Eight stories in the news today April 27

first_imgEight stories in the news for Thursday, April 27———TRUMP WITHDRAWS THREAT OF NAFTA PULLOUTU.S. President Donald Trump is backing off plans to cancel the North American Free Trade Agreement. His decision followed phone chats Wednesday with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto and broad speculation he might be ready to rip up the trade deal. The White House said the leaders agreed to proceed swiftly to renegoiate NAFTA to the benefit of all three countries.———IT’S BUDGET DAY IN ONTARIOOntario’s first balanced budget in a decade is expected to contain new money to benefit seniors, students, parents, caregivers and patients when it’s released this afternoon. The deficit-free fiscal plan gives the province’s Liberal government some room to bring in new spending as it heads into an election year. In a speech this week, Premier Kathleen Wynne said her plan has fairness at its heart and her approach is not to cut services, taxes and regulations and hope the results will trickle down to Ontarians.———IT’S ALSO BUDGET DAY IN NOVA SCOTIANova Scotia’s Liberal government is expected to present a budget today that opposition parties say is the prelude to a snap election call. Progressive Conservative Leader Jamie Baillie says he believes the budget won’t go to a vote in the legislature before Nova Scotians go to the polls. Finance Minister Randy Delorey has said the budget will be balanced. The Yukon government will also table its budget today.———HOUSING, OPIOIDS AND LEADERSHIP HIGHLIGHT B.C. ELECTION DEBATEBritish Columbia’s political leaders entered the home stretch of the campaign leading to the May 9 election with a lively debate last night that featured clashes over the economy, housing, the opioid crisis and leadership. Liberal Leader Christy Clark said she’s the only one who can lead the province in the face of a growing protectionist threat from the United States.———COURT TODAY FOR WOMAN WHO SCALED TORONTO CRANEA young woman who was rescued after scaling a crane in downtown Toronto yesterday is scheduled to appear in court today. The woman, who police identified as 23-year-old Marisa Lazo, faces six counts of mischief by interfering with property. The reason for the woman’s perilous climb remains a mystery. The woman had been perched on a gently swaying large pulley device for at least four hours before her dramatic rescue by a firefighter.———JUSTICE MINISTERS AIM TO SPEED UP THE COURTSThe federal Liberals came to power promising sweeping reforms to the criminal justice system, but now the provinces are championing some ideas to reduce backlogs in the courts. Provincial and territorial justice ministers gather Friday in Gatineau, Que., for an emergency meeting with their federal counterpart, Jody Wilson-Raybould, to discuss how to tackle delays in the criminal courts.———MINISTER SCOLDS UNIVERSITIES ON GENDER EQUITYScience Minister Kirsty Duncan says universities aren’t doing enough to appoint more female research chairs, so she wants to force their hands. As of December 2016, there were 1,612 filled positions, among which 30 per cent were women. That fits with the fact between 2000 and 2015, 31 per cent of applicants for the jobs were from women.———CLOSING ARGUMENTS IN TRIAL FOR MAN WHO STRANGLED WIFEClosing arguments are scheduled today in the trial of a Calgary man who admitted to strangling his wife and burying her body in their home. Allan Shyback is charged with second-degree murder and causing an indignity to a body in the death of Lisa Mitchell. During testimony this week, Shyback said he’d been the victim of nearly a decade of domestic abuse and that his common-law attacked him with a knife the day of the fatal encounter.———ALSO IN THE NEWS TODAY:— Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will visit Gray, Sask., and Regina.— Domtar, Potash Corp., The Jean Coutu Group and Agnico Eagle Mines Ltd., are among the companies reporting quarterly results.— Statistics Canada will release the payroll employment, earnings and hours for February.— Economic Development Minister Navdeep Bains and Transport Minister Marc Garneau will announce new funding for the Canadian Space Agency.— Fisheries Minister Dominic LeBlanc will announce a new investment in ocean and freshwater sciences.— Canada Post will unveil the first of 10 stamps related to Canada’s 150th anniversary.— The annual East Coast Music Awards gala will be held in Saint John, N.B.last_img read more

Man charged with killing romantic partner and her two teens in Ajax

first_imgAJAX, Ont. – A burly man, his face bruised and bloodied, appeared in an Ontario court on Thursday accused of killing a woman he was in a relationship with and two of her teenaged children.While investigators working behind yellow tape scoured the woman’s double-storey home on an otherwise quiet street in Ajax, Ont., Cory Fenn, 29, was arraigned in court in nearby Oshawa, Ont., on three second-degree murder charges.Police identified the victims as Krassimira Pejcinovski, 39, her son Roy Pejcinovski, 15, and daughter Venallia Pejcinovski, 13, all of Ajax.Dressed in a blue T-shirt and grey track pants, a handcuffed Fenn looked around the courtroom but said nothing apart from his name and “yes” when the justice of the peace said he should ask for medical attention when he returned to jail.Fenn was remanded in custody until an appearance by video on March 29.“I know that (Fenn) was involved in a relationship with … Krassimira Pejcinovski,” Durham regional police Const. George Tudos said Thursday. “There’s some history there.”Fenn was arrested Wednesday night, hours after police found the victims with “obvious signs of trauma” in their home.Pejcinovski and her son were dead when officers arrived, while Venallia Pejcinovski was rushed to hospital with critical injuries and died later Wednesday, police said.Krassimira Pejcinovski’s oldest daughter, a 16-year-old, was not home at the time of the incident and has been reunited with her father, police said.Fenn was known to police before the incident. He had been convicted of assaulting a police officer, for which he was given a suspended sentence and 12 months probation in 2009, court officials said.He was also convicted of mischief and given a suspended sentence, 12 months probation and ordered to pay $205 in restitution following a conviction for mischief in 2011.Details of exactly what led to those convictions were not immediately available.On his Facebook page, Fenn lists the Toronto District School Board as his employer, but the board said it could not confirm he worked for them, referring all questions regarding the case to police. Tudos would not comment on Fenn’s employment.Neighbours and other well-wishers left a small pile of flowers and cards outside the family’s home on Thursday. Tudos said the family was well-regarded.“I know that they were very well-liked within the community,” he said. “We have a lot of people, a lot of community members that have been sending their condolences.”Roy Pejcinovski, who excelled at hockey, was a Grade 9 student at Crestwood Preparatory College in Toronto, said Vince Pagano, the school’s headmaster.“I don’t know how many totally-loved kids each school has (but) I can assure you that he was one of ours … People were just constantly talking about his kindness to them,” Pagano said. “In honour of Roy and what he and his family meant to the Crestwood, the school has volunteered financial assistance in paying for the funerals.”Pagano said he only met Krassimira Pejcinovski once or twice at parent-teacher interviews, but found her to be kind and charming.“(She was) a loving young mother who should have been given a lot more life to do that with,” Pagano said.The staff of a Toronto minor hockey team said Roy Pejcinovski was a star goalie with the major bantam AAA Don Mills Flyers, which is in the city finals to qualify to represent the Greater Toronto Area for the provincial championship.Grief counsellors broke the news of the boy’s death to his teammates Wednesday night, team officials said, noting the teen was a prospect in next year’s Ontario Hockey League draft.“It was very tough on all of them,” team manager Nick Slawson said. “Roy was extremely well-liked, very, very popular.”Slawson, who had known the teen since the boy was seven years old, said Pejcinovski was a skilled and determined player.“The kid was a little undersized for a goaltender by today’s standards, but it didn’t deter him at all,” he said. “One of the nicest, and gentlest boys you’d ever want to meet.”The team’s Friday night game has been cancelled, but a session with grief counsellors was held again Thursday evening, said Don Mills Flyers president Peter MacInnis.He said the team will continue to play Sunday as they try to qualify to represent the Greater Toronto Area for the provincial championship.“The boys and the parents feel it would be best for the boys to get back at it. We agree,” MacInnis said in an email Thursday night.Police have not said how the Pejcinovskis died, but have noted that autopsies were expected within a day or so.“As soon as we get those results back we’ll have a better understanding of how they died,” Tudos said.Police said they were alerted to Wednesday’s incident after a woman stopped by to check on Krassimira Pejcinovski but a man barred her from entering the home. Officers said the man left in a vehicle that was later found abandoned.— with files from Peter Goffin in Toronto.last_img read more

Spotlight Mountain swagger

first_imgCourtesy Jumping Rocksby Mimi MontgomeryA weekend trip to the mountains is one way to escape the swelter. The Swag bed-and-breakfast is a secluded, luxuriously rustic boutique getaway in Waynesville, cozied right up to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Four of North Carolina’s six highest mountain ranges – the Great Smokies, the Plott Balsams, the Richland Balsams, and the Black Mountains – are visible from the Swag. The inn has a network of trails for rambling and exploring, and offers guided hikes, too. There’s plenty to do indoors, as well – the lodge has a sauna, massage therapy room, racquetball court, and extensive library. It’s also an easy drive to Asheville or the Blue Ridge Parkway.The best part? The food. The Swag is all-inclusive, which is particularly great when you’re excited to dig in: The award-winning restaurant puts on a daily breakfast buffet and dinners with seasonally-inspired menus featuring fresh vegetables, fruits, and herbs from its gardens. The kitchen will pack a picnic lunch for you every day, and often hosts outdoor barbecues, too.Courtesy Jumping RocksThe Swag only has 14 guest rooms, so it pays to make reservations well ahead of time. You won’t want to miss out on these digs – the perfect blend of refined and rustic, many of the rooms have wood-burning fireplaces and private balconies overlooking the mountains, and some even have outdoor soaking tubs and showers.The Swag opened for its 35th season last month, and will stay open through November 26. Check it out this summer, and you may develop a sudden interest in foliage this fall.2300 Swag Road, Waynesville; theswag.comCourtesy Jumping Rockslast_img read more

HOPE Inside Center for Financial Education

first_imgAdobe StockThere’s more hope: the second Raleigh HOPE Inside center is now open in North Raleigh on New Hope Road. The center provides complimentary financial education to young people and low-income families. A branch of national organization Operation HOPE, visitors to the center are assigned a financial wellbeing coach who offers advice on myriad topics, including money management and tactics to raise your credit score. These nonprofit private bankers work to maintain financial dignity and teach financial literacy throughout the community. Want to get involved? The membership organization relies on its members, local corporations as well as individuals, looking to pay it forward.   —Catherine Currin6511 Falls of Neuse Road and 5135 N. New Hope Road; operationhope.org/raleighlast_img read more

Border remains open in British Governments no deal plan

first_imgNo new regulatory checks or controls would be introduced to Northern Ireland’s border with the Republic of Ireland under the British Government’s tariff plan for a no deal Brexit, which places tariffs on agriculture imports, but leaves other industries wide open to price races against tariff-free imports.The Government’s “strictly temporary, unilateral approach” for no checks or controls on the border, with tariffs set to be payable on goods entering the UK from the EU via Northern Ireland, “almost certainly” violates World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules, Alan Winters, Director of the UK Trade Policy Observatory at the University of Sussex, told the BBC.In the scenario of a no deal Brexit, the UK would automatically revert to WTO trading rules, which it would violate by not placing checks on the border, thus giving the EU favourable status over other trading partners, Winters argues. Under WTO rules, the UK could only alter rates and rules for countries or trading blocs that it has a deal with,precisely what would be missing in a no deal scenario.The plan also includes a “small number” of checks in the interest of public and animal health and safety for goods travelling from Northern Ireland to Great Britain, but these checks will not occur at an Irish Sea border as had previously been rumoured. These checks would happen at “designated entry points”.The temporary schedule outlined for tariffs in the plan, initially expected to last one year, would see the market face a small liberalisation, with the proportion of tariff-free imports entering the UK rise from an estimated 80-82 per cent before Brexit to 87 per cent after a no deal exit. The new tariff administration would heavily favour non-EU countries, with the quantity of imports without tariffs rising greatly from 56 per cent to 92 per cent. Tariff-free imports from the EU would fall from 100 per cent to 82 per cent. An estimation by the UK Trade Policy Observatory found that the plan will see almost 72 per cent of the UK’s most favoured nation tariff lines suffer from reduced protection and the UK’s average most favoured nation tariff reduced drastically, from around 7.7 per cent to 0.7 percent. While the EU remains by far the biggest export market for the UK, it is does not account for the same amount of the UK’s export share as it once did. 44 per cent of UK exports went to the EU in 2017, significantly down from 55 per cent in 2006. Just 7 per cent of EU exports go to the UK, meaning that, despite the UK having a trade surplus with the rest of the EU, the UK is far more dependent on the EU than the EU is on the UK in trade terms.WTO rules allow members to strike individual trade deals together, but in their absence WTO default tariffs are used. The UK Government is currently said to be in negotiations with many fellow WTO members to reach such deals, mostly said to be replications of EU deals with such states/blocs. Former Brexit Minister David Davis MP had previously said there was “no reason why many of these trade deals” would not be concluded within the two years between the Brexit vote and original deadline, but has recently admitted that none will be completed in time.WTO tariffs, or the lack thereof, would have wide-ranging effects on native British industry and customers. Volkswagen have already said that the increased cost of a 10.8 per cent tariff applied to fully finished cars from the EU will be passed onto the consumer, to the tune of an extra £1,500 for a typical family car. Despite completed cars having tariffs placed upon them, car parts will not. In practical terms, this means that importing a Volkswagen Golf will incur a 10.8 per cent fee, but importing an engine for that Golf could be done free of any extra charge. This scenario could spell danger for plants in Britain assembling parts for foreign-based car manufacturers. Most UK-based car production is exported, with parts imported, leaving the sector particularly vulnerable.“Despite completed cars having tariffs placed upon them, car parts will not. In practical terms, this means that importing a Volkswagen Golf will incur a 10.8 per cent fee, but importing an engine for that Golf could be done free of any extra charge.”The deal’s effect on agriculture is projected to be a mixed bag, with tariff protections put in place for beef, lamb, poultry and some dairy, but absent for fruit, vegetables, eggs and cereals. The average EU tariff for non-agricultural products is 2.8 per cent, but tariffs are significantly higher for agricultural products. Jams, jellies and marmalades are tariffed at 24 per cent, oranges at 16 per cent, onions at 9.6 per cent and peas at 8 per cent; in the plan all of these tariffs would fall to zero.The plan will impose the existing EU tariffs on all beef and lamb imports, whether from the EU or further abound, creating a 7 per cent rise in the price of beef. General duties on pork products, milk and cheese will be retained, but cheddar cheese is projected to rise by almost £20 per 100kg. Tariffs will also be set on products such as sugar to maintain special duty-free access to developing countries. Other foods will also be impacted heavily, with tuna set to have a 24 per cent tariff imposed on it.Clothing also appears to be an area that will be badly affected, with imports of men’s wool jackets facing tariffs of 12 per cent. Men’s, women’s and children’s underwear, nightshirts/nightdresses, t-shirts, bathrobes and jumpers made from man-made materials all face 12 per cent tariffs also.Five per cent of tariff lines will retain their tariffs, the Government has said. 2.8 per cent of these will stay at existing EU rates and the remaining 2.2 per cent will face reduction. Tariff reductions on this 2.2 per cent appear based on extents of the existing EU tariffs, with variances per product group. The industries most protected by tariff lines are meat, which has over 140 non-zero tariff lines (115 of which are below EU rates), vehicles, with 70 non-zero lines, and non-knitted or crocheted apparel, which has 50 non-zero lines.The Government’s plan appears to be attempting something very challenging by balancing a wish to liberalise Britain’s market (a key cornerstone of pro-Brexit arguments) and protect traditionally native industries typically based in Brexit-voting regional towns such as agriculture, car manufacturing and textiles.What effect these measures could have on the areas opened up to increased competition by the wiping out of tariff protections will only be truly seen when, or if, Brexit comes to pass and when a deal, or lack thereof, is confirmed.last_img read more

Value for money in public procurement

first_imgA report published in July 2018 that evaluates public procurement in Northern Ireland, specifically the achieving of value for money (VfM) in public construction projects, calls for “greater leadership and planning by the Government and public sector organisations” in order to “remove pressures that lead to unsustainable tendering and would help maximise VfM for clients”.In their research, report authors Gary McArdle, of Atkins, and Joseph Gerard Gunning, of Queen’s University Belfast, identified a “vicious circle” that they say is damaging the construction industry in Northern Ireland. They see the circle thus:pressure from clients to gain VfM, the attitude of contractors, the lack of work in Northern Ireland and increased competition combine to make clients perceive VfM as the lowest price;subeconomic and abnormally low tendering leads to “potential legal challenges for subjective quality”;an increase in the number of claims during the construction stage, which is “proportionate to increase in subeconomic tenders”;the client’s project manager or performance team begins to implement their contract more stringently;this has an impact on all contractors;contractors’ profit margins lessen; andrelationships between clients and contractor break down.It was also found that that smaller contracts are tabling “lower, unsustainable” tender bids for smaller projects that are “detrimental to larger contractors who cannot compete” and will “focus their resources and expertise elsewhere” as a result.In order to enhance the VfM within public sector construction projects, McArdle and Gunning recommend frameworks, partnering and alliances and that the complexities and objectives of projects be considered when determining the type of contract to be awarded. Here, they say that additional in-depth research may be required in order to “test for significance”.They also call for briefs to be well-defined, for the risk to be allocated to “the party in the best position to deal with it”, for all abnormally low tenders to be assessed and for consideration to be given to current market conditions when determining a procurement strategy. They also suggest “greater consideration to quality and cost combinations at tender stage, with more emphasis on quality for projects of greater complexity”.“Some clients acknowledge that greater emphasis is required on quality,” they write. “Others believe that their approach is most suited to the project. This appears to result in a race to the bottom between contractors in the majority of projects. Further analysis in this area would provide a useful insight into project complexity and quality and cost combinations.“A better forecast of work along with year-end flexibility provided for by public organisations would generate efficiencies and savings for the client and contractor. Further analysis into this topic between public sector organisations may produce significant outcomes.”The researchers also found that, unsurprisingly, Brexit will have a “detrimental impact on public works in Northern Ireland”. It is projected that this will be caused partly by a lack of public investment after Brexit, as well as an expected dip in foreign investment after the UK leaves the EU.Through interviews with figures in the University of Ulster, Transport NI, NI Water, Belfast Health Trust, private contractor Gibson Brothers and private quantity surveyor Faithful+Gould, Gunning and McArdle created six mind maps to understanding the various elements of VfM, focusing on causes, effects and outcomes.In their public sector interviews, they found the main outcomes identified to be: less VfM in Northern Ireland; a desire for more end-of-year flexibility; uncertainty over future funding in the shadow of Brexit; the approach adopted by some private contractors to increase their own profits; suggestions for improvement; creating better VfM; and creating more public value.The keys to creating public value offered in the researchers’ interviews: the maintenance and improvement of road, water and sewer networks; the provision of social and health care; the protection of the environment; the provision of employment; supporting of SMEs and the local economy; the provision of education; the deliverance of support to socially deprived areas; and the allowance of goods and people to travel freely between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.In terms of Brexit, the researchers’ “analysis of the four public sector interviews provided a clear indication that there is a lot of uncertainty towards Brexit and how Northern Ireland will be affected”, but that it is “accepted that the procurement procedures will not change soon”. However, “other items remain unknown” and “public sector organisations are not aware if their funding will be affected in the future”, while the “health sector was the only sector that reported that it could potentially receive more funding”.For the creation of VfM, McArdle and Gunning found opinions in the public sector to be varied. The traditional model of procurement was found to be preferred for large and complex projects. Procurement of consultants was said to be “more focused on quality than price”, with contractors being procured using the most economically advantageous tender, leading to contractors who meet the requirements being procured on the lowest price possible. This was said to be partly due to a “well-defined contract”, paired with the procurement of the “right consultants who create the design and specification”. For smaller and less complex projects, the procurement of design and build contractors is preferred.In their interviews with the private contractors they spoke with, it was found that the lack of works being undertaken in Northern Ireland is “contributing to larger contractors focusing their resources elsewhere”. Subeconomic and abnormally low tenders were said to be ubiquitous in Northern Ireland now, with the “contractors’ and the clients’ increased focus on gaining VfM” being a “major cause” of this. An “apparent claims culture” in Northern Ireland was also reported, with an increase in the number of claims being proportionate to the increase in subeconomic tenders reported.The authors recommend that “public bodies must realise that in order to enhance VfM, more rational thinking at an early stage into aspects such as their objectives, project complexities, project briefs and budget forecasts will be required”. They also suggest that the “impact of Brexit on public procurement in Northern Ireland and the wider UK could be further examined as the current process is based on the EU directive on public procurement”.They conclude that “it would encourage more cost-effective working practices, greater innovation, better supply chain engagement and improved security to contractors” if the “greater leadership” called for from the Government was shown.last_img read more

Did you Hear Wide Open Bluegrass

first_imgA man-about-town shares his favorite musical moments in this photo series.photography by Gus Samarco Click to expand and view our coverage of the IBMA Wide Open Bluegrass Festival. Read the story from our September issue here. Gus Samarco is a video engineer by day, photographer by night. Find more of his work on www.samarcophoto.com.last_img

Cedric The Entertainer Makes Christmas Dreams Come True for Brotherhood Crusade Students

first_imgIt’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas for Brotherhood Crusade youth after a surprise visit yesterday from their heroes!Cedric The Entertainer, along with cast members of The Neighborhood, visited the Brotherhood Crusade Cedric the Entertainer, along with other cast members of CBS sitcom The Neighborhood, Tichina Arnold, Sheaun McKinney and Marcel Spears visited the Brotherhood Crusade yesterday and brought an early Christmas to youth at the Brotherhood Crusade corporate office. The young people received brand new bicycles with helmets and all the toys they could carry.Charisse Bremond Weaver, President and CEO, said “How grateful we are to have Cedric and his cast mates take time out of their schedule to bless our youth and families with brand new bikes and toys. The smiles on the faces of young boys and girls and their families were priceless and we thank Cedric for his generosity during this holiday season.”Charisse Bremond Weaver, President and CEO, said “How grateful we are to have Cedric and his cast mates take time out of their schedule to bless our youth and families with brand new bikes and toys. The smiles on the faces of young boys and girls and their families were priceless and we thank Cedric for his generosity during this holiday season.”Celebrating 50 years of service to the Los Angeles community, Brotherhood Crusade was founded in 1968. The organization’s principal mission is to champion equality and equity by removing and/or helping individuals overcome the barriers that deter their pursuit of success in life and facilitate opportunities for a better quality of life by effectuating improved health & wellness, facilitating academic success, promoting personal, social & economic growth, providing access to artistic excellence & cultural awareness, increasing financial literacy and building community agencies & institutions.Brotherhood Crusade has a history of building alliances with other organizations, corporations and foundations of goodwill that are committed to and understand the tremendous need for helping our community and people grow and prosper.last_img read more

The Duke Of Cambridge Visits Mens Mental Health Charities In London

first_imgLast week, The Duke of Cambridge visited projects which support men around mental health and wellbeing.Prince William Visits Men’s Mental Health CharitiesCredit/Copyright: Royal.ukFirst, His Royal Highness visited a Barber’s shop which encourages barbers to spot the signs of depression and mental health problems in their clients. Then His Royal Highness visited a charity which supports new dads.The Duke, alongside the Duchess of Cambridge and The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are tackling the stigma around around mental health through The Royal Foundation’s Head’s Together campaign.In the morning The Duke visited The Pall Mall Barbers in Paddington which is a collective run by barbers who raise awareness for the prevention of suicide.The “Lions Barber Collective” come together to also provide training in “BarbersTalk” where they can chat to clients and are able to recognise the signs of depression and mental health issues.Tom’s close friend died by suicide in 2014 and was inspired to set up the programme as a result.After the visit to the barber’s, The Duke attended an engagement to find out more about a programme called “Future Dads”, which was set up by the charity Future Men.The charity is located in London and provides advice and support for fathers, helping to develop their confidence as dads.It engages boys and men by addressing the stereotypes around masculinity through positive activities to empower them.CEO Christopher Muwanguzi introduced The Duke to dads taking part in practical sessions at the charity.The Duke, who is father to Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis, said whilst viewing a “nappy changing” demonstration; “It’s very daunting how tiny they are. They are so fragile with tiny little fingers and toes. You do feel like if you move them around too much they are going to break. But they won’t.”The Duke then took part in a discussion around practising self-care when you become a new dad.The Father’s Development Programme offers courses for men aged between 13 and 25, with further support up to 35 years of age. The Future Dads programme offers support to men at any age.The Duke met dads who completed the Future Dads course, alongside their children and they talked about the reality of becoming new dads.Source:Royal.uklast_img read more

The Elders Propose Minimisation Agenda as Urgent First Step to Nuclear Disarmament

first_imgThe Elders today called on all nuclear powers to take urgent steps towards nuclear disarmament, in the form of a “minimisation” agenda, to counter a dangerous rise in geopolitical tensions and distrust between states.They warned that the entire architecture of international arms control and security treaties is at risk from the unilateral actions of powerful nuclear-armed states, particularly the United States and Russia regarding the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty.The Elders will present a new initiative on nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament to the Munich Security Conference on Saturday 16 February. They urge nuclear-armed states, particularly the five Permanent Members of the UN Security Council, to commit to a “minimisation” agenda that offers a realistic long-term path to the total elimination of nuclear weapons.Mary Robinson, Chair of The Elders, said:“Nuclear weapons pose an existential threat to the future of humanity, and tensions between key powers are dangerously high. The only way to tackle this threat is through tough, credible and sustained multilateral engagement. The shared goal must be to reduce stockpiles and prevent weapons being acquired or developed by any further states, which could have catastrophic humanitarian consequences for the whole world.”The Elders’ proposal is focused on four key principles: Doctrine, whereby every nuclear state should make an unequivocal “No First Use” declaration; De-alerting, with almost all warheads taken off high alert status; Deployment, with a substantial reduction of all nuclear warheads that are currently operationally deployed; and Decreased numbers, to dramatically cut the number of nuclear weapons in existence.The Elders also reiterated their support for the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) agreed between Iran and the international community as a successful model of multilateral diplomacy to prevent nuclear proliferation.They urged the remaining signatories to the deal to continue to undertake all political, economic and security measures to maintain the JCPOA despite the withdrawal of the United States.Lakhdar Brahimi, Elder, former Algerian Foreign Minister and UN diplomat, said:“When the Cold War ended, many of us hoped the shadow of nuclear annihilation would be permanently lifted. Instead, complacency and lethargy set in, so today the risk of a devastating nuclear war is at its highest for decades. Today’s leaders must commit to the vision and legacy of the United States and Soviet Union at the end of the Cold War that a nuclear war can never be won and must never be fought.”last_img read more

Lily Tomlin to be Honored at The Actors Funds 23rd Annual Tony

first_imgThe Actors Fund will honor Emmy, Grammy and Tony Award winner Lily Tomlin with the Julie Harris Award for Artistic Achievement at the 23rd Annual Tony Awards Viewing Gala on Sunday, June 9, 2019 (3:30-9:00pm) at Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles.Celebrating Broadway’s Biggest Night in Los Angeles, the gala fundraiser will feature red carpet arrivals, cocktail hour, gala dinner, live performances, silent auction, and the West Coast’s exclusive live feed of the 2019 Tony Awards broadcast from New York City. Tickets are currently on sale here. Individual tickets are $300 (limit six per person) and tables of 10 start at $3500.The Julie Harris Award for Artistic Achievement has been presented in past years to Julie Harris, Gwen Verdon, Lauren Bacall, Charles Durning, Jason Alexander, Carol Channing, Tyne Daly, Rita Moreno, Stockard Channing, James Earl Jones, Liza Minnelli, Jerry Herman, Tommy Tune, Chita Rivera, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Hal Holbrook, Barbara Cook and Betty Buckley.The Tony Awards live broadcast is made possible with the kind permission of CBS, Tony Awards Productions, The American Theatre Wing, The Broadway League and DIRECTV.For sponsorship and ticket inquiries, please contact Chester McCurry, Director of Special Events, at cmccurry@actorsfund.org or 323-330-2428.last_img read more

New UN project aims to boost food security in four Central American

10 December 2010The United Nations today announced a new regional project that will enable food producers in El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua to boost food security by increasing production and getting produce to markets more rapidly. The United Nations today announced a new regional project that will enable food producers in El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua to boost food security by increasing production and getting produce to markets more rapidly. The project, launched by the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), will involve over 3,500 small- and medium-sized agricultural producers in the four Central American countries. It is expected to last three and a half years and is made possible thanks to a $5.9 million contribution to FAO from the Government of Italy. Since 1995, $770 million from donors and national governments have been invested in FAO-designed food security programmes. The agency hopes that the Central America project, which will involve regional organizations active in the field of agriculture, will help achieve higher levels of food security – defined by FAO as “when all people, at all times, have access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food to meet their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life.” read more

Jacob ReesMogg Im now willing to support Theresa Mays deal if the

first_imgIs it really true that they are all panicked about the risk of leaving with no deal? Do they really believe Project Fear’s assertions about a murrain on our cattle and a plague of frogs?During a Q&A session at the same event, the Telegraph’s chief political correspondent tweeted out that Johnson stated, “There is nothing anti-European about Brexit”.The DUP and Rees-MoggIn an opinion piece for the Daily Telegraph, Wilson, the DUP’s Brexit spokesperson,  wrote that “the Withdrawal Agreement itself means no Brexit”.“It ensures that the EU has the legal power to prevent us ever leaving except on their draconian terms, which would include a Customs Union and adherence to EU regulations,” he wrote.We have worked assiduously with the Government to try to get changes to the agreement and will continue to do so, but we will not vote for an unamended or unchanged version. Tuesday 26 Mar 2019, 10:55 PM As the clock ticks down, get all the best Brexit news and analysis in your inbox: Mar 26th 2019, 2:56 PM https://jrnl.ie/4561684 Short URL 45,743 Views Image: PA Wire/PA Images Image: PA Wire/PA Imagescenter_img Jacob Rees-Mogg: ‘I’m now willing to support Theresa May’s deal if the DUP does’ Brexiteers have been clarifying their position today. Despite representing his party’s views on Brexit, the party later clarified to British media organisations that this was not the party’s view.Wilson went on to say that he’d prefer an extension:Even if we are forced into a one-year extension, we at least would have a say on the things which affect us during that time and would have the right to unilaterally decide to leave at the end of that one-year period through the simple decision of not applying for a further extension.“Surely this is a better strategy than volunteering to be locked into the prison of the withdrawal deal with the cell door key in the pocket of Michel Barnier.”Earlier, ERG member and Brexiteer Jacob Rees Mogg softened his stance. Although he previously said that he would support May’s deal if the DUP approved of it, he moved even closer to the Withdrawal Agreement again today.Speaking on the Conservative home podcast, Rees-Mogg said that “Mrs May’s deal is better than not leaving at all”.Whether we are there yet is another matter, but I have always thought that no-deal is better than Mrs May’s deal, but Mrs May’s deal is better than not leaving at all.Writing in the Mail Online this evening, he then elaborated on those comments, saying what he had stated earlier, that he is “now willing to support it if the Democratic Unionist Party does”, and apologising for “changing his mind”.I have come to this view because the numbers in Parliament make it clear that all the other potential outcomes are worse and an awkward reality needs to be faced.Speculation is rife that May will hold a third Meaningful Vote on Friday; indicative votes on what parliament thinks should happen next with the Brexit process is due to take place tomorrow, though the details aren’t finalised. Share278 Tweet Email1 By Gráinne Ní Aodha Updated Mar 26th 2019, 10:55 PM BREXITEERS BORIS JOHNSON, Jacob Rees Mogg, and the DUP’s Sammy Wilson have all clarified their positions on Brexit in three separate opinion pieces today.Johnson and Rees Mogg published pieces this evening stating their positions, with Rees Mogg saying he could be persuaded to vote for Theresa May’s twice-defeated deal if the DUP opted for it.Wilson wrote this morning that he won’t support Theresa May’s Brexit deal, preferring instead a year-long extension to the Brexit process.He later clarified that he wasn’t giving the party’s stance.Johnson, meanwhile, was speaking at an event organised by the Daily Telegraph. In a subsequent opinion piece, he advocated for a no-deal Brexit, saying that “there will be Mars bars, and there will be drinking water”. 69 Comments Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this articlelast_img read more

Greek nonsmokers website a light of hope in a land of chainsmokers

first_img Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram It’s no secret that Greeks are avid smokers and, continue to lag behind the rest of Europe when it comes to a smoke-free lifestyle. Recently Alternate Health Minister Pavlos Polakis came under fire when he flouted bans and lit up during a No smoking Day conference at the Greek ministry. And just last week, new data released by the Hellenic Pulmonary Society showed that Greek women remain the world’s leading smokers and choose to continue their habit during pregnancy.A bilingual website has been created by Greek American George Balafoutis to battle against the current situation where most Greek businesses have surrendered to smokers. Mr Balafoutis returned to Greece from New York to find that 10 years of No Smoking laws had been flagrantly ignored, and so he created akapnos.gr for non-smokers to know which places they could visit to eat and drink without being subjected to the harmful effects of passive smoking.The website currently lists more than 400 establishments that have gone smoke-free.Despite the fact that a 2009 anti-smoking law carries a fine of 50-500 euros for individuals and 500-1,000 euros for establishments ignoring the ban, Greeks continue to smoke freely.last_img read more

ASA Announces 2010 Officers

first_imgThe Board of Directors of the American Soybean Association (ASA) has confirmed Rob Joslin from Sidney, Ohio as President, and Johnny Dodson from Halls, Tennessee as Chairman. Board members also elected Alan Kemper from Lafayette, Indiana, to serve as First Vice President, an office that places Kemper in line to be ASA President next year.Also elected were Ron Kindred from Atlanta, Illinois, as Secretary, and Joe Steiner from Mason, Ohio, as Treasurer. Four Vice Presidents also were elected: Randy Mann from Auburn, Kentucky; Ray Gaesser from Corning, Iowa; Steve Wellman from Syracuse, Nebraska; and Danny Murphy from Canton, Mississippi.These soybean producer-leaders form the nine-member ASA Executive Committee. Elections were held on Thursday, Dec. 3, during ASA’s winter Board of Director’s meeting in Saint Louis.”Legislative challenges have never been greater,” Joslin said. “There is an urgent need to extend the biodiesel tax incentive so soybean farmers can continue to benefit from the 25 cent per bushel price advance generated by the increased demand for soybean oil.”One of my top organizational goals is to develop new recruiting methods that lead to increased membership in the ASA. As the policy advocate for U.S. soybean farmers, a strong grassroots membership is essential to the success of the ASA and the entire U.S. soybean industry.””I want, and will strive for, ASA to continue to be recognized as the successful policy organization that represents the best interests of all U.S. soybean farmers,” Kemper said. “As chairman of ASA’s Public Affairs Committee, I will work with my committee members and ASA’s top leaders as ASA continues to participate in the climate change debate and hearings to make sure U.S. soybean farmers maintain their economic competitiveness here at home and in global markets.”The Board welcomed four new members who are James Andrew (IA), Dan Feige (SD), Richard Wilkins (DE) and Bruce Hall (VA), and recognized retiring directors John Hoffman (IA), Dennis Jaeger (SD), Joe Layton (MD) and Charles Skalsky (VA).Committee assignments will be announced as soon as they are available.last_img read more

WCTV Wants To Help YOU Launch Your Own Podcast

first_imgWILMINGTON, MA — Have you ever considered starting your own podcast?Join WCTV host and podcaster Lisa Kapala for a casual meet-up on Wednesday, February 27, 2019, from 7pm to 8pm, at WCTV Headquarters (10 Waltham Street). Tour the Podcast Studio. Try out the equipment. Learn more about podcasting. Meet a few local podcasters who will exchange ideas.Come explore how to share your voice with the community via this exciting medium.RSVP to Lisa at lkapala@wctv.org or call 978-657-4066.(NOTE: The above announcement is from Wilmington Community Television.)Like Wilmington Apple on Facebook. Follow Wilmington Apple on Twitter. Follow Wilmington Apple on Instagram. Subscribe to Wilmington Apple’s daily email newsletter HERE. Got a comment, question, photo, press release, or news tip? Email wilmingtonapple@gmail.com.Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… RelatedWCTV Wants To Help YOU Launch Your Own PodcastIn “Community”News & Notes From WCTV: Did You Know WCTV Has A Podcast Studio That YOU Can Use?In “Community”News & Notes From WCTV: WCTV Executive Director Shaun Neville Answers YOUR QuestionsIn “Community”last_img read more

Israel pulls warplanes from Red Flag training exercises due to rising regional

first_imgAn Israeli Air Force F-15C Baz takes off from Ovda Air Base, Israel.(Flickr photo courtesy of Mark Rourke)Dozens of U.S. and allied warplanes are assembling at Eielson Air Force Base in preparation for an upcoming round of Red Flag training exercises. But F-15s from the state of Israel will not be participating, reportedly because of rising tensions in the region.Listen nowAn Eielson Air Force Base spokesman says Israel will for the first time be participating in a Red Flag training exercise. But Lieutenant Kitsana Dounglomchan confirms that Israeli F-15s that were scheduled to take part in the exercise that gets under way later this month won’t after all.“The Israeli Air Force will not be sending F-15s to Red Flag-Alaska 18-1, which occur from 26 April to 11 May,” Dounglomchan said in an interview Wednesday. He says he can’t say anything about why Israel decided against dispatching the warplanes to Red Flag, nor how many of the fighters the nation had intended to send.Israeli media, which first reported the story, say national leaders decided to keep the F-15s home due to rising tensions in the region in the aftermath of Israeli military strikes against Iranian proxies in Syria. According to the media accounts, the Israel Defense Forces have placed its ground and air elements on high alert in case Iran launches a counterattack.The accounts vary in their estimates on how many of the warplanes Israel had intended to send, ranging from a handful to more than a dozen.Dounglomchan says the Israeli military will, however, take part in Red Flag.“Despite this change, we’re still looking forward to hosting the Israeli contingent that will be participating in Red Flag-Alaska 18-1,” Dounglomchan said.Dounglomchan says he can’t offer any details on how the Israeli Air Force will be participating. Media outlets say Israel will send personnel and other aircraft to Red Flag, including a KC-135 tanker variant, similar to those used by the Alaska Air National Guard’s 168th Air Refueling Wing that’s based at Eielson.More than 60 aircraft from U.S. and allied units will take part in the upcoming Red Flag exercise, according to the Pacific Air Forces, the Alaskan Command’s higher headquarters that directs Red Flag. The aircraft will be based at both Eielson and Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, and most operations will take place in a simulated combat environment in the skies above the Joint Pacific Alaska Range Complex.last_img read more

Corruption has infested peoples lives like termites govt

first_imgNew Delhi: Corruption has infested the lives of people in the country like termites and the Union government, with the continuous help of technology, is taking various steps to get rid of it, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Thursday. “My dear countrymen, you know it very well that corruption and nepotism have hurt our country beyond imagination and they have infiltrated our lives like termites. We are trying continuously to throw them out,” Modi said in his Independence Day speech. Also Read – Trouble brews on Congress turf, meeting underway at Rahul Gandhi’s residence Advertise With Us India has got some success in rooting out corruption, but the disease is so deep and widespread that everyone has to continuously try at every level — not just at the level of the government — to end it, he said. “All the work may not be over in one attempt. Bad habits and old diseases get cured sometimes but then such a disease makes a comeback whenever it gets an opportunity,” the prime minister said. He also said,”Corruption is a disease and to defeat it, we have taken certain steps by using technology continuously.” At every level, the Centre is trying continuously that values like honesty and transparency are given a boost, Modi added. Also Read – Financial emergency: Cong blames BJP for economic slowdown in country Advertise With Us “You must have seen that in the last five years, and even now when the government has come back, many people who have been sitting in the government have been asked to leave,” the prime minister said. “Those who were obstructing us in this movement, we told them that you should do your own business, and now this country does not require your services anymore,” he said. This was Modi’s first Independence Day address to the nation in his second term from the ramparts of the Red Fort and the sixth consecutive Independence Day speech. Advertise With Us The prime minister also mentioned corruption in the context of the situation in Jammu and Kashmir. He said, “The system that prevailed over the past seventy years had aggravated separatism and given birth to terrorism. It had encouraged dynastic rule and in a way strengthened the foundations of corruption and discrimination.” On August 5, the Centre stripped Jammu and Kashmir of its special status given under the Article 370 of the Constitution and split it into two Union territories of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh, which will come into existence on October 31.last_img read more

Will Baahubali actress Anushka Shetty appear on Weekend with Ramesh 4

first_imgAnushka Shetty.PR HandoutThe fourth season of Weekend with Ramesh was kicked started last weekend and Dharmasthala Dharmadhikari, Dr Veerendra Heggade was the first guest of the show. Now, the audience are curiously looking forward to see who will be the next celebrity to appear on Ramesh Aravind-hosted show.The channel had already announced that they would try to bring in the likes of Rajinikanth, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, SS Rajamouli, Rahul Dravid among many others, this season. But one star who the fans of the Kannada show would like to see on the show is none other than Baahubali actress Anushka Shetty.Like the aforementioned other celebrities, Anushka Shetty has her roots in Karnataka as she was born and brought in the state. After entering Telugu and Tamil films by chance, she went on to become a successful actress. Today, she is one of the most sought after actresses in South India. Hence, people want to know about her successful journey on Weekend with Ramesh 4. The 37-year old has not acted in Sandalwood film yet and appearing on a Kannada show will only double their joy.Rumours are rife that the channel has approached the actress, but it is still unclear whether she will be part of the show this season. Weekend with Ramesh is a show that tells the story of successful people from Karnataka. Sudeep, Darshan, Upendra, Shivaraj Kumar, Upendra, Ambareesh, SP Balasubramanyam, Ananth Nag, Bharathi Vishnuvardhan, Kashinath and many other people from Sandalwood have occupied the hotseat on the show.Not just people from film industry, but former Supreme Court judge N Santosh Hegde, former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda, former Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah among many others from different spheres who have been part of the show.It has to be noted that even commoners, who have made notable achievements in their fields, have  occupied the hotseat on Weekend with Ramesh. Weekend with Ramesh 4.PR Handoutlast_img read more

Texas Appeals Court Overturns Mans 1998 Murder Conviction

first_imgTwitter via @AURNonlineThe highest criminal court in Texas has overturned the murder conviction of a man who spent 19 years in prison for the stabbing death of a friend.The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals on Wednesday overturned the conviction of 44-year-old John Earl Nolley.Nolley was freed in 2016 after a witness admitted he lied and a bloody palm print at the crime scene was linked to another person.Nolley had been sentenced in 1998 to life in prison after being convicted of murder in the slaying of Sharon McLane in Bedford, northeast of Fort Worth.The witness who lied was a jailhouse informant and the case contributed to changes in state law that placed more controls on testimony provided by informants Sharelast_img read more