In the news today March 21

first_imgFour stories in the news for Thursday, March 21———BRONCOS FAMILIES AWAIT SENTENCING FOR TRUCK DRIVERFamily members forever changed by the Humboldt Broncos hockey bus crash are speaking out before Friday’s sentencing of the truck driver who caused the collision. Jaskirat Singh Sidhu of Calgary has pleaded guilty to 29 counts of dangerous driving. The Crown is asking for 10 years and the defence anywhere from one-and-a-half to four-and-a-half years. Sixteen people died in the crash, including the son of former NHL player Chris Joseph. He says there aren’t any number of years that would make him happy, but he wants the sentence to be tough enough so a similar crash doesn’t happen again. Michelle Straschnitzki, whose son Ryan was paralyzed, says it’s got to be more than a slap on the wrist.———MPS CONTINUE ALL-NIGHT VOTING MARATHON Members of Parliament are continuing their marathon voting session as opposition parties protest the Trudeau government’s efforts to shut down any further investigation into the SNC-Lavalin affair. The Liberal majority shot down a Conservative motion calling on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to let former attorney general Jody Wilson-Raybould testify more fully about her allegation that she was improperly pressured to drop a criminal prosecution of Montreal engineering giant SNC-Lavalin. That set the stage for a Conservative-sponsored filibuster Wednesday night, requiring 257 separate votes on items in the government’s spending estimates. Since any vote involving government spending is automatically considered a confidence vote, Liberals were required to be out in force to avoid potential defeat of the government.———TRANS WOMAN HOPES FUNDING CUT WILL SEND MESSAGEA transgender woman whose discrimination case against a Vancouver rape crisis centre was dismissed by the courts says she hopes a funding cut by the city will help change the shelter’s policies. Kimberly Nixon filed a human rights complaint against Vancouver Rape Relief and Women’s Shelter in 1995 after she was refused training to work as a volunteer peer counsellor because she did not share the same life experience as someone born female. The British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal awarded $75,000 against Rape Relief, but that was overturned by the courts. The City of Vancouver gives Rape Relief almost $34,000 in a grant every year, but it has decided to stop that funding as of next year, saying the centre is not meeting transgender inclusion criteria.———QUEBEC BUDGET TO BE TABLED TODAYAfter five months in power, Francois Legault’s Coalition Avenir Quebec government will lay out its true priorities today as it tables its first budget. Legault has raised expectations with expensive promises since his party won the Oct. 1 provincial election, and he insists all the commitments will be respected. He has promised to put money back in taxpayers’ wallets, reducing the fiscal burden by $1.7 billion over five years while maintaining services to the public. Finance Minister Eric Girard has a comfortable cushion to work with, having inherited a surplus from the outgoing Liberal government that is pegged at $1.7 billion.———ALSO IN THE NEWS:— Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland testifies before the Senate foreign affairs committee on the new North America free trade agreement and Brexit.— Canada’s unions release a report on the impacts of Islamophobia in the workplace.— Statistics Canada releases January figures for wholesale trade, employment insurance, investment in building construction, and travel between Canada and other countries.The Canadian Presslast_img read more

Feds remove regulatory barriers to trade hope provinces will follow suit

OTTAWA — The federal government is taking immediate steps to remove some regulatory barriers to trade across the country, hoping to persuade provinces to follow its example.For starters, it is making the national building code available for free, making it easier for the construction industry to access a single, standardized set of rules which the feds hope the provinces will adopt. Until now, downloading the code has cost $350 and provinces have imposed a patchwork of different rules and interpretations on top.Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Dominic LeBlanc says the move was inspired by Australia, which saw $1 billion worth of additional economic activity after getting its state governments to harmonize their building codes and drop the fee for accessing them.“The faster we can get to a national building code, a standardized building code, the better it will be for that whole sector to reduce costs and grow their businesses,” LeBlanc said in an interview Wednesday.The move comes as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is preparing to hold a first ministers’ meeting next week, at which eliminating interprovincial trade barriers is high on the agenda.“I’ve been saying to provincial governments that we want to come to the conversation having identified the federal barriers because I don’t pretend that they’re exclusively provincial,” said LeBlanc.LeBlanc said the federal government is focusing on areas where it can act quickly to remove regulatory hurdles that impede trade between provinces and territories and add unnecessary costs to businesses.Besides making the building code free, the government is amending federal energy-efficiency regulations for household appliances, clarifying food labelling rules and modernizing meat inspection regulations.And it is expanding the federal definition of what constitutes vodka to include vodka made from something other than potatoes or grain. The current definition has meant that a Nova Scotia or Manitoba micro-distillery that makes vodka from apples can’t label it and sell it in other provinces as vodka.“There are dozens of examples like that that we’re trying to eliminate federally, quickly because it gives us I think a better story to tell when we’re asking provinces to do their part,” LeBlanc said.At next week’s first ministers’ meeting, he said the federal government will propose movement in other areas, particularly in the trucking industry and food inspection.Trade between provinces and territories accounts for 20 per cent of Canada’s economic activity, worth $370 billion a year. LeBlanc said studies by the Bank of Canada and others have estimated that removing interprovincial trade barriers would add up to 2 percentage points to Canada’s economic growth rate — equivalent to the projected economic benefit of Canada’s recently concluded free trade agreement with the European Union.“But we shouldn’t kid ourselves,” LeBlanc added. “That requires major and significant movement and, frankly, what we’re proposing is just a series of initial steps.”Barriers to the free flow of booze across provincial borders is probably the most difficult internal trade nut to crack and LeBlanc said the federal government is exploring what it can do to encourage provinces to eliminate those barriers. One option, he said, would be to set up an electronic platform that would facilitate direct-to-consumer online sales of wine, beer and alcohol, while ensuring that each participating province gets its share of tax revenue.“We can’t impose that … but if enough of (the provinces) say, ‘You know what, let’s try this for three years and see how it would work,’ we think it could be part of improving consumer choice.” read more

Feds spending 500M to expand highspeed Internet access to remote communities

Feds spending $500M to expand high-speed Internet access to remote communities by The Canadian Press Posted Dec 15, 2016 9:30 am MDT Last Updated Dec 15, 2016 at 10:54 am MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email WAKEFIELD, Qc – The federal government is investing up to $500 million to bring high-speed, broadband Internet access to 300 rural and remote communities by 2021.Innovation Minister Navdeep Bains says the “Connect to Innovate” program is the modern equivalent of building roads or railway spurs to remote locations, providing Internet access to schools, hospitals and First Nation band offices.He says high-speed Internet access can unlock tremendous economic potential, leading to the creation of new jobs, products and businesses.The deadline for applications for project funding is March 13 next year.The money for the project was first announced in the spring budget.Some of the cash will be used to provide basic “backbone networks” and a portion will go to upgrade existing networks to bring Internet access to households and businesses that do not have speeds of at least 5 megabits per second.“Our government is committed to ensuring that all Canadians, businesses and institutions have access to the opportunities and tools they need to grow and succeed in Canada and abroad,” Bains said in a statement.“By increasing access to high-speed Internet, the Connect to Innovate program enhances our rural and remote communities’ ability to innovate, participate in the digital economy and create jobs for middle-class families. This investment will improve the daily lives of Canadians.” read more

Christie signs 347B budget ends state government shutdown

TRENTON, N.J. – A budget impasse that shuttered government and state parks and beaches for three days ended on the Fourth of July when Republican Gov. Chris Christie signed a deal he and the Democratic Legislature crafted.Christie, who lounged with his family on a beach that was closed to the public over the weekend and was roundly criticized for it, said he was saddened the budget deal had come three days late. He signed it early Tuesday morning.He rejected the idea that the aerial photos of him on the beach snapped by had any effect on his negotiations.“There will be some people who say, ‘It affected his negotiating ability,’” Christie said. “Let me tell you something, man, I got exactly what I wanted tonight. It doesn’t affect my ability to do my job.”He said he had ordered all closed state parks to reopen for Independence Day. And he said state government will open on Wednesday and state workers will get a paid holiday Tuesday at his request.Democratic Senate President Steve Sweeney and Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto announced the budget deal late Monday. The deal calls for a $34.7 billion budget that includes more than $300 million in Democratic spending priorities and is part of an agreement to overhaul the state’s largest health insurer, Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield.The Assembly and the Senate approved the budget early Tuesday.The Horizon legislation calls for annual audits of the non-profit’s reserve level, sets a range for reserves and requires excess to be spent on policyholders. The budget stalemate centred on Christie’s desire for legislation to overhaul Horizon.Without a budget, state parks were shut down along with other nonessential state services, including state courts and the motor vehicle offices where people go to get driver’s licenses. Tens of thousands of state workers are furloughed.Here’s a closer look at the standoff over the budget:___BATTLE OF EGOSOn the surface the budget stalemate revolved around Christie’s desire to overhaul Horizon, but also in play were the strong personalities of the three principals responsible for passing the budget.Christie, the brash, tell-it-like-it-is former federal prosecutor, has staked his final year as governor on overhauling the non-profit insurer in exchange for his support of more than $300 million worth of Democratic spending priorities.On Monday he declared victory, saying he had wanted since February to get reform of Horizon.But the legislation was a far cry from the initial proposal, which would have allowed the state to use Horizon surplus to fund opioid treatment. Instead any surplus above a capped amount must go back to policyholders.Christie said it was a win because there was no cap on surplus before he stepped in to regulate the company.Sweeney is a former ironworker and current union boss as well as the top elected Democrat for the past eight years. He held the line on Horizon because he trusted Christie would make good on a gentleman’s agreement not to line item veto Democratic priorities.Sweeney’s education funding plan, which includes about $150 million for new spending, remained intact.And Prieto is a onetime plumber from Hudson County, long considered one of the state’s hardest-edged political regions, known for old-school party boss politics. Prieto’s speakership is under threat from another lawmaker who’s announced a bid against him.Prieto had said he opposed any action on Horizon but said Monday he helped bring Horizon into negotiations to model the deal on Pennsylvania’s regulations of Blue Cross Blue Shield health insurers.___STATE WORKERS FURLOUGHEDHetty Rosenstein, the New Jersey director of the Communications Workers of America, the largest union of state government workers, said roughly 35,000 workers had been “locked out” since the shutdown began.While most of the furloughs took effect Monday, many parks, motor vehicle commission staffers and others who work weekends have been off the job since early Saturday.Rosenstein said it’s unclear if furloughed workers will get back pay but “we certainly feel we’re entitled to that.”Christie said Monday that state workers would, at his request, receive Tuesday as a paid holiday. He said he’d discuss back pay with the Legislature.___Contact Catalini at Press writers Bruce Shipkowski, in Trenton, and Wayne Parry, in Atlantic City, contributed to this story. by Michael Catalini, The Associated Press Posted Jul 4, 2017 12:12 am MDT Last Updated Jul 4, 2017 at 1:00 am MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email Christie signs $34.7B budget, ends state government shutdown read more

With 22 million Afghans feared to be on the move UN agency

Additional strain on overstretched servicesThere are particular concerns that such large-scale returns and intensified conflict, combined with rapid urbanization, have created additional strain on already overstretched local services. Further compounding the issue is the lack of accurate information on the location and needs of people who have returned or those who have been forced to leave their homes.The first phase of the Displacement Tracking Matrix in Afghanistan will put a framework in place to track at risk populations in Nangarhar, Laghman and Kunar provinces.IOM said that its staff in these provinces will consult with community leaders and elders, national and local authorities, as well as previous registrations and assessments. They will also conduct field visits to get a comprehensive picture of the estimated number of returnees from abroad, internal movements and needs and conditions at the village, district and provincial levels.“While there is good tracking along the borders, there is little knowledge of the actual final destinations, the villages and neighbourhoods, where people are arriving,” said IOM Human Mobility Tracking Expert Vlatko Avramovski. “The Matrix will deliver this information regularly and accurately.” Children from an Afghan returnee family at their home in Jalalabad, Afghanistan. Photo: IOM (file) “There is an urgent need to know where people in vulnerable situations are living and what their needs are,” said the head of the International Organization for Migration (IOM) operations in Afghanistan, Laurence Hart.In a news release issued earlier today, he added: “With a system in place to clearly track these concerns, humanitarian actors and the Government can deliver assistance and services to the families and communities that need it most.”The UN agency hopes that with the launch of its Displacement Tracking Matrix – a system that employs a range of tools and processes to track and monitor population movement during crises – humanitarian actors will have a better understanding of the movements and evolving needs of vulnerable populations, whether on site or en route, and be alerted to urgent concerns, greatly facilitating humanitarian response.According to IOM, in 2016, more than 600,000 registered refugees and undocumented Afghans returned back from Pakistan and, based on estimates, a further 1 million are expected to return in 2017.On top of the returning population, last year also saw conflict-induced displacement of over 623,000, and an additional 450,000 people are expected to become internally displaced due to the ongoing conflict this year. read more

Week In Westminster – Week ending Friday 26 July 2013

DOWNLOAD1. Government announces £10 million prize to make ultra-low emission cars2. Government sets out plans to reform apprenticeship funding3. UKTI report states UK is leading European destination for Foreign Direct Investment4. £1500 Apprenticeship Grant for Employers (AGE) extended for another year5. Week aheadClick to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)

Paradigm Shifters qualify for round two of Canadas Crush It Challenge

first_imgA group of companies called ‘The Paradigm Shifters’ has made it to the next round of a challenge aimed at reducing the amount of energy that crushers and grinders use in the mining process.The Crush It! Challenge is spearheaded by the federal government (Impact Canada), in cooperation with Natural Resources Canada (NRCan), the Centre for Excellence in Mining Innovation (CEMI), and Goldcorp.Crushing and grinding account for upwards of 50% of mine site energy consumption and up to 3% of all the electric power generated in the world.iRing Inc is the lead partner within The Paradigm Shifters and has coordinated the effort with proposal partners to respond to the challenge, it said.The company explained: “Essentially the team proposes to bring together the processes and technology that could reduce or even eliminate the need for expensive primary crushers, and reduce the energy required by secondary crushing (potentially eliminating it as well) and grinders in both mines and quarries globally.”The Crush It! Challenge has several qualifying rounds and, if successful in getting to Round 3, then the team will be eligible to receive C$800,000 ($605,397) in seed funding to further prove the concept over a one-and-a-half-year period. At the end of that period, if the team wins the chance to move forward, the project would be eligible to receive an additional C$5 million in funding to commercialise the products and concepts.The Paradigm Shifters team consists of:iRing Inc (North Bay) Challenge Project Lead – Drill and blasting software;Nexco Inc (North Bay) – Producer of the energy-variable explosive product;Boart Longyear (North Bay and global) – Global supplier of market leading drilling products and services;Paige Engineering Ltd (PEL) (North Bay) – Design and fabrication of explosive manufacturing and loading equipment;Seneca (Montreal) – Explosive plant engineering, design and build;Maptek (Denver and Global) – 3D laser scanner/fragmentation measurement capabilities, and;Bomon Capital (Toronto) – Long term financing should the team succeed.The savings that could accrue to mines and quarries annually is C$12.8 billion (25% reduction) to C$25.6 billion (50% reduction), according to iRing.“If all mines in the world adopted this solution, it would represent a reduction equivalent to 7-13% of all the carbon released in Canada, and 20-41% of Canada’s contribution to meeting the Paris Accord agreement.”iRing will use its software, Aegis, to design the blasting patterns based on the fragmentation requirements. Boart Longyear will deploy recently developed high speed diamond drilling technologies and instrumentation solutions to quickly and accurately drill and validate high-quality blast holes, while using significantly less energy. iRing said: “Boart Longyear’s drills utilise drilling data logging to interpret rock density and strength etc, while drilling.”The company continued: “With Seneca’s help, Nexco will build a demonstration plant that will produce an energy-variable explosive mixture that can be fuelled while being loaded into the blastholes, and the blast energy would be based on the ore strength information provided by Boart Longyear’s drills and iRing’s software.”Troy Williams, Vice President of Development of iRing, said: “The challenge will provide a once-in-a-life-time opportunity to reach the mining industry and demonstrate that it is possible to produce consistent results from the blasting operations.”PEL will design and fabricate the explosive manufacturing and loading equipment required to change the explosive’s energy during loading, according to iRing. Energy reduction is done by adding additional water content into the explosive formulation during loading. Maptek’s laser scanner, meanwhile, will be used to verify fragmentation results by scanning the muck pile and producing a 3D point cloud which can be analysed for a measured fragmentation distribution. Those results will be used by Aegis to further calibrate the fragmentation models.Mark Sherry, President of iRing, said: “We are really excited by this opportunity as it is directly in iRing’s wheelhouse. The Paradigm Shifters bring together the best in the industry when it comes to drilling and blasting. By working together, we will create a paradigm that is more efficient, effective, cleaner, and safer”.last_img read more

Nuclear power Seanad reform and everything else happening in Leinster House today

first_imgWHAT’S GOING ON in Leinster House?Every day the Dáil and Seanad are sitting, brings you the most comprehensive guide to what our lawmakers are getting up to in the Houses of the Oireachtas.So, here is what we can expect to be happening in the Dáil, Seanad and Committee rooms today…4 things we’ll be keeping an eye on Seanad: Statements on Seanad Reform – These will be heard by Taoiseach Enda Kenny at 2pm, who will speak in the chamber for only the third time since the government took office. Last time was June 26th.Dáil: Leaders’ Questions – The issues of the day will be tackled at 10.30am.Committees: The case for nuclear energy in Ireland – Better Environment with Nuclear Energy will be in to give their input, bright and early at 9.30am in Room 4. This comes just days after An Taisce announced that it would challenge the building a new nuclear power plant in Britain.Committees: Ombudsman appointment – The Public Service Oversight and Petitions committee will meet with Peter Tydnall, the government’s nominee to replace Emily O’Reilly as Ombudsman. That’s at 4pm in Room 3.Everything else that’s happening in the DáilEverything kicks off at 10.30am with Leaders’ Questions.At 10.51am, it’s time for Order of Business, which includes a report on the European Public Prosecutors Office being heard without debate, statements ahead of the European Council meeting, before discussion of Environment Minister Phil Hogan‘s Local Government Bill resumes. TDs will also get to have their say on Transport Minister Leo Varadkar‘s latest Road Traffic Bill.It’s time for a break at 1.30pm.Questions for Phil Hogan will be heard at 2.3opm, and will more than likely follow on from the discussion of the Local Government Bill.At 3.45pm it’s time for Topical Issues.Fianna Fáil’s motion regarding Older Citizens will be heard again at 7.30pm during Private Members Business. This time amendments will be included from People Before Profit TD Richard Boyd Barrett, who is calling for medical cards for all pensioners over 65 and safeguards for the Free Travel Pass.Everything else that’s happening in the SeanadIt all begins at 10.30am with Order of Business.At 4pm, Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney will be in for statements on the Common Agricultural Policy.A number of amendments to Direct Provision will be proposed in Private Members Business at 5.30pm. These include an examination of whether or not alternative support would be more suited, and the establishment of a independent complaints mechanism.After that, it’s Matters on the Adjournment at 7.30pm.Everything else that’s happening in the CommitteesNuclear energy and roaming charges are up for discussion at 9.30am in Room 4 by the Transport and Communications committee. Proposed EU legislation, which aims for a “Connected Continent”, would provide access to electronic communications across Europe “without cross-border restrictions or unjustified additional costs“.Minister of State Brian Hayes will attend the Finance Sub-Committee to discuss the Credit Reporting Bill 2012, which would see a Central Credit Register established to house information on credit scores, applications, and agreements, something which has been labelled as “anti-democratic“. That’s at 2pm in Room 4.The Gender Recognition Bill, which would “provide a process enabling transgender people to achieve full legal recognition of their self-identified gender”, will be discussed in Room 3 at 1pm by the Education and Social Protection committee. Among those in attendance will be the Transgender Equality Network Ireland and LGBT Noise.Here’s how to watch what’s going on in Leinster House todayDáil ÉireannSeanad ÉireannCommittee Room 1Committee Room 2Committee Room 3Committee Room 4To access streams on iOS, click here Like politics? Then why not ‘Like’’s Politics page?Explainer: How does a Bill become a law?last_img read more

Tsitas once again elected mayor of Darebin

first_img Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram Councillor Steven Tsitas has been elected mayor of the city of Darebin for the second time in his political career. Voted into the top position at a council meeting last week at Preston City Hall, Cr Tsitas won five of the nine votes ahead of Cr Angela Villella and Cr Bo Li.“I will work tirelessly on your behalf and I will work hard to build a council team the people of Darebin can trust and be proud of,” he said during his acceptance speech. For his one-year term, the newly elected mayor listed economic management and financial sustainability as the top priorities on the council agenda, with a “particular focus on small and micro businesses”. Additional areas of importance included various infrastructure projects, city planning, traffic and transport, women’s sports and community relationships. Representing Rucker ward, his fellow ward councillor Oliver Walsh was voted in as deputy mayor with six votes to his name.Cr Tsitas also took the opportunity to thank Cr Gaetano Greco, from whom he will take over the reins.Currently in his fifth term as councillor, in 2011 he was the first Greek Australian to be appointed as mayor of Darebin City Council.last_img read more

ISS deux cosmonautes en sortie spatiale

first_imgISS : deux cosmonautes en sortie spatialeLe 16 février dernier, les cosmonautes Oleg Kononenko et Anton Shkaplerov sont sortis de la Station spatiale internationale (ISS) pendant une durée de six heures et quinze minutes pour réaliser différentes opérations.Au cours de leur séjour à bord de la Station spatiale internationale (ISS), les équipages réalisent régulièrement de petites sorties dans l’espace. L’occasion pour eux de revêtir leur combinaison et de se laisser flotter dans l’espace… en plus de remplir quelques missions. Le 16 février dernier, c’était ainsi au tour des Russes Oleg Kononenko et Anton Shkaplerov de l’expédition 30 d’aller faire un tour en dehors de l’ISS. À lire aussiPourquoi certains s’évanouissent-ils à la vue du sang ?Au total, la sortie a duré pas moins de 6 heures 15 minutes et a permis aux deux cosmonautes de réaliser plusieurs opérations. Tout d’abord, ils ont déplacé la grue du compartiment d’amarrage Pirs afin de préparer le remplacement de ce module qui devrait se faire l’an prochain. Le duo est également intervenu sur le module Poisk en vue d’assemblages futures et de travaux de maintenance. A l’extérieur de celui-ci, ils ont en outre installé le Vinoslivost Materials Sample Experiment qui a pour but étudier l’influence de l’espace sur les propriétés mécaniques de différents matériaux. Enfin, les cosmonautes ont aussi collecté des échantillons tests au niveau du module de service Zvezda dans le but de chercher des traces d’organismes vivants. Pour ces missions, les deux Russes étaient équipés de leur combinaison à rayures bleues et des casques caméras conçus par la NASA. Une tenue certes sobre mais qui n’empêche pas les photos de laisser rêveur… Le 24 février 2012 à 11:52 • Maxime Lambertlast_img read more

Deputy fired over Proud Boys sweatshirt

first_imgThe Clark County Sheriff’s Office has fired a deputy photographed wearing, and who apparently merchandises, apparel affiliated with the Proud Boys, a far-right group known for its white nationalist rhetoric and frequent appearances in the middle of political violence locally and nationwide.The sheriff’s office placed Deputy Erin Willey on leave for an internal investigation in response to The Columbian’s reporting, after the office was shown a photograph of Willey wearing a sweatshirt emblazoned with a Proud Boys logo. She was terminated on Tuesday after the investigation was completed.The undated photograph, shared with The Columbian by an anonymous source, shows Willey wearing a hooded sweatshirt with a logo showing a switchblade, lipstick and an abbreviation for Proud Boys’ Girls, which appears to be for sale on the online storefront Redbubble, an Australia-based market similar to Etsy.Willey is also shown in a second photograph shared on a Proud Boys-affiliated Twitter page, which included her contact information for buying Proud Boys’ Girls merchandise.Clark County Undersheriff Mike Cooke declined to speak in more detail on the investigation or Willey’s termination, saying it’s a personnel matter.last_img read more


first_img Bahamas repulsed by violence in Paris, says Minister Bahamas congratulates US and Cuba on diplomatic progress WhatsApp, Netflix, Skype; Cutting profits to Telecoms companies Recommended for you Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppNassau, 5 Nov 2014 – Peculiar messages circulating on WhatsApp in The Bahamas and the scary notes appeared aimed at causing civil unrest between Haitians and Bahamians. “…disgruntled Haitian-Bahamian employees working at fast food places around Nassau….. Do not use ketchup or nugget sauces… injected with bad things…”“…Jamaicans putting chemicals in the water they sell to Bahamians…”The Government has already warned against these sentiments and other actions which threaten any migrant population.Fred Mitchell, Minister of Immigration has demanded that those behind the mean messages stop! Saying they could provoke violence.The Haitan Ambassador for The Bahamas and Turks and Caicos is upset by the circulating accusations; saying they are erroneous and not true.A new immigration policy is fuelling fears and frustrations; though there have been no problems reported by officials thus far.Min Mitchell who returned from country business in Dubai on Sunday, is again out of country… reportedly in Trinidad and Tobago this time. Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Related Items:Fred mitchell, haitian ambassador to bahamas, migrant population, whatsapplast_img read more

GOP tax bill gains support Senate leaders work on holdouts

first_img , By MARCY GORDON and STEPHEN OHLEMACHERAssociated PressWASHINGTON (AP) — Senate Republican leaders wrangled with the last few GOP holdouts Thursday as they pushed toward passing the first major rewrite of the nation’s tax code in more than three decades, a package that would impact rich and the poor as well as businesses big and small.Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said he expected a final vote late Thursday or early Friday on a $1.4 trillion package that would slash the corporate tax rate, offer more modest cuts for families and individuals and eliminate several popular deductions.Lawmakers would then try to reconcile the Senate package with one passed by the House in the hope of delivering a major legislative accomplishment to President Donald Trump by Christmas. Republicans have cast passage of a tax overhaul as a political imperative to ensure they hold their House and Senate majorities in next year’s midterm elections.”We’re heading down the homestretch,” McConnell told reporters on Thursday.The package would add $1 trillion to the budget deficit over the next decade, much less than previously projected, according to a congressional analysis released Thursday.The tax bill would increase economic growth, generating an additional $458 billion in tax revenue, according to the analysis by the nonpartisan Joint Committee on Taxation. The committee previously estimated that the package would add $1.4 trillion to the deficit.The additional revenue is a boost to the bill but is still far short of the $2 trillion promised by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.Two Republican senators, John McCain of Arizona and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, announced their support for the tax package Thursday, giving it a major boost. Both McCain and Murkowski had voted against the GOP bill to dismantle the Obama health care law this past summer in a blow to the GOP.Their support is key because Senate Republicans hold a slim 52-48 majority in the Senate, meaning they can only afford to lose two votes, with Vice President Mike Pence casting the tie-breaker.”It’s clear this bill’s net effect on our economy would be positive,” McCain said in a statement. “This is not a perfect bill, but it is one that would deliver much-needed reform to our tax code, grow the economy, and help Americans keep more of their hard-earned money.”Murkowski said she supports the tax bill now that it would allow oil drilling in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Murkowski got the provision added earlier this week, but the initial version violated arcane Senate rules about which provisions can be added to the tax bill.Murkowski said Thursday the provision was tweaked to comply. “We have done it and we’re ready to go,” she said.Drilling in the refuge has long been a contentious issue, pitting environmentalists against those who want to increase domestic oil production.Senators were still grappling with several issues Thursday, including how to craft a trigger that would impose automatic tax increases if the tax package doesn’t raise as much revenue as projected. The provision would mollify deficit hawks who worry that the massive package of tax cuts for businesses and individuals would add too much to the nation’s mounting debt.Sen. John Thune of South Dakota, the No. 3 Republican in the Senate, called the trigger “a work in progress” Thursday afternoon.Senators were also considering whether to add a deduction for local property taxes. The current Senate bill completely eliminates the federal deduction for state and local taxes, a popular deduction in the Democratic-leaning states of New York, New Jersey, California and Illinois as well as many wealthy suburbs nationwide.Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, proposed an amendment to let homeowners deduct up to $10,000 in local property taxes on the their federal returns. It is similar to a provision in the House-passed bill.Without the deduction, Collins said, it would be “very problematic for me” to vote for the bill.Collins would make up the estimated $146 billion in lost revenue by keeping the personal income tax rate for the wealthiest earners at 39.6 percent and make a smaller cut in the corporate tax rate. Trump and other Republicans insist that the corporate tax rate must be reduced from 35 percent to 20 percent.Sen. Steve Daines, R-Mont., backed the package Wednesday after securing an increase in the deduction for business income from 17.4 percent to 20 percent. The deduction is for business owners who report their business income on their individual tax returns.Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wisc., has also been pushing to increase the tax break for these business owners. He has been noncommittal about his support, even with the change secured by Daines.The tax package would mark the first time in 31 years that Congress has overhauled the tax code.The plan would nearly double the standard deduction to around $12,000 for individuals and about $24,000 for married couples. The tax cuts for individuals would expire in 2026 while the corporate tax cuts would be permanent.Under Senate rules, senators can offer unlimited amendments, setting up the possibility of dozens of votes that could stretch all night into Friday morning.___Associated Press writer Alan Fram contributed to this report.___Follow Stephen Ohlemacher on Twitter at 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. GOP tax bill gains support; Senate leaders work on holdouts November 30, 2017 Updated: 3:30 PM Posted: November 30, 2017 Categories: Local San Diego News FacebookTwitterlast_img read more

Wilmington Real Estate Transactions Week of August 13 2019

first_imgWILMINGTON, MA — Below are the real estate transactions in Wilmington that occurred from August 13, 2019 to August 20, 2019:Address: 7 Burt RoadPrice: $600,000Buyer: Michael & Edna BrattonSeller: Mymy TranDate: 8/19/19Use: 1-Family ResidentialLot Size: 30,875 sfAddress: 66 Chestnut StreetPrice: $629,900Buyer: Karin QuinnSeller: Alexandra MorganDate: 8/15/19Use: 1-Family ResidentialLot Size: 26,394 sfAddress: 4 Earles RowPrice: $560,000Buyer: Nicholas & Jaclynn GentileSeller: Justin Cusce & Ellen MahoneyDate: 8/15/19Use: 1-Family ResidentialLot Size: 50,965 sfAddress: 7 Lawrence CourtPrice: $545,000Buyer: David Hunt & Leeann StellaSeller: Karl SagalDate: 8/15/19Use: 1-Family ResidentialLot Size: 35,000 sfAddress: 30 Marcus RoadPrice: $520,000Buyer: Erik & Alexandra PichetteSeller: Margaret McKennaDate: 8/16/19Use: 1-Family ResidentialLot Size: 10,527 sfAddress: 301 Middlesex AvenuePrice: $507,000Buyer: Melanie & Conrad VancollerSeller: David Hunt & Leeann StellaDate: 8/15/19Use: 1-Family ResidentialLot Size: 25,398 sfAddress: 12 Seneca LanePrice: $650,500Buyer: Ellen Mahoney & Justin CusceSeller: Bobby LeeDate: 8/15/19Use: 1-Family ResidentialLot Size: 33,350 sfLike Wilmington Apple on Facebook. Follow Wilmington Apple on Twitter. Follow Wilmington Apple on Instagram. Subscribe to Wilmington Apple’s daily email newsletter HERE. Got a comment, question, photo, press release, or news tip? Email this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… RelatedRecent Wilmington Real Estate TransactionsIn “Business”Wilmington Real Estate Transactions (Week of August 20, 2019)In “Business”Recent Wilmington Real Estate TransactionsIn “Business”last_img read more

Astronomers discover the source of unexplained cosmic radio burst

first_imgTo discover the source of a one-off, mysterious space signal, an international team of astronomers utilized telescopes around the world. CSIRO/Dr. Andrew Howells Astronomers keep hearing unexplained, incredibly powerful signals from the far reaches of space — signals that come through loud and clear for a thousandth of a second and then mysteriously disappear. First discovered in 2007, “these pulses are known as fast radio bursts”, and they remain one of the universe’s biggest mysteries. Dozens of the enigmatic cosmic signals have been detected, and astronomers have puzzled over them for the past decade, trying to decode where they come from — and what causes them. In a historic first, an international team of researchers have pinpointed the location of a non-repeating fast radio burst, finding its source originates in the outskirts of a galaxy 4 billion light-years away. The monumental findings, published in AAAS journal Science on Thursday, detail the discovery and localization of FRB 180924, a powerful, one-off fast radio burst that lasted for just a fraction of a second. Speculation about the cause of the bizarre signals takes in everything from explosive neutron stars to alien spacecraft, and while we’re still not sure what’s causing them, the revelation puts astronomers one step closer to their true nature.”This is the big breakthrough that the field has been waiting for since astronomers discovered fast radio bursts in 2007,” said Keith Bannister, lead author of the paper and principal research engineer with Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation.  Sci-Tech Space The burst was picked up by the Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder, which consists of 36 radio telescopes working in tandem to scan the sky and listen for radio signals. Situated in the Australian outback, where there’s little radio interference, ASKAP is able to pick up the faintest whispers of the universe. The burst traveled from the other side of the universe, smacking into ASKAP’s array — and within half a second, the machine stopped the search and downloaded the data from each of the 36 dishes. The burst hits each dish at slightly different times. In a ridiculous feat of engineering, the team can calculate the difference in arrival time to within one-tenth of a nanosecond. That allows their detective work to begin, tracing the position to a spot in the sky — essentially plucking a needle from a haystack.The research team found FRB 180924 had come from a distant galaxy very similar in size to our own Milky Way. Galaxies are huge, huge swirling masses of stars, but the team was able to pinpoint the burst’s exact cosmic city block, approximately 13,000 light-years from the center of the galaxy. The view from antenna 29 of the the Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder as it listens for deep-space signals.The view from antenna 29 of the the Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder as it listens for deep-space signals. CSIRO/Alex Cherney After locating the burst, the research team used a suite of other telescopes around the world, including the Very Large Telescope and the Gemini South telescope in Chile, as well as the Keck telescope in Hawaii. Getting these extra cosmic eyes trained on the spot allowed the team to further characterize the location.On only one other occasion, in 2017, has a fast radio burst been traced to its source — and that particular investigation was slightly easier because the burst repeated itself intermittently, like a strobe light. Known as FRB 121102, or the “repeater,” the burst came from a completely different source to FRB180924: a dwarf galaxy slightly around 3 billion light-years away. “The burst we localized and its host galaxy look nothing like the ‘repeater’ and its host,” said Adam Deller, an astrophysicist at Swinburne University of Technology. That suggests non-repeating fast radio bursts might be different from those that do repeat, or it could hint that the signal differs depending on where it comes from. “The evidence certainly points to FRBs living in a very wide range of environments. In that sense, it isn’t surprising that their bursting properties, whether they repeat or not, would vary widely too,” said Bannister.It’s one thing to locate the signal, but it lies so far away from the Earth that it’s impossible for us to see exactly what’s causing it. For ASKAP, this is only the beginning. Bannister notes that the group is “almost fully armed and operational,” and he expects to localize more radio bursts in the future.”We’re continually extending the capabilities of the telescopes and getting better at finding the needles in the haystack,” adds Deller. With all manner of fantastic explanations put forward for the rare cosmic signals — magnetars, neutron stars and aliens — Bannister isn’t ruling out extraterrestrial intelligence just yet.”I think in all likelihood we’ll work out a natural explanation for these events, but I like to keep an open mind and follow wherever the evidence leads me.” Share your voice 16 Photos Updated 3:15 p.m. PT: Added extra comments from researchers Aliens and the search for extraterrestrial intelligencecenter_img Now playing: Watch this: What is a black hole? The universe’s dark, mysterious monsters 0 Tags Post a comment 6:23last_img read more

Arrest warrant against Tarique 2 ETV journos

first_imgTarique RahmanA Dhaka court on Monday issued warrants for the arrest against BNP senior vice c-Chairman Tarique Rahman and two senior journalists of Ekushey TV in a sedition case.Dhaka metropolitan sessions judge Mohammad Kamrul Hossain Mollah passed the order taking into cognizance the charge sheet against Tarique Rahman, Ekushey TV’s chief reporter Mahathir Faruqui Khan and its special correspondent Kanak Sarwer.The court also directed officer-in-charge of Tejgaon Police Station to submit a report on the arrest order by November 20.Meanwhile, the court granted bail to ETV chairman Abdus Salam.The court also rejected a time petition filed by Kanak.On September 6, DB inspector Emdadul Haque, also investigating officer (IO) of the case, submitted a charge sheet against four people, including Tarique Rahman in the sedition case.On January 8, 2015, sub-inspector Borhanuddin filed the sedition case with Tejgaon Police Station over the live telecast of a provocative speech by Tarique Rahman at a programme in London on January 5.According to the case, Tarique Rahman instigated his party men by delivering ‘provocative’ speech against law enforcers which led the country to anarchy at that time.Abdus Salam reportedly committed the same offence by broadcasting Tarique Rahman’s ‘provocative’ speech on his television channel. The case statement also said the broadcasting of the Tarique’s speech posed a threat to the sovereignty of Bangladesh.last_img read more

Why Diversion Courts Are An Issue In The District Attorneys Race

first_img 00:00 /04:01 Listen Gail DelaughterHarris County District Attorney Devon Anderson speaking at a 2015 news conference. Like some people who’ve had too much to drink, Rachel Chizum thought she’d be OK to drive. We met Chizum near her job in north Houston. She told us what happened to her a couple of years ago.“I was like, I’ve done this so many times. I just live a couple of miles up the street,” says Chizum. “I know the route like the back of my hand. I could do it blindfolded.”Houston Public Media’s Coverage of Election 2016But Chizum didn’t get very far. She was about to merge onto Interstate 45 when the blue lights appeared in her rearview mirror. “I know I wasn’t speeding but they pulled me over,” adds Chizum. “They didn’t need a reason anyway.”And come to find out, Chizum was far from OK to drive. She says her blood alcohol level was twice the legal limit. To complicate matters this was Chizum’s second DWI. She pleaded guilty and got two years probation. Her case was later transferred to SOBER court, an initiative for people at risk of driving drunk again in the future.The program requires more than just a check-in with a probation officer. There are classes, frequent court appearances, and drug and alcohol testing. But Chizum says the personal attention totally changed her attitude. “They’re there to listen to you,” says Chizum. “They’re there to help you.” How to deal with offenders like Chizum is one of the issues in the D.A.’s election. Incumbent Republican Devon Anderson is locked in a tight, contentious race against Democratic challenger Kim Ogg.Gail DelaughterKim Ogg gathered with supporters in July for a news conference outside the Harris County Jail.Besides the DWI court, Harris County has set up other specialty courts, like the STAR court for non-violent drug offenders. There’s also the SAFE court for prostitution cases. Other initiatives are aimed at veterans.“We’re waking up to the fact that we cannot keep building jails and prisons to keep up with this kind of policy that would just lock these folks up rather than really addressing their issues,” says Sandra Guerra Thompson, Director of the Criminal Justice Institute at the University of Houston Law Center.  “The purpose of the courts is to try to get people out of jail more quickly so that they’re not stuck in jail for low-level offenses.”So how bad of a problem is it?  Officials say there have been some days when the Harris County jail population reached over 9,000 inmates. The county then has to spend thousands of dollars to transfer inmates to jails in other counties.And what about people who are mentally ill? The Harris County Jail is considered the largest mental health provider in Texas, but Thompson says it’s not really set up for that. Another issue that causes overcrowding — people arrested for nonviolent offenses who don’t have the money to post bond. “The people that we’re talking about tend to be people who are just barely hanging on, and two to three days without work means that they lose their job,” explains Thompson. “And they lose their job, they lose their apartment. They lose their apartment, they lose their kids. And it just spirals out of control.”So where do the candidates for Harris County District Attorney stand on the issue of diversion courts?Devon Anderson points to several new programs with the goal of ending what she calls “criminal history building.” That’s when offenders agree to do a small amount of jail time so they don’t have to deal with probation.“Especially we saw that with the less than a gram cases in felony court where people would take a felony conviction but do 30 days in the county,” says Anderson. “For a drug addict that’s very attractive because they don’t have to do any treatment. They get back out and they can keep getting high but we see them right back again.” Ogg is also a fan of diversion courts, but she says to make those programs really work, you have to open them to more people. “They have proven effective and they are part of what I would say has improved, the part of the system that has improved, in the last 15 years,” says Ogg. “Unfortunately they represent a tiny fraction of the people charged in Harris County.” Meanwhile back in north Houston, we asked Chizum where she thinks she’d be right now if it wasn’t for SOBER Court. “Well if I wasn’t locked up in the jail I’d be on my way,” says Chizum. “One day or another, I just know that for a fact.”   Chizum hopes to soon complete her probation. She says she’d like to counsel other people going through the program. Sharecenter_img X To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code: last_img read more

Lucille Brooks Shares a 102 Years of Musical Memories

first_imgMrs. Lucille Brooks played the piano for her church until two years ago.“Black people are full of music,” said 102-year-old Lucille Brooks. She should know. While she currently spends her days in the home she shares with her daughter on a quiet street in Catonsville, she’s spent a lifetime teaching the children of Baltimore the value of music and how to play the piano.A legacy of work that is being recognized and honored, Oct. 26, at the annual banquet of the Rosa Pryor Music Scholarship Fund that enables young people to have private lessons and attend music schools all over the country.It’s easy to imagine Brooks as a stern but kind teacher. Although her body is weaker – she spends a lot of her days in bed – her mind is still sharp. She banters with her daughter who sits with her during the interview to help her hear my questions.  When asked about music, she closes her eyes and clasps her hands together.When I ask her what her favorite songs are, she closes her eyes and sings. One of the songs is called “He Loves Me Dearly.” Another, she and her daughter hum-sing to remember the words. Eventually they get it. “The Love of Jesus Satisfies Me.”She began playing and singing when she was 10 or 11 years old at her mother’s encouragement. Her mother found a man who travelled around Baltimore teaching children to play. Her mother bought a piano for the house and soon, Brooks was playing at her church – Waters AME – despite a little bit of stage fright.“I didn’t want to play at first,” she says. “You know how little girls are.”She just stopped playing in her church, Martin Luther King Community Church in Columbia, about a year and a half ago. She says she misses the pipe organ and wishes she could play it one more time.Much like the man who taught her, Brooks got her start traveling around the city looking for children to teach. She would charge them $1 a lesson.“I’ve had a lot of good students,” she said. “Some remember me but I don’t remember them.”One notable student was Dr. Audrey McCallum, the first Black person to attend and graduate from the Peabody Prepatory School. Another, the Rev. Jimmie MacDonald, has performed with the Rev. Billy Graham.How many students has she had over the years? Too many to remember.Lots of her students call and check on her. There are fresh flowers on display in her bedroom – a gift from one. In addition to private lessons, Brooks taught at Dunbar, Carver and Lake Clifton high schools. Two years ago, about 150 people, many of whom were her former students, came to sing for her at Union Baptist Church in Baltimore in celebration of her 100th birthday.She hasn’t limited her life just to Baltimore, either. Brooks studied a bit at New York University, before graduating from Morgan State University. Her post-graduate studies took her as far as France, London and Nairobi. She played in all of those places.As I was preparing to leave her, Brooks asks about my own children and tells me, emphatically to be good to them and raise them well. I ask if all children should learn to play the piano.“Oh yes. It keeps them busy, it makes them follow through and it makes them feel good,” she said.last_img read more

Combined team of physicists and biologists build Lyme disease detector using carbon

first_img Researchers attach Lyme disease antibodies to nanotubes, paving way for diagnostic device © 2013 Citation: Combined team of physicists and biologists build Lyme disease detector using carbon nanotube sensor (2013, June 17) retrieved 18 August 2019 from More information: Mitchell B. Lerner, Jennifer Dailey, Brett R. Goldsmith, Dustin Brisson, A.T. Charlie Johnson, Detecting Lyme disease using antibody-functionalized single-walled carbon nanotube transistors, Biosensors and Bioelectronics, Volume 45, 15 July 2013, Pages 163–167. examined the potential of antibody-functionalized single-walled carbon nanotube (SWNT) field-effect transistors (FETs) to use as a fast and accurate sensor for a Lyme disease antigen. Biosensors were fabricated on oxidized silicon wafers using chemical vapor deposition grown carbon nanotubes that were functionalized using diazonium salts. Attachment of Borrelia burgdorferi (Lyme) flagellar antibodies to the nanotubes was verified by atomic force microscopy and electronic measurements. A reproducible shift in the turn-off voltage of the semiconducting SWNT FETs was seen upon incubation with B. burgdorferi flagellar antigen, indicative of the nanotube FET being locally gated by the residues of flagellar protein bound to the antibody. This sensor effectively detected antigen in buffer at concentrations as low as 1 ng/ml, and the response varied strongly over a concentration range coinciding with levels of clinical interest. Generalizable binding chemistry gives this biosensing platform the potential to be expanded to monitor other relevant antigens, enabling a multiple vector sensor for Lyme disease. The speed and sensitivity of this biosensor make it an ideal candidate for development as a medical diagnostic test.via Nanotechweb Lyme disease is an infection caused by several types of bacteria—generally tick-borne, the disease can cause permanent nerve damage if not detected early. Currently patients must undergo a two-stage process as part of a diagnosis. The first is called an ELISA assay—it uses antibodies and color changes to identify substances. Because it tends to sometimes produce false positives, patients must also undergo what is known as a Western blot test—a test for the specific bacteria that cause the disease. It too tends to result in the occasional false positive however, which is why researchers continue to look for a more accurate way to detect the presence of the bacteria that causes the disease.In this new effort, the research team grew a large array of carbon nanotubes for use as sensors. Then using a new covalent-chemistry technique they developed they attached antibody proteins to the nanotubes. The antibodies attract and capture a type of protein found in the flagellum of bacteria that are the source of Lyme disease. The adhered protein causes a change in the how well the nanotube sensors are able to conduct electricity. By measuring changes in voltage, the researchers can determine if the bacteria are present in a single drop of blood.Besides being more accurate than the current method of testing for Lyme disease, the new device also can give researchers a better idea of how highly concentrated the antigens are in a patient—allowing doctors to prescribe the right amount of medicine for treatment. The nanotube based detector can also detect the presence of the bacteria much earlier than the current method, helping to prevent nerve damage and other health problems.The new sensor isn’t ready to be used by doctors just yet of course, it must be put through rigorous testing first. Also, the team believes they can improve their detector by making it sensitive to just the pieces of the antibodies that are responsible for antigen bonding, instead of the whole protein. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Explore further ( —A team made up of researchers from both the physics and biology departments at the University of Pennsylvania has succeeded in building a Lyme disease detector using a carbon nanotube sensor. In their paper published in the journal Biosensors and Bioelectronics, the team describes the process they used to make the device and how it works. Journal information: Biosensors and Bioelectronicslast_img read more