first_imgThe Canadian PressMetis and non status Indians across Canada are seeking damages for the alleged harms inflicted on them by the Canadian government during the ’60s Scoop, according to a proposed class action filed on Thursday.In an untested statement of claim, the survivors of the Scoop argue they were deprived of their identities by being taken from their families and placed with non-Indigenous families.As a result, they say, they suffered mental, emotional and other harms.“Aboriginal communities describe the ’60s Scoop as destructive to their culture,” the claim in Federal Court asserts. “Canada was careless, reckless, wilfully blind, or deliberately accepting of, or was actively promoting, a policy of cultural assimilation.”Among other things, the claim seeks a court declaration that the government breached its duty toward the plaintiffs and seeks unspecified damages.Garth Myers, lawyer for the plaintiffs, said on Thursday it was unclear how many people might be taken in by the class at this point or what an appropriate level of compensation might be if the claim were to succeed.Earlier this year, the government struck an $800-million settlement of a similar class action _ one involving on-reserve Indigenous people who became victims of the ’60s Scoop _ in which each victim would receive up to $50,000. Lawyers for the plaintiffs say it’s time Canada recognized its actions taken in the ’60s Scoop affected a much larger group of Indigenous people.In June, Crown-Indigenous Relations Minister Carolyn Bennett said the settlement agreement did not address “all of the harm” done by the ’60s Scoop. More work needed to be done with Metis and non-status peoples, she said.“They have waited far too long to be recognized and for the harm done to them to be acknowledged,” Bennett said of the on-reserve victims. “They should not be made to wait any longer nor suffer through any more court battles.”Bennett had no immediate comment to the proposed action.The proposed representative plaintiff in the case is Toronto-born Brian Day, 44, a Metis who now lives in Ottawa.According to the claim, Day was raised in accordance with his family’s Metis tradition that included hunting until age four, when the Kawartha-Haliburton Children’s Aid Society took him from his family and placed him for seven years with a non-Aboriginal family in Sudbury, Ont.“Mr. Day was told by his non-aboriginal adopted family that he was not Metis or Indigenous,” the claim asserts. “For years, he was told by this family that he was white and Scottish.”Given his upbringing, Day has lost his Metis cultural identity and cannot speak French, the claim states.“Because of ’60s Scoop, Mr. Day is emotionally, spiritually and culturally disconnected,” the claim says. “He feels alienated, anxious, hopeless, sad, frustrated, and resentful.”news@aptn.ca@aptnnewslast_img read more

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first_imgKolkata: A primary school in remote Sagar block in South 24-Parganas has set a precedence in creating greenery and curbing pollution.The students of Chowranghee Primary school are using the leftover food of mid day meal and other waste products and converting them into organic fertilizers and they are using it for growing trees on the school campus. The students have also been able to store excess water of deep tubewell by preventing it from flowing outside the school and have successfully cultivated seven rare varieties of food grains. This project of cultivation of foodgrains is being supervised by noted environmentalist Amalesh Mishra. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari Puja”We are giving special emphasis to environmental studies and are imparting lessons to our students on the conservation of greenery. We are using waste to convert them into organic fertilisers. We are also storing drinking water that is wasted,” said Tapas Mondal, headmaster of Chowranghee Primary School. The school, at present, has 156 students and six teachers. Midday meal is provided to the students of these schools on a daily basis as per norms of the Ministry of Human Resource Development. Also Read – Bengal civic volunteer dies in road mishap on national highwayThe vegetable waste and the leftovers of food are being stored by the students themselves. “We have three separate waste bins. A red bin is used for dumping of waste paper, pen, pencil and similar educational equipment. A yellow bin is being used for storing vegetable waste and food waste while a green one is being used for plastic waste. The plastic waste is being recycled for making greetings cards,” Mondal said. The rice starch is being mixed with cow dung collected from some adjacent houses in the neigbourhood. Then earthworms are released into the mixture. In three months, it is converted into fertilisers. This is being used for growing plants that have medicinal value such as basak, tulsi and kalmegh. The entire work is being done by the students and teachers of the school. The school has come up with a reservoir for storing rainwater and tubewell water, which is usually wasted. This water is being used for cultivation of seven rare food grain varieties such as Mugai, Chapakusi, Gosba, Hangra, Taldi to name a few. However, none of these food grains are being sold commercially. In future, the school has plans to encourage local residents to adopt similar practices.last_img read more

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The United Nations Office for the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) today expressed its deep concern over excessive use of force by Guinea’s security forces against demonstrators ahead of this weekend’s long-delayed presidential run-off poll.One man was killed and more than 60 others injured when Government forces used live fire in their effort to quell demonstrations earlier this week in the capital, Conakry.The Office said that while it appreciated that authorities had a difficult task in dealing with the demonstrations, which in some cases degenerated into violence, including stone-throwing.But it said that it believes Government forces committed serious rights violations by indiscriminately shooting at unarmed civilians, sometimes at point-blank range; breaking into and ransacking private homes; and severely beating young men who put up no resistance.Some of the security forces’ operations appeared to target entire areas indiscriminately and little effort was made to distinguish between violent protestors and those who had taken no part in the demonstrations, OHCHR said.They also illegally and arbitrarily detained an unknown number of people, preventing them from accessing lawyers. Further, the Office said, human rights officers were not allowed into a gendarmerie detention cell in the commune of Hamdallaye, where several protestors are believed to be held.OHCHR in Guinea said it is particularly concerned that members of the Force Spéciale de Securisation du Processus Electoral, a special unit that was formed and trained to secure the electoral process, took part in these police operations.Among the victims of alleged violations documented so far by OHCHR staff in Conakry include a 22-year-old man who was reportedly hit in the head by a tear gas bomb thrown by a police officer in Hamdallaye and is still in a coma.Others include a 7-year-old boy who took a stray bullet in the head, also still comatose, and a family in the Afnia Minière neighbourhood whose house was broken into by several gendarmes, who reportedly beat an elderly man with their fists, truncheons and rifle butts. The same group of gendarmes also reportedly shot three men between the ages of 18 and 25 at point-blank range, wounding two in the arm and one in the leg.The Office recorded several other extremely violent incidents seemingly aimed at young men, expressing concern that some members of the security forces appear to be making threats, and even carrying out assaults, based on people’s ethnicity or political affiliation.It called on political leaders in Guinea to restrain their supporters in the run-up to the elections and urged the transitional Government to ensure that security forces scrupulously adhere to international standards governing the use of force and firearms.Guinea’s independent electoral authority, known as CENI, had cited technical difficulties when it postponed the ballot between Cellou Dalein Diallo and Alpha Condé, the two candidates with the highest number of votes in the first round of voting in June.Said Djinnit, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s Special Representative for West Africa, has warned that further delays could seriously undermine the transition process in Guinea, which has been plagued by misrule, dictatorships and coups since it gained independence in 1958.The election is the final stage of the interim Government’s efforts to set up a democracy after the forces of Captain Moussa Dadis Camara – who seized power in a coup in 2008 after the death of long-time president Lansana Conté – shot, raped and attacked hundreds of civilian demonstrators attending a rally in Conakry in September 2009, killing at least 150. 22 October 2010The United Nations Office for the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) today expressed its deep concern over excessive use of force by Guinea’s security forces against demonstrators ahead of this weekend’s long-delayed presidential run-off poll. read more

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Roughly 5,000 Alberta residents have been evacuated from their homes because of a wildfire near High Level. Officials say there have been about 430 wildfires since March and 30 of them are currently active.They say the main priority right now is the fire near High Level that has burned through about 800 km by this week. It is one of six wildfires that are out of control right now. Premier Jason Kenney says they are in for the long haul and neigbouring provinces are on their way to help. Firefighters from Ontario, British Columbia, and Nova Scotia are going to help the 90 firefighters in Alberta currently working to control it.Although the winds have been strong, officials expect them to blow in the preferred direction away from homes and other buildings. read more

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NEW YORK — U.S. Attorney General Bill Barr says increased encryption of data on phones and encrypted messaging apps are putting American security at risk.Barr’s prepared comments at a cybersecurity conference in New York on Tuesday marks a continuing effort by the Justice Department to push tech companies to provide law enforcement with access to encrypted devices and applications during investigations.The attorney general says law enforcement is increasingly unable to access information on devices, and between devices in the virtual world, even with a warrant supporting probable cause of criminal activity. Ex-FBI director James Comey led a highly publicized push to gain access to an iPhone belonging to a perpetrator of a terrorist attack in San Bernardino that killed 14 people in 2015.Tami Abdollah, The Associated Press read more

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ANCHORAGE, Alaska — Nearly every Alaskan will be $1,606 richer next week.The state revenue department confirmed the amount of this year’s oil wealth check in a Friday release.The check size doesn’t come as a surprise after lawmakers decided on that amount following drawn out regular and special legislative sessions.Gov. Mike Dunleavy favoured setting the amount according to a statutory formula that hasn’t been followed since 2016. Had that been used this year, the check would have been $2,910.However, some lawmakers balked, saying that amount was unsustainable.Dunleavy has scheduled a news conference later Friday, where issues related to the oil check will be among topics he will address.Revenue officials say about 631,000 Alaskans will begin receiving their checks Thursday. The total distribution is just over $1 billion.Mark Thiessen, The Associated Press read more

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by Craig Wong, The Canadian Press Posted Jan 8, 2013 4:28 pm MDT Barrick Gold no longer in talks to see African assets to Chinese firm AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email Talks aimed at the potential sale of African Barrick Gold to a Chinese company have ended without a deal, Barrick Gold Corp. (TSX:ABX) said Tuesday.“These discussions were part of our ongoing efforts to identify opportunities to optimize our portfolio,” said Barrick president and CEO Jamie Sokalsky.“However, we are approaching this in a prudent and disciplined manner and will only proceed with opportunities that generate acceptable value for Barrick.”Sokalsky said African Barrick Gold’s assets hold significant potential and the company will continue to look for ways to best realize that value for shareholders.Barrick holds a 73.9 per cent interest in the company, which was formed when the Canadian gold miner spun off its African operations in March 2010.African Barrick is Tanzania’s largest gold producer and one of the five largest gold producers in Africa.Barrick Gold shares closed down 43 cents at C$33.14 on the Toronto Stock Exchange, while African Barrick shares were down 20 per cent or about 91.9 pence at 352.1 pence Tuesday on the London Stock Exchange.John Ing, president and chief executive of investment firm Maison Placements Canada, noted the African Barrick has struggled with high costs in recent months.“These are not primo assets,” he said.Ing said Barrick would have welcomed the opportunity to rid themselves of what he called a “sub-performing asset.”“It is going to be difficult. The only good news is that if the commodity, that is gold, keeps on going higher then those assets will have some value for somebody,” he said.African Barrick, which has four mines in Tanzania, launched Tuesday a review of its business aimed at improving its operations.“Whilst the discussions between CNG and Barrick have not led to a transaction, the process has re-emphasised the fundamental long-term value of ABG’s portfolio and the scarcity of large scale producing opportunities to enter the gold market in Africa,” African Barrick chief executive Greg Hawkins said.“We have demonstrated the ability of this business to generate significant cash flows and believe that the operational review will create the opportunity to further improve the return profile of the business.”African Barrick reported a profit of US$65.2 million or 16 cents per share on $534.5 million in revenue for the six months ended June 30, 2012. That compared with a profit of $120.1 million or 29 cents per share on $578.4 million in revenue for the first six months of 2011.Cash costs per ounce of gold increased 43 per cent to $938, up from $655.In addition to higher costs, African Barrick has faced other problems, including a report in May 2011 that it was investigating allegations of sexual assaults against local women at its North Mara mine in Tanzania.Barrick said at the time that a preliminary investigation by ABG had found credible evidence of sexual assaults by members of the Tanzanian police and the company’s security guards.North Mara was also the site of deadly clashes between police and a crowd of about 800 people trying to steal ore from the mine. Seven people were killed and a dozen more were injured.Barrick also announced Tuesday that Nathaniel Rothschild has resigned from the company’s board due to other time commitments.Rothschild had been a Barrick director since April 2010.Barrick owns and operates gold mines in Canada, the United States, Peru, Argentina, Chile, Australia and Papua New Guinea. read more

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The acronym NAP seems somehow appropriate for the first-ever Night Against Procrastination being held Thursday, Nov. 12 at Brock University.The late-night writing and studying event will be held in Thistle Complex from 6 p.m. to midnight. The goal is to kickstart students into getting their work done now rather than leaving it until the last moment.“Our service is basically giving students strategies. The whole night is about getting started, building momentum and teaching them how they can break things up so they can be more productive,” said Margaret Groombridge, Interim Manager, A-Z Learning Services, who is one of the event’s organizers.In addition to giving the students access to academic advisers and tutors, the night will include mini-workshops, food and drinks and break-out rest sessions such as yoga.“It’s a night against procrastination so that students don’t put their work off,” Groombridge said.The Night Against Procrastination will take place in: TH 129, where students can work on assignments and where instructors, tutors and TAs will provide support on demand; TH 123, where short sessions, alternating throughout the evening will take place; and TH 124, where food and refreshments will be available.“What I imagine it will be is students moving a lot, asking a lot of questions and really breaking that boundary of students who maybe have never spoken to a tutor before.?It’s very interactive,” said Groombridge. read more

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first_imgIndependent schools have been accused of “gaming the system” after new analysis has revealed that one in five students were given extra time to complete their GCSE and A-level exams last year.Across the country, nearly 30,000 fee-paying pupils were given a special measures consideration – significantly higher than the one in eight pupils given additional time at state schools.The analysis, carried out by Radio 4’s Today programme, has rung alarm bells with teachers in the state sector, with headteachers claiming that the figures raised “serious questions” of the special measures system.While a fifth of all private schooled pupils received extra time last year, only 200,000, or 12 percent, of their state-educated peers received the same measures when taking their exams. Commenting on the disparity,  former shadow education minister Lucy Powell claimed that independent schools were unfairly benefiting from a “double advantage”, adding that their pupils “shouldn’t get an exam advantage because you pay for it.”“These figures don’t make any sense, it’s a double advantage. Clearly the evidence shows that there has been a trend developing for many years, where the independent sector is being much more effective at getting special access arrangements.“The discrepancy is alarming. I would think that the level getting extra time would be more in line with the percentage of students registered with special needs – which is 14 percent.“I don’t understand why Ofqual or the Department for Education have not looked at the figures and asked these questions before.”Geoff Barton, headteacher of King Edward VI comprehensive school in Bury St Edmunds, blamed a system of results-driven league tables for creating a “high stakes” game in which schools look to push students forward for extra time.“Whether they are getting special consideration does seem to be something that isn’t only done in the interests of the youngster, but also can have an effect for the school,” he said.“So there’s no surprise that schools will reflect on that as they are planning the exam season.” However, Ofqual, the examination regulator for England, said the disparity was down to the “readiness”of independent schools to identify students in need of extra time.“It is also worth noting that ‘Independent’, also includes ‘Independent Special Schools’ where at least half of the pupils have Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND),” a spokesman said.“Generally we would expect there to be a higher proportion of students who would have access arrangements at special schools and this may impact the percentages when comparing across the different centre types.”Peter Hamilton, chair of HMC and headmaster at Haberdashers’ Aske’s Boys’ School, added that independent schools were better able to spot and monitor pupils in need of additional exam requirements.“We are also fortunate to have proper resourcing and specialist departments, which can be lacking in state maintained schools. All heads want to see learning support staff given the time and money necessary to ensure all pupils are able to claim their rights.”However, figures provided by the DfE show that only 3,815 students are enrolled at independent specialist providers, compared to more than 105,000 enrolled at state maintained schools – meaning that the figures for the private sector remain disproportionately high.“Surely Ofqual’s first job is to ensure a standardised playing field,” Ms Powell added. “I think they’re just looking for excuses – and they shouldn’t be. Their job should be to ask the questions and look for solutions.”center_img Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings.last_img read more

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first_imgThe ITRI reports that key speakers from China will provide their insight on a number of sustainability topics to be addressed at its upcoming Asia Tin Summit in Kunming, with presentations from government regulatory body ASQIQ and the Kunming University of Science and Technology, who will detail China’s conflict minerals standards as well as recent developments in sustainable tin smelting technology.“Sustainability is becoming an increasingly important issue for the tin industry inside China, with greater expectation to demonstrate responsible sourcing of raw materials and to further limit the environmental impacts of mining and smelting operations. The progress being made in both areas will be outlined in these two expert presentations.”AQSIQ (General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine of the People’s Republic of China) is a ministerial-level government department which has been directly involved in setting and enforcing conflict minerals regulation in China and Kunming University of Science is one of the top research institutions for minerals science in China, notable for its close links to the minerals industry in Yunnan.The 2017 Asia Tin Summit is expected to attract some 300 delegates from China and the rest of the world.last_img read more

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first_imgOVER THE LAST five or six years, from looking at the team-sheets, you would back Ireland to beat Scotland but it hasn’t always worked out that way.With Joe Schmidt coming in, it adds a bit more excitement to the usual Six Nations hype. We saw the best and worst of Ireland in the space of two weeks during the November Series. They were poor against Australia and magnificent for 81 minutes against New Zealand. If they can reproduce even 80% of what they threw at the All Blacks they will do a job on Scotland.The Scots have no recognised seven in there and that is why the selection of the scavenging Chris Henry at openside may prove crucial. Ireland need to win the breakdown tomorrow and with Henry at his best they could dominate.Everyone in the Ireland XV is pretty much in there on form. I think we need to get used to the mind-set change within the Ireland set-up. All of Schmidt’s talk before the Six Nations was about building a squad and a few of his selections — Luke Marshall, Chris Henry and Andrew Trimble — have backed that up. Ultimately we are on a roadtrip to the World Cup next year. If Schmidt could do to Ireland what he did for Leinster and build a squad of 30 guys he can call on, that would be fantastic.There certainly seems to be a deeper pool of players to call upon. It is great that, while Tommy Bowe and Keith Earls are out injured, we are still debating what wingers should start. Fergus McFadden has probably come back from injury too late but his ability to cover the positions means he is on the bench.Conversely, McFadden’s inclusion there was bad news for Ian Madigan but you can’t argue with his selection on the bench. Is it the most exciting Ireland bench? No but Schmidt often makes horses for courses selections and he has done that here. The last time we played Scotland we were barely pulling a team together because of all our injuries so it is good to have debates over positions this time around.Gordon D’Arcy was excellent against the All Blacks and is unfortunate to miss out but Marshall tore the Scottish defence apart last year. While many will expect D’Arcy and Luke Fitzgerald to be in with a good shout of starting against Wales, it would be hard for Schmidt to drop a player who had a dynamite game. Saying that, he often did that during his time at Leinster.Luke Marshall looked impressive against the Scots last season. INPHO/Dan SheridanThe Scottish back three of Sean Maitland, Stuart Hogg and sean Lamont will be their biggest threat. If you give them the ball and the opportunity, you will rue it. They know how to score tries.Today is all about Ireland inflicting their game on Scotland and dominating when it comes to the basics. I don’t think Schmidt will allow complacency from his players and all the lads, from whatever province, are enjoying the discipline and attention to detail he has imposed on the squad. England slip upThe England and France match last night was great to watch. You could not say England threw it away but they did slip back and allow France to play their way back into the game. It was certainly a higher standard of rugby to the Wales v Italy game earlier in the day.Italy have never replaced Diego Dominguez as a goal-kicker. I was looking at their game thinking ‘Is there somebody, anybody for the love of God, that can kick the ball over the bar for them?’ Wales were fortunate to get the win but I would expect them to raise their game for Ireland next week.*Shane Byrne’s publication, Club Rugby Magazine is available monthly in the Irish Independent. You can also follow Shane on Twitter  @shanebyrneofficLike rugby? Follow TheScore.ie’s dedicated Twitter account @rugby_ie >George Hook meets his match as Ronan O’Gara makes RTÉ panel debutMeet the Munster rugby stars building a future for Kenyan orphanslast_img read more

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first_imgThe Washington Trails Association plans to continue its effort to rejuvenate Quartz Creek trail No. 5 deep in the heart of Dark Divide roadless area in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest.The association has scheduled three four-day work parties in June and July on the trail.“The Quartz Creek trail is Western Washington’s premier old-growth valley hike, a stroll among the giant Douglas fir and cedar trees is a walk back in time to what the forest looked like for many centuries before the saw and axe,” said Ryan Ojerio, WTA’s Southwest Washington coordinator.Quartz Creek No. 5 climbs relatively gently at first up the Quartz Creek drainage, then has some of the steeper grades in the Pinchot forest before ending at Boundary trail No. 1. The total length is 10.6 miles.The trail does not parallel the creek, but weaves in and out of side canyons and up and down small rises and ridges. It seldom actually comes close to Quartz Creek.Quartz Creek trail passes through some of the most remote terrain in the 1.3-million-acre Pinchot forest outside of wildernesses.The trail had suffered from lack of maintenance until 2011, when WTA made Quartz Creek one of the 10 “signature trail projects.”WTA volunteers since have done tread restoration, brush removal and drainage repairs on the lower end of Quartz Creek trail, accessible from Lewis River road No. 90.last_img read more

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first_imgThe Kenai Watershed Forum has also monitored the water quality of the Kenai River watersheds twice a year (once in the spring and once in the summer) for the past 15 years. The Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) collected water quality samples on Kenai Beaches, on July 3 and 13, that showed elevated levels above Alaska’s enterococci and fecal coliform bacteria limit for recreation and harvesting for consumption of raw fish and shellfish. Bornemann: “It really boils down to avoiding this bacteria, and humans can do that pretty easy overall. Overall I think a fairly good message got out stating that there are ways to prevent this from infecting humans.”  Facebook0TwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享Branden Bornemann, Executive Director, Kenai Watershed Forum gave an update regarding water quality on the Kenai River at the Kenai City Council meeting, on September 5. Bornemann said the Watershed Forum is still wrapping up its final tests of the season and will release updated data as soon as it’s available. According to a release from the DEC, they recommend beach users take normal precautions to avoid exposure, such as avoiding swimming in the water, washing after contact with the water, and rinsing fish with clean water after they have been harvested from the area. Bornemann: “Is this a problem? What this data has been telling us since 2010 is that bacteria has been present at the Kenai River mouth consistently. It has been there since before dipnetting began, and it’ll be there after dipnetting ends. It is a thing that is naturally present in the ecosystem.” last_img read more

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first_imgWashington, D.C. — Defense communities are excited about the prospect of a new DOD authority, included in the versions of the fiscal 2019 defense authorization bill passed in both the House and Senate, which would permit the department to provide funding for off-base infrastructure projects designed to enhance the military value of an installation. During the opening session of the 2018 Defense Communities National Summit on Monday, the Pentagon’s chief installations official weighed in, saying a new capability similar to the Defense Access Roads (DAR) program could be beneficial. The DAR program is designed to pay for defense-related transportation needs affecting a surrounding community if they are sudden, unusual or unique, and state and local authorities are unable to address the need. Annual funding for the program is limited, however; lawmakers provided only $20 million for the program in FY 2018.A new authority to fund defense community infrastructure could be used for requirements such as improving an installation’s water resiliency, said Lucian Niemeyer, assistant secretary of defense for energy, installations and environment. Niemeyer said he was concerned, though, about the possibility that the Office of Economic Adjustment (OEA) would be used to administer such a program. Asking OEA to carry out activities that are not part of its core missions possibly could jeopardize the office’s future, he said, a reference to House Armed Services Chairman Mac Thornberry’s earlier proposal to eliminate the office along with six other defense support agencies. Thornberry scaled back the proposal, however, and the House-passed version of the defense authorization bill calls for cutting only the Washington Headquarters Service; the bill also directs DOD to slash spending on many defense support functions by 25 percent.OEA is a “critical field agency,” Niemeyer said, one that provides a “lifeline” to defense communities. Dan Cohen AUTHORlast_img read more

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first_imgPolice officers stand guard at a police cordon next to Buckingham Palace following an incident where a man armed with a knife was arrested outside the palace following a disturbance in London. Photo: AFPA man was arrested on Friday after attacking police with a knife outside Queen Elizabeth II’s Buckingham Palace residence in London, police said, with counter terrorism detectives investigating the incident.The 26-year-old attacker stopped his car near a police vehicle in a restricted area outside the world famous palace at around 8:35pm (1935 GMT), according to a Metropolitan Police statement.“Officers spotted a large knife in his vehicle and went to arrest him,” said the statement. “During the course of detaining the man, two male police officers suffered minor injuries to their arm.”The officers required hospital treatment but have been discharged, according to police.The man, who was initially arrested on suspicion of causing grievous bodily harm and assaulting police, was further arrested under the Terrorism Act 2000.“Detectives from the Metropolitan Police’s Counter Terrorism Command are now investigating the incident,” police said.The attack comes with Britain and much of Europe on high alert following a string of major attacks over the past two years, most of which have been claimed by, or blamed on, jihadists.In Britain alone a total of 35 people have been killed in three attacks in London and Manchester since March.Two of those involved a vehicle ploughing into pedestrians.The other attack was a bombing in May at a pop concert by US star Ariana Grande in the Manchester which killed 22 people including children.‘Brave actions of officers’The assailant in Friday’s attack was arrested on suspicion of grievous bodily harm and assault, and taken to a London hospital for treatment of minor injuries.He will then be taken to a London police station for questioning.“The quick and brave actions of both officers meant that the suspect was detained very quickly,” said police officer Guy Collings.“No members of the public had any interaction with this individual at the scene. It is too early in this investigation to speculate any further.”Social media users posted videos of a fleet of police cars and ambulances outside the palace, with the surrounding roads sealed off as police searched the area.Twitter user Amir Jan Malik wrote: “Stuck outside Buckingham palace with many armed police officers. Heavy rifles on display traffic at a halt.”Eyewitness Kiana Williamson told the Press Association that “there was one police van and one car, there was also a civilian’s car that had veered towards the police car”.“They were trying to get the man out of the car, shouting, more police were arriving on to the scene and the man was fighting back,” she said.“The man had been restrained and looked almost unconscious by the side of the road.“I didn’t see the car driving but the car had been left at the side of the road and an eye witness had said that he had driven towards the police car,” she added.The incident occurred just two hours after a knifeman attacked two soldiers in Brussels in what authorities are treating as a terrorist attack.The queen was at her Balmoral residence in Scotland, although the palace said it would not comment on security issues.last_img read more

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first_img 00:00 /06:59 X Art Sisneros’s Facebook PageArt Sisneros has resigned from his position as Texas 36th District Elector. Until recently, Sisneros was the Texas Republican party’s elector for the 36th district – one out of 38 electors representing 36 congressional districts and two statewide positions. Sisneros took an oath, pledging to vote for the party’s presidential nominee. But after Donald Trump won the election, Sisneros realized he’d couldn’t vote for the president-elect in good faith.Sisneros published a blog post over the weekend, explaining his reasoning. He writes that he cannot cast his electoral vote for Trump and that he must resign as an elector.Sisneros tells that his reason for resigning was not so much about his personal feelings as it was about his understanding of the role of Elector. “As an elector, I began to evaluate what are the moral implications of this job and what I’ve been elected to do,” he says. “I began to really examine what that meant. It was more of a revelation of this conviction of ‘This is what somebody must be if they’re going to serve in public office.’ They must be a man of truth, and just and fair, and so forth.” “Before I came out and said I was resigning, people went insane,” Sisneros says. “Death threats, threatening to find where i work and hunt me down and all kinds of stuff, because all I simply said was ‘You know this job is so important, this office is so important and the consequences of it are very real and important that I’m gonna think, that I’m gonna weigh these options.”But Sisneros is happy with his decision. He’s also okay with the idea that Trump will win the Electoral College’s final votes. He says he’s done his part.“My obligation is to do my part as a voter and as an elector – I think also as a citizen,” he says. “My job is also … as a Christian is to pray for the president. I can’t control the outcome, I can only control my actions. So I’ll pray for him as our president, but I’ll also be willing to call him out when he’s not acting according to what he says he believes.” center_img Sisneros says he knew what he was pledging, but not what his role as an Elector was. After further researching the position, he says he came to the conclusion that he “sinned” in pledging his electoral vote for the Republican party nominee.“I think it’s clear that the founding fathers were opposed to pre-pledge candidates,” he says. They thought that populous people could come in and woo certain populations … and they figured that a representative head, that electors would be wise enough to see through some of these things.”The Electors were a protection against a pure democracy, Sisneros says, but the Electoral College has become corrupted. Electors were originally free from political party affiliations and the pledges those parties now ask electors to sign. Sisneros says he found that historically and morally this means he must vote his conscience as an elector.Texas’ Republican party has an “immoral” pledge, Sisneros writes in his blog post. It reflects citizen’s push for a democracy, instead of a republic.“They want their popular vote across the state counted. They do not care about the authority of the office of an Elector. As long as they have someone to do what the people demand, they don’t care who it is. … That is evidence alone to prove that our republic is lost. The shell may remain, but in the hearts of the people and functionality of the system our republic is gone. God’s Word is clear we should all ‘let our ‘yes’ be ‘yes’ and our ‘no,’s ‘no.’”“In the hearts of the people, they want one voice, one vote,” Sisneros says. “They want a true democracy, a pure democracy. … They no longer view it as a representative government. The representatives are there to do what the people want. What the people demand.”That’s all only part of why Sisneros decided to resign from his post. He says as a Christian, he also felt he could not vote for Trump based on the president-elect’s character.The pledge he signed made no mention of the “biblical qualifications” a candidate must have to serve as president, Sisneros writes. But the Republican party’s 2016 platform says they adhere to the original language and intent of the Constitution and the laws of nature and “nature’s God.”“The law of nature’s God give clear principles for electing civil leaders. The original intent of the Constitution gives a specific method that to apply those principles. The Republican party of Texas declares their #1 principle is to honor God and original intent of the Constitution. They then force Electors to make a pledge that is contrary to both. … I believe voting for Trump would bring dishonor to God.”Sisneros says he had three choices, which he laid out in his blog post: vote for the Republican party nominee; vote for someone else and become a “faithless elector”; or resign.He got a mixed reaction about his resignation.“A lot of people are supportive on both sides and a lot of people are really angry,” Sisneros says.In one Facebook post, Sisneros preempted his decision acknowledging that he was about to resign and that people were going to be unhappy about it:Art Sisneros Facebook Page Listen To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code: Sharelast_img read more

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first_imgBeer and dancing? Yeah, those go together. Dancing and robots? Sure. Beer and a thousand dancing robots? Now that’s our kind of party.Head on over to China in late July/early August and you can partake in country’s answer to Octoberfest, the Qingdao International Beer Festival. It’s a three-to-four-week-long celebration of the beverage the Chinese first brewed more than 5,000 years ago, and it looks like one heck of a good time.You’re never too young to enjoy the Qingdao Beer FestivalBrewers and beer enthusiasts from all over the globe head to Shandong province to enjoy the festivities, and this year they were treated to a special spectacle: an attempt to set the world record for most robots dancing simultaneously.The Guinness crew was on site to certify things as China’s Ever Win Company dragged out 1,040 of its best dancing bots and painstakingly lined them up. They fired up the music and what happened next, as they say, is history. Here it is, Geek readers: put your feet up while Ever Win’s robots bust a move… in unison!You might have noticed the disparity in the numbers between the title and that last paragraph. That’s because most of Ever Win’s robots were able to complete the dance-off. 33 of them, unfortunately, didn’t have what it took.And, sure, it looks all cute in the video, but this is how it starts. Today these cheery little dudes are gyrating and making us smile, tomorrow they’re going all Funzo and impaling things on pencils and threatening our lives. Hide your Malibu Stacy dolls, people.Image courtesy That’s Qingdaolast_img read more

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first_imgKolkata: The upcoming Panchayat polls in West Bengal are rapidly emerging as a warm up match for the BJP ahead the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, with the saffron party pulling out all stops to reach out to the people, political observers say. With nearly 40 of the 42 Lok Sabha seats in West Bengal located in villages and semi-urban areas, administered by Panchayats, an absolute control of the rural bodies is a must for political parties to have an upper hand on rivals in the next year’s Lok Sabha polls. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsThe battle is interestingly poised as the Trinamool Congress (TMC) is planning to play a bigger role nationally after the 2019 Lok Sabha polls and the BJP aiming to emerge as the main opposition to the TMC in the state.West Bengal BJP chief Dilip Ghosh said the results of the Panchayat polls to be held next month might not have a direct impact on Lok Sabha polls as the elections in rural bodies were held under the state administration, but it would surely give an indication in which way the wind was blowing. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killed”The Panchayat polls will be a warm up match for us not only to galvanise party workers but also to reach out to the people against the TMC’s misrule ahead of 2019,” he said.BJP president Amit Shah had recently said the party is aiming to win 22 seats in Bengal.According to a state BJP leader, with the BJP facing anti-incumbency in some North Indian states, the saffron camp was well aware that any reduction in the number of seats needed to be compensated with seats from West Bengal and Odisha. “We need to win maximum number of seats in Lok Sabha in order to compensate the shortfall and also to emerge as the main opposition to the TMC,” the BJP leader said.”If we have to win more than 20 seats, then it is important that we have a good presence in Panchayats across the state and for that, we have to fight the TMC and win as many seats as possible,” Ghosh told PTI.The recent clashes between the BJP and the TMC in various parts of the states were a clear indication that the BJP would not yield a single inch without putting up a fight, senior BJP leader Mukul Roy said.Even as the Congress and the CPI(M) failed to open their account properly in filing nominations across the state, the sheer number of nominations filed by BJP, which is just second to the TMC, showed how the saffron camp was serious in contesting the TMC.”The people of Bengal wants the BJP as they have seen the rule of the Congress, the TMC and the CPI(M). With each passing day, the BJP is gaining strength in Bengal despite terror tactics of the TMC,” BJP national general secretary Kailash Vijayvergiya claimed.The TMC leadership too accused the BJP of aggression in filing nominations and of bringing in “outsiders” to disturb the peace in the state.”They are trying hard to gain ground by use of violence but will not succeed as people of the state are with the TMC,” TMC secretary general Partha Chatterjee told PTI.The Panchayat elections will be held across 48,650 seats in 3,358 Gram Panchayats, 9,217 seats at 341 Panchayat Samitis, and 825 seats at 20 Zilla Parishads in three phases in the first week of May.The counting of votes will take place on May 8.The TMC now not only controls all the Zilla Parishads of the state but also 90 per cent of the Panchayat seats.In 2013, the TMC had won 34 out of the 42 Lok Sabha seats in the state in a stellar show in Panchayat polls.The TMC’s victory in South 24 Parganas and East Midnapore Zilla Parishads in the 2008 Panchayat polls first signalled the fall of three-decade-old Left regime in 2011.According to political parties, the victory in these elections is important to reach out to the people as those living in rural areas depend on Panchayats for basic amenities such as drinking water, agricultural land, schools, social and government benefits.Galvanized after its performance in the recent Ram Navami celebrations across the state, the West Bengal BJP, which has been increasing its vote share in all the elections since 2016 Assembly polls, hopes to emerge as an opposition to the TMC by edging out the Congress and the CPI(M).Senior CPI(M) leader Sujan Chakraborty, however, claimed, “The divisive policy of the BJP will not work in Bengal and only the Left Front can fight against misrule of the TMC.last_img read more

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first_imgBALURGHAT: A 19-year-old homemaker was allegedly molested by some youths here on Wednesday night. The incident took place in Balurghat’s Bhatpara Colony area.According to a source, it was decided that the matter will be resolved in kangaroo court in presence of accused youths and the woman’s family members. It has been alleged that the victim’s family members were rampantly thrashed by the youths there while the hearing was going on. Two persons suffered serious injuries and were admitted to Balurghat hospital. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataPolice have received two separate complaints but no one has been arrested so far. A police source said the victim recently went to her maternal uncle’s house. On Wednesday evening, while she along with her husband and cousin was going to a local fair, the youths allegedly molested her. While protesting the incident, the victim’s husband and cousin received threats from the accused. They had attacked the woman’s family members in kangaroo court. The victim’s maternal uncle and a neighbour were admitted to hospital and three motorbikes vandalised. Deputy Superintendent of Police (Headquarter), Dhiman Mitra, said: “If anyone is found guilty, he will be punished.”last_img read more

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first_img Natural spring cleaning tips and tricks for your home The U.S. military maneuvers scheduled for September _ to be joined by ships from about 20 American allies _ are part of a Pentagon buildup in the Gulf with more troops and naval firepower seeking to rattle Iran and reassure Saudi Arabia and Washington’s other Gulf Arab partners worried about Iran’s influence and power.Iran’s powerful Revolutionary Guards both scoffed and raged at the U.S.-led war games, calling American naval power weak while also complaining that U.S. should be pulling its forces out of the region rather than sending in reinforcements.Comments Monday by a top Iranian naval official highlighted the mix of messages from Tehran.Adm. Ali Reza Tangsiri, acting commander of the Revolutionary Guard naval forces, claimed Iran has full military control over the strait _ an unmistakable challenge to Washington and its Gulf allies. He added, however, that Iran has no plans to attempt to disrupt tanker traffic _ a nod to ease worries on world markets.“Enemies regularly say Iran is after closing the Strait of Hormuz. But we say it’s not wise to close it while Iran is using it,” Tangsiri was quoted as saying by the official IRNA news agency. Top Stories Concerns about a slowing Chinese economy and weakening demand for oil in North America and Europe are now higher priorities on traders’ minds, said Ciszuk.“That’s been something of a letdown for the Iranians,” he said. “There are other concerns weighing on the demand side. The global economy is a strong counterweight right now.”Oil fell below $89 a barrel in early trading Monday as an escalation in Spain’s debt crisis and a warning on China’s growth prospects suggested demand for crude will weaken.“The Iranians have sort of captured the imagination of the markets with their threats. But there is a certain element of crying wolf, too. … Will Iran actually do it?” Ciszuk said.The prevailing mood suggests probably not, but Iran also has no hesitation to remind the world that it’s possible. This enough _ in Iran’s calculation _ could discourage talk of military strikes by Israel and others and scare off even more punishing sanctions on its oil industry, which accounts for about 80 percent of the country’s foreign revenue.Gen. Hasan Firouzabadi, chairman of Iran’s Joint Chiefs of Staff, said last week that Iran had the capability to close the strait “from a military point of view,” but the final decision rests with Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. He did not elaborate, but the remarks appear to point to Iran’s efforts to build pipelines to Asian markets and develop new Iranian ports with direct access to the Indian Ocean.The United Arab Emirates took a similar approach with a pipeline across the desert to the Gulf of Oman on the ocean-bound side of the strait. Saudi Arabia also has the Red Sea as a bypass route, but its main oil facilities are on the Gulf. Other Gulf states, too, must rely on the tanker shipping lanes that thread the strait through international waters.At its narrowest point, the Strait of Hormuz is 21 miles (33 kilometers) wide, but the width of the shipping lane in either direction is only two miles, separated by a two-mile buffer zone.Iran first escalated its threats over the strait in January after the EU announced plans to halt imports of Iranian oil.“Obviously the sanctions have started to bite,” said Samuel Ciszuk, a consultant at KBC Energy Economics in Britain. “Economically, the regime is going to be under pressure in the coming months, and that seems to be a driving force” in attempts to push up oil prices with threats over the strait.Markets, however, are not as jittery as before _ such as oil prices spiking in early January after Iranian commanders warned of closing the strait and announced naval war games. Comments   Share   Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family While it appears unlikely that Iran is ready to risk an almost certain military backlash by trying to close Hormuz _ which is jointly controlled with Oman _ the latest flurry from Tehran shows that Iranian authorities see the strait as perhaps their most valuable asset in brinksmanship over tightening sanctions and efforts to resume nuclear talks with world powers.In Iran’s view, the strait offers a rare combination of strategic and economic leverage. Warnings from Tehran in the past about possible closure have been enough to boost oil prices to offset the blow of sanctions. It’s also among the potential flashpoints if military force is used against Iran over its nuclear program. Iran could severely disrupt oil supplies and send the shaky global economy stumbling backward.“Iran is masterful at keeping the world off balance,” said Theodore Karasik, a regional security expert at the Dubai-based Institute for Near East and Gulf Military Analysis. “There are few things that get the world’s attention more than the Strait of Hormuz.”Iranians and European Union negotiators are scheduled to meet Tuesday to seek ways to restart high-level nuclear talks, which remain snagged over disputes that include the levels of Iran’s ability to make nuclear fuel. Israel claims Iran is simply trying to extend talks to move ahead the process of uranium enrichment. The West and allies worry Iran may be advancing toward weapons-grade material, but Iran insists it only seeks reactors for electricity and medical applications. Sponsored Stories Associated PressDUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) – When Pentagon officials announced plans to send U.S. Navy minesweepers and warships into the Gulf for exercises, they carefully tried to avoid framing it as a direct show of force against Iran. Tehran took care of that.Iranian commanders and political leaders _ facing an increasing squeeze from international sanctions _ have sharply stepped up threats and defiant statements in recent weeks over the Strait of Hormuz, a chokepoint at the mouth of the Gulf that is the route for one fifth of the world’s oil. More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates At the same time, about 150 Iranian lawmakers _ nearly half of the 290-seat parliament _ have signed a proposal urging for the closure of the strait in response to sanctions. It’s unclear whether the parliament could force such a military blockade, but it reflects the growing frustration among some officials over Iran’s isolated economy.One lawmaker, Javad Karimi Qodoosi, also raised the possibility of charging tariffs _ 3 percent of the value of each barrel of oil _ from ships transiting the Strait and “transfer (the money) to Iran’s treasury.”Turning the strait into a toll way _ akin to the Suez or Panama canals _ would likely bring an angry backlash from Gulf Arab oil producers and bring retaliatory economic measures from Iran’s foes.Last week, U.S. Defense Department press secretary George Little described the upcoming naval exercises as not specifically a “message to Iran.” However, recent Pentagon moves suggest otherwise: Adding a floating assault base, the retrofitted USS Ponce, to the Gulf flotilla and speeding up the deployment of the aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis to ensure two carriers are in the Gulf region at all times. New high school in Mesa lets students pick career paths Men’s health affects baby’s health too 4 ways to protect your company from cyber breaches “This is a defensive exercise aimed at preserving freedom of navigation in the international waterways of the Middle East and aimed at promoting regional stability,” Little told Pentagon reporters.___Associated Press writers Adam Schreck in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, and Ali Akbar Dareini in Tehran, Iran, contributed to this report.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)last_img read more

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