Concrete actions timeline needed for sustainable development – Assembly President

In a statement to the Assembly’s Second Committee, which deals with economic and financial issues, delivered by his chef de cabinet Mutlaq M. Al-Qahtani, Mr. Al-Nasser noted that world leaders at the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro set out the principles of sustainable development and highlighted that no one nation can achieve sustainable development alone.“Over the past 20 years governments, businesses, and civil society have accepted this paradigm as imperative for making progress on the three pillars of sustainable development – economic, social and environmental,” he said. “Today, however the world is facing new and emerging challenges – challenges ranging from the food and energy crisis to the global recession to climate change. Of course, the ever-present challenge of poverty eradication looms large. All these factors make the situation today much more complex. Implementation has proven difficult and many commitments remain largely unfulfilled.”He stressed that next year’s Rio+20 Conference on Sustainable Development in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, offers an opportunity to pay special attention to the means of implementation.“For a concrete outcome, Member States are encouraged to agree on a framework of action which could include, among others things, a timeline for implementing sustainable development commitments and a set of sustainable development action goals,” he said.Calling for strengthening the institutional framework of sustainable development and facilitating concrete solutions to issues related to the transfer of technology, he urged Member States to set out concrete actions to bridge the gaps in achieving full and effective implementation.“Supporting sustainable development requires integrated solutions, a global partnership, including triangular cooperation, and broad public participation,” he said. “I therefore call on the renewed commitment and political will of the international community to support financing for development and national capacity-building efforts, in particular for least developed countries (LDCs).” 25 October 2011With the world facing new challenges, from food and energy crises to global recession to climate change, achieving sustainable development is more complex than ever, General Assembly President Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser warned today, calling for concrete actions and timelines. read more

Talks held on Lanka on sidelines of UNHRC meet

The speakers raised some critical concerns about the impending report on Sri Lanka by the office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.The panelists were unanimous in raising questions about how the Sri Lankan state can deliver justice, when the government and its leadership itself has been accused of committing war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide against the Tamils. While the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) had agreed on giving time to the new Sri Lankan Government to address the human rights issue, a discussion has been held at the UN Geneva building where questions had been raised on the Government and its commitment to ensure justice for the war victims.A panel discussion on “Impending High Commissioner’s Report on Sri Lanka: Comparing North Korea and Sudan recommendations for mass atrocities” was held at the Palais des Nations in Geneva on the sidelines of the ongoing UN Human Rights Council session. They also agreed that there is no fundamental change in the political and legal environment in Sri Lanka vis-a-vis the Tamils.Geoffrey Robertson provided searching options of trial against Sri Lanka, such as referral to the ICC, Security Council based initiatives, hybrid mechanism and even sought an active role of the Secretary General.It was emphasized by Prof Manivannan that an electoral change need not be construed as political transformation in Sri Lanka. Manivannan said that if world governments see light in the regime change in Sri Lanka, then darkness of injustice in Sri Lanka cannot be eliminated by abandoning the well- meaning international processes for domestic investigations. The key speakers included Geoffrey Robertson QC an International Human Rights Barrister and Professor Ramu Manivannan from the University of Madras, with the session being moderated by Manicka Vasagar from the TGTE. The event was organized by Ibn Sina, with partnership of Collectif la Paix au Sri Lanka, International Crime Prevention and Protection against Genocide (ICPPG) and the Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam (TGTE) at the UN Human Rights Council, Geneva. The panel discussion was followed by a Q&A session, attended by representatives from diplomatic missions and international organizations. (Colombo Gazette) read more

Progress in Kosovo slowgoing Security Council told

More emphasis needs to be placed on reconciliation efforts in Kosovo, where developments of the last four months illustrate the difficulties faced in making consistent progress in the province, the top United Nations peacekeeping official told the Security Council today in an open briefing.”It is, inevitably, slow-going,” the Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, Jean-Marie Guéhenno, said in his briefing on the latest developments as well as Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s recent report on the work of the UN Interim Administration Mission (UNMIK). The ensuing discussion saw the participation of representatives of some 20 countries, including the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.Mr. Guéhenno noted that while progress has been made on a number of fronts, there still have been some negative developments, most notably the continued existence of parallel government structures.The consolidation of sustainable institutions depends on an effective public administration, but recruitment remains slow, the UN official said. Also, obstacles such as security concerns, inter-ethnic tensions in the workplace and the limited pool of minority community applicants still hamper the multi-ethnic character of the civil service.As for the security situation, there has been a regrettable continuation of attacks targeting the Kosovo Serb community, including an assault last month against 50 elderly people registering for their pensions, Mr. Guéhenno said. UNMIK’s fight against crime, meanwhile, had yielded an increase in the amount of contraband seized and a subsequent rise in the number of arrests on charges of economic crime and corruption.Nevertheless, although the elections on 26 October and the prior campaign passed largely free of violence, the day after the polls saw the killing of the President of the Kosovo Albanian Municipal Assembly and two others.While the Kosovo Serb community has expressed a desire to see faster progress in many areas, Mr. Guéhenno said, its low turnout for those elections was to its own detriment, diminishing its ability to participate in decision-making processes throughout the province.Meanwhile, Kosovo’s leaders had a responsibility to create conditions conducive to improving “inter-communal” relations and promoting reconciliation, Mr. Guéhenno stressed. In that regard, he welcomed the statement made by political leaders last Friday.”But more needs to be done, including turning words into actions and speaking out more clearly against violence,” he said. “The brunt of the effort lies with the majority community.” read more

Ahead of Assembly hall renovation UN honours designers of its iconic headquarters

“Our architects were ahead of the times,” Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said as he helped open the proceedings, noting that the Secretariat building was the first based on its particular glass and steel structure. “I hope that we will follow their example and stay at the vanguard when it comes to solving global problems,” he added.Mr. Ban recalled that a Board of Design was created to create a complex that would express the vision of the United Nations set out in its Charter, bringing together 11 architects from around the world. The youngest and last surviving member of the Board, the Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer, died in December 2012 at the age of 104. At that time Mr. Ban noted that he was responsible for many iconic structures throughout the world.Recounting the dynamics of the design process, General Assembly President Vuk Jeremic, said that the Board architects fashioned an edifice to lift the spirits and stir the soul. ‹ ›“As we prepare to close the General Assembly Hall for the Capital Master Plan renovations, we can reflect on the role our buildings have played in promoting mutual respect and sovereign equality in multilateralism, encouraging us to ‘live together in peace with one another as good neighbours,’ he said, citing the UN Charter.“This Pantheon of mankind has seen confrontation and compromise, triumphs of justice and tests of will, purposefulness and perseverance. These walls have echoed through the years with the words of statesmen dedicated to advancing the quest for peace,” he added. Oscar Niemeyer during his time as a member of the so-called Board of Design Consultants tasked with drawing up plans for the building of the world body’s permanent headquarters on the East River site in Manhattan, New York City (March 1947). UN Photo In New York City, members of the so-called Board of Design Consultants look over a model of the UN site prior to a press conference on their plans. Second from left is Oscar Niemeyer. UN Photo In New York City, members of the so-called Board of Design Consultants look over a model of the UN site prior to a press conference on their plans. Second from left is Oscar Niemeyer. UN Photo Oscar Niemeyer and other architects study one of the preliminary plans for the UN Headquarters construction. UN Photo read more

UN rights expert urges Brazil to introduce measures to fulfill promises of

“I do believe that Brazil is on the right track in terms of developing laws and policies to tackle discrimination, racism and injustice. However, many of these legislative developments, whilst having impact in the long term, do not meet the urgent demands that disadvantaged minorities often want and need,” said, Rita Izsák, UN Special Rapporteur on minority issues, as she wrapped up her fist official visit to the country. She urged Brazil to ensure continuing the dialogue and trust-building among the different actors of society. Otherwise, it might “fail to capitalize on the advancements made thus far, and damage its already delicate social fabric.” Poverty, injustice, discrimination and violence are everyday life experiences of black communities, who although constitute a numerical majority, identify themselves as a political minority, said Ms. Izsák, noting: “the high murder rates – at a shocking rate of 56,000 victims every year – have to come to an end. This particularly affects Afro-Brazilians as they constitute 75 per cent of all victims. There is a need to abolish the military police, remove the mechanism of auto de resistencia and treat all deaths as homicide cases, prosecute the perpetrators and provide psycho-social support for the families of the victims, especially the mothers who lost their children. Ms. Izsák called on the Brazilian Government to speed up the process of land demarcation and entitlement of the Quilombo communities. “All development projects taking place on Quilombo lands must seek free, prior and informed consent of the affected communities,” she said, adding that the community must be provided services to prevent youth from engaging crime and violence. In addition, schools in Quilombo areas also must be accessible and provide quality education. The Special Rapporteur went on to draw particular attention to and consulted with members of the Roma (Cigano) community who seemed to be “highly invisible” in Brazil, despite an estimated population of 800,000. “They are still largely stereotyped […] as thieves, beggars or fortune tellers,” she noted, welcoming several new Government initiatives designed to learn more about their situation and to address their vulnerable position in the society. During her 11-day mission, the human rights expert visited Brasilia and several other cities. Ms. Izsák congratulated Brazil for its harmonious inter-religious relations, which widely prevails across the country, however, cautioned that Afro-Brazilian traditional temples have been undergoing serious attacks, threats and violence, and even killings of their leaders. UN expert also met with Government and UN officials during her visit, various minority communities, and a wide range of civil society and human rights organizations and other non-State actors. The Special Rapporteur will present a report containing her findings and recommendations to the Government and to the UN Human Rights Council in March 2016. Independent experts or special rapporteurs are appointed by the Geneva-based UN Human Rights Council to examine and report back on a country situation or a specific human rights theme. The positions are honorary and the experts are not UN staff, nor are they paid for their work. read more

Woman 89 trapped on NHS ward for six months at cost of

first_imgAn NHS Trust has apologised after an elderly woman remained on a ward for six months at a cost of more than £80,000 despite being fit for discharge.Iris Sibley, 89, and her family were left “distressed and let down” after multiple attempts to move her into a nursing home failed, leaving her in isolation at the Bristol Royal Infirmary.Her son, John Sibley, said her ordeal was “pretty scandalous” and had put a “huge strain” on their family.”It’s not until you get caught up in it that you realise how serious the situation is,” he told the Guardian. If we get the capacity wrong in social care, it’s the NHS that bears the consequencesRobert Woolley, University Hospitals Bristol NHS foundation trust Mrs Sibley was taken to hospital in June after a fall at a care home.When she was deemed well enough to be leave, she was assessed by Bristol Community Health on behalf of the South Gloucestershire Care Commissioning Group, an NHS body that is responsible for local health care services.They advised Mrs Sibley needed round-the-clock nursing care and it took until January 4 to find a place in a home suitable for her medical and personal needs. Robert Woolley, chief executive of University Hospitals Bristol NHS foundation trust, said a formal investigation was under way.”I’m very sorry for what happened to Mrs Sibley and apologise to her family for the massive frustration that all of us have caused,” he said.Mr Woolley said there is a “critical interdependency” between social care and the NHS.”If we get the capacity wrong in social care, it’s the NHS that bears the consequences. That is plain for all to see,” he said.center_img The Department of Health said it had increased funding and published guidelines designed to improve co-ordination between the NHS and relevant bodies.Mrs Sibley’s case follows revelations that patients have faced discharge delays of more than year in Scotland.One patient in Dumfries and Galloway was kept in hospital for 508 days despite being well enough to be discharged, figures obtained by the Scottish Liberal Democrats showed. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings.last_img read more

Four injured by fairground ride at Brighton Palace Pier as safety probe

Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. Health and safety chiefs have launched an investigation after four people were injured by a fairground ride at Brighton Palace Pier.Police, fire and ambulance crews were scrambled to the East Sussex pier at around 3pm to reports a part of one of the rides had come loose.Emergency services said “initial indications” showed none of the casualties suffered serious injuries. The Health and Safety Executive said it was investigating.The pier operators confirmed a part of one ride, called Air Race, became detached during operations and struck a passer by.A Sussex Police spokesperson said: “Police and other emergency services are attending Brighton Palace Pier after a fairground ride was reported to have failed around 3pm on Monday (April 8).  Emergency Services at Brighton Palace Pier on MondayCredit:Tom Matthews Emergency Services at Brighton Palace Pier on Monday “Initial indications are that four people have sustained injuries that are not thought to be serious at this time.” According to the Brighton Argus, a teenage boy was stretchered from the pier after injuring his leg. South East Coast Ambulance confirmed a youth was taken to hospital with leg injuries.An ambulance spokesman said: “South East Coast Ambulance Service has responded to an incident on Brighton Pier today in which it was reported, at approximately 3pm, that a piece of a ride had come loose. “A male teenager has been taken to hospital with a leg injury. Others were shaken but uninjured.”The Air Race is described as a “thrilling motion ride” on the Brighton Palace Pier website which “replicates the experiences and sensations of an acrobatic airplane flight that will test even the most experienced of thrillseekers”.Anne Ackford, chief executive officer of The Brighton Pier Group, said its own investigation would take place following the incident.She said in a statement: “An incident occurred today when part of one of our rides (Air race) became detached during the ride cycle and a passer by was hit by the part of the ride.”We believe that he is not seriously hurt and has been taken to hospital to ascertain any injury.”The ride has not experienced any issues before and we have been in immediate contact with the manufacturer to ask them to send a team of engineers to investigate.”We take the safety of our customers extremely seriously and will cooperate fully with any investigation.A Health and Safety Executive spokesperson said: “HSE is aware and investigating the incident.” read more

ATB Morley motors used at mine establishing new Australian longwall production records

first_imgNewlands Northern underground mine in Queensland’s Bowen basin, Australia, is the new record holder for both weekly and monthly production from longwall operations. In May 2009, the mine extracted 961,891 t from its longwall, beating Beltana’s previous record of 955,049 t set in November 2005. Both mines are operated by Xstrata Coal and use mining motors engineered and manufactured by ATB Morley in Yorkshire, England, whose international sales were recognised earlier this year with a Queens Award for Enterprise: International Trade 2009.The Newlands Northern mine produces export thermal coal from both underground and open-pit operations and also took the weekly record away from Beltana with production of 251,720 t in a single week ending May 5, 2009. Beltana still holds the daily record but Newlands came close last month with a peak daily output of 45, 935 t from the same longwall that now holds the weekly and monthly records.The Newlands longwall is equipped with Bucyrus EL3000 shearers which have installed power of 1,590 kW and cutting power of 2 x 650 kW.The shearer employs a jumbotrack 2000 haulage system with haulage power of 2 x 125 kW and is fully automated. The longwall is equipped with 147 two-leg roof supports with a yield load of 1,040 t and a working range of 3 – 5m. The face conveyer is a Bucyrus PF4, 1332mm wide with a 42mm twin inboard chain with 2 x 855 kW CST drives.The longwall is controlled by Bucyrus PM 4 controllers, with the 400 kW PF4/1532 coal crusher and 400 kW SK11/18 beam stage loader also from Bucyrus, and motors manufactured at ATB Morley’s factory in Yorkshire.last_img read more

Call for immediate compensation as second Magdalene survivor passes away

first_imgUpdated 5.3pmA CALL HAS been made for compensation to be immediately paid to Magdalene laundries survivors following the death of two women.The organisation Magdalene Survivors Together has said it is “extremely upset and disappointed” to announce the passing of Magdalene Survivors Together member Kathleen Whelan (68).She is the second such member to die this year, and passed away very suddenly at her home in Cork City on Sunday 20 October, the day of her 68th birthday.CompensationMagdalene Survivors Together is now calling on the Irish Government to begin the process of paying out the compensation to the Magdalene women immediately and without further delay.Steven O’ Riordan, director of Magdalene Survivors Together, said that since the State apology to the Magdalene women in February of this year, the group has seen two of its members pass away without getting their full entitlement.O’ Riordan described it as “a disgrace” that the Government has not started the process of paying these women compensation.Magdalene Survivor Mary Smyth accused the Government of “dragging their heels on the issue”, saying “they know that most of the women are frail, ill and not able to voice their concerns”.Magdalene Survivors Together said it has been “inundated” with complaints as to how the Government has dealt with the payment process.Magdalene Survivors Together is now calling on the Dáil to debate the issue immediately and establish:Why is there a delay in the women’s payments?What is the process going to be in paying the women?Why can’t the women be paid in full as requested?What is the situation with regard the women’s medical cards, the national monument and other such matters which still have not been discussed?Kathleen Whelan will be buried with her mother in St Mary’s Cemetery, Delvin Co, Westmeath.LegislationThe Department of Justice told that after the government approved the compensation scheme, it tasked an interdepartmental group with considering the steps necessary to implement the other recommendations.Some of these other recommendations “are complicated and will require legislation”.The Minister established a special unit to process applications and to determine whether an applicant resided and worked in an institution covered by the scheme, the duration of their stay, and the calculation of the capital sum due to be paid to them. Over 590 applications have been received to date and are being processed.Payments cannot commence until decisions have been made on these other recommendations.The Department said that the Minister will bring the interdepartmental group’s report back before the Government “very shortly for final decision”.It is expected that the first offers of payments of a lump sum will issue within four – six weeks of the Government decision.Read: Magdalene protest to take place at Sisters of Mercy office>last_img read more

Australian gambling trends see slight decline study finds

first_imgA new study from market research firm Roy Morgan has revealed a slight decrease in the number of adult Australian to have gambled in an average three-month period in the 12 months to March 2018, down to 49.1% from 50.6% a year earlier.According to researchers, the findings continue a gradually decreasing trend in the gambling industry in Australia across all categories and comes “despite the growing proliferation of gambling options, such as online and mobile betting.” Liverpool, Chelsea, Tottenham forced to cut sponsorship ties with Russian betting site Lottery the preferred game of choice for Australians in FY18 Caesars named first Official Casino Sponsor of the NFL RelatedPosts Roy Morgan’s study was built from surveys of more than 50,000 consumers including in-depth questioning in their own homes of over 7,000 people who gambled.It found that 3.1 million Australians engaged in some level of casino-style gaming, including casino games or poker, while 1.9 million placed bets – presumably on sports or racing. 7.8 million people play lottery or scratch cards but only 568,000 Australians take part in all three form of gambling.Roy Morgan also revealed that the growth of mobile betting has seen a surge in people placing bets online, however the number of people using computers to bet remains unchanged.“Gambling is now an activity which nearly half of all Australians participate in within a 3-month period, but this statistic alone does not do justice to the varying behaviors of those millions of gamblers. They vary from casual scratchie buyers to work friends betting on their footy team to wealthy businessmen at poker tables,” said Roy Morgan CEO Michele Levine.“Analysis of deep consumer data is needed to get a clear picture of Australia’s gamblers and that picture looks to challenge some of the current understandings of the industry. Gambling in special contexts, such as casino or online betting, need to be examined as part of a broader context.“For instance, looking at the upward trend in online sports betting, this powerful growth is driven by mobile phone betting replacing traditional bookies for convenience, accessibility and breadth. Punters are now able to gamble on the AFL, NFL, Premier League, NBA, and more all at the same time, place, and at the best odds available to them.“Of the 3.4 million people who place at least one bet each year, 34.1% of them bet online, which is notably higher than other online gambling categories, such as online poker (6.2%) and online casino games (13.2%).” Load Morelast_img read more

Wilmington School Lunch Menus Week of October 21 2018

first_imgWILMINGTON, MA — Below are the Wilmington Public Schools lunch menus for the week of October 21, 2018.Wilmington High School & Wilmington Middle SchoolMonday, October 22Hamburger, Cheeseburger, or Veggieburger on a Wholewheat Roll; Oven Fries; Apple Slices wth ToppingTuesday, October 23Chicken Caesar or Veggie & Cheese on a Wholegrain Wrap (Middle School Only: Chicken Patty on a Wholewheat Roll); Reduced Fat Cool Ranch Doritos; Baby Carrots with Low-Fat Dip; PeachesWednesday, October 24Mini Eggo Pancakes with Syrup; Sausage Links; Hashbrown; 100% Orange JuiceThursday, October 25Chipoltle Seasoned Chicken or Beef Burritos with Shredded Cheese, Lettuce, Tomato, Pico De Gallo, Guacamole, Brown Rice, & Black Bean Salsa; Fresh FruitFriday, October 26Wholegrain Stuffed Crust Pizza with Toppings (High School Only: Smoothie with Wholegrain Pretzel); Fresh Veggie Cups; StrawberriesLunch ($2.65-$2.85) includes: Entree (main or alternative); Vegetable, Fruit or Juice and 8 oz. Assorted Lowfat Milk or Skim MilkAlternate Daily Lunch Choices at High School: Salad Bar, Pizza, Soup & Choice of SandwichAlternate Daily Lunch Choices at Middle School: Pre-made SaladAlso Available Daily: Variety of Fresh Fruit, Side Caesar salad or Baby Carrots, WG Bagel with Cheese StickMenus Subject To Occasional ChangeParticipates in The Farm-To-School ProgramWest Intermediate, North Intermediate, Shawsheen Elementary, Woburn Street ElementaryMonday, October 22Hamburger or Cheeseburger; Oven Fries; Apple Slices wth ToppingTuesday, October 23Chicken, Broccoli & Pasta with Alfredo; Wholegrain Garlic Bread Stick; Fresh FruitWednesday, October 24Mini Eggo Pancakes with Syrup; Sausage Links; Hashbrown; 100% Orange JuiceThursday, October 25Asian Seasoned Chicken; Asian Brown Rice; Fresh Stir Fry Veggies; Pineapple; Fortune CookieFriday, October 26Wholegrain Stuffed Crust Pizza; Fresh Veggie Cups; StrawberriesLunch ($2.40) includes: Entree (Main or alternative); Vegetable, Fruit or Justice and MilkAlternate Daily Lunch Choices: Ham & Cheese, Turkey & Cheese, Tuna, Salad Bar (Woburn St. only), Premade Salads (North, West & Shawsheen only), Pizza (Mon & Wed only), Bagels (Tues & Thurs only)Also Available Daily: Assorted Lowfat Milk or Skim Milk; Assorted Fresh Fruit; Assorted Juice; DessertMenus Subject To Occasional ChangeParticipates in The Farm-To-School ProgramBoutwell Early Childhood Center & Wildwood Early Childhood CenterMonday, October 22Hamburger or Cheeseburger; Oven Fries; Apple Slices wth ToppingTuesday, October 23Chicken, Broccoli & Pasta with Alfredo; Wholegrain Garlic Bread Stick; Fresh FruitWednesday, October 24Mini Eggo Pancakes with Syrup; Sausage Links; Hashbrown; 100% Orange JuiceThursday, October 25Asian Seasoned Chicken; Asian Brown Rice; Fresh Stir Fry Veggies; PineappleFriday, October 26Wholegrain Stuffed Crust Pizza; Fresh Veggie Cups; StrawberriesLunch ($2.40) includes: Entree (main or alternative); Vegetable, Fruit or Juice and assorted lowfat or skim milkAlternate Daily Lunch Choices: WG Pizza (Mon. & Wed. only); Whole Wheat Bagel & Cheese Stick (Tues. & Thurs. only); Turkey & Cheese sandwich on WG bread (Mon., Wed., Fri. only); Ham & Cheese sandwich on WG bread (Tues. & Thurs. only)Also Available Daily: Assorted snacks and baked goods ($0.50-$0.60)Menus Subject To Occasional ChangeParticipates in The Farm-To-School Program(NOTE: View these menus, plus the Gluten Free menus, online HERE.)Like 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… RelatedWilmington School Lunch Menus (Week of September 9, 2019)In “Education”Wilmington School Lunch Menus (Week of September 2, 2019)In “Education”Wilmington School Lunch Menus (Week of August 26, 2019)In “Education”last_img read more

Alaska News Nightly Monday Sept 12 2016

first_imgStories are posted on the APRN news page. You can subscribe to APRN’s newsfeeds via email, podcast and RSS. Follow us on Facebook at and on Twitter @aprnListen nowWestlake extends lead over Nageak in Northern Alaska recountAndrew Kitchenman/KTOO/APRN – JuneauBarrow Representative Benjamin Nageak says he isn’t conceding the Democratic primary to Dean Westlake. That’s despite the fact that Westlake’s lead doubled today Monday from four to eight votes over Nageak in the closely watched recount.Alaska Natives protesting Dakota Access pipeline share mixed views on oilElizabeth Harball/Alaska’s Energy Desk – AnchorageLate last week, the Obama administration paused the development of an oil pipeline in North Dakota following protests by the Standing Rock Sioux and other tribes from around the nation. Over the weekend in Anchorage, a group also gathered to protest the pipeline — but many of them said they weren’t there to protest all oil development.Alaska prepares for vessel disastersZoe Sobel/Alaska’s Energy Desk – UnalaskaThousands of vessels every year move through Alaskan waters. If something goes awry, their cargo and fuel could end up in the ocean. Cleanup efforts for past groundings near Unalaska have proven difficult and costly. The city and Coast Guard want to be prepared.Plane crash kill pilot in Anchorage Josh Edge/APRN/rdrOne man is dead after his float plane crashed Saturday in a neighborhood on Anchorage’s hillside.Ivanoff Bay man found after week-long searchDave Bendinger/KDLG – DillinghamIn the remote village of Ivanoff Bay on the Alaska Peninsula, one of the four residents went missing on August 30. 66-year-old Allen Kalmakoff walked off and couldn’t be found.Overdue hiker visiting “Into the Wild” bus found safeDan Bross/KUAC – FairbanksThe search for an overdue hiker headed to the abandoned bus where Christopher McCandless died, ended happily this morning. Denali National Park spokeswoman Katherine Belcher says 45 year old Carlos Castrejon of Mexico was located walking along the Park Road.Museum of the Aleutians reopens after yearlong closureLaura Kraegel/KUCB – UnalaskaThe Museum of the Aleutians has officially reopened in Unalaska — after a scandal closed the space for nearly a year.Group launches campaign to keep Arctic in oil lease planAPAlaska and national business and labor groups launched a media campaign Monday to keep Arctic areas in the next five-year federal offshore leasing plan.Charging bear killed near SitkaRobert Woolsey/KCAW – SitkaA pair of Forest Service workers killed a charging brown bear near Sitka at the end of August. It was the third dangerous bear encounter in the Sitka Ranger District in less than a month.Kasaan celebrates restoration of historic longhouseMaria Dudzak/KRBD – KetchikanRestoration is finally complete for the last remaining, traditional Haida longhouse in the United States. The Son-i-Hat longhouse in Kasaan on Prince of Whales Island had been falling into disrepair for 50 years.last_img read more

Snapdeal market value touches 65 billion after fresh fundraising of 200 million

first_imgDomestic e-commerce major Snapdeal has raised funds worth $200 million in a fresh round of funding, even as other players struggle to get investments amid growing cautiousness over the sector’s profitability.The latest fundraising by Snapdeal helped the fim’s market value to reach $6.5 billion. The investment is led by Canada’s Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, Reuters reports.After the last round of funding of $500 million in August last year, Snapdeal’s value had reached $5 billion. Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., Foxconn Technology Group and SoftBank Corp had invested in the company last year.After witnessing a surge in their valuations in the first half of 2015, Indian e-commerce companies are now struggling to their raise valuations, as fundraising gets difficult amid growing concerns over huge discounts offered by them.Venture capitalists, who have infused billions of dollars in e-commerce firms in the past two years, are now becoming cautious about investments, as losses faced by the players in the online retailing space see multi-fold increase.Investments by venture capital firms in the country declined to $600 million to $1.51 billion in the October to December period of 2015, against $2.12 billion in the same period in 2014, according to a report by CB Insights and KPMG International.Amid intensifying competition in the country e-commerce sector, companies are finding it difficult to cut back on discounts to gain customers. Flipkart’s annual losses escalated 180 percent to Rs 2,000 crore in the fiscal year ending March 2015, and its revenue also tripled in the period.last_img read more

Alleged Link Between NRA And Russia Becomes Fodder For The Left

first_imgPresident Trump speaks at the National Rifle Association’s annual meeting on April 28, 2017, in Atlanta.A liberal group is filing a complaint with the Federal Election Commission on Monday to demand an investigation into whether the National Rifle Association took contributions from Russians, which would be a violation of the law.The American Legal Democracy Fund, a group with ties to liberal Super PAC American Bridge and headed by former DNC spokesman Brad Woodhouse, filed this complaint in response to reporting by McClatchy earlier this month. The report indicated the FBI is investigating whether a Russian banker with ties to the Kremlin illegally funneled money to the NRA in order to aid President Donald Trump’s campaign.“We expect the FEC to get to the bottom of this issue swiftly and deliver the results of a thorough investigation to the American people,” Woodhouse said.The banker, Aleksandr Torshin, has ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin. He’s also a lifetime member of the NRA and led a delegation of senior NRA leaders to Russia in 2015.On multiple occasions, according to media reports over the last year, Torshin tried to engage with Trump’s presidential campaign, seeking in particular to meet with Donald Trump, and through an intermediary had proposed the NRA’s convention in 2016 as a possible meeting spot. Ultimately, he did not get a meeting, but he met with Donald Trump Jr. at the NRA’s 2016 convention.The National Rifle Association spent some $30 million to support Trump in the 2016 presidential race, close to triple what they spent supporting Mitt Romney in 2012. However, no public evidence has emerged showing that the NRA took any money from Russians.“The National Rifle Association has not been contacted by the FBI or any other investigative body,” spokesman Andrew Arulanandam told NPR.The NRA’s links to Russia were highlighted behind closed doors by Fusion GPS founder Glenn Simpson, the founder of the firm that commissioned a dossier on Trump’s ties to Russia during the 2016 campaign. In private testimony before the House Intelligence Committee in November, Simpson alleged closed ties between the Russian government and the NRA.“It appears the Russians, you know, infiltrated the NRA,” Simpson told the panel, in a since-released transcript. “It appears that the Russian operation was designed to infiltrate conservative organizations. And they targeted various conservative organizations, religious and otherwise, and they seem to have made a very concerted effort to get in with the NRA.”The House Intelligence Committee has looked into this matter, the panel’s top Democrat said, but whether it could proceed on a bipartisan basis is unclear.“Whether there was an effort by Russia to create a backchannel or assist the Trump campaign through the NRA is a question the Committee has endeavored to answer,” Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) told NPR. “Much work remains to be done concerning that thread of our investigation, although it is not at all clear that the Majority will permit the Committee to do so.”The prospect of having two of the left’s most prominent villains caught up in an illegal conspiracy has caught the eye of several organizations on the left, and the ALDF’s legal complaint is only the latest salvo in a broader campaign to tie Russia, Trump and the NRA together.Last week, NRA opponent Everytown for Gun Safety released a new interactive website on these three actors, so that its activists could familiarize itself with their reported ties.“For years, the NRA cozied up to Moscow, even as Russia meddled in our elections. Now they won’t answer any questions about it,” said John Feinblatt, the president of the group. “It makes you wonder how much the gun lobby really spent on Trump in 2016 and where that money might’ve come from.”And liberal media watchdog Media Matters blared in a headline: “NRA’s denial it has illegal ties to Russia hits stumbling block with revelation of FBI investigation.”But despite the links that exist between Torshin and the National Rifle Association, even some liberals note that the scenario seems so fantastical that it is hard to imagine that it is real.“A scenario in which the Russian investigation ensnares the N.R.A., probably the most influential conservative group in the United States, seems a bit too much like Resistance fan fiction, too delicious to be true,” columnist Michelle Goldberg wrote in the New York Times.The ALDF’s complaint helps draw attention to the issue, but faces long odds on whether the FEC will actually take action. If it does, the process will take years and would need to work its way through a notoriously gridlocked commission that currently has more Republican than Democratic members.“You should be skeptical about whether the FEC will take any action… Before the 2018 elections, you’re not going to learn anything,” campaign finance lawyer Brett Kappel said. “The odds are against [an imminent FEC investigation], especially if there’s an ongoing criminal investigation. The FBI may contact the FEC and say, please put that on the backburner… and that fact would not be made public.”Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit Sharelast_img read more

Mayor Vincent Gray Faces Uphill Battle in Quest for Second Term

first_imgIf D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray and Council Member Yvette Alexander have anything to do with it, voters will look past accusations that he was aware of and participated in a shadow campaign to get him elected in 2010.If they have their way, people who head to the polls next month to vote for one of eight Democrats vying for their party’s nomination in the mayoral race will focus on the city’s improving schools, bustling economy, active development, reduced unemployment rate and other signs of fiscal health and ignore the allegations charging him with being corrupt.At the State of the District speech March 11 at Kelly Miller Middle School in Ward 7, Gray seemed more irritated than concerned as he addressed the hundreds – many of them supporters and government workers – who were on hand for the speech. He soundly criticized D.C. developer Jeffrey E. Thompson, who pleaded guilty to conspiracy charges in connection with campaign finance fraud.In a short interview with the AFRO after the speech, Gray said he believes his chances of being elected are good, despite the rapidly mounting criticism against him. He pointed to the people who had attended the speech as if that proved he has widespread public support. “I think that people recognize what happened, what it is,” he said. “I think that there are lots of people out here who support us. Period,” Gray said.Alexander, who succeeded him as council member in Ward 7 when he was elected mayor in 2010, said she believes he has not lost the public’s trust. “He just told all of these hundreds of people that he did not commit any crime. I know he’s a man of integrity, so I’m with him all the way,” said Alexander (D-Ward 7).Political analysts said those are odd and perhaps even careless observations from seasoned politicians who should know that scandal of any sort can be the end of even the most illustrious political career. Even as Gray seems to think the scandal won’t stick, other candidates in the mayor’s race subtly took advantage of having the top contender hobbled, if not sidelined all together.Council members Jack Evans (D-Ward 2) and Muriel Bowser (D-Ward 4) said in statements earlier this week that the allegations against Gray reflected poorly on the city. Bowser called the accusations against the mayor “a flagrant betrayal of the public’s trust.”Evans indicated that Gray should step down, which many accused politicians are loathe to do in this day of denying responsibility. “I believe he should do what’s in the best interest of the city,” Evans said. Despite Gray’s claim that he’s still in good with the citizenry, there are many who believe him to be corrupt. “I think it’s real and I think it’s true, because it seems like all of these VIPs, politicians, Congress people, they all crooks. They’re always in the media,” said Jocelyn Golphin, a front desk receptionist at the National Press Club in Northwest Washington. She said she will not vote for Gray in the next election.The Democratic primary, which will likely determine the District of Columbia’s next mayor, has been turned upside down by the allegations. “It is a bombshell,” said legal and political analyst A. Scott Bolden about the claims made by Thompson, who made millions on D.C. government contracts. “Of all the people who’ve pled guilty in this investigation, all of them have denied Mayor Gray’s involvement. And here is the chief architect of this illegal effort saying he allegedly had direct contact with the mayor.”Thompson told prosecutors Gray knew about his scheme to pump more than $660,000 into a shadow campaign on his behalf. In fact, prosecutors said, Gray had a code name for Thompson to hide his identity, “Uncle Earl.” In one of at least two face-to-face meetings, Gray allegedly handed over a one-page budget for $425,000 in get-out-the-vote expenses that Thompson then funded, according to his plea agreement. In exchange, Thompson said, around August 2011 he requested Gray’s help in expediting a settlement agreement between the District government and one of his companies, and shortly thereafter, the matter was resolved. Thompson’s supposed arrangement with Gray was part of an ongoing scheme in which he and his companies secretly channeled more than $3.3 million in illegal contributions to at least 28 local and federal political candidates and their campaigns over a decade, prosecutors said.Thompson is the president, CEO and owner of D.C. Healthcare Systems (DCHS), which makes about $300 million annually from D.C. government contracts. He pleaded guilty to the federal offenses of conspiring to violate federal campaign finance laws and submitting false filings to the IRS. He also pleaded guilty to conspiring to violate D.C. campaign finance laws.”Jeff Thompson’s guilty plea pulls back the curtain to expose widespread corruption,” U.S. Attorney Ronald Machen Jr. told reporters on March 10. “His plea gives the citizens of D.C. an inside look at the underground, off-the-book schemes that have corrupted election after election, year after year in the District.”Machen urged Thompson’s co-conspirators “to come forward now and own up to your conduct.”The words may have been a direct challenge to Gray who has denied any culpability. Prosecutors would likely need independent corroboration of Thompson’s allegations to make an indictment against the mayor stick. But the latest accusations darken the cloud that has hovered over Gray during the three-year probe. Four high-level aides associated with his 2010 campaign have pleaded guilty to felonies for orchestrating the illicit funding scheme bankrolled by Thompson, and to other corruption charges. “It is going to be very damaging for his campaign,” said David Bositis, a longtime expert on Black politics. “For voters still on the fence in the Democratic primary race the question now is what if we nominate him and he gets indicted? And for a lot of people it is reinforcing a belief they already had, that he did know about [the shadow campaign].”Bolden said he believes law enforcement officials timed things that way. Thompson and his lawyers stonewalled prosecutors for years and only came forth when he was offered a deal that could see him spending a maximum of six months in prison. He faced as much as five years. “That offer and that plea deal was timed by the U.S. attorney to infect the election outcome [since] the mayor, as an incumbent who has been under three years of investigation, has been leading in the race,” Bolden said. “After three years the U.S. attorney has not brought one indictment against the mayor. That is an untenable political and legal circumstance. So, while the government may not be ready to legally indict the mayor now – if they ever will be – they can indict him in the political and public arena. And the timing of this deal clearly supports that theory.”Bositis said the fact that U.S. Attorney Machen, who is Black, is operating under the aegis of a Department of Justice run by U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, who is not someone people suspect of persecuting Black officials, adds legitimacy to the allegations against Gray. “This is Obama’s man; he works for Eric Holder. This isn’t some White prosecutor going after a Black politician, so if they’re thinking of indicting him then that’s [likely] where the evidence is pointing. And that changes things in Black people’s minds,” he said. Maria Adebola and LaTrina Antoine contributed to this report.last_img read more

Get Used to Fortnites Powerful Mech Suits

first_img Swatting Attack Targets Fortnite World ChampionExclusive: Nerf Ups Its Game With New Kid-Friendly ‘Fortnite’… Stay on target Fortnite sustains its incomprehensibly high popularity by constantly giving its players tons of shiny new toys to play with. Even if Epic Games has to exploit its employees into dust there will be a new season just around the corner so millions of kids keep spending money in this “free” battle royale game.But the content in the latest season, Season X, has been a bit more controversial than usual thanks to the B.R.U.T.E. mech suit. And after days of fan outcry, Epic is telling players that the robot is here to stay.The B.R.U.T.E. is a giant robot suit that takes two players to control properly. One player operates the legs while the other aims and fires the guns. When using it solo, you have to swap between these two functions, limiting your effectiveness. When it works though it’s by far the most powerful thing in the game with tons of armor, a stomp attack, and heat-seeking missiles. It owns.However, a decent size of the massive Fortnite playerbase wants the gave to revolve around pure skill, especially since you can now win substantial amounts of money by being good at Fortnite. They weren’t pleased when Epic added the powerful Infinity Blade to the game, and the B.R.U.T.E. is like the Infinity Blade on steroids. So ever since its introduction, many have called for the technological behemoth to be removed from the game.While Epic has toned down the frequency at which the mech spawns, after observing play all month, it seems the infamous item is here to stay. At least for the rest of the season. The team explained the rationale on the Fortnite site. Basically, as the skill gap between players only gets wider, Epic wants the game to still be fun for beginners. And killing a bunch of folks in a huge honkin’ robot sounds pretty funny.I get it, balancing your competitive esport while keeping it a good-time party game for everyone else is tough. Let me tell you about a little game called Super Smash Bros. But for more on Fortnite watch us get coached by Gamer Sensei and check out these Fortnite-themed Nerf blasters.last_img read more

Get your beach vacation wardrobe ready

first_imgPlanning a beach vacation? Make sure your wardrobe is perfect for the setting and for your body. Experts dole out some tips on how to be beach ready.-This swimwear season, the biggest trends are Hawaiian inspired colourways, mix and match separates and sexy silhouettes. With accessories, you can never go wrong with tassels for the beach vibrant look. Pair this elegant dreamcatcher tassel neckpiece with a plain t-shirt and shorts for a quirky and vibrant look. Also Read – Add new books to your shelf-If you have a body that is small on top and bigger on the bottom, it means your body is pear shaped. The stringini bikini shorts Set or tankini set is what you need. The plunge top will minimise the attention to your hips while the shorts will help create a lean silhouette. Blue is the colour of the seawater, so what better jewellery for a relaxing day near the sea than a metallic gold rectangular plate earrings with the blue tassel.-A Flounce Swimsuit or strappy swimsuit is ideal for round figures with full bust, hip and thighs. The off shoulder of this piece will highlight your curves and give you all the support in the right places. If you instead like to flaunt your bust, then go for a strappy. You can also accessorise your look with coral bead studded wrap around bracelet or pastel pink crystal wrap around bracelet.-A simple beach dress or a casual look helps highlight the personality when clubbed with bright accessories. For those of you with evenly proportionate shoulders, hips and waist, a halter neck bikini or stringini bikini is your best choice. The plunging top will give you the illusion of curves while the string bikini bottoms will offer an ‘ultra-cheeky’ fit.last_img read more

Driveby shooting kills Playa del Carmen taxi driver

first_imgPlaya del Carmen, Q.R. — A taxi driver who was washing his car outside his home was shot and killed in the Villas del Carmen subdivision of Playa del Carmen. The shooting took place just after midnight when reports say armed subjects shot the man from the window of a passing car. The taxi driver, who was from the Lázaro Cárdenas del Río union, has been identified as 50-year-old Luis A.A.S. from the state of Yucatan. Police have not provided a motive for the shooting. Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)last_img read more