Nova Scotia election Tories NDP target Liberals health care record

first_imgHALIFAX – The Tories and NDP made their pitches Wednesday to Nova Scotians weary of health-care irritants, promising to address doctor shortages and emergency room overcrowding.Progressive Conservative Leader Jamie Baillie announced $13.5 million over four years to recruit more doctors, which he said would significantly reduce shortages in a province where as many as 100,000 people have no family doctor.“We need more doctors now: Family doctors to get people to the front of the line and advocate for them in our system, and more specialists like surgeons to see that they get the surgeries that they need in a timely way,” he said.NDP Leader Gary Burrill, meanwhile, promised to address what he called “hallway medicine,” and put an end to emergency department overcrowding if his party is elected May 30.“Patients are being left waiting in hallways, being double bunked in single rooms, made to wait hours in the E.R. or arrive at the hospital to find their E.R. closed,” said Burrill.As he unveiled a new program for pre-schoolers, Liberal Premier Stephen McNeil said one of the health-care-system pressures has been that his government inherited Halifax facilities that were in poor condition.“Part of the issue when we came into government was the actual state of some of our infrastructure here in Halifax which had been left without the kind of attention it required,” he said.“We’ve been working very hard that we provide the services in the right health care environment and that when our health care workers go to work they have the proper supports in the proper environment.”Baillie was accompanied Wednesday by Cindy Newell of Cape Sable Island, N.S., who said her husband Murray has been waiting two years to get a hip replacement.She said after waiting a year simply to get a referral, her husband has decided to opt for surgery at a private clinic in Montreal at a cost of about $25,000, which will be paid for by an unnamed private Nova Scotia donor.“The doctor says his hip is a mess and it needs to be done and it should have been done a long time ago,” said Newell. “I want to see more money or surgeons brought in to do this.”Baillie said Newell’s story illustrates what needs to be done to address wait times.“People like Cindy and Murray don’t even get to the start line of that long wait unless they have a family doctor to begin the process of referrals,” he said.He made no firm commitments on how many doctors would be hired, both family doctors and specialists.Baillie also pledged to double the tuition relief program to $6 million to keep new family doctors in the province and said the plan would also recognize credentials for Canadians who study medicine abroad.Last month Doctors Nova Scotia said the province would need to recruit 100 doctors a year for the next decade to deal with retirements and an aging population with increasingly complex medical needs.In last week’s proposed budget, which died when the May 30 vote was called, the Liberals promised $2.4 million in annual funding to hire an additional 50 doctors a year. They also promised $3.7 million more for additional orthopedic surgeries.In a news release Wednesday, Burrill said emergency department overcrowding had become “unacceptable.”He pointed to a report released in March by the Nova Scotia General Employees Union entitled “Code Critical.” The report tracked a rise in so-called code census incidents at Halifax’s largest hospital, during which the emergency ward is declared unsafe and patients are sent to in-patient units.The union made 15 recommendations, including the need to publicly document code census calls and treatment wait times, and to revisit policies on staffing levels when overcrowding occurs.Burrill said the New Democrats would improve emergency care by implementing all recommendations in the union’s report, while working as “active partners” with doctors, nurses, and communities to deliver specific health care needs.He said the measures would accompany a previously announced $120-million, four-year commitment to hire more family doctors and improve primary care.McNeil said Wednesday the Health Department has been considering the union report, but didn’t commit to following its recommendations.The Liberals used Day 4 of the election to highlight plans to provide a pre-primary program for about 750 four-year-olds. McNeil said his plan is to begin the program this fall in 30 locations, mostly in existing schools.“Too often parents have had to make difficult choices about whether to stay in the workforce or to pay the high cost of child care,” said McNeil. “Our universal pre-primary plan takes the financial burden away saving families up to $10,000 a year.”The first year of the pre-schoolers program — already announced in the budget — envisions having 25 children in each class with two early childhood educators per class.The program will be play-based, and encourages the development of skills such as speaking, socializing and listening.The Liberals say that once the pre-primary program is fully implemented after four years, it will cost about $49.4 million each year.— With files from Michael Tutton in Halifaxlast_img read more

PQ leader calls for new Quebec language law in reaction to 2016

first_imgMONTREAL – Only people who can speak French should be allowed to immigrate to the province, Parti Quebecois Leader Jean-Francois Lisee said Thursday in reaction to 2016 census data.Lisee said if his party wins the 2018 election, it will introduce a new, stricter language law to stem what called a worrying trend in the use of French in Quebec.“We say if we are in power, in the first 101 days we will table legislation to make sure all new immigrants will have to show knowledge of French before they can come to Quebec,” he told reporters.Refugees are an exception, said Lisee, who explained people who claim asylum can learn French once they arrive.The 2016 census data on language released last week indicated the percentage of people in Quebec who listed French as a mother tongue decreased to 78.4 per cent in 2016 from 79.7 per cent in 2011.Census data also suggested the percentage of Quebec anglophones increased significantly across the province.“If we keep going in this direction, it will bring us to a tipping point,” the PQ leader said. “We never want to see that tipping point.”Lisee said his legislation would be called Bill 202, a reference to the legislation passed in the 1970s that is known informally as Bill 101.“We saw this before,” Lisee said. “In 1976, the indicators were very negative. We brought in Bill 101 and the trend turned over. And we feel it’s time again to take measures to make the trend turn over.”Lisee added a future Bill 202 would force all companies in Quebec with 25 employees or more to conduct all business in French, which is currently the case for firms with 50 people or more.Quebecers who attend English universities and junior colleges would also need a degree in French proficiency before being allowed to graduate, even if they intended on moving outside the province.“They can move any time they wish,” Lisee said. “But if you want to have a degree of higher education in Quebec, it’s just basic decency to give you the tools for your success. And one of these tools is for you to be proficient in French.”last_img read more

Reese Witherspoon Attends StarStudded Beat The Odds Awards

first_imgThe Children’s Defense Fund – California hosted their 22nd Annual Beat the Odds Awards ceremony last week, December 6, 2012, at the Beverly Hills Hotel in Beverly Hills, California.The celebration honored five Los Angeles high school “stars” in recognition for their excellence in academic achievements, despite the overwhelming obstacles that stand in their way. The meaningful evening began with cocktails at 6:30pm, followed by a dinner and inspirational awards ceremony at 7:30pm.The momentous occasion was hosted by the Children’s Defense Fund President, Marian Wright Edelman, along with supporters from Hollywood’s elite community and co-chairs, Katie McGrath & J.J. Abrams, Jurnee Smollett & Josiah Bell, Carol & Frank Biondi, Ruth-Ann Huvane & Kevin Huvane, Stacey & Charles King, Liza & Conan O’Brien, Reese Witherspoon & Jim Toth, and Laura & Casey Wasserman.Celebrity guests at the event included Melissa Beoist, Alexis Bledel, Miranda Cosgrove, Benedict Cumberbatch, Alice Eve, Greg Grunberg, Mary McCormack, Michelle Monaghan, Holland Roden, Zoe Saldana, Elisabeth Shue, Hannah Simone and Trey Thompkins, among others.Hollywood celebrities and supporters paid tribute to five inspirational high school students who “beat the odds” in achieving success in academic performance and accomplishments, while overcoming the tremendous challenges and personal hardship present in their daily lives. After remarks from actress Michelle Monaghan, Conan O’Brien presented Richard Kent of Belmont High School his award; Reese Witherspoon presented Yahydia Iñiguez of Helen Bernstein High School in Los Angeles her award; Elisabeth Shue presented Roneisha Pugh of St. Mary’s Academy in Inglewood award; and Zoe Saldana and Trey Thompkins presented fraternal twins Jade and Jalen Woods of Frederick K.C. Price III School in Los Angeles their awards respectively.Thanks to generous support, each student honoree received a $10,000 college scholarship and other services including mentoring, internship placements, leadership and job training, general support from the Children’s Defense Fund–California, college counseling, SAT prep and a weeklong college tour provided by the Fulfillment Fund.Since its inception in 1990, the Children’s Defense Fund Beat the Odds program serves to identify and reward remarkable high school students who have achieved excellence in their overall academic performance, community participation and personal goals. These impressive scholars have clearly demonstrated the qualities necessary to become future leaders. The Beat the Odds program further enhances student’s leadership abilities by awarding them through support, training and the honor of recognition at this high profile event.ABOUT THE STUDENTSThe first recipient is Yahydia Iñiguez of Helen Bernstein High School in Los Angeles, California, who, at the age of 13, became homeless with her mother. Yahydia was forced to transfer schools several times. Though Yahydia had always been a focused student, the instability and constant displacement made academic success and extracurricular involvement very difficult, but Yahydia was not deterred. “While I was homeless, I felt like I had no control over anything in my life. I used every ounce of my being to keep it together and to do well in school,” says Yahydia. Despite the challenges of poverty and homelessness, Yahydia remains committed to academic success and maintains a 3.9 GPA. Though she was diagnosed with chronic asthma, Yahydia has beaten the odds as a successful three-sport student athlete in basketball, football, and track & field. Additionally, Yahydia serves her community as a member of the “Punk Rock Marthas,” a community service club that raises money and feeds the homeless through St. Francis Center in Los Angeles. She’s also the president of the Robotics Club and the Student Body President of her class. Because of her personal health challenges and those of her mother, Yahydia dreams of becoming the first person in her family to attend and graduate from college in pursuit of a degree in medicine. Yahydia hopes that her life will serve “to inspire others to succeed no matter what obstacle is placed in front of them.”The next recipient is Richard Kent of Belmont High School in Los Angeles, California. Richard was born in the small fishing village of Los Cobanos in El Salvador. At the age of twelve, Richard came to the United States to live with his English speaking father whom he barely knew and communication was a struggle. Moreover, the separation from his mother and sister with whom he was very close was extremely difficult. Though he’d had very little schooling in El Salvador, Richard was placed in a 6th grade classroom and struggled to learn the English language. Richard acknowledges, “I worked so hard every single day because I felt as if this were my opportunity to become someone in life.” Though he had to repeat the 6th grade, Richard focused on his studies, attended tutoring sessions, and had a successful academic year. When Richard’s mother, sisters, and step-father moved to the United States, the family was separated again when his mother and step-father decided to divorce. Richard’s mother left her children in the care of her ex-husband, and Richard became the primary caregiver for his younger siblings. Though caring for his sisters is a major responsibility, Richard’s college advisor reports he is “one of the top students in at Belmont High School.” Richard’s determination, work ethic, and maturity have drawn the attention of adults, peers and his community. Richard was selected to serve on Belmont High School’s “School Site Council,” and works with the faculty, staff, administrators, and parents to make the best decisions for the Belmont High community. When Richard attends college, he will be the first in his family. Richard is certain that academic achievement is the key to his future success in his life and feels very lucky “to have access to an education.”The evening’s third recipient, Roneisha Pugh of St. Mary’s Academy in Inglewood, California faced the harsh realities of both life and loss at an early age. As a newborn, Roneisha was placed in the care of a grandfather who cared for her for three years until he met an untimely death due to complications from AIDS. Roneisha and her brothers were sent to live with an aunt who cared for her until 2007 when she lost her life to cancer. Though Roneisha enjoyed a close and loving relationship with her aunt, she admits that the physical, mental, and emotional abuse that she and her brothers suffered at the hands of her aunt’s alcoholic husband created an unforgettably volatile living environment. Left in the care of her uncle after the passing of her aunt, Roneisha recalls the escalation of violence and abuse, and acknowledges that her life “started spiraling out of control.” With her grades slipping, her confidence shattered, and her dreams of becoming a doctor fading, Roneisha grew tired of her domestic situation and finally reached out to family for safe harbor. Now living with extended family in a loving and supportive home, Roneisha has become an exceptional role model for others in her community. Recently she won an award for completing 100+ service hours. She was also selected to be the ambassador at her school for her grade level. She is excelling academically and is resilient and insightful. Though Roneisha is proud of her decision to eliminate the violence surrounding her, she lives each day with the guilt of leaving her older brothers who chose to remain in the home with their abusive uncle. Although Roneisha worries about the toll the abuse has taken on them, she acknowledges that “getting out of that situation was the best thing that has happened to me.” Roneisha understands, “I wouldn’t have been able to protect them because I couldn’t even protect myself.” Inspired by the loss of her grandfather and aunt to incurable diseases, Roneisha’s three goals in life are “to go to college, become a doctor, and to be successful”. “Every day,” says Roneisha, “I am beating the odds and becoming one step closer to my goals.”Fraternal twins Jade and Jalen Woods of Frederick K.C. Price III School in Los Angeles, California, are the evening’s fourth and fifth recipients. At the age of 4, Jade and Jalen’s parents separated, forcing their mother to move the fragmented family to a shelter in Arizona. When they returned to California, Jade and Jalen were bounced between a mother and father who struggled to remain civil for the sake of their children. The divorce, the displacement, and the acrimony between their parents made focusing on school very difficult, but their strong faith and resilient spirits helped pull them through periods of great sadness and depression. Jade is the Chairperson for the Children’s Defense Fund-Los Angeles Youth Policy Advisory Committee. Jade and Jalen both excel in athletics, but a broken growth plate in Jalen’s knee threatened to deter his dreams of pursuing athletics in high school.Through hard work and perseverance, Jalen worked to restore his knee. To the surprise of his doctors, Jalen’s bones healed and began to grow. To date, the star athlete has earned over 45 trophies and MVP awards for basketball. Not to be outdone, his sister Jade serves as 2010-2011, 2011-2012, and 2012-2013 Captain of the Frederick K.C. Price School Varsity Volleyball team and is shining in her sport as well. Despite a strained relationship with their father, Jade and Jalen have relied on each other and a committed network of family and community members for support. They both maintain 4.0 grade point averages and are admired for their leadership abilities. Having lost three grandparents in short period of time, Jade and Jalen do not take life for granted. Each has crafted a plan for success that includes maintaining their current GPA’s and remaining at the top of their class. Through their trials, Jade and Jalen have learned “to no longer be the victim, but the victor!”last_img read more

A new art exhibit is on display in Nunavut

first_imgAPTN National NewsIn a region that is filled with talented artists – it is sometimes hard to make a name for yourself.But there is an exhibit underway in Iqaluit that is taking traditional art works – and putting a new spin on them – in the hopes of bringing more attention to these up and coming artists.APTN‘s Wayne Rivers went to the exhibit and files this report.last_img

Make these 2 tax moves in time to cut your tax bill

first_imgSaving for retirement is a good idea, of course, but if you time things right and do your homework, some of your nest egg could also do double duty as a tax shield. Here are two simple savings manoeuvrs that tax pros say could also lower your tax bill — if you make them in time.Manoeuvr 1: DUMP MONEY INTO A 401(K)If your employer offers a 401(k) plan and you’re not enrolled or not contributing much, you could be paying more than you have to in taxes. Why? The IRS doesn’t make you pay income tax now on earnings that go directly from your paycheque to a traditional 401(k) plan (typically you pay the taxes when you withdraw the money). In 2018, the contribution limit for a traditional 401(k) is $18,500 ($24,500 if you’re 50 or older), meaning you could potentially shield that much of your pay from income taxes this year. If your employer matches your contributions, you might also get some free money.When to make your moveGet that money into your 401(k) plan by Dec. 31, says Angela Freyman, a tax preparer at Freyman CPA in St. Johns, Florida. Visit your 401(k) administrator’s website, or contact your company’s payroll or HR department, to increase your contributions for the end of the year if you can.“Some employers might move slower, so I would always say do it as early as you can. Don’t wait until the last minute, because you might ask them to set it up, but they won’t do it in time,” she says.Freelancers with no employees might think about contributing to what’s called a solo 401(k), which could allow them to save for retirement and shield as much as $55,000 from income taxes (with an additional $6,000 catch-up contribution if 50 or older). There may be more time, too — if you put money into the account by the 2019 filing deadline, you might still get a tax break for 2018. Just be sure the account is open by Dec. 31, Freyman notes. Talk with a qualified tax pro about the details.BewareMake sure your traditional 401(k) contributions don’t exceed that $18,500 limit for 2018 ($24,500 if you’re 50 or older), cautions Chad Parks, who runs Ubiquity Retirement & Savings in San Francisco. Your pay stub should indicate what’s been withheld to date for the year.People who contributed to more than one 401(k) plan in 2018 (this might happen if you changed jobs during the year) need to keep a special eye on this, because the sum of their contributions to both plans can’t exceed the annual limit, Parks warns. “Don’t think you can double dip,” he says.Manoeuvr 2: TRANSFER MONEY INTO AN IRAMoving money into a traditional individual retirement account could keep the IRS’s hands off of up to another $5,500 of your money this year ($6,500 for people 50 and older). That’s because contributions to traditional IRAs can be tax-deductible . The size of your deduction will depend on your filing status, whether you or your spouse is covered by a retirement plan at work and what your adjusted gross income is.When to make your moveIf you want to turn your savings into a tax break for 2018, make sure your money is in the account no later than April 15, 2019, Freyman says. Opening an IRA shouldn’t take long, she adds. “We have people do it in a couple of days, at most,” she says.BewareIf you want a tax deduction for 2018 but you’re not actually putting the money in your traditional IRA until after Dec. 31, be sure to instruct the IRA administrator to apply your contribution to 2018. And remember to take the tax deduction for 2018.“It’s easy to accidentally apply it to the wrong year,” Freyman notes.Another note: Traditional IRAs are great, but a Roth IRA may be a better choice if you’re in a lower tax bracket now than you think you’ll be in the future. You may not get a tax break now with a Roth IRA, but your withdrawals later should be tax-free. Talk with a qualified tax pro if you’re not sure._______This article was provided to The Associated Press by the personal finance website NerdWallet . Tina Orem is a writer at NerdWallet. Email: .RELATED LINKS:NerdWallet: IRAs: Everything You Need to Know IRA Deduction Limits One-Participant 401(k) Plans Orem, The Associated Presslast_img read more

Notre Dame cathedral will be closed for up to 6 years

first_imgParis: Notre Dame’s rector says he will close the burned-out Paris cathedral for up to six years. Bishop Patrick Chauvet acknowledged that the famed monument would close down for “five to six years” as he spoke with local business owners Wednesday, two days after a blaze torched the roof of the cathedral and brought down its spire. Chauvet said “a segment of the cathedral has been very weakened” by the devastating fire. He did not elaborate which section he was talking about. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince ‘snubbed’ Pak PM, recalled jet from USHe added it was unclear what the church’s 67 employees would be doing in the future. The French prime minister has announced an international architects’ competition to rebuild the spire of Notre Dame Cathedral. Edouard Philippe is speaking following a special Cabinet meeting Wednesday held by French President Emmanuel Macron, focusing on the reconstruction of the cathedral. Philippe said the competition aims at “giving Notre Dame a spire adapted to technologies and challenges of our times.” Also Read – Record number of 35 candidates in fray for SL Presidential pollsHe said authorities have no estimate yet of the total cost of the renovation work. Macron said Tuesday he wants the cathedral to be rebuilt in five years. Philippe said: “This is obviously a huge challenge, a historic responsibility.” The Paris prosecutor’s office says investigators looking into the causes of the Notre Dame fire have still not been able to look inside the cathedral, as it remains unsafe. Investigators will continue with interviews Wednesday, saying the inquiry will go on until prosecutors uncover “the truth and identify the origin” of the blaze. On Tuesday, investigators spoke with around 30 witnesses, including employees of companies involved in the church’s restoration and security personnel. The Czech Philharmonic and other major Czech orchestras will join forces to play a fundraising concert to help restore Notre Dame Cathedral, heavily damaged by a devastating fire. The Czech Philharmonic says the orchestras will perform Antonin Dvorak’s “Stabat Mater” in St. Vitus Cathedral, a Gothic masterpiece, in Prague on Tuesday.last_img read more

Business Highlights

___Amazon dumps NYC headquarters and its promised 25,000 jobsNEW YORK (AP) — Amazon says it will not be building a new headquarters in New York, a stunning reversal after a yearlong search. The online retailer has faced opposition from some New York politicians, who were unhappy with the tax incentives Amazon was promised. Amazon said Thursday it does not plan to look for another location, and will continue to build out offices in Arlington, Virginia, and Nashville, Tennessee.___Average tax refunds fall, creating political flashpointWASHINGTON (AP) — The average tax refund and the total amount of refunds issued are down for a second week. That has the potential to intensify a political flashpoint seized by Democrats as proof that the Republican-written tax law hurts the middle class. The average refund in the second week of the filing season ended Feb. 8 was $1,949, down 8.7 per cent from $2,135 a year earlier, according to IRS data released Thursday. Total refunds to date are down 23 per cent to $22.2 billion, from $28.9 billion last year.___Too big to sell: Airbus bids pained adieu to superjumbo A380TOULOUSE, France (AP) — Airbus is saying goodbye to the A380 superjumbo jet. The European plane maker says it will stop making the world’s biggest passenger jet in 2021 after struggling to sell it. Airbus says that key client Emirates is cutting back its orders for the plane and as a result “we have no substantial A380 backlog and hence no basis to sustain production.” The decision could hurt up to 3,500 jobs and already cost the plane maker 463 million euros ($522 million) in losses in 2018.___Humbug holidays: US retail sales drop 1.2 pct. in DecemberWASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. retail sales fell in December, posting the biggest drop since September 2009 and delivering more evidence that last year’s holiday sales fizzled unexpectedly. Even e-commerce suffered a big setback. The Commerce Department says December retail sales dropped 1.2 per cent from November.___GE to downsize Boston headquarters, reimburse state $87MBOSTON (AP) — General Electric is downsizing plans for its world headquarters in Boston. The company announced Thursday that it has reached an agreement with Massachusetts to sell its waterfront property, which is partly owned by the state. GE says that following the sale, it will pay back $87 million the state spent in luring the company to move its headquarters from Connecticut.___US mortgage rates fall to 12-month low; 30-year at 4.37 pctWASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. long-term mortgage rates fell this week to a 12-month low, an enticement for prospective homebuyers in the upcoming season. Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac says the average rate on the benchmark 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage declined to 4.37 per cent from 4.41 per cent last week. The average rate this week for 15-year, fixed-rate loans eased to 3.81 per cent from 3.84 per cent.___UK’s May suffers embarrassing defeat on Brexit strategyLONDON (AP) — British Prime Minister Theresa May has suffered an embarrassing defeat by lawmakers in a vote that left her bid to secure a European Union divorce deal stuck between an intransigent EU and a resistant U.K. Parliament — with Brexit just six weeks away. The House of Commons voted by 303 votes to 258 against a motion reiterating support for May’s approach to Brexit — support expressed by lawmakers in votes just two weeks ago.___EPA too slow on limiting toxic chemicals, critics sayThe Environmental Protection Agency says it will move toward setting safety limits for some highly toxic chemicals contaminating drinking water across the country. Acting EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler on Thursday in Philadelphia released a plan for dealing with long-lasting substances called PFAS, which have been linked to health threats including cancer and decreased fertility. Environmentalists say the EPA hasn’t moved fast enough.___China, US open trade talks as Beijing says exports reboundBEIJING (AP) — Chinese and U.S. negotiators have opened talks on resolving a vexing trade war as Beijing said its exports rebounded in January despite President Donald Trump’s tariff hikes. Trump said the negotiations will help decide whether he goes ahead on March 2 with more penalty tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese goods. Economists and business groups say Beijing is looking to persuade Trump enough progress is being made to push back his deadline.___Mixed finish for US stock indexes over weak retail salesNEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stock indexes clawed most of the way back from an early slide Thursday to finish mostly lower, ending a four-day winning streak for the benchmark S&P 500 index. Losses in banks and retailers and consumer products makers offset gains in health care and technology stocks as investors weighed data showing retail sales slumped in December amid a disappointing holiday shopping season. The sell-off eased as traders reconsidered the data’s usefulness in forecasting future spending trends.___The S&P 500 index dropped 7.30 points, or 0.3 per cent, to 2,745.73. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 103.88 points, or 0.4 per cent, to 25,439.39. The Nasdaq composite edged up 6.58 points, or 0.1 per cent, to 7,426.95. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks added 2.16 points, or 0.1 per cent, to 1,545.11.The Associated Press read more

Lanka US hold separate briefings on resolution

Sri Lanka and the United States held separate informal meetings at the UN Human Rights Council premises yesterday (Wednesday) on the US sponsored resolution on Sri Lanka.Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe was to brief the Asian Group last afternoon on the progress made in Sri Lanka by the government on addressing post war issues. Meanwhile in a separate room, the US delegation led by Ambassador Eileen Chamberlain, held a meeting with representatives from other countries where she spoke on the resolution submitted on Sri Lanka. The Permanent Mission of Jordan was hosting the meeting on behalf of the Asian Group attending the 22nd session of the Human Rights Council. He said that the pith and substance of resolution 19/2 was to mandate the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) to provide in consultation with, and with the concurrence of the Sri Lankan government, advice and technical assistance, and for the OHCHR to report to the Council on the nature of the assistance provided on the implementation of Sri Lanka’s domestic reconciliation mechanism, the LLRC.The government has already noted that through the OHCHR Report the High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay has gone beyond her mandate in making recommendations which are arbitrary, highly intrusive and of a politicized nature, which have not given due regard or recognition to the work of Sri Lanka’s ongoing mechanism of reconciliation through the National Action Plan on the implementation of the recommendations of the LLRC.Aryasinha said that in the new US draft resolution substantive provisions have been introduced which are totally unrelated to the mandate given in the US resolution 19/2, and steers completely away from the spirit and substance of 19/2 into a new realm. (Colombo Gazette) Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe is to present the formal response to the US resolution at the UNHRC tomorrow (Friday).Sri Lanka’s Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva Ambassador Ravinatha Aryasinha had said in a statement last Friday that he had already conveyed to Ambassador Donahoe that the government rejects entirely the premise on which the resolution is based, and as has been its consistent position, does not intend negotiating with the US on the text. read more

Wanted Interesting Convocation stories

Involved in Convocation? Do you know of a story worth telling that relates to the ceremonies this week?The Office of University Marketing and Communications is actively seeking human-interest stories about students, faculty and staff involved in Convocation this year. The story ideas could be used for The Brock News or local media. Please send suggestions to Convocation ceremonies are June 9 to 12.

Libya UN Secretary General condemns in the strongest terms attack on hotel

“Terrorism has no place in the new Libya and will not undermine the ongoing political dialogue which the United Nations is facilitating,” the Secretary-General’s spokesperson said in a statement released today, in which he also expressed his condolences to the families of those who lost their lives.The UN chief also commended the courage of the Libyan actors who are participating in the dialogue to find a peaceful and negotiated solution to the crisis.Yesterday, the UN Security Council also condemned the attack and reaffirmed full support for Special Representative of the Secretary-General, Bernardino León, and urged all the parties in Libya to engage constructively with his efforts to resume an inclusive political process aimed at addressing the political and security challenges facing the country.The Council’s call for constructive engagement comes as participants in the Libyan dialogue facilitated by the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL), which Mr. León heads, concluded two days of discussions held at the Palais des Nations in Geneva.According to a press statement from UNSMIL, the discussions were conducted in a positive atmosphere reflecting the sense of national responsibility and a sincere determination to find solutions to end the political and military conflict buffeting their country.Participants, continued the Mission, discussed the issue of the formation of a consensual national unity government to ensure the unity of the country and State institutions. This includes the government’s mandate, program, the decision-making process as well as the criteria for selecting its members.“Participants also discussed how this government could benefit from UNSMIL support to carry out its tasks and the guarantees the international community could provide in this regard and in dealing with anyone who obstructs the political and security process,” said the statement. read more

Widespread van overloading is undermining tech advances says SMMT

Advances in van safety technology could be undermined by dangerous overloading, warns SMMT. Almost nine in 10 (88.5%) of the 2,381 vans weighed last year by the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) were found to be overloaded, a worse record than the previous year in which 84% of the 3,337 checked were illegal.Manufacturers are offering increasing levels of safety on the latest vehicles: around a quarter of vans currently on sale in the UK are available with advanced collision warning systems2, while three new models launched at this week’s Commercial Vehicle Show at Birmingham’s NEC will feature autonomous emergency braking for the first time. But for all the benefits advanced safety tech brings, an overloaded or poorly loaded van can still pose a risk to its driver and other road users, adding vital metres to braking distances and affecting handling.Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said, “Vans have never played a more important role in the British economy, with a record 4 million vans now on our roads, so it is a concern that this in-use safety record remains so poor. Manufacturers are investing significant amounts in new safety technology, but this can only do part of the job. We continue to urge operators and owners to comply with the law to keep themselves and others safe, avoid the risk of fines and keep the threat of further legislation at bay.”While anyone operating a heavy goods vehicle (HGV) is subject to strict rules under the Operator Licensing regime, this does not apply to vehicles under 3.5 tonnes – in other words, the vast majority of vans. No move has yet been made to extend Operator Licensing to vans, and to ensure this and a potential £2.6 billion3 in extra costs for operators continues to be avoided, industry is keen to see this safety record improve.SMMT works closely with the DVSA, as well as other industry bodies, to help the van sector stay clear of burdensome regulation. Operators and owners looking to ensure their van complies with weight regulations can refer to DVSA’s handy Van Smart  video guide available here: Macdonald, DVSA Compliance Service Manager, said, “Overloading continues to be a real issue on our roads, and drivers and businesses need to carefully consider their legal responsibility towards vehicle weight compliance, so we fully support the SMMT’s latest important van safety message.”For simple, step-by-step guidance on how best to maintain their vans, operators can visit DVSA statistics based on the financial year 2014-2015JATO Dynamics dataCalculation based on 4 million vans attracting the current HGV-only applicable £257 Operator Licensing application fee, and £401 licence issue feeClick to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window) read more

Opinion Shaun White has something to prove after missing out on Olympic

U.S. snowboarder Shaun White wipes out while attempting to land a trick during the finals of Snowboard Halfpipe during the Sochi Winter Olympics Feb. 11. White failed to medal in the event.Courtesy of MCTIt is fair to call Shaun White the face of snowboarding.The most decorated Winter X Games Athlete in both total medals and gold medals, White had also claimed gold in Snowboarding Halfpipe in Turin 2006 and Vancouver 2010.But in a stunner, White not only missed out on the gold, but he failed to make it to the podium altogether Tuesday in Sochi, Russia. Switzerland’s Iouri “I-Pod” Podladtchikov took home the top honors, while Ayumu Hirano and Taku Hiraoka of Japan snatched silver and bronze, respectively.White’s failure to medal comes days after he surprisingly pulled out of the first-ever Olympic slopestyle event before qualifying, when he decided to “focus solely on trying to bring home the third straight gold medal in halfpipe for Team USA.”White had taken a year to concentrate on slopestyle, hoping to go for double gold. It is speculated that he was worried about picking up an injury during the event, which would have kept him from the halfpipe competition. White and Canadian Mark McMorris both suffered injuries on the Sochi course while practicing two weeks ago.A few of White’s Canadian competitors were none too pleased with his decision to pull out of the event. Max Parrot, who finished fifth in the event Saturday, called White out via Twitter Feb. 5.“Shaun knows he won’t be able to win the slopes, that’s why he pulled out. He’s scared!” the tweet from Parrot’s personal account, @MaxParrot said. The tweet was later deleted.American Sage Kotsenburg took home the gold in slopestyle, Norwegian Ståle Sandbech snagged silver and McMorris won the bronze.Many of the top riders competing this month voiced their concerns with not only the slopestyle course but also with the halfpipe. American Hannah Teter, who won gold on the halfpipe in 2006, suggested that the event be pushed back.“They should push it back is what they should do, and fix it so we can showcase snowboarding the way it needs to be showcased. Not as a junk show, which is what it was looking like right now,” Teter said.White also voiced his disappointment after practice Monday.“It’s hard to get in there and have all the tricks and have everything that you need and not be able to get to the wall,” White said.White failing to even medal is the most surprising result of the Sochi games thus far. He also pulled out of all competition at the X Games in January to concentrate on the Olympic tournament.Tuesday, White earned the highest score of the night in the semifinals with a 95.75, but his highest score on his two final runs was a 90.25, which was only good enough for a fourth place finish. Podladtchikov registered a 94.75, while Hirano received a 93.50 and Hiraoka a 92.25.White is considered the best at his sport, but missing out on a medal on the world’s biggest stage will only make it harder for him to stay at the top.If you want to be the best, you’ve got to beat the best. Now he has something to prove. read more

Fugitive wanted in the US for murder of Guyanese caught by

… make-up artist ‘Lola’ in custody for harbouring suspectA fugitive who was wanted for the December 11, 2011, murder of Guyanese Kieth Frank in Richmond Hill, New York was on Wednesday morning apprehended in the vicinity of Liliendaal, East Coast Demerara.Captured fugitive: Troy Anthony ThomasAn intelligence-led operation by ranks of the Guyana Police Force which commenced since January 31, 2018, after an arrest warrant was issued by the United States of America, resulted in Troy Anthony Thomas of 32nd Street, South Ozone Park, Queens, New York, being arrested at around 02:00hrs in Guyana.Meanwhile, make-up artiste and social media personality Lolita “Lola” Callendar of East Ruimveldt, who police had wanted for threatening behaviour, and for reportedly harbouring the fugitive has also been arrested.Lolita “Lola” CallendarAccording to reports received, Thomas was being hunted by the New York Police Department, and a wanted bulletin was issued for him in connection with the murder of 20-year-old Frank after an altercation outside of a South Richmond Hill party.It was then disclosed by US law enforcement agents that Thomas had fled the country to Canada within hours of his alleged crime.Shortly after, the man reportedly traveled to Guyana before the wanted bulletin which was issued by the US had reached Interpol.He will likely be extradited to US to face charges for the crime he is accused of committing. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedMakeup artist “Lola” in court again, this time for assaultApril 16, 2018In “Court””Lola” granted bail on assault chargeMarch 16, 2018In “Court”US fugitive wanted for murder remanded as extradition proceedings to beginMarch 20, 2018In “Court” read more

MWC 2012 Skype vise 1 milliard dutilisateurs grâce à Microsoft

first_imgMWC 2012 : Skype vise 1 milliard d’utilisateurs grâce à MicrosoftD’après un vice-président de Skype, les gros moyens que Microsoft a investi dans leur système leur permettent de viser le chiffre impressionnant de 1 milliard d’utilisateurs.Voilà seulement 4 mois que Microsoft a racheté Skype, mais le changement commence déjà à faire effet. Dans une interview donnée lors du Mobile World Congress, à Barcelone, Rick Osterloch, vice-président du développement des produits chez Skype, a confié à Clubic que la synergie avec Microsoft leur apportait énormément de ressources.À lire aussiMaladie de Charcot : symptômes, causes, traitement, où en est on ?Il parle ainsi de leurs prochains projets: une version bêta de Skype pour Windows phone sortira bientôt et la version finale sera disponible pour tous en avril. À propos du Lumia 610, téléphone phare de Microsoft, issu d’un partenariat avec Nokia, il rassure: malgré l’absence de caméra frontale, Skype pourra être utilisé avec la caméra arrière. Par contre Lumia est sous Windows phone Tango, et la bêta ne sera compatible que sous Windows Phone 7.5, compatibilité qui sera augmentée dès la sortie officielle et continuera de l’être ensuite. Le duo Skype-Microsoft ne se sent pas menacé par la VoIP de Google, dénommée Google Voice, car “le marché de la communication est énorme. Il y a largement assez d’espace pour que plusieurs acteurs mettent à disposition leurs services auprès des consommateurs” rappelle Rick Osterloch. 200 millions de personnes, partagées entre de nombreux supports, utilisent Skype chaque mois. Niveau popularité, il est le premier service du type sur iPad, et le second sur iPhone. Et 1 smartphone Android sur 8 embarque son Skype.Le 29 février 2012 à 20:15 • Emmanuel Perrinlast_img read more

Amazon HQ2 Portland area makes its pitch

first_imgThe Portland area on Thursday joined more than 150 North American cities in submitting their pitch to Amazon for its second headquarters.Regional economic development group Greater Portland Inc. crafted the proposal, which offered Amazon development sites in four locations. Portland, Clark County, Beaverton and Milwaukie each found a chunk of land it would set aside for Amazon.In addition, the pitch presented a “distributed campus concept,” with sites in all four locations.“We submitted one very fat document,” said Greater Portland spokesman Adam Newman.He declined to give any details about the specific locations, leaving that to the individual jurisdictions.In a statement, Greater Portland said it was proud of its proposal.“The submitted sites showcase that this region is willing, ready and able to partner with a developer, or employer, of Amazon’s scale.”Regardless, the City of Roses appears to be a long shot due to its proximity to Amazon’s home base in Seattle and its small size, which limits its ability to offer large tax incentives and reduces its pool of talented tech workers.In early September, the e-commerce giant announced it had outgrown its Seattle space and needed a second company headquarters, where it plans to employ as many as 50,000. The retailer said it plans to invest $5 billion in construction alone for the new site, which it’s calling Amazon HQ2.Amazon has no shortage of suitors, with cities — at times in painfully pun-laden language — attempting to woo the company with tax incentives, shovel-ready development sites and, in one case, a brand-new bullet train. Toronto’s proposal included a signed letter from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau extolling Canada’s virtues.Possible sites• PORTLANDThough it’s not clear which suburban Portland sites are being offered to Amazon, the Portland Tribune reported that the city is pitching the former U.S. Post Office site in the Pearl District.last_img read more

Winter could start with some snowflakes

first_imgRemember those snowflakes that fell Sunday evening? If forecasters have it right, another one of those incidents is on its way.The National Weather Service is reporting another weather will move into the area tonight.As of mid-morning, the forecast was for rain mixed with snowflakes in the metro area, with snow falling and sticking at elevations above 1,000 feet and in the Columbia River Gorge. However, “a good deal of uncertainty remains in the details,” according to the hazardous weather advisory.East wind will accompany the rain, particularly near the gorge.Wet weather is expected to linger through Christmas, though temperatures will rise slightly, making the odds of a white Christmas about as long as winning the lottery.last_img read more

Clark College graduation Inspired to help

first_img78th Clark College commencement• Largest class in history, with 2,100 degrees and certificates.o About 750 graduates participated in the commencement.Top five degrees/certificates at Clark College in 2013-14 Associate in Arts: 522. Associate in Applied Nursing WSU Vancouver: 41. Associate in Applied Science Nursing: 86. Associate in Applied Science Medical Assistant: 28. Associate in Applied Business Administration: 66. Award recipientsExceptional Faculty Awardso Sarah Theberge, Early Childhood Education.o Jim Wilkins-Luton, Developmental Education/English.o Kelly Fielding, Psychology (adjunct).o Chris Martin, Computer Technology (adjunct).Exceptional Classified Staffo Jennifer Wheeler, Information Technology Services.o Joe Jenkins, Academic Advisor.Community College President’s Awardo Natasha Hambrook.In 2007, Turi Sado fled his homeland of Ethiopia and experienced a defining moment in a Kenyan refugee camp. He realized he wanted to become a nurse.“I witnessed a lot of people dying from simple things,” Sado said. “Women dying in pregnancy. Babies dying. That is what inspired me.”From that moment in a refugee camp, hope was born.Wearing a royal blue cap and gown, Sado, 38, stood among a sea of 750 other Clark College graduates Thursday night standing in line outside the Sleep Country Amphitheater waiting to walk into the college’s 78th commencement and receive their degrees.Sado crossed the stage and received his associate degree in applied nursing. In August, he will transfer to WSU Vancouver, where he plans to earn his bachelor’s degree in nursing. While he completes his education, he will continue working part time as a certified nursing assistant and medication assistant to reach his goal of become a traveling nurse.He said he has the opportunity to improve his family’s life and to make a difference in the lives of others.Although his father is still in Ethiopia, the rest of Sado’s family has emigrated to the U.S.Sado is mapping a hopeful future here with his own family, his girlfriend Temima Abda and their two children, ages 3 and 5.Nursing programs are among the most popular at Clark College.“There’s always work,” said Doug Hiivala, 28, who left the construction field to earn his nursing degree. “It sounded like the best bang for your buck.”last_img read more

ITC division organises Haritha Haram

first_imgIDA Bollarum: ITC Limited-Paperboards & Specialty Papers Division organized Haritha Haaram, tree plantationprogram at IDA Bollaram Village. The company representatives said that the programme was organised to demonstrate its Commitment towards the enrichment of environmental resources.Haritha Haram program was initiated by by the Telangana government to increase the green cover of the state from the existing 25.16% to 33% of its total geographical area. Also Read – JIH organises Eid Milap for sanitary workers Advertise With Us To make the programme more participatory, ITC Managers, CII officials and employees of ITC, joined hands for the plantation drive and planted over 600 plants of different varieties in 3.5 acres of land. Addressing the gathering Suneel Pandey, Vice President, said that ITC PSPD was taking part in the initiative which is the brainchild of Telangana CM K Chandrashekar Rao to plant at least 6 lakh plants annually, since 2016. Speaking on the occasion, Sanjay Singh Divisional Chief Executive said that the next focus would be to achieve zero emissions and zero discharge along with zero grid for unit Bollaram, Then this unit would be the first industrial unit in the country to achieve such feat. Among other notable personalities were, Vadiraj Kulkarni, COO, K I Viswanathan, Divisional Head: Commercial and Marketing, Anil Kumar V Epur, Chairman Green Landscape Committee and past Chairman of CII-Southern Region, K S Venkatagiri, Executive Director CII-Godrej Green Business Center.last_img read more

Union Budget 2015 Receives Mixed Reactions

first_img#DeloitteIndia experts: On the indirect taxes front, the budget proposals are a mixed bag. #IndiaUnionBudget2015 — Deloitte India (@Deloitteindia) February 28, 2015 My own take #Budget this year was actually a budget as opposed to a wishlist for reforms. That’s what Economic Survey is about.— Rupa Subramanya (@rupasubramanya) February 28, 2015 The Union Budget 2015 was presented by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Saturday, and he stressed on the importance of growth in the economy and the need to boost investment. He also explained that the government’s priority is to make sure that ordinary people benefit from the proposals.While the members of the parliament lauded some of the proposals, others were met with criticism.Here are a few reactions to the Union Budget 2015: “The announcement that the much awaited GST will be introduced on 1st April 2016, will definitely rejuvenate the industry,” Sachin Menon, COO – Tax & Head of Indirect Tax, KPMG India told Financial Express.”The GST will make manufacturing more competitive and thereby support the ‘Make in India’ Campaign. How fast the Finance Minister will move the wheels of change to usher in GST will be keenly watched in the coming days.”Meanwhile, Ananth Narayan, Regional Head of Global Markets- South Asia, Standard Chartered, Mumbai, explained to The Economic Times that markets expected the government to meet the 3% fiscal deficit targets by 2016/17 instead of extending it by a year.”Markets were expecting a fiscal deficit target of 3.6 percent to be met in 2015/16, so the 3.9 percent number will be negative for the markets as an initial reaction on Monday,” he noted.The “Big Bang” in this budget is that it brings an ideological shift. Ease of doing business trumps lip service to poor by wasteful populism— Harish Salve (@hsalve) February 28, 2015 #DeloitteIndia experts: This is a forward looking budget. #IndiaUnionBudget2015— Deloitte India (@Deloitteindia) February 28, 2015 #DeloitteIndia experts: FM has made a good attempt for an inclusive growth through #IndiaUnionBudget2015 proposal.— Deloitte India (@Deloitteindia) February 28, 2015last_img read more

Listen How Mass Appeal Plans to Build on WuTang Clan Of Mics

first_img ×Actors Reveal Their Favorite Disney PrincessesSeveral actors, like Daisy Ridley, Awkwafina, Jeff Goldblum and Gina Rodriguez, reveal their favorite Disney princesses. Rapunzel, Mulan, Ariel,Tiana, Sleeping Beauty and Jasmine all got some love from the Disney stars.More VideosVolume 0%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard Shortcutsplay/pauseincrease volumedecrease volumeseek forwardsseek backwardstoggle captionstoggle fullscreenmute/unmuteseek to %SPACE↑↓→←cfm0-9Next UpJennifer Lopez Shares How She Became a Mogul04:350.5x1x1.25×1.5x2xLive00:0002:1502:15 “We look at Mass Appeal as like an engine that creatives can plug into,” Bittenbender says. “Whether you’re a music artist, filmmaker, journalist, graphic designer — we are a place where you can come in, and we can help you realize your dreams.” Mass Appeal is a hip-hop, culture-focused brand that was born in the 1990s as a New York-based fanzine-style magazine, but CEO Peter Bittenbender is adapting for the future. As choppy waters continue to batter the similarly situated Vice Media and other digital content endeavors in recent months, Bittenbender is looking toward diversification as a solution for today’s unstable digital environment.Mass Appeal is riding the momentum at present from the success of its Showtime documentary series “Wu-Tang Clan: Of Mics and Men,” which exemplifies the company’s ability to produce high-end content all while handling marketing and branded content initiatives. Bittenbender details the company’s operations and strategy on the latest episode of “Strictly Business,” Variety‘s weekly podcasting featuring conversations with industry leaders about the business of entertainment. Audio Player Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.Mass Appeal had been dormant for some time when Bittenbender teamed with rapper Nas and director Sacha Jenkins to relaunch the brand in 2013. Now the company operates a music label in partnership with Universal Music. It also has a film and TV production arm, a brand consulting business and a creative advertising arm, the latter of which is a reliable “cash cow” for the company with clients that include Google. There’s also a ventures arm that is working on everything from a cannabis-related opportunity to content geared toward children of hip-hop generation parents.Mass Appeal had put energy and resources into drawing visitors to a dedicated digital content hub. But Bittenbender switched gears to focusing on producing high-end fare for established buyers, a la the Showtime partnership on “Of Mics and Men.”“We got out of that business at the right time to focus on what Mass Appeal is really great at — premium storytelling,” Bittenbender says.“Strictly Business” is Variety’s weekly podcast featuring conversations with industry leaders about the business of entertainment. A new episode debuts each Tuesday and can be downloaded on iTunes, Spotify, Google Play, Stitcher, and SoundCloud. Popular on Variety last_img read more