method and sacrifice”, he disclosedHe clarified that grants and loans do not help and emphasized that the Chinese owed nobody anything, but capitalist countries owe them trillions.last_img read more

At least 3 injured following 5car crash in Hialeah

first_imgHIALEAH, FLA. (WSVN) – A five-car accident in Hialeah has left at least three people with minor injuries.Hialeah Fire Department crews responded to the scene of the crash in the area of West 36th Avenue and 84th Street, around 5:15 p.m., Tuesday.A fuel spill on the scene is now the main concern for crews.The cause of the crash remains unknown.Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.last_img

Communities Pay Tribute To Fallen Heroes On Memorial Day

first_imgCommunity members gathered in Kenai Cemetery for the Avenue of Flags, where the cemetery was decorated in  American flags. Kenai Mayor Brian Gabriel: “The freedoms we have some times we take for granted, and if we all think deeply about how got these freedoms there is a little more importance about to this day.”  Facebook0TwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享Memorial Day Ceremonies in remembrance of those who died in active military service were observed throughout the Peninsula on Monday. Later that day a second ceremony hosted by the Veteran’s of Foreign Wars took place in Soldotna Community Memorial Park. There was also a ceremony held at the Seward American Legion Cemetery.center_img That afternoon they gathered at the Leif Hansen Memorial Park in Kenai, for a ceremony hosted by the Veteran’s Coalition of the Kenai Peninsula. Photo from Senator Peter Micciche (R-K-Pen)last_img read more

Navy Would Have a Role to Play in Next BRAC Round Mabus

first_img Dan Cohen AUTHOR Since the Obama administration first proposed holding new rounds of base closure four years ago, Navy leaders have consistently supported the proposal while making clear they didn’t have a significant need to close any bases.Navy Secretary Ray Mabus stuck to that stance in an interview with the Connecticut Mirror, but indicated the service most likely would propose shuttering at least one facility.“I’m sure we’d have something [on the BRAC list], but I don’t know what that would be,” he said.Mabus noted that the capacity analysis released by the Pentagon in April found that only 7 percent of the Navy’s capacity is excess to its needs, compared to 33 percent of the Army’s infrastructure and 32 percent of the Air Force’s.“One of the reasons is, the Navy, long before I got here, took BRAC very seriously … in the first three rounds,” Mabus said to explain the Navy’s relatively small portion of excess capacity.At the same time, Mabus told the paper that submarines have become more prominent in the nation’s defense strategy. The secretary, who has served in his post since 2009, has set a goal of expanding the Navy’s fleet to 308 ships, including an increase of 10 Virginia-class attack submarines. The Navy also will need to replace aging Ohio-class nuclear ballistic submarines with a new class. The fleet today has 273 ships and subs.“When I got here the fleet was declining, declining precipitously,” said Mabus. Increasing the number of Virginia-class attack submarines in the fleet likely would benefit Naval Submarine Base New London, Conn. DOD included the base in its list of proposed closures in the 2005 round of BRAC , but the BRAC Commission reversed the recommendation.Since then, the state of Connecticut has carried out a series of projects on or near the base to strengthen the sub base ahead of a future BRAC round. So far, the state has spent more than $14 million on the effort. “We’ve addressed a lot of problems,” said Bob Ross, executive director of the Connecticut Office of Military Affairs.last_img read more

Use tech to improve skills students told Maris Stella College

first_imgVijayawada: The UG and PG departments of Commerce and Management Studies of Maris Stella College organised Luminate 2K19 at the college auditorium here on Friday. Chief guest B Hari, assistant commissioner of GST addressed the students. He told them to be self-esteemed and self-disciplined and not to postpone things. Students can make use of technology to improve their skills and not to spoil their career, he said. The college principal Dr Jasintha Quadras in her welcome address said that by organising the events students would get exposure. Luminate is a forum for exchanging innovative ideas, she said. Also Read – Three of a family commits suicide at Amalapuram in East Godavari Advertise With Us Dr Sarvani, HoD, department of commerce and management explained the theme of conducting the event. Correspondent Sr Sleeva welcomed the gathering at the event. Swetha, alumni of the college shared her experiences as a student and also as faculty. She said that the college showed her the way to build up her confidence levels to know the value of life. Events like Qriosity, Pacesetters, Market Kshetra, Fashion Bash, Firegroovers, TikTok were conducted. About 100 students from various colleges participated in the event. Dr Sarvani, Dr Kanaka Durga, Bhagyalakshmi and UG/PG and other commerce lecturers and students were present in the programme.last_img read more

BSE closes points 24448 down on September 15

first_imgBSE closes points 244.48 down on September 155.7K views00:00 / 00:00- 00:00:0000:00BSE closes points 244.48 down on September 155.7K viewsBusinessNew Delhi, Sept 15 (ANI): Trading at the Bombay Stock Exchange today closed 244.48 points down to stand at 26,816.56. At the National Stock Exchange the Nifty closed 63.50 points down to stand at 8,042.00. FRL and CESC were among the top gainers of Group A with an increase of 8.12% and 7.33% along with BRITANNIA and UNITECH with an increase of 6.37% and 5.01% respectively, while the top losers of Group A include YESBANK and BHUSHAN STEEL LTD. with a decrease of 5.17% and 4.96% along with JINDAL STEEL and POWER LTD. and JPINFRATEC with a decrease of 4.79% and 4.03% at the close of the markets. The Auto sector is down 50.15 points at 17,878.24 while the banking sector is down 99.24 points at 18,507.77 and the reality sector is 3.18 points up at 1,760.87. The Indian currency is up 0.63% at Rs 61.03 per dollar.Ventuno Web Player 4.50New Delhi, Sept 15 (ANI): Trading at the Bombay Stock Exchange today closed 244.48 points down to stand at 26,816.56. At the National Stock Exchange the Nifty closed 63.50 points down to stand at 8,042.00. FRL and CESC were among the top gainers of Group A with an increase of 8.12% and 7.33% along with BRITANNIA and UNITECH with an increase of 6.37% and 5.01% respectively, while the top losers of Group A include YESBANK and BHUSHAN STEEL LTD. with a decrease of 5.17% and 4.96% along with JINDAL STEEL and POWER LTD. and JPINFRATEC with a decrease of 4.79% and 4.03% at the close of the markets. The Auto sector is down 50.15 points at 17,878.24 while the banking sector is down 99.24 points at 18,507.77 and the reality sector is 3.18 points up at 1,760.87. The Indian currency is up 0.63% at Rs 61.03 per dollar.last_img read more

Analysis GOP Health Plan May Not Fix The Problems They Want To

first_img Share Jim Watson/AFP/Getty ImagesOn the right, a print-out of the Affordable Care Act. On the left, a copy of the plan to repeal and replace it.House Speaker Paul Ryan from Wisconsin has been complaining about the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare) for so long that his list of grievances sounds like a refrain of some pop song.“Obamacare is collapsing,” he said on Feb. 28. “The Democrats got too far ahead on their ideology and they gave us a system where government runs health care. They gave us a system where costs went up, not down. They gave us a system where choices went away. They gave us a system where people lost the plans they liked, they chose.”And Ryan’s not the only one. Republicans in Congress have spent the past several years detailing what is wrong with the ACA. And in every election since it passed, nearly every Republican candidate, including President Trump, has vowed to get rid of the law and put something better in its place.On Monday evening, House Republicans finally released their own health care proposal. It would replace Obamacare’s mandate to buy insurance and his subsidies to bring down the cost with a fixed refundable tax credit that people can use to buy coverage. Nobody’s required to have a health plan. But if you don’t get covered at the outset, you’ll pay a penalty to buy it later.So does it fix the problems Republicans have laid out? Likely not.Let’s start with the collapsing insurance market.“It’s debatable whether the market is imploding or not,” says Cynthia Cox, associate director of the Program for the Study of Health Reform and Private Insurance at the Kaiser Family Foundation.“On one hand, they’re getting rid of the individual mandate [for most people to buy insurance], and that would have the effect of destabilizing the market and raising premiums,” Cox says.And the penalty for allowing a gap in your health insurance coverage could help, or it could make it worse, she says.The penalty could be “a disincentive for healthy people to sign up,” she says.That’s the central challenge both approaches face. A healthy market needs a lot of healthy people so that premiums are spread across a broad population to care for sick people. Without that, the market struggles to keep costs low and choices high.The Affordable Care Act’s markets have been struggling, no doubt. Several insurance companies have dropped out, leaving some states and counties with only one company offering plans. At the same time, premiums have risen in many markets. Last year, premiums rose an average 22 percent — though individual cost increases varied because federal subsidies for many people rose in tandem with premiums.Ryan says he wants consumers to have more choices and lower costs.“Instead of fewer choices, we want our health care system to be truly competitive. Insurers should compete for your business and treat you fairly,” he said on Feb. 22. “All of this will lower cost and end the annual sticker shock of higher premiums.”Will his plan offer more choices?Not necessarily, says Paul Howard, a senior fellow at the conservative Manhattan Institute.“There’s not enough flexibility from the insurers’ point of view to offer lower cost plans,” he says.That’s because Republicans are hamstrung by politics, he says. They can’t repeal the Affordable Care Act outright without the help of Democrats, which they won’t get. So in order to get a bill through, congressional rules say they have to limit it to matters that deal with taxes or the budget.Which means all the benefits that the existing health care law says have to be included in a health insurance policy would remain. And that means insurance companies can’t offer cheap health plans.That brings up Ryan’s other goal: lowering costs.“I don’t see it being abundantly clear that premiums will be significantly lower under this bill than they are in the Affordable Care Act,” says Cox of Kaiser. “And there is evidence the out-of-pocket costs could go up,” she says.That’s because the Affordable Care Act offers subsidies to cover the deductibles and copayments for lower-income people. The Ryan plan offers a fixed tax credit — between $2,000 and $4,000 depending on age — that would likely lead many people to buy health plans they have to shell out a lot of money for up front, called high deductible plans.Cox’s analysis shows that wealthier people get more help from the new Republican plan while lower income people benefit more from Obamacare.Republicans are hamstrung in part by the fact that they can’t repeal the Affordable Care Act in one go and fully replace it with their own vision.Even if the bill did meet Paul Ryan’s goals, it certainly doesn’t fulfill President Trump’s campaign promises.“Everybody’s got to be covered,” he said in an interview with 60 Minutes in 2015. “This is an un-Republican thing for me to say, because a lot of times they say, ‘No, no, the lower 25 percent, they can’t afford private.’ But I am going to take care of everybody.” He repeated that goal this past January in an interview with The Washington Post.As it turns out, the Affordable Care Act didn’t cover everybody. And early analyses of the Ryan proposal suggest his plan could reach even fewer people.A report from Avalere Health and McKinsey estimated that 30 percent of those in the individual health insurance market could drop out if the current subsidies were swapped out for the age-based tax credits.Howard of the Manhattan Institute worries that people who are now heavily subsidized will fall away.“I would have some concerns about those low-income folks dropping out of the market, and concerns about whether or not that 30 percent surcharge is going to keep the younger population in the market,” he said.Stay tuned. The process of moving the bill through Congress starts Wednesday in the House committees with jurisdiction over health care.Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.last_img read more

How Apples Siri Could Destroy Local SEO

first_img Enroll Now for Free Enhance your local SEO. Prominently feature your physical address, local phone number and operating hours on the home page of your site for maximum local SEO benefits. November 17, 2011 Have you met Siri yet? If not, it’s worth taking the time to learn more about the iPhone 4S’s digital ambassador, as she could represent the future direction of local search engine optimization.On the surface, Siri — the voice recognition app that allows iPhone users to control their cell phones verbally — seems like a cool party trick, sending text messages from your spoken instructions, checking the weather and setting up calendar reminders. But does this added functionality really mean the end of traditional local SEO as some experts are predicting?In some ways, yes. The real impact of Siri isn’t just that she acts like a personal assistant. The potentially huge ramifications for local SEO come from the depth of information Siri is able to access and the range of actions she can perform.For example, Siri can call you a cab after a night on the town by automatically processing information about local cab companies in response to the query, “Call me a cab.” Automating the search process means you never look up “cab companies in your area” in the search engines, avoiding the traditional search engine results pages and pay-per-click advertisements entirely, therefore limiting their importance and influence.Related: Ways to Build Online Traffic and Boost SEOLittle is known about how exactly Siri collects and processes information, although it’s reasonable to assume that the program is drawing on well-cultivated public data sources, including Google Places, Yelp and similar sites. If Siri is eventually able to pull information from third party apps — as many predict she will be — she could effectively eliminate traffic to some traditional websites. As an example, automatically checking people in to Facebook places eliminates the need to visit those places’ websites.And when you take into consideration that the iPhone 4S has become the company’s best-selling iPhone in just a few short weeks, due in large part to the innovative Siri technology, local business owners should take note of this trend and invest time in optimizing their sites for mobile discovery.Here’s what you need to do to make your business website as accessible as possible to Siri and related voice recognition tools:Optimize your website for mobile. This isn’t new advice, as the rules for mobile SEO — and the idea of local SEO in general — have been around for years. But as some sources estimate that 30 percent of all searches could include a local component by 2015, it’s more important than ever to make local SEO a priority for your business.Related: How Will Google+ Affect SEO?In addition to thinking about how consumers access your website while on the go, consider whether or not Siri can access important information about your business as well. Here’s what you need to do:Add a mobile site template. Having users land on a mobile version of your website will make them much happier, and it isn’t difficult to do, as mobile-ready themes already exist for publishing platforms including WordPress, Joomla and Drupal. Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Remove data obstructions. Yes, Flash graphics and Javascript are already “no-no’s” when it comes to mobile optimization, but also consider how easily Siri can access the information on your site. Burying pertinent information in PDFs and sub-pages could put your site at a disadvantage.Enhance your digital presence. It’s no longer enough to simply set up profiles on Facebook and Twitter and call it a day. Instead, establish a profile on any of the following directories and review sites and encourage customers to rate your business there for maximum exposure.• Google Places• Yahoo Local• Bing Local• Yelp• Grubhub• Open Table• Urbanspoon• Foursquare• Savings.com• Retailmenot• Judy’s Book• Citysearch• Superpages• Yellow PagesTo determine which of these options are the best fit for your business, do a quick search to see which business sites in your geographic area and industry are ranking well in Google and create profiles on whichever of the following sites they’re using.Implement microdata. If you’re savvy in the ways of SEO or have an IT manager who is you’ll want to consider adding “schema tags” to your website. Schema tags allow your site to incorporate relevant microdata — local business, address, telephone and open hours, for example — that could help Siri and the search engines process important information about your site more quickly.Related: Apple’s iPhone 4S Announcement DisappointsWhile Siri on her own doesn’t necessarily spell the end of local SEO it’s worth taking note of the popularity this mobile data management system has gained in a relatively short period of time. As Siri evolves and other operating systems adopt similar technology, the businesses that benefit most will be those that best understand how their customers interact in a mobile environment and optimize their sites to engage them. Free Workshop | August 28: Get Better Engagement and Build Trust With Customers Now This hands-on workshop will give you the tools to authentically connect with an increasingly skeptical online audience. 5 min readlast_img read more

Agra Grounds change rooms burn due to people living there

first_imgWebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite One man was found sleeping on the other side of the change room. When approached and asked where he resides, he said he lives in Ezakheni.The scene of the fireLast week, tyres were burnt outside the building by people who have taken up residence at the grounds. The fire department again had to respond to extinguish the blaze.No injuries were reported.Click to receive news links via WhatsApp. Or  for the latest news, visit our webpage or follow us on Facebook and Twitter. Join us there! The Agra Grounds change rooms caught alight on Wednesday afternoon (November 22).Many people saw smoke billowing into the air and reported the fire to Public Safety.The Ladysmith Fire Department responded to the scene to fight the blaze. Firefighters quickly put out the fire, which was evidently started by people living in the change rooms at the sports ground.Tyres and rubbish was found burning inside the building.Also read: Watch: Old Aloes building in Ladysmith destroyed in fireAlso read: 3 shacks completely destroyed in fire in Marula Drivelast_img read more