Latest loss of Afghan lives prompts UN call for safeguarding civilians

“I am deeply saddened at the reports of the terrible loss of civilian life on Sunday in southern Afghanistan,” Robert Watkins, Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Afghanistan, said in a statement issued today.According to Government figures, at least 27 civilians were killed and numerous others wounded during the aerial operations carried out by international military forces.“I appreciate International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) statements that the armed forces currently engaging insurgents in southern Afghanistan have taken great precautionary measures to safeguard civilians,” said Mr. Watkins. “I also appreciate the quick acknowledgement of responsibility and the apology by ISAF regarding yesterday’s loss of life in Uruzgan. “However, measures highlighted in the tactical directives and guidelines issued by ISAF on the use of lethal force must be fully implemented at all times and under all circumstances,” he stated. Mr. Watkins, who also serves as UN Humanitarian Coordinator in Afghanistan, added that trust in the intentions of the international military forces operating in the country will suffer greatly they do not take more care to protect Afghan lives. The UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) has consistently requested all parties to the conflict to do their utmost to avoid civilian casualties, a call reiterated today by Mr. Watkins. 22 February 2010A top United Nations official in Afghanistan has repeated the world body’s call for all parties to the conflict to avoid civilian casualties, after an international military operation on Sunday reportedly killed at least 27 people, including women and children, in the southern province of Uruzgan. read more

UN officials laud contribution of ECOSOC session to furthering development

Women’s empowerment and gender equality was the focus of the 2010 substantive session, which began on 28 June and coincided with the creation by the General Assembly of a single UN body tasked with accelerating progress in this vital area.“The Council has made a strong contribution to making 2010 a watershed year for women,” Hamidon Ali, President of ECOSOC, said in his closing remarks. In a ministerial declaration adopted at the end of its high-level segment earlier this month, the Council stressed the need to invest more in women and girls, which is essential to achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) – the set of eight human development and poverty eradication targets with a 2015 deadline.“A key message emanating from the high-level segment is that gender equality and the empowerment of women sit squarely at the heart of development and peace worldwide, and that the international community must remain fully committed to these efforts,” said Mr. Ali.Echoing his comments, Sha Zukang, Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, stated that the ministerial declaration was successful in “placing gender equality and the empowerment of women at the centre of the development agenda.” He added that ECOSOC has “firmly shown its relevance” at a crucial point in the preparation for the high-level MDG Summit that will take place at UN Headquarters in New York in September, which is expected to result in concrete national action plans for realizing the Goals. “The Council has shown its authority in promoting implementation of the internationally agreed development goals, including the Millennium Development Goals,” he stated.Mr. Sha added that the national voluntary presentations – made by 13 countries during the current session – have provided a “unique information-sharing and stock-taking platform” that promotes both accountability and the fulfilment of commitments for achieving the MDGs. Among the other features of the just-concluded session was the Development Cooperation Forum, as well as discussions on maintaining humanitarian operations in insecure and high-risk environments, and special events on Haiti and on how to achieve the MDGs in countries emerging from conflict. 23 July 2010The United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) today wrapped up its annual gathering with senior officials hailing the contributions of the month-long session towards advancing gender equality and women’s empowerment, as well as in the areas of peace and development. read more

End violence and free those detained UN rights chief tells Egypt

4 February 2011The United Nations human rights chief today called for an end to the “shocking” violence in Egypt and the immediate release of detained journalists and rights advocates, attributing much of the chaos to the security and intelligence services. “Egypt must implement its international human rights obligations and prevent further violence,” the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, told a news conference in Geneva, following two days of violence between supporters of President Hosni Mubarak and hundreds of thousands of protestors demanding his immediate resignation.“Protestors must be properly protected, including from each other. The security and intelligence forces must be held accountable. Change is coming to Egypt, as it came to Tunisia, but the violence and bloodshed must stop now,” she said, referring to protests which last month led to the flight of Tunisian President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali.In her comments, Ms. Pillay referred to the “shocking scenes” of opposing groups hurling Molotov cocktails, fire bombs and barrages of large stones at each other. “There was a noticeable absence of police, and the army failed to separate the two groups, with tragic consequences,” she noted. “In the last two days we have seen chaos in central Cairo, and one of the prime drivers of this chaos seems to have been the actions of Egypt’s security and intelligence services,” the human rights chief said, calling on the authorities to ensure that the security and intelligence forces stop undermining security.Ms. Pillay also called for an impartial investigation into whether the violence was planned and if so by whom. She cited assaults, intimidation and the arbitrary detention of journalists and human rights defenders – actions which Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon yesterday called “outrageous.” “All journalists and human rights defenders who were arrested for practicing their professions must be released immediately and unconditionally. The authorities must order their security and intelligence forces to cease this extreme harassment at once,” she said, calling on the authorities to keep communications and internet services open and protect media premises.They must “halt all activities aimed at restricting or manipulating the free flow of information, such as the extraordinary hijacking of Vodaphone’s system in order to send propaganda text messages,” she added. The UN agency entrusted with defending press freedom also condemned the attacks on journalists. “Silencing the media or attempting to intimidate them is an unacceptable assault on the right of citizens to be informed,” the Director-General of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), Irina Bokova, said in a statement. “I call on all in Egypt to respect the rights of freedom of expression and freedom of information.”Ms. Pillay stressed that governments should listen to their people and address human rights failings at once. “Waiting until unrest actually happens is, as we have seen in Tunisia and are now seeing in Egypt, not only perpetuating systems that to a greater or lesser degree transgress international laws and standards, it is also a classic case of acting too little, too late,” she said, adding that the world now sees that there is an intense hunger for human rights in the Middle East and North Africa, and elsewhere. “Governments who ignore these extremely loud and clear warning signals, are doing so at their own peril,” she said. read more

WalMart settles with cantaloupe victims from Colorado listeria outbreak

by The Associated Press Posted May 13, 2014 7:11 pm MDT DENVER – Wal-Mart said Tuesday that the company has agreed to settle claims from many of the families of victims who died in a 2011 listeria outbreak that killed 33 people and was traced to a Colorado cantaloupe farm.The company settled with 23 families, including nine in Colorado, said Bill Marler, the families’ attorney. The terms of the settlements were kept confidential.Wal-Mart spokesman Randy Hargrove said the company is “committed to our customers’ safety and we take food safety concerns like this very seriously.”Hargrove said Wal-Mart stores in Colorado and other states removed the contaminated cantaloupe from the produce department as soon as the company learned of the outbreak, but some relatives said the company did not react fast enough.Two Colorado cantaloupe farmers pleaded guilty to misdemeanour charges stemming from the deadly outbreak and were sentenced to five years of probation and six months of home detention. A federal magistrate also ordered brothers Eric and Ryan Jensen to each pay $150,000 in restitution and perform 100 hours of community service.They pleaded guilty last year to introducing adulterated food into interstate commerce.According to federal regulators, conditions at Jensen Farms caused the outbreak. Investigators said the melons likely were contaminated in the farm’s packing house because of dirty water on the floor and old, hard-to-clean equipment.Wal-Mart, based in Bentonville, Arkansas, sued the companies that inspected and delivered the cantaloupes, but those claims were resolved with this settlement, The Denver Post reported Tuesday (http://tinyurl.com/jwdoe7l).Numerous lawsuits against other retailers who sold the contaminated melons still are pending. Those include Kroger, or King Soopers, as well as distributor Frontera Produce and farm inspection company Primus Labs.About one week before Colorado officials detected the outbreak’s first victim, an inspector sent by Primus gave the melon farm a 96 per cent “superior” rating.Jensen Farms, a fourth-generation farm in southeastern Colorado, filed for bankruptcy within a year of the outbreak, and lawsuits against the farm were resolved through bankruptcy court.Marler’s law firm has filed lawsuits on behalf of 44 families, representing 28 who died and 17 who were sickened but survived, against multiple defendants in 12 states. Medical expenses from those cases total more than $12 million, Marler said. Wal-Mart settles with cantaloupe victims from Colorado listeria outbreak AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email read more

UN agency seeks 300 million to assist Palestinians in Gaza and West

The United Nations agency assisting Palestinian refugees today launched an emergency appeal for just over $300 million to provide vital aid to the most disadvantaged in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank.The largest component of the appeal – $78 million – is for food assistance to nearly three quarters of a million impoverished beneficiaries in Gaza, which has been under an Israeli blockade for six years, said a news release issued by the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). “As political leaders and donors are called upon to respond to new disasters around the globe, the man-made humanitarian crisis right here in Gaza and in the West Bank remains and intensifies with no sign of abating after more than six decades,” UNRWA’s Deputy Commissioner-General, Margot Ellis, said at the launch event in Gaza.The appeal will also fund temporary job creation and a cash assistance programme, as well as community mental health programmes, emergency health interventions and water and sanitation initiatives in Gaza and the West Bank.The Director of UNRWA’s Department of Relief and Social Services, Martha Myers, said that Palestinians have “moved from being a second world country over the past 30 years to being a third world country in Gaza and outside the bubble of Ramallah in the West Bank. “The descent continues unabated with the ability to produce and innovate stifled by the blockade – ruining lives, undermining a society and hope of political harmony, and debilitating the chances of a positive outcome.”Israel imposed the blockade on Gaza for what it called security reasons after the Hamas group, which does not recognize Israel’s right to exist, ousted the Fatah movement from the Strip in 2007.Senior UN officials as well as the diplomatic Quartet – comprising the UN, European Union, Russia and the United States – have repeatedly called over the past years for an end to the blockade, stating that while efforts to ease the closure were welcome, a full and immediate lifting was needed.Established by the General Assembly in 1949, UNRWA is mandated to provide assistance and protection to a population of some five million registered Palestinian refugees in various countries throughout the Middle East. Its services include education, relief and social services, camp infrastructure and improvement, health care and emergency assistance. read more

Ohio State mens basketball finishes off season sweep of Rutgers 7969

OSU sophomore forward Keita Bates-Diop (33) during a game against Rutgers on Jan. 13 at the Schottenstein Center. Credit: Samantha Hollingshead | Photo EditorThe Ohio State men’s basketball team has been a mystery wrapped in a riddle for much of the season.It has been nearly impossible to get any kind of gauge on what kind of team the Buckeyes are, to learn if the team that has shown itself thus far in 2015-16 is underperforming, lacking talent, lacking experience or some combination of the three.One thing has become abundantly clear, however: OSU is far from the worst team in the Big Ten. After beating Rutgers, which is still winless in conference games this season, by a combined 38 points in their two meetings, it is clear that the Buckeyes have placed themselves well above the basement of the conference.Their opponent on Saturday, however, might want to be on the lookout for flooding after heavy rainfall.The Buckeyes (16-10, 8-5) handled the Scarlet Knights (6-19, 0-12) on their home floor in Piscataway, New Jersey, on Saturday by a score of 79-69 in a game that was never really in question. That contest came a month to the day since OSU handled Rutgers in Columbus 94-68.A pair of sophomore forwards in Keita Bates-Diop and Jae’Sean Tate were major contributors in the game for the Buckeyes, with a double-double each. Bates-Diop scored 24 points on 10-of-16 shooting and had 14 rebounds, while Tate added 22 points and 13 rebounds. Redshirt sophomore guard Kam Williams was also big, scoring 19 points off the bench, including 12 in the second half.The Buckeyes did not get off to a tremendous start shooting the ball, but they really didn’t need to, as Rutgers started the game shooting a grotesque 3-of-20 — which included making its first shot of the game 22 seconds in.When all was said and done on the first 10 minutes of the game, the Buckeyes held a 20-6 lead, shooting 8-of-18. That effort was led by Bates-Diop, who scored a quick 10 points, including a pair of 3-pointers in quick succession.An extended 13-0 spurt by Rutgers made a dent in the lopsided score, cutting it to 22-19, but the Scarlet and Gray snapped their lengthy scoreless drought with a jump shot by Bates-Diop. That was followed up on the next possession with a layup by Tate to bring the lead back up to seven points.The visitors were then able to jump their lead back up as high as 14 points en route to a 35-26 halftime margin.Bates-Diop led all first-half scorers with 14 points on 6-of-9 shooting, while the Scarlet Knights countered with freshman guard Corey Sanders’ 13. Williams contributed seven points while Tate had six, but junior forward Marc Loving continued his extended period of poor play with zero points, four missed shots, a turnover and a few defensive lapses throughout the opening 20 minutes.The opening minutes of the second half featured much more efficient scoring for the Buckeyes, who put nine points on the scoreboard in the first four minutes of the stanza. That enabled them to take control of the game, holding onto a comfortable lead throughout the half that never got smaller than seven points.Twice when the home team threatened to get the deficit back down to single digits, Williams knocked down a shot from outside to take the crowd out of it. The Scarlet Knights finally did get it back there with a 9-0 run midway through the half, but, once again, Williams dropped in a shot from the outside to move the momentum back toward the Scarlet and Gray.Eventually, the Buckeyes’ 61.5 percent shooting mark in the second half was too much for Rutgers to ever mount a real comeback, sealing OSU’s 17th victory of the year, with five contests left on the regular-season schedule.OSU freshman guard JaQuan Lyle, who had the strongest all-around performance of his young college career with a triple-double in the teams’ first matchup, was unable to replicate the dominant performance. He finished with four points, three rebounds and five assists, and played just eight minutes in the second half.Loving was also absent for much of the second half after struggling while on the court. He was on the court for just five of the final 20 minutes and failed to score a point. Sanders was the Scarlet Knights’ leading scorer with 23 points.One very unsatisfactory statistic for OSU coach Thad Matta was the turnover column, where his team coughed the ball up 19 times to Rutgers’ 11.A trip back home is next in the cards for the Buckeyes, as they are scheduled to take on Michigan on Tuesday. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. at the Schottenstein Center. read more

BKT presents new Earthmax mining tyres range at Intermat Paris

first_imgGrowing Indian radial mining tyres supplier, Balkrishna Industries (BKT), presented their new Earthmax SR47, Earthmax SR51 and Earthmax SR53 tyres at the Intermat show in Paris last week, attended by IM. Like the other tyres in the Earthmax lineup, they feature a reinforced and particularly resistant All Steel casing with rigid, non-directional blocks “fostering better load distribution on the ground.”The Earthmax SR47, size 24.00R35 now available, is designed for rigid dump trucks that transport loads over the hardest earth surfaces, including rock quarries. The deep, class E-4 tread pattern, featuring a particular lug design, improves traction and provides a longer tyre life-cycle, ultimately reducing downtime. For tougher conditions there is the Earthmax SR47 and its cut resistant compound created specifically to withstand cracks and punctures.For loaders that operate in quarries and mines, the Earthmax SR51 was showcased at Intermat in size 20.5R25. This non-directional tyre “demonstrates excellent forward and backward performance” and is described as ideal for digging and loading. The latest newcomer to the series is slated to have a long life expectancy thanks to its squared shoulder design and the class L-5 special tread compound, which expels stones laterally significantly reducing the risk of puncture.The third tyre displayed was of size 17.5R25, the Earthmax SR 53, class L-5, which has been engineered for the same type of vehicles as the Earthmax SR 51, but also lends itself to operations on mining and rock quarries with particularly rocky land surfaces. The tyre is made of “an extraordinarily cut and heat resistant” compound, while the self-cleaning tread expels rocks and other foreign matters. “These two special features stand for both a long product life-cycle and great productivity.”The start of the first production plant for conventional tyres by BKT goes back to 1987 in Aurangabad, Western India, followed in 1995 by the production of off-highway tyres, up to the establishment of the second production plant in Bhiwadi in 2002. In 2003 the production of ATV, gardening and earthmoving tyres started and in 2004 the radial Agrimax tyres were launched. In the same year, the production of tyre moulds started in Dombivali, and 2006 the third production plant in Chopankiwas opened. The latest production plant in Bhuj is a milestone for BKT. Equipped with state-of-the-art production plants and a site extension of over 300 acres, it aimsat a production of 120,000 t/y.last_img read more

American soap opera Family business and government all intertwined in Trumps presidency

first_imgAmerican soap opera: ‘Family, business and government all intertwined in Trump’s presidency’ There are multiple conflicts of interest and ethical concerns surrounding Trump’s family, writes Julien Mercille. THE TRUMP PRESIDENCY has all the looks of a soap opera. Money, family, business and government are all intertwined.Donald Trump has had three wives (Ivana, Marla, and now Melania), with whom he has had five children: Ivanka, Donald Jr and Eric (with Ivana), Tiffany (with Marla) and Barron (with Melania). Trump also has a business empire, and his grown-up children are involved in it to various degrees.Therefore, objections have been raised that Trump’s business interests will interfere with his presidency and many have rightly called on him to divest himself from his assets. Otherwise, he could negotiate with China, Europe or Mexico in order to benefit personally.Concerns also apply to his familyCase in point, his eldest daughter, Ivanka, 35, is married to 36-year-old Jared Kushner, who is a kind of mini Donald Trump. Kushner controls a vast property empire and owns the newspaper The New York Observer among other things.It surely helped Kushner a lot that his dad had built the family business empire in the first place and made a $2.5 million donation to Harvard just before he was admitted to the university, from which he graduated in 2003. His admission reportedly surprised administrators at his high school since, “his GPA did not warrant it, his SAT scores did not warrant it”.In any case, the main problem is that Jared Kushner, who had been deeply involved in Trump’s electoral campaign, has just been appointed senior advisor to President Donald Trump, by Trump himself. Ivanka doesn’t yet have a formal role in the White House, but many think she may well get one at some point.Ethical problems It’s easy to see the many conflicts of interest and ethical problems in this thorny situation. To start with, can a president employ his relatives, including his son-in-law? No, according to the anti-nepotism law that has applied in the US since 1967.But, surprise. The Department of Justice recently said that it was actually okay for Trump to hire Kushner, under a somewhat twisted interpretation of that law. So Kushner will be hired.But he has so many business interests that, just like Trump, it is hard to believe they won’t influence the policies he will advocate. Will he push for certain policies that will fatten his own pocket? By Julien Mercille 109 Views Saturday 28 Jan 2017, 8:30 AM Kushner (pictured) controls a vast property empire and owns the newspaper the New York Observer, among other things. Source: Shutterstock/lev radinThis is not an abstract question. In November, around a table laden with $2,100 wine bottles and Chinese delicacies, Jared Kushner was dining with the chairman of a big Chinese company (Anbang Insurance Group), which has assets of $285 billion. They were negotiating an agreement to redevelop the Kushner family’s crown jewel: 666 Fifth Avenue, a skyscraper in New York City.The Chinese company has close ties to the Chinese Government and is aggressively seeking to buy up hotels in the United States. So you can see how Kushner would want to influence economic policy towards China to benefit his own interests. Reportedly, he has plans to sell off some of his assets to reduce conflicts of interest, but in a Trump administration, we know what those kinds of promises are worth.Kushner does have influenceAnd it is not as if Trump just gave Kushner an irrelevant symbolic position in the White House to be nice to his son-in-law. Kushner does have influence. For example, he played a significant role in convincing Trump to appoint Goldman Sachs’ president (Gary Cohn) as chief economic adviser. Well, it turns out that Goldman Sachs has lent money to Kushner’s companies.Trump also said that Kushner will play a major role in dealings with Israel, but Kushner’s company has received many loans from Israel’s largest bank (Bank Hapoalim).Kushner thus exemplifies perfectly the multiple, deep webs interconnecting the Trump administration and the global business world. It’s not difficult to understand that Trump will act to benefit the corporate world, not common people.Indeed, Trump has surrounded himself with figures from the “big-money establishment”, even though his campaign rhetoric was all about fighting the establishment on behalf of ordinary people. The New York Times stated that Trump is building a team, “filled with tycoons, Wall Street heavyweights, cronies and a new rank of shadowy wealthy ‘advisers’ unaccountable to anyone but him.” All his cabinet picks so far fit that bill.What about Ivanka? But, one might say, what about Ivanka? Isn’t she somewhat of a liberal, caring about women’s and children’s issues? Won’t she be able to moderate all those Goldman Sachs men, her husband and her father, if they become too extreme?Absolutely not. Ivanka strongly supports Trump, who has already enacted laws against women, for example by banning funding to groups that promote pro-choice views on abortion. Ivanka shares Trump’s values. She’s in the same camp as him. Don’t let soft media stories tell you otherwise.Julien Mercille is an associate professor at University College Dublin. Twitter: @JulienMercille.Donald Trump is giving his son-in-law a top job in the White House>Donald Trump is getting serious about his border wall. Could it actually happen?> http://jrnl.ie/3208863 34 Comments Share Tweet Email2 Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article Jan 28th 2017, 8:30 AM Short URL Julien Mercille last_img read more

Government shifts to enforcing reforms

first_imgHaving secured a deal with the troika on a raft of new measures that must be taken in exchange for further rescue funding, the government on Wednesday shifted its focus to the business of implementing the reforms, which include the politically sensitive matter of thousands of layoffs in the civil service.Ministry technocrats met in Parliament to discuss what action needs to be taken if Greece is to secure the release of a 2.8-billion-euro installment that had been due in March and another 6 billion euros for May. It remained unclear, however, whether the government would submit the measures to Parliament for approval or impose them using an emergency decree to avoid another cliff-hanger vote that could shake the cohesion of the fragile coalition.Once again, the government has little time, with the next Euro Working Group on April 29 and the next scheduled Eurogroup summit on May 13.The toughest challenge is almost certain to be the civil service dismissals as of the 4,000 layoffs that Greece must make by the end of the year, the troika reportedly expect half to be carried out by the summer. This suggests that many in the first wave of civil servants to lose their jobs will come from state bodies that are abolished, not from a pool of staff accused of disciplinary offenses. There are plans to speed up disciplinary procedures to resolve these cases but the process will take longer than abolishing the state bodies.Emphasizing the pressing timetable faced by Greek authorities, sources close to Prime Minister Antonis Samaras rebuffed speculation about a forthcoming cabinet reshuffle. They said that refreshing the Cabinet was not a current priority for Samaras though it is clear that his coalition partner, PASOK leader Evangelos Venizelos, is pressing him to do so.In a related development, a decision by the leader of the main leftist opposition SYRIZA, Alexis Tsipras, to water down his original calls for revoking Greece’s loan agreement with its creditors, and call instead for its “suspension,” caused waves within SYRIZA, with prominent MP Panayiotis Lafazanis objecting to Tsipras’s new stance. Conservative New Democracy remarked, “Less than 24 hours after Tsipras expressed his new position on the memorandum… his party spokesman rushed to contradict him.”Source: Kathimerini Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img read more

Mourinho had it coming – Souness

Mourinho had it coming – Souness

first_imgFormer Newcastle United manager Graeme Souness says the sacking of Jose Mourinho caught no one by surprise as it was inevitable.Reacting to the news of Mourinho’s sacking, Souness was least surprised judging from their poor start to the season and performance in their 3-1 defeat at Anfield on Sunday.He told Sky Sports News: “I’m not too surprised (by Mourinho’s departure from the club), the writing’s been on the wall for several weeks. I think something happened last week that told me the end was imminent.“His agent should have stated that he was happy there and was going to see his contract out. That was a classic case of a warning shot to the directors at Man United.“You get a feel of it, you’re not getting the same communication. I think he would have known this was coming, but I’m not surprised.harry maguire, manchester UnitedMaguire says United need to build on today’s win George Patchias – September 14, 2019 Harry Maguire wants his United teammates to build on the victory over Leicester City.During the summer, Harry Maguire was referred to as the ultimate…“I never thought it was the right fit to begin with, the brand of football he plays and the kind of headlines he’s consistently bringing.“United have always been an extremely classy outfit and they will not have enjoyed the headlines he’s brought to their door in the last two-and-a-half years.”last_img read more

Congressman Duncan Hunter talks border wall shutdown

Congressman Duncan Hunter talks border wall shutdown

first_img Dan Plante February 1, 2019 Dan Plante, Congressman Duncan Hunter talks border wall, shutdown Categories: Local San Diego News, Politics FacebookTwitter Posted: February 1, 2019 00:00 00:00 spaceplay / pause qunload | stop ffullscreenshift + ←→slower / faster ↑↓volume mmute ←→seek  . seek to previous 12… 6 seek to 10%, 20% … 60% XColor SettingsAaAaAaAaTextBackgroundOpacity SettingsTextOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundSemi-TransparentOpaqueTransparentFont SettingsSize||TypeSerif MonospaceSerifSans Serif MonospaceSans SerifCasualCursiveSmallCapsResetSave SettingsSAN DIEGO (KUSI)- For the first time since his reelection, Congressman Duncan Hunter is opening up about Government dysfunction and another possible government shutdown.“The Democrats are in control now. If the government shuts down again, it’s a Democrat shutdown”, says Congressman Hunter.One week after the Federal Government re-opened for business, there’s a feeling of helplessness among the people stuck in the middle.During a lunch with Border Patrol Agents on Friday, Congressman Hunter listened to those who ‘actually’ know what’s happening on the border, as opposed to those who pretend in Washington.“I’m blaming everyone, from Democrats to Republicans to the President”, says Chris Harris, a retired Border Patrol Agent.“They all need to put on their big boy pants, sit down at a table and act like adults”, says Harris.With Democrats flatly rejecting “any money” for a wall, and the President demanding $5.7-Billion, it could lead to another shut down or some fancy footwork by the President.“He can declare a national emergency and build the wall using the military. That’s what the military does. They build walls and fences and roads all over the world”, says Congressman Hunter.I wondered if that’s actually ‘legal’? “That is legal”, says the Congressman.Check out the whole story with KUSI’s Dan Plante. last_img read more

105 hospitalized with flu in Spokane since October

first_imgSPOKANE — The Spokane Regional Health District reports 105 people have been hospitalized with the flu since October. That compares with 19 people hospitalized with the virus last year in the district.KXLY reports that of those hospitalized this year, 72 percent were older than 50.The health district says February and March are the peak months for contracting the influenza virus.The state Health Department says the flu is widespread in Washington. There have been 34 flu deaths this season, compared with 18 flu deaths last year in the state.last_img read more

EXCLUSIVE Inside Huffington Posts Weekly Magazine App

first_imgOn the heels of its seventh anniversary and its first Pulitzer Prize, Huffington Post is breaking into the digital magazine business. On April 24, Huffington Post will debut the weekly Huffington, the Huffington Post Magazine for the iPad. Along with Huffington herself, HuffPo executive editor Tim O’Brien will lead the effort. The new product is designed to showcase top stories in a format that’s days long rather than hours. “If we publish a story on a Wednesday, it may hold a top space on the site for a couple of hours; if we’re not splashing it and keeping it at the top of the page, it’s going to cycle right off the front, and it’s going to be harder for readers to find,” says O’Brien. “This is a place where we can silo our best work and give it longer legs.” Huffington Post typically publishes 360 pieces daily, with 60 to 70 stories including original reporting. A weekly cycle for Huffington was decided upon due to the amount of work produced each week, and “it is a cycle that gives us more traction with readers,” says O’Brien. The publication already has apps for Apple and Android platforms, in addition to specialty apps like the recently announced GPS for the Soul. Huffington editorial staff is culled from HuffPo’s existing newsroom, but additional designers and a dedicated photo editor were brought on to help with the magazine’s launch. Designing for Success The magazine, which will be published as an app for the iPad, is divided into three segments. O’Brien says the front of the book “will bring readers up to speed on the news of the week for the cocktail party on Saturday night.” The section will showcase infographics, Q&A’s and primers on the week’s events. The middle of the book acts as a feature well, home to two to three features running from 4,000 to 8,000 words each. Huffington closes with book, film and music reviews: “Fun, distinct features that we will include only in the magazine,” says O’Brien.He describes HuffPo’s readers as similar to The New York Times’ audience demographic (where O’Brien previously acted as Sunday Business editor). “We have a younger audience, but relatively high income, college educated, urban coastal, politically aware, socially engaged,” says O’Brien. “I think there is a big population on the website who wants a more sober, sophisticated, leisurely reading experience than you have on the Web. In our view, it’s distilling the best of what we have for the most discerning portion of our existing audience.”The App Advantage“I’m excited about having a vehicle that we can take our work every week, the additional reporting and the blogs, and put it in a distinct setting, because there is so much going on the site already,” Huffington tells FOLIO:.center_img Like its website counterpart, the magazine will integrate user comments into every article. Also similar to the website, comments will be moderated by both humans and algorithms, “This was part of our DNA from day one. We wanted to eliminate the worst habits of the Internet: trolls, ad hominem attacks. At the beginning, we moderated through all human pre-moderation. Last month, we had seven million comments, so to have only people moderate would have been prohibitive financially. About 30 humans supplement the technology,” says Huffington.Huffington’s content will pay tribute to commenters through an in-book section called “Quoted,” featuring the “shrewdest or interesting comments from the site,” says Josh Klenert, who leads the magazine design team. Promotion for the app will coincide with its launch, and already several advertisers are on board with full-page ads for Huffington. Reports have indicated the app will be free, but as of last week, a specific model—paid or free—had not yet been determined, says O’Brien. He also declined to share advertising partners. However, regardless of pricing, Huffington is slated to appear on Apple’s Newsstand. “We didn’t want to overwhelm the reader with a lot of bells and whistles that tend to be distracting. From a design point of view, I didn’t want my creativity to block people from reading. The magazine is easy to navigate, has very clear pages and utilizes the retina display on the iPad,” says Klenert. “We’ll have the table stake features and functionalities like video, audio and sharing, but I don’t think we are going to hit people over the head with that. We also want this to be a light-loading app.”O’Brien illustrates why Huffington was built as a native app (constructed by AOL’s technology staff), as opposed to a Web-based HTML5 experience. “You can do a lot of one-stop design with HTML5, but it certainly doesn’t give you all of the functionality and design capabilities an app does,” says O’Brien. “This is a software-centric product, because it is allowing us to do beautiful and innovative things; a portion of which I don’t think we would be able to do with HTML5.”Klenert adds, “HTML5 puts a lot of resources on the devices to render, and slows it down. And we certainly don’t want to overheat people’s iPads because we’re making the device do all the work. But, we do want to create fluid layouts that we can adapt over different platforms as need be.”After six months of development, Huffington is a direct product of “New York editorial and Palo Alto technology,” says O’Brien. “If you go back to how we positioned the Huffington Post almost seven years ago, it was the best of the old and the best of the new. Huffington embraces the best of traditional journalism (story telling, in-depth investigation, design and photography), and integrates it into all that technology has made possible,” says Huffington.last_img read more

Pentagon Leaves BRAC Request out of Budget Proposal

Pentagon Leaves BRAC Request out of Budget Proposal

first_img Dan Cohen AUTHOR For the first time in six years, the Defense Department is not asking lawmakers for permission to launch a new round of base closures as part of its annual budget request. The move comes as Congress has vociferously rejected past requests for a host of reasons, including the 2005 round’s failure to meet its cost and savings estimates and concerns that DOD’s studies of excess capacity don’t account for the need to expand the military’s force structure. “We’ve asked for it a number of times in the past without much success,” Comptroller David Norquist said at the Pentagon’s budget briefing Monday.Instead of pursuing a BRAC round, he said officials would follow two other alternatives. “One is working with Congress to find common areas where we can make reforms and changes that don’t create the same types of obstacles,” Norquist said. Secondly, the department is undergoing an audit of its financial statement that includes a look at real property and an effort to improve the accuracy of the data behind it.“And there is a view of being able to take advantage of the data coming out of that process to help us make better decision-making on real property,” he said.Norquist did not mention, however, a bullet point on one of his presentation’s slides which stressed the need for the department to shed unneeded capacity. “[The FY 2019 budget request] concentrates efforts on ensuring the basing infrastructure is ideally sized to increase the lethality of U.S. forces while minimizing the cost of maintaining unneeded capacity, which diverts resources from critical readiness and modernization requirements,” it stated.DoD Photo by Glenn Fawcettlast_img read more

Palmer meat plant up for sale

first_imgIf you know how to cut meat, the state has a business you might be interested in.  The state’s Board of Agriculture and Conservation has issued a request for proposals to lease and operate the Mt. McKinley Meat and Sausage Plant in Palmer. The proposed lease arrangement includes an option to purchase the plant.Download AudioMt. McKinley is the only US Department of Agriculture approved slaughterhouse in Southcentral Alaska, and without it, livestock producers in the area will not be able to sell meat commercially. The plant depends on state funding to keep its doors open, and that funding could dry up this year due to legislative budget cuts.Elizabeth Bluemink, spokesperson for the state Department of Natural Resources, says right now there is $2.05 million in this year’s DNR budget dedicated to the plant.“DNR’s budget has mostly be settled, it still could be reopened. Currently, the status is that we have intent language that has been approved for the Mt. McKinley Meat and Sausage plant as well as a funding level that would carry us through the upcoming fiscal year.”The budget is currently in conference committee. Bluemink says the conference committee has adopted intent language which would allow for a one-time increment funding for the meat plant for the next fiscal year to allow the plant to operate while negotiations for a lease are in progress.“The intent language is really important, because that is partly what is partly what is driving the process that is going on right now for the RFP for the meat plant. ”The BAC wants to put the meat packing plant into private ownership, with the contingent that it continues to operate as a slaughterhouse. The plant is an asset of the state’s Agricultural Revolving Loan Fund. Deadline for the submitting a proposal is July 11.Previous efforts to privatize the meat plant by issuing RFPs for lease or sale took place in 2000, 2002 and 2006. No acceptable proposals were received at those times.Salaries for three permanent employees at the meat plant cost about $360,000 annually. Mt. McKinley has lost an average of $110,000 a year every year for a decade except for 2014, when it earned $155,000 in profits.last_img read more

Bangladesh celebrates 49th Independence Day

Bangladesh celebrates 49th Independence Day

first_img.The nation celebrates the 49th Independence and National Day on Tuesday as Bangladesh is headed for its golden jubilee with promises of prosperity for the citizens.On the day, the nation refreshed its “resolution to uphold the spirit of the liberation war and build a ‘Sonar Bangla’ [golden Bengal] as dreamt by father of the nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’, according to BSS.The government has taken elaborate programmes to mark the day as glowing tributes will be paid to the martyrs and veterans of the liberation war.The National Mausoleum in Savar will be the main venue of the celebration of the day where president Md Abdul Hamid and prime minister Sheikh Hasina will place wreaths early in the morning as a mark of profound respect to the memories of the martyrs.Families of Bir Shreshthas, war wounded freedom fighters, members of the diplomatic corps, leaders of different political parties, social, cultural and professional bodies and people from all walks of life will also lay wreaths at the national memorial in the morning of the day.The day’s programmes will begin by heralding a 31-gun salute early in the morning as a mark of profound respect to the heroic struggle of this nation, which suffered a protracted subjugation under foreign rules from time to time till achieving their coveted independence in 1971.The nation will also pay glowing tributes to Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and valiant sons of the soil whose supreme sacrifices freed the country from the shackle of Pakistan.The day is a public holiday.The national flag will fly atop all government and private buildings while all streets and important city intersections will be decorated with national and multi-coloured miniature flags and festoons.Important buildings and establishments as well as city streets and islands will be illuminated with colourful lights.The national anthem ‘Amar Sonar Bangla’, written by Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore, will be sung simultaneously across the country and Bangladesh missions abroad on the day.Prime minister Sheikh Hasina will lead the nation in singing the national anthem at Bangabandhu National Stadium on the day.National dailies will bring out special supplements while Bangladesh Betar, Bangladesh Television, private radio stations and television channels will air special programmes highlighting the significance of the day.Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy, Bangla Academy, National Museum, Liberation War Museum, Bangladesh Shishu Academy, and other social and cultural organisations will hold discussions, cultural programmes, painting competition for children, sports competition and documentary exhibition.Reception will be accorded to freedom fighters and the members of martyred freedom fighters at city, zila and upazila levels, while Bangladesh Postal Office will publish commemorating postal stamps.Special prayers will be offered in all mosques, temples, churches and other places of worship across the country seeking divine blessings for the eternal peace of the departed souls of father of the nation, four national leaders, martyrs of the liberation war and all other patriotic sons of the soil.Improved meals will be served to the inmates of hospitals, jails, old homes and orphanage centres to mark the day. The country’s all children’s parks and museums will remain open for all.Arranged by the mass communication department, singers will render patriotic songs on the city streets riding on mobile vehicles and on waterways of Dhaka city traveling by water vessels.Different political parties as well as socio-cultural and professional organisations have also taken various programmes to observe the day in a befitting manner.Every year, the 26 March brings the most tragic reminiscence of the history’s blackest episode that heralded a nine-month bloody ordeal from the night of 25 March 1971, achieving the long-cherished independence on 16 December the same year at the cost of a sea of blood.In the wake of the military crackdown, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, who became the undisputed leader of the then Pakistan following the massive victory of his party, Awami League, in the 1970 general elections, declared the independence of Bangladesh through the then EPR (East Pakistan Rifles) wireless at 00-30 hours on 26 March (the night following 25 March) in 1971 at his historic Road-32 residence at Dhanmondi here.The great leader also called upon the people to build up strong resistance against the Pakistani barbaric occupation forces.The Pakistani military junta, in a bid to stop the legitimate movement of the Bangalees, arrested Bangabandhu on that night following his declaration of independence.Later, Bangabandhu was taken to the then West Pakistan where he had to spend nine months in a dark condemned cell.Bangabandhu wrote down the declaration of independence soon after the Pakistani army cracked down on the fateful night of 25 March 1971.The declaration of independence was soon put on air by wireless. The declaration was first broadcast by Awami League leader MA Hannan from Kalurghat Radio Station in port city of Chittagong on 26 March 1971.However, on 27 March 1971, the then major Ziaur Rahman announced the proclamation of independence on behalf of great leader Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman from the same radio station.The Pakistani military junta in their monstrous outburst unleashed a bloody holocaust breaking the silence of the night following 25 March in 1971 when they mercilessly killed hundreds of innocent sleeping Bangalees, including teachers, students, police, soldiers, pedestrians and rickshaw-pullers, here.The nation soon launched the War of Liberation at the call of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in the early hours of 26 March.Bangladesh emerged as an independent and sovereign country on 16 December 1971 with the surrender of the Pakistani occupation forces, who killed three million innocent civilians, perpetrated atrocities on two lakh Bangalee women and burnt down lakhs of houses across the country during the nine-month bloody war.last_img read more

Sirajganj road accident kills 4

Sirajganj road accident kills 4

first_imgRoad AccidentFour people were killed and 23 others injured as a bus plunged into a roadside ditch on the Dhaka-Bogura highway in Tabaripara of Chandaikona union of Raiganj upazila, Sirajganj early Tuesday.In another accident eight people were injured on the Dhangora-Chandaikona route of Simla in the same upazila as a Dhaka-bound bus overturned on the raod.The deceased are Ataur Rahman, 30, of Mithapukur upazila in Rangpur, Fazlul Haque, 45, of Sundarganj upazila in Gaibandha, Shahjahan Ali, 35, and Hamidul Islam, 40.The injured were admitted into a local hospital.Acting station officer of Raiganj Fire Service and Civil Defence, Sirajul Islam and officer-in-charge of Hatikumrul highway police station Abdul Qader Jilani confirmed about the accident.A Gaibandha-bound bus from Dhaka plunged into roadside ditch as the driver lost his control. Police and members of fire service recovered the dead bodies and sent the wounded to the hospital, they said.last_img read more

Houston Fire Department Will Purchase Ballistic Vests for Firefighters

Houston Fire Department Will Purchase Ballistic Vests for Firefighters

first_img Share Allison Lee/Houston Public MediaFire Chief Samuel Peña says Houston firefighters need ballistic vests.Houston officials will spend up to $1.4 million to purchase ballistic vests for firefighters as they join a growing number of cities buying the vests to better protect firefighters who are more often encountering active-shooter or other deadly situations.Falling through a collapsing roof or starving for oxygen in rooms filled with smoke have long been among the occupational hazards for firefighters, said Houston fire Chief Samuel Peña, but his department “must now also consider protection against violent acts.”Houston joins an expanding list of fire departments — Boston, Cincinnati and Pittsburgh among them — that have purchased the vests.“It is a new reality that is contrary to how we’ve always viewed this honorable profession, but protective clothing must be compatible with the environment we work in,” Peña, who oversees some 4,000 firefighters, said in a statement Wednesday. “This is the next progression of tools of the trade.”Peña wasn’t available for further comment. Sheldra Brigham, spokeswoman for the Houston Fire Department, said the City Council allocated $1 million for the vests and a federal grant will cover the rest of the cost.Firefighters will wear the vests during calls that have the potential for danger, such as domestic violence incidents and shootings.One of the more notorious national cases highlighting the dangers fire crews face was the killing of two firefighters who were shot on Christmas Eve 2012 by a man who lured them to his house outside Rochester, New York, by setting ablaze his and other nearby homes. The 62-year-old gunman took his own life.John Montes, an emergency services specialist with the National Fire Protection Association, said the growing use of the vests comes as firefighters and paramedics in many cases no longer wait for police to defuse a deadly situation before entering the scene. This allows them to reduce the number of victims accessible to an assailant and also provide medical care sooner, he said.“Our first responders are going to these scenes and are right in the thick of it,” Montes said.His association establishes protocols for when vests should be worn, including standards introduced in May for active-shooter calls.From 2000 to 2017, there were 250 active-shooter incidents in the U.S., Montes said, noting that the FBI defines them as shootings in which at least four people are killed, not including the attacker. There were 50 such incidents in 2016 and 2017 alone.He said first responders now are differentiating between “hot” and “warm” zones, meaning those scenes where an active shooter may still be targeting people as opposed to ones where gunfire has stopped but the shooter is not in custody.Jon Swanson is the executive director of Metropolitan EMS in Little Rock, Arkansas. His agency obtained vests two years ago for the 290 personnel who respond to calls. The vests were purchased in the months after a volunteer firefighter was fatally shot by a person for whom the firefighter was called to help provide medical care.The safety of emergency medical technicians “became much more of a concern for all of us,” Swanson said, explaining that the vests are required to be worn for all calls rather than just for ones where a threat is apparent.“The real story is how do we reach and treat people quicker and sooner in all of our circumstances,” he said. “Ballistic vests are part of this bigger matrix.”last_img read more

Rome is covered in snow and people are freaking out

Rome is covered in snow and people are freaking out

first_imgI’ve never seen Piazza Navona like this. Rome. Snow. Love it. pic.twitter.com/FLMSCjLSs8— Nick Squires (@NickSquires1) February 26, 2018 Priests threw snowballs and nuns built snowmen in #Rome’s first snow in years https://t.co/uR6hI2rLr0 pic.twitter.com/UauzJSwX9A— Melek Abdullayeva (@MelekAbdull) February 27, 2018 Travelweek Group WATCH: Rome’s famous sights are looking a little different, as snow blankets the Italian capital for the first time in 6 years (: Reuters, APTN) https://t.co/pYh3EN3ado pic.twitter.com/g5NSmZ7TE4— Channel NewsAsia (@ChannelNewsAsia) February 26, 2018 Rome is covered in snow and people are freaking out ROME — Priests are pelting each other with snowballs in Rome after the Eternal City found itself blanketed in snow earlier this week.A Siberian cold front dubbed “the beast from the east” is being blamed for the first snowfall to hit Rome in six years. Romans woke up early Monday morning to a record level of snow, which in some neighbourhoods reached up to six inches.The fresh powder paralyzed the city for hours, with public transportation coming to a standstill and schools and hundreds of shops closing for the day. Even the army was enlisted to help shovel sidewalks and spread salt on roads.But as the saying goes, ‘When in Rome’…throw snowballs and just go with it! Videos and photos of locals and tourists engaged in snowball fights, building snowmen and even skiing to work have made the rounds on Twitter.Here are some of our favourites:When in Rome… have a snowball fight! The Italian capital has had a rare snowfall, amid a Europe-wide cold snap: https://t.co/LgclYZ1bor pic.twitter.com/wSN0diXwdv— CNN International (@cnni) February 26, 2018 Share Tags: Italy Posted by Views from Rome, as the Eternal City sees snow for the first time in six years https://t.co/48MLCGUZpP via @Verge— Kristen Sickler (@kcsickler) February 27, 2018 Tuesday, February 27, 2018 Snow in Rome It’s a very rare event!! pic.twitter.com/YRDayfVsCf— Manuela (@onlyellow) February 26, 2018 << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more

Japan Nobel laureate gets washing machine as gift

first_img 5 things to look for when selecting an ophthalmologist 4 sleep positions for men and what they mean On Friday, Japan’s science minister, Makiko Tanaka, said she has presented Yamanaka a gift certificate signed by 16 of her colleagues, with each chipping in 10,000 yen ($126), so his family can choose a new washing machine.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Top Stories Comments   Share   Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenixcenter_img Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day Sponsored Stories Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project Arizona families, Arizona farms: providing the local community with responsibly produced dairy TOKYO (AP) – Japan’s Shinya Yamanaka may have won $1.2 million along with British researcher John Gurdon when the two were awarded the Nobel Prize for medicine earlier this month, but now he is also getting a new washing machine.Yamanaka joked that he was fixing his washing machine when Oslo called to say he had won the prize for his achievement in the induced pluripotent stem cell research, and since has not had time to finish the repairs.last_img read more