Leaked document appears to give broad powers to MMIW national inquiry

first_imgTina House, Dennis Ward and Kenneth Jackson APTN National NewsThere will be five commissioners sitting on a national inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women (MMIW) and they appear to have the power to run the inquiry as they see fit, according to the Terms of Reference (ToR) obtained by APTN National News.The document, watermarked “sensitive and confidential,” appears to be a template for a final version. It does not name the five commissioners.The ToR document also appears to address a pivotal question asked by MMIW family members and their advocacy groups: how much power will the commission have.“Authorize the Commissioners to adopt any procedures that they consider expedient for the proper conduct of the inquiry,” the ToR states. But it doesn’t elaborate on how much power that is or whether the commissioners will have the power to compel people to testify.The ToR does call for the inquiry to bring the “ongoing national tragedy” of MMIW to an end and examine the “systemic causes of violence against Indigenous women and girls in Canada” and make recommendations.That means looking at the “underlying social, economic, cultural, institutional and historical causes” that have led to more than 1,200 Indigenous women and girls to be murdered or go missing in the last 30 years.Download (PDF, Unknown)The inquiry is to look into the “institutional policies and practices” that may have caused violence against Indigenous women and girls but there’s no specific mention of the role police departments may have played in the overall MMIW issue, something families have called to be looked into.The inquiry is to have “culturally sensitive” spiritual and psychological counselors available to people testifying.“Provide an opportunity for individuals, families and community members to express and share their experiences and view, including on how to increase safety and prevent and eliminate violence against Indigenous women and girls in Canada,” the document states.There will be regional advisory boards, made up of families, loved ones and survivors, to advise on regional matters that fall within the scope of the inquiry, according to the document.It also appears the inquiry will happen in various parts of Canada. It doesn’t state where, but the commissioners have the ability to rent spaces and get funding to provide remuneration and reimbursement to any one granted standing.Families have been waiting for the inquiry to be announced, but it appears the government of Manitoba, led by Premier Brian Pallister, may have delayed the process over the issue of getting someone from the province named as a commissioner.Got a call moments ago from high ranking fed official: all provinces/territories agree to MMIW terms of reference, including Manitoba.— Kenneth Jackson (@afixedaddress) July 20, 2016Indigenous Affairs Minister Carolyn Bennett said last week all the provinces and territories needed to sign off on the ToR before the inquiry could be announced.Bennett said they’re “very close” to announcing and APTN was told that could happen in early August.MKO Grand Chief Sheila North Wilson was among a number of First Nation leaders who met with province of Manitoba Tuesday asking them not to delay the inquiry. At that meeting APTN confirmed Manitoba provided a letter they sent Indigenous Affairs last week signing off on the ToR.“We shouldn’t hold up the process if we don’t have a Manitoban appointed as one of the five commissioners,” said North Wilson.North Wilson saw the ToR at Tuesday’s meeting and thought it lacked focus on police action or inaction. North Wilson says what she’s heard from almost every single family member she’s talked to is the issue of policing and the lack of respect families say they’ve received.“There’s nothing specific in the terms of reference that deal with the role of police agencies across this country on this issue,” said North Wilson.North Wilson said the ToR doesn’t go far enough “in scope to look at the effects indifferent or ineffective policing has had on the families of (MMIW).”But the ToR doesn’t specially mention any organization or group by name.It does say the inquiry can’t “jeopardize” any ongoing criminal investigation or proceeding, meaning police and court cases.However, she later added: “I’m glad Manitoba is signing on. We owe it to families and friends of MMIW who’ve been carrying much of this burden thus far, in fighting for answers, solutions and prevention.”The inquiry is also to take into account previous reports that apply to MMIW, including the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Report released in 2015, The Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples of 1996, the RCMP’s report into the number of MMIW over the last 30 years released in 2014 and the inquiry into how police agencies handled the the investigation of convicted serial killer Robert “Willie” Pickton.thouse@aptn.cadward@aptn.cakjackson@aptn.calast_img read more

Auditors 167 million misspent in Mexico airport project

MEXICO CITY — Mexican federal auditors say they have found $167 million in mismanagement and questionable expenses at a now-cancelled project to build a new Mexico City airport.President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador had been criticized for cancelling the $13 billion project, which was about half built. Lopez Obrador contends the project was unnecessary, mismanaged and environmentally questionable.The federal auditor’s office said in a report Wednesday that “there was no integrated plan for the project, which led to deficiencies and limitations.”The office said only about $1.4 million of the misspent money had been recovered.Corruption and mismanagement plagued many of the infrastructure projects started under Lopez Obrador’s predecessor, Enrique Pena Nieto.The Associated Press read more

Lululemon Athletica begins hunt for new CEO as Christine Day plans to

AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email Lululemon Athletica begins hunt for new CEO as Christine Day plans to exit Lululemon Athletica Inc. (TSX:LLL) is looking for a new chief executive after longtime CEO Christine Day announced Monday that she is leaving the high-end retailer of yoga pants and other active wear.Day, who offered little explanation for her departure, will remain as CEO while the board searches for a replacement to direct the next chapter in the company’s development, recently hindered by a highly publicized recall of see-through pants.“The plans have been laid for the next five years and a vision for the next 10,” Day said in a conference call with analysts after market close on Monday.“I feel that the timing is now right to bring in the next CEO candidate who will drive that 10-year vision. The board has formed a search committee and is executing its CEO succession plan.”The transition comes as the retailer, which reports in U.S. dollars, posted a first-quarter profit of $47.3 million or 32 cents per share.The results came in above analyst expectations of 29 cents per share, according to a poll of analysts by Thomson Reuters, but marked only a slight increase in profits from a year ago when it earned $47 million, also 32 cents per share.Revenue strengthened 21 per cent to US$345.8 million from US$285.7 million.Despite the improved results, Lululemon is still struggling to overcome the recall earlier this year that saw the company pull about 17 per cent of its black Luon yoga pants from store shelves for being too sheer.The move forced the company to cut its financial guidance for the year, though it was able to get the product back into stores within 90 days.Lululemon blamed the sheerness on a style change and production problems and hired a new team to oversee the making of the pants. Around the same time, chief product officer Sheree Waterson departed the company though specific reasons for Waterson’s departure were not disclosed.Still, a number of questions from analysts centred on the longer-term impact of the recall and lessons the company has learned from the fallout.Day offered an opinion that perhaps the company wasn’t involved enough in the manufacturing of the pants at factories overseas.“If there were 10 technical specs, we were probably controlling four,” she said.“So we had to become our own expert in-depth in all of the technical specs, not just relying on our factory partners for some of them.”She said the changes have improved its quality control tests and supply chain.“Taking risks means we’ll make a few mistakes along the way, but it’s part of our DNA,” she added.Day was less forthcoming about her reasons to leave Lululemon at this time.“This was a personal decision of mine,” she said. “And look, it’s never a perfect time to leave a company that you love. I’ve had a great run at Lululemon over the past five and a half years.”Day notified the board of her leaving on Friday and she said that a search committee was put in place over the weekend.Aside from its challenges, Lululemon has moved forward with expansion plans in London, Berlin, Singapore and an online store in New Zealand. This year, the company hopes to launch three showrooms in China.The company also boosted its full-year outlook, with expectations of earnings per share of $1.96 to $2.01, an increase from $1.95 to $1.99. Revenue is targeted to be in the range of $1.645 billion to $1.665 billion, an increase from $1.615 billion to $1.640 billion.Lululemon will delist from the Toronto Stock Exchange later this month due to “minimal trading volume of its shares.” Lululemon is also listed on the Nasdaq market.Lululemon aims to remove its shares from the TSX on June 24, saying that the low trading volume “no longer justifies the expenses and administrative efforts associated with maintaining” a dual listing on both the Canadian stock exchange as well as the Nasdaq.Shares of the company were down 13 per cent to $71.22 in after hours trading at 6 p.m. ET in New York. by David Friend, The Canadian Press Posted Jun 10, 2013 4:27 pm MDT read more

Former Minister calls for probe in CJIA expansion project

Former Public Works Minister under the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C), Robeson Benn, has supported calls for “a full-fledged public investigation” into the controversial Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA) expansion project, particular the fixed-price contract with China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC) which the coalition Government has “tremendously modified”.“I support calls for a full-fledged public investigation into how a fixed-price contract could be subject to changes in scope and intent,” Benn said in a statement on Tuesday in response to comments made by Public Infrastructure Minister David Patterson on Monday.Minister Patterson, in a statement posted to his social media account, threw the blame for the delays of the CJIA expansion project at the feet of the former Administration, despite taking control of the project almost four years ago.However, in a subsequent missive on Tuesday, Benn explained that Guyana entered into the design and build fixed-price contract with CHEC for the expansion of the CJIA to address issues such as congestion and ageing facilities. He noted that the payment was made on the usual 30 per cent mobilisation advance to the Chinese company, which was bonded.“Initial delays in project start-up occurred as CHEC sought to extract an increase in the project sum by US$30 million. Their effort was refused based on international contracting rules for fixed-price contracts and the considered view that they sought increase was not warranted, anyway,” he stated.According to the former Public Works Minister, by the time the coalition Government took over the project in 2015, the performance schedules of many national contracts were in difficulty because of budgetary cuts imposed by the then APNU and AFC parliamentary opposition.“It is now evident that the scope of this project seems to have been tremendously modified with the effect of impairing the project’s original intended validity and integrity… It is obvious that the Minister is making an attempt, utilising his Facebook page and friends, to assign blame elsewhere for failings on the project after being responsible for the project for almost four years,” Benn posited.He went on to clear the air on “assertions” made by Patterson, starting with the project supervision. The Minister had said that CHEC worked for over 18 months without any independent supervision. But according to Benn, before the supervising consultants – MMM Group Limited in association with Caribbean Engineering and Management Consultants (CEMCO) – came on stream in July 2014, the Ministry’s Works Services Group (WSG) undertook supervisory responsibility of the project from its commencement in January 2013.Furthermore, in addressing the allegations of allowing extra sand filling and determining the cost of the sand made by the Public Infrastructure Minister, Benn pointed out that the sand had to be provided free of royalties, which are costs that would have been charged back to the project, anyway. He added too that the sand provided was designed to allow for placement of an engineered fill, at levels of compaction and stability to provide for a safe, stable runway extension.In 2012, the then PPP/C Administration secured a US$138 million loan from the China Exim (Export-Import) Bank to fund the expansion and modernisation project, for which Guyana was slated to inject some US$12 million.However, even though Patterson said the airport specifications were downgraded to limit cost overruns, the coalition Government went to the National Assembly last year for $346.5 million in supplementary funds towards the purchase and installation of two additional air bridges. In 2019, taxpayers are expected to hand out even more funds as the project remains in an incomplete state.The extension of works into 2019 comes in disparity to an earlier commitment by Government where it committed that the works associated with the expansion would have been completed by the last quarter of 2018.Initially, the project was scheduled to be completed within 32 months of its commencement in 2013. Later on, officials were optimistic of the project being completed by 2017. But having missed that deadline, Minister Patterson had assured a December 2018 completion.During a press conference back in January following a media tour of the facility where works were still ongoing, the Public Infrastructure Minister gave a new deadline of March 31.But according to Benn, with this new deadline having also passed, “we are, apparently, now being asked to prepare ourselves, via Facebook, to accept less for more in the result along with experiencing excessive and prolong delays related to this project”. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedCJIA expansion:$346.5M being sought for 2 more air bridgesApril 28, 2018In “Business”4 years after inheriting project: Govt blames PPP for CJIA project delaysApril 23, 2019In “latest news”China Harbour faces US$7,000 per day fine for missing deadline for airport expansion projectJanuary 29, 2019In “latest news” read more

Several firms fail to comply with global transparency initiative

Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedUS gives support for Guyana to pursue transparency in extractive sectorOctober 7, 2016In “2017 Pre-Budget consultations underway”Guyana’s application for EITI candidature approvedOctober 25, 2017Similar postGuyana seeking membership in extractive industries global bodyJune 27, 2016In “Mining” Several firms operating in the country’s extractive sector have failed to comply with a global transparency initiative being undertaken by the Guyana Government.The initiative, the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), is a global standard to promote accountable management of oil, gas, and mineral resources.Guyana just completed and submitted its first EITI report. However, out of nine companies identified to partake, only seven complied.Addressing media operatives on Friday, Minister of Natural Resources Raphael Trotman stated that the EITI procedure is currently voluntary, which enables companies to determine whether or not their data should be released.“I believe that scoring seven out of nine on the first go is an excellent score to achieve. I believe that for reasons best known to the companies, they chose not to participate. We didn’t get a sense that it was a refusal, rather an opting out at this moment,” he explained.However, Trotman said legislation may be needed to ensure companies comply.It was reported just a few days ago on Wednesday that total revenues from the sector in the 2017 fiscal year amounted to $20.8 Billion.The Guyana Gold Board, to which gold declarations are made, accounted for 33 per cent of this revenue. This is followed by the Guyana Revenue Authority, 32 per cent and the Ministry of Finance, 18 per cent.Gold and other minerals contributed $17.4 Billion or 84 per cent of revenue from the extractive industries. On the other hand, oil and gas contributed $2.8 Billion or 14 per cent. Bauxite, one of Guyana’s oldest industries, contributed $479 Million or 2 per cent.The extractive industries’ contribution to exports has a dollar value of 193.2 Billion. Besides the sector’s contribution to exports, it contributed 9.3 per cent to total Government revenues and 4.2 per cent to Guyana’s total employment. Its contribution to Guyana’s overall Gross Domestic Product (GDP) was 20 per cent. read more

thyssenkrupp looks to go climate neutral by 2050

first_imgthyssenkrupp has set some ambitious greenhouse gas emission goals as it looks to fall in line with the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement.The group aims to cut 30% of its emissions from production and outsourced energy by 2030, and become “climate neutral” by 2050, it said.thyssenkrupp CEO, Guido Kerkhoff, said: “The threats posed by climate change affect us all. As an industrial company with operations around the globe, we are in a particularly good position to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through sustainable products and processes. We take this responsibility very seriously and have received several awards for this in recent years. Now, we are setting ourselves clear targets for 2030 and 2050 as the next logical step.”In February, thyssenkrupp was named as a global leader in climate protection for the third year in a row by the non-governmental organisation, CDP, which assesses whether companies have formulated a coherent strategy on how to further improve their own environmental performance as well as that of customers and suppliers. The company, once again, achieved the highest score possible and was placed on CDP’s global ‘A List’, it said.The targets now announced take in thyssenkrupp’s own production operations, the energy it purchases and its products. In steel production, for example, thyssenkrupp is currently pursuing two approaches to reducing CO2 emissions: The Carbon2Chem project, which is expected to be available on an industrial scale before 2030, and the so-called hydrogen route, which should take full effect by 2050 and make the biggest contribution to directly avoiding CO2. Carbon2Chem converts steel mill emission gases, including the CO2 they contain, into valuable chemicals.thyssenkrupp’s hydrogen route, meanwhile, involves replacing coal with ‘green’ hydrogen as the reducing agent for blast furnaces so that, in the long term, no CO2 is created in the production of steel. These technologies are being funded by the German federal government and the state of North Rhine-Westphalia.Under its Climate Action Program for Sustainable Solutions, thyssenkrupp will also systematically work to make its products carbon neutral. The group already offers a technology for the cement industry that permits CO2 emissions from the combustion processes to be captured for subsequent storage or processing. In the area of sustainable mobility, thyssenkrupp is working with European partners to produce fuel from biomass. These fuels reduce CO2 emissions by up to 90% compared with conventional fuels, according to thyssenkrupp.Other key areas include the e-mobility sector, where thyssenkrupp supplies battery production lines and special steels for electric motors. The group is also actively involved in the development of energy storage solutions, for example with electrolysis systems that convert electricity into hydrogen. These storage systems allow a constant supply of electricity from renewables regardless of the weather, thyssenkrupp says.Dr Donatus Kaufmann, thyssenkrupp Board member responsible for technology, innovation, sustainability, legal and compliance, said: “Our goals are ambitious but achievable. Our strategy for our steel operations alone will cut production-related emissions there by 80% by 2050. But if we are to achieve our climate targets, we need to make significantly more use of renewable energies. Also, there are no internationally harmonised financial incentives for investments in CO2 abatement technologies. These are basic requirements for making a real change.”last_img read more

Bis secures fouryear contract extension at Glencoreowned Murrin Murrin mine

first_imgBis says it has extended its haulage and site services contracts for Minara Resources at its Murrin Murrin nickel mine in Western Australia’s north-eastern Goldfields.The multi-year extension will see Bis extend its longstanding partnership with Minara, wholly-owned by Glencore, where it has been delivering a range of services at Murrin Murrin since the operation began in 1998.Bis’ services at Murrin Murrin include haulage and haul and road maintenance services, calcrete services, and bulk logistics services. The Murrin Murrin site also recently hosted Bis’ new innovative haul truck, Rexx, as part of its trials in working mines across Western Australia.Bis Chief Operating Officer, Michael Porter, said: “We are proud to have been part of the Minara operations for over 20 years, working in collaboration with Minara to deliver safe and innovative solutions that add value to their operation. We look forward to continuing our successful relationship with our colleagues at Murrin Murrin.”last_img read more

DARPA Subterranean Challenge sending robots to navigate map in mine tunnels

first_imgRobots from all over the world will compete to find objects in the DARPA Subterranean Challenge Systems Competition, being held August 15-22 in mining tunnels under Pittsburgh. Among them will be a team led by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, that features wheeled rovers, drones and climbing robots that can rise on pinball-flipper-shaped treads to scale obstacles.The DARPA competition is intended to develop technology for first responders and the military to map, navigate and search underground with obvious potential in the mining industry itself. But technology developed for the competition will also lay the foundation for future NASA missions to caves and lava tubes on other planets.“By investing in this competition, we are investing in our future,” said Leon Alkalai, manager of the JPL Office of Strategic Planning. “There’s no doubt that the next grand challenge for JPL and for NASA is to do more subsurface exploration.”JPL has partnered with Caltech, MIT and KAIST (formerly the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology) to form the Collaborative SubTerranean Autonomous Resilient Robots Systems team (CoSTAR). CoSTAR is one of 11 teams that will compete in formerly operational mines managed by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Mining Program.Because of the complexity of the terrain in the mining tunnels, the 60-member CoSTAR team has chosen to use several specialised robots instead of one. The fleet will work together to map the underground passages, navigate using artificial intelligence and locate objects like cellphones or heated mannequins hidden within the course.No humans are allowed in the tunnels; the team that uses its robots to autonomously map the most objects to within 5 m of their location will win the Tunnel Circuit, the first of four stages. This will be followed by the Urban Circuit in February 2020, the Cave Circuit in August 2020 and the Systems Final in August 2021. Teams competing in that final event have the opportunity to win up to $2 million in funding, according to DARPA.In the Tunnel Circuit, wheeled rovers and tanklike tracked robots will cover the ground, while flying drones will find out-of-reach objects. CoSTAR’s Drivocopter can do both, driving over difficult terrain and flying along cave walls and through ceiling openings. However, it won’t be used to identify and map items until the Urban Circuit.JPL teams have participated in previous DARPA competitions, most recently with Robosimian, a disaster-relief robot that is now being adapted to explore icy moons. The ape-like robot took fifth place in the 2015 DARPA challenge, which tested contestants on the ability to drive a vehicle, open a door and drill through drywall. But winning the DARPA challenge is not JPL’s main goal.“The big question for NASA is: Is there life beyond Earth? One of the main places to find answers to that question is subsurface environments because they are some of the most pristine locations, shielded from ultraviolet radiation and cosmic rays,” said Ali Agha, the Principal Investigator of CoSTAR’s team. “If there is life in the solar system, these are the most likely places to harbour it.”last_img read more

Overreaction of fans in Skopje Dujsheabev Its shameful come to see you

It was expected that Talant Dujshebaev and his playes will have a “warm welcome” in Skopje after everything what was linked with the first match of these two rivals full of tension in Poland a month ago. However, part of the RK Vardar Skopje fans overreacted by calling coach of Polish team “petuh” which means “g.y”  on Russian. Dujshebaev was nervous after the match but praised the performance of his team.Alex Dujshebaev made a lot for RK Vardar. To whistling to the player who won so much for this club and bring the biggest trophies to Macedonia, it is shameful. It was also transparent for me “Talant petuh” which means “gay”. I would like to say to the person who write and put that in the hall, that I would like to meet his personally to solve that like a man with man – said Dujshebaev. Talant Dujshebaev ← Previous Story RK Vardar take revenge on PGE Vive Kielce Next Story → Israeli league colored in “yellow” read more

Draw for Womens World Championship 2019 on Friday in Tokyo

← Previous Story New Barca’s star Luka Cindric: This is a “dream comes true” moment of my life Next Story → Tough draw for Kumamoto – France, Netherlands and Norway to clash before semi-final Women’s World Championship 2019 The draw for the Preliminary Groups of the 2019 IHF Women’s World Championship takes place on Friday 21 June (16:00 local time) at GINZA SIX in Chuo-ku, Tokyo.24 teams have qualified for the final tournament: France (FRA), Russia (RUS), Netherlands (NED), Romania (ROU), Norway (NOR), Sweden (SWE), Hungary (HUN), Denmark (DEN), Montenegro (MNE), Japan (JPN), Germany (GER), Serbia (SRB), Spain (ESP), Slovenia (SLO), Korea Republic (KOR), China (CHN), Brazil (BRA), Angola (ANG), Senegal (SEN), Argentina (ARG), Kazakhstan (KAZ), Cuba (CUB), DR Congo (COD) and Australia (AUS).Draw PotsPot 1: FRA, RUS, NED, ROUPot 2: NOR, SWE, HUN, DENPot 3: MNE, JPN, GER, SRBPot 4: ESP, SLO, KOR, CHNPot 5: BRA, ANG, SEN, ARGPot 6: KAZ, CUB, COD, AUSDraw Procedure Teams in pot 6 are drawn to groups A – D in row 6. Teams in pot 5 are drawn to groups A – D in row 5. Teams in pot 4 are drawn to groups A – D in row 4. Teams in pot 2 are drawn to groups A – D in row 2. Teams in pot 1 are drawn to groups A – D in row 1. As organisers, Japan have the prerogative to assign themselves to a Preliminary Group of their choice (maximum of five minutes to decide) Remaining teams in pot 3 are drawn to groups A – D in row 3. read more

Steffen Weinhold to stay in Kiel until 2022

← Previous Story 1st Women’s IHF Super Globe in China without European teams Next Story → “DANKE ALFRED”: Spectacular farewell game for Alfred Gislason in Kiel Steffen Weinhold will stay at THW Kiel until 2022. This is the result of the negotiations between the “Zebras” and experienced German national team right back.Weinhold, who had valid contract until the end of season 2019/2020, came to Kiel from the biggest opponent – SG Flensburg Handewitt in 2014.Steffen and THW Kiel are going together”, said Viktor Szilagyi, secretary general of the German TOP team.“With his experience and knowledge, Steffen is important part of mosaic which we want to make, commented contact extension with Weinhold, the new coach Filip Jicha. Steffen Weinhold read more

Britain has started airdropping food and water to besieged Yazidi

first_imgSource: centcom/YouTubeUS JETS ATTACKED jihadists who have besieged civilians on an Iraqi mountain for a week, as Britain and France this morning joined a desperate race to save them from starvation.Two days after Washington deployed its airforce over Iraq, a coordinated Western aid effort was shaping up to avert what US President Barack Obama warned could be an impending genocide.An attack by extremist Islamic State (IS) militants on the Sinjar region a week ago sent thousands — many of them from the Yazidi minority — scurrying into a nearby mountain.Most have since been stranded on Mount Sinjar in searing summer heat with little food and water. A Yazidi leader warned Saturday that they would not survive much longer.US forces “successfully (conducted) four airstrikes to defend Yazidi civilians being indiscriminately attacked” near Sinjar, the US military said late Saturday. Displaced Iraqis from the Yazidi community arrive to the camp of Bajid Kandala at Feeshkhabour town near the Syria-Iraq border. Source: AP Photo/Khalid MohammedObama has said he was confident the US airforce could prevent IS fighters “from going up the mountain and slaughtering the people who are there” but added the next step of creating a safe passage was “logistically complicated”.US and Iraqi cargo planes have been air dropping food and water over Mount Sinjar, a barren 60-kilometre (35 miles) ridge that local legend holds as the final resting place of Noah’s Ark.Britain joined the effort overnight Saturday with its first air drop over Sinjar of food and water.“The world has been shocked by the plight of the Yazidi community,” said International Development Minister Justine Greening. Last night the RAF (Royal Air Force) successfully dropped lifesaving UK aid supplies, including clean water and filtration devices, on the mountain.Two RAF C-130 transport planes were deployed to the Sinjar region on SaturdayFrench Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius also arrived in Iraq, where he is due to oversee the first delivery of French aid for displaced people in the Sinjar area.“The United States can’t just look away. That’s not who we are. We’re Americans. We act. We lead. And that’s what we’re going to do on that mountain,” Obama said Saturday. sident Barack Obama speaking on the South Lawn of the White House yesterday. Source: AP Photo/Pablo Martinez MonsivaisBut many civilians have been cowering in caves and are scattered across the range.Vian Dakhil, a Yazidi member of Iraq’s parliament, warned Saturday that anything short of a mass evacuation was unlikely to save all those who are stranded on the mountain.Several thousand of mainly Yazidi civilians have managed to flee the mountain but a majority, including the weakest among the displaced, remain trapped.An alliance of Kurdish fighters from Iraq, Syria and Turkey has escorted Yazidis and members of other minorities to safety but IS remains largely in control of the area.- © AFP, 2014Read: No end in sight: Obama warns that new US intervention in Iraq is a “long-term project” >More: Over 28,000 meals and 5,600 litres of water dropped over northern Iraq amid continued air strikes >last_img read more

Opinion Volunteering isnt hard you can just sit and have tea with

first_imgI HAVE A friend, we don’t go out for drinks, we don’t talk football, movies, girls or TV. He loves listening to music, but not what I would listen to – Daniel O’Donnell definitely is not my taste. He loves the bog, really loves the bog, and I could think of no worse place to spend my summer.You would think we have nothing at all in common, and yet our friendship means so much. When he laughs at something I’ve said or done that is a special moment, after a few hours with him I go home feeling fulfilled, a feeling I’ve done good. But he does more good for me than I do him.My friend is four years older than I am but is intellectually disabled. He can’t walk that well either, and any time we go out needs a wheelchair. Despite this he is such a happy wonderful person to be around. Intellectually disabled doesn’t mean simple, doesn’t mean he’s stupid. He knows he’s not like everyone else he knows he has to rely on others, and yet he’s such a happy person.We became friends We didn’t choose each other as friends. In fact from his point of view I was just landed on him and he was told I was going to be his friend. From my point of view, it took Garda clearance and a few one day courses, and I was then introduced to him.We became friends, because I wanted to do something that would change someone’s life for the better. I volunteered to become a one-on-one mentor. Yes, volunteered. I have to give my own time, unpaid. But that’s no big deal, we don’t get paid to spend time with friends anyway.Many people I talk to about it, say they wouldn’t have the patience, but why? You don’t have to go every day, you can do as much or as little as you want. Is it because they wouldn’t have patience to deal with someone not like them? You don’t need patience to have tea with someone, to talk, to listen, to have a laugh.We don’t go to the pub, we don’t talk football, cars or films. Our musical tastes vary wildly, and yet we have a very pure, amazing friendship. He asks nothing of me but time, I ask nothing of him, just the hope I make his day that little better.I probably get more out of our friendship than he doesHe shares a house with a woman with similar disability, and although I’m his buddy, she likes to have a new face come to the house. She doesn’t have a buddy who can bring her out, though, and it’s a pity because she too is a wonderful, kind, amazing person.The day I went for my induction there were two other volunteers starting, and this was considered to be a big intake. This was the first “group” in over six months.It’s probably not for everybody, lots of people think they wouldn’t have the patience – and at first I was unsure too – but volunteering to mentor someone, to be a friend, is so rewarding. Selfishly I probably get more out of our friendship than he does, but it’s hard not to.Mark Farrell lives in Kildare with his wife Carrie and their dogs.Read:  Could you be the first point of contact for a child who wants to talk?last_img read more

New Greek PM Kyriakos Mitsotakis is a scion of one of Greeces

first_imgGreek Prime Minister elect Kyriakos Mitsotakis is a 51-year-old reformist lawmaker who became head of the conservative New Democracy party in January 2016.At a time when socialist PASOK crumbled for its involvement in the second bailout, the party that first entered a bailout agreement to Greece managed to survive the crisis stronger than ever thanks to Mr Mitsotakis hard work in turning around the image of the party to a modern liberal entity that embraces the centre.Born into a life of politics, he is a scion of one of Greece’s most influential political families. He is the son of former prime minister Constantinos Mitsotakis who served from 1990-1993, and younger brother of former foreign minister Dora Bakoyannis who served from 2006-2009. While the Mitsotakis name can be a blessing, it also carries its own curse as his father is an apostate who defected from the centrist Georgios Papandreou administration in 1965, causing the government to topple and leading to political chaos.The new PM however, has managed to distance himself from the old conservative elite and forge his own way in the party amid incumbent Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras criticisms that his party represents the oligarchy. In a symbolic move that represents the realistic and moderate nature of Mr Mitsotakis, he moved the ND headquarters from upmarket Kolonaki to the working-class neighbourhood of Moschato, where the rent is a quarter the price.READ MORE: Kyriakos Mitsotakis gets strong four-year mandate as ‘a new day dawns’Before taking the ND leadershipHe studied at ivy league universities, earning a Bachelor’s degree in Social Studies and was the recipient of the Hoopes and Tocqueville prizes before getting a Master’s degree in International Relations from Stanford University and an MBA from Harvard Business School.He is an ex-banker with employment at business consulting firms. He worked as an economic analyst at Chase Manhattan Bank in London, McKinsey and Company in London, Alpha Ventures in Greece, was the Managing DIrector of the National Bank of Greece Venture Capital and worked in the International Council at the National Enterprise Council.Politically, he is a moderate liberal and a critic of trade union practices and state waste. From 2013-2015, he served as minister for administrative reform and e-governance under Greek PM Antonis Samaras and orchestrated the lay-off of thousands of public servants though he now promises to grow public sector jobs.Known for being a hard-nosed reformer, incumbent PM Alexis Tsipras warned that “Armageddon” would be unleashed on workers. He told CNN that when Mitsotakis says reforms, “it entails human blood… he has personally fired thousands.”READ MORE: Mitsotakis promises ND will not become family affairHe has described himself as “an ardent defender of a small and efficient state, education reform, the fight against red-tape and monopolistic practices that impede development and the fight against partisanship and cronyism in government”. In 2007, he was allegedly involved in the Siemens Greek bribery scandal though he has repeatedly denied involvement and no indication of guilt has been proven though the trial is still pending. He is married to Mareva Grabowski and they have three children together – Sophia, Constantine and Daphne. He speaks Greek, English, French and German. Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img read more

Get 70 Off This Purifying Portable Air Conditioner

first_imgStay on target This $500 SEO Tool Is Only $24 TodayThis Easy-to-Fly LED Drone Performs Acrobatic Moves Central air systems rarely produce a tolerable environment. That’s because people are individuals with unique tastes. For some, an air-conditioned space is still too hot. For others, it’s too cold. And that’s what makes the Evapolar 2 such a game changer, especially considering its low cost of ownership.The Evapolar 2 is a personal intelligent air conditioner. It sets up easily on your desktop, table, or bookshelf and creates a pocket of air that’s both livable and breathable. You can set the temperature to your personal preference, it acts as an air purifier and humidifier, and it integrates with smart home platforms like Amazon Alexa and Google Home so you can control it with your phone.You simply fill the 1.3L water tank, set the device to your desired temperature, and turn it on. From there, Evapolar 2 creates a microclimate that’s perfectly suited to your needs. Then, as it cools the air around you, it cleans it too by filtering out dust, pollen, and other allergens so you’ll breathe easier. And it’s portable too, so you can take it with you from home to your office and back again.Of course, there are other personal air conditioners on the market. They tend to be underpowered, inefficient, and produce results that leave you unsatisfied. The Evapolar 2, by contrast, is powerful enough to handle all your needs but is at least 10 times more efficient than other systems, so you’ll save money on your electrical bills.Evapolar 2 is a game changer. There’s so much demand for it, in fact, that it raised over one million dollars in a very short period of time on Indiegogo. It’s available in a choice of three different colors — White, Black, and Gray — so there’s likely one that’s suited to your decor, and it comes with everything you need to get started.There’s just no downside to purchasing. The Evapolar 2 creates a tolerable living environment that’s custom fit to your needs, it cleans the air so you’ll be healthier, and it costs way less to run than other devices. And it’s affordable to purchase too as you can pick one up for just $199 — a savings of 26 percent off retail — while supplies last at the Geek Shop.Like these deals? Check out Vault — you’ll get four premium tools, including NordVPN and Dashlane, to supercharge your online security. Enter code VAULTONE to try it out for just $1!last_img read more

Mary Peterson Should employers be doing more to support working parents

first_imgLast November’s news that Credit Suisse in the US is enabling working mothers to take babies on business trips by paying for their nannies is a significant raising of the bar in terms of support for parents in the workplace. Whether or not this catches on in the UK, it reignites the debate over whether employers are doing enough to support working parents.A significant proportion of our employees have caring responsibilities and, as such, we believe there is a strong case for helping them to more easily manage their work and personal commitments. In turn, this leads to greater engagement and retention, particularly of women.Legislation has done much; now men are in the equation with the option of taking shared parental leave (SPL). The future introduction of shared grandparental leave is a further interesting development.At Addleshaw Goddard, we provide a truly flexible SPL package in that leave (with enhanced pay equating to 20 weeks’  salary) may be taken at any point in the first year of the baby’s life. We have a lawyer taking leave at the moment and are publicising that to encourage more take-up.Around 70% of our employees report working flexibly in one way or another. It means something different to every individual and we support a wide range of arrangements from term-time working to reduced hours and longer holiday arrangements.We also have a range of initiatives focused on working parents, including regular new parent lunches, a maternity buddy scheme and webinars and seminars on issues relating to parenthood. We are also members of Parental Choice, an organisation that helps our employees access advice around childcare, as well as assistance in sourcing childcare.We are always interested in what more we can offer, in a bid to both attract and retain the best talent.Mary Peterson is head of talent and learning at Addleshaw Goddardlast_img read more

Changes Made To 2019 PFD Application

first_imgFor voluntary giving, Alaskans can opt to donate a portion of their PFD in increments of $100 to an education raffle. Facebook0TwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享Some Alaskans will notice some changes next year when they go to apply for their 2019 Permanent Fund Dividend. That money is split three ways, 50 percent to fund public education across the state, 25 percent to an education endowment fund and the remaining quarter goes toward the raffle, which offers four prizes to be paid out annually. Alaskans will now be given the choice for voluntary giving, in addition to Pick.Click.Give and save with the UA college savings program. Another change, first-time filers are now able to sign off on the application electronically. The Permanent Fund Dividend application season is January 1 through March 31 each year.last_img read more

Alexandria House Project Hits Permitting Snags

first_imgPlans to turn an old bar into a way to raise money for emergency housing in Unalaska are slowing down. That’s after the city discovered that the nonprofit Alexandria House had worked on the project all year without a building permit.Download AudioThe old Elbow Room has gotten a major makeover since Pastor John Honan started working on it earlier this year. He’s had volunteers install new floorboards, wall frames and windows, and there’s still more to do:“So I need my sliding glass door, I’ve got that ordered, that has to go in,” he says. “The siding has to be completed. The roof is mostly done.”The attached building at left was meant to be a bedroom for the upstairs apartment at the old Elbow Room — but city officials say that’s not what they agreed to. (Annie Ropeik/KUCB)When it’s all finished, he’ll rent it out as an apartment and commercial space. The revenue will help Alexandria House shelter sober, stranded people in hotels and spare rooms all over town.Unalaska’s planning board approved the project about a year ago. They gave Honan a conditional use permit, which he thought that was all he needed to start building.But he was supposed to apply for an actual building permit, too. City Engineer Robert Lund says it was part of the conditional use.“The point of that is to kind of get things to a point where the owner’s been formally notified and they can say, ‘Well no, I’m just doing siding or roofing, do I need a permit for that?’” he says. “But it gives us a chance to evaluate that.”But Lund doesn’t go out looking for projects that might not have the proper permits. The Elbow Room was on his radar, but he didn’t know until this summer that Honan had missed a step.“I got an email from someone that said, ‘I think they’re doing more than they said they were gonna do.’ Something along those lines,” he says. “So I call that a complaint.”He told Honan to stop work and apply for the building permit, which Honan did. But the plans he submitted weren’t what the city was expecting.The conditional use had limited the apartment to the second floor — a holdover from a previous owner that wasn’t revised. This year, though, Honan’s been building what he says is another bedroom in the back of the ground floor, beside the Arctic entry leading upstairs.He says he still sees the apartment as one single-family unit. But the city isn’t so sure — Lund says the plans don’t make it clear whether the downstairs chunk constitutes a separate dwelling.“If you were looking at that, and … the bottom floor is clearly an apartment, or really meant for living quarters — soup kitchen, that kind of thing,” he says, laughing, “then I don’t think that would kind of follow in the spirit of what the planning department thought they were giving a permit for.”Lund’s talking about what he calls the “controversial” aspect of this project. Five years ago, John Honan asked if he could build a homeless shelter in the Elbow Room. Neighbors — and the city — said no.This time, it’ll be up to whoever lives in the new apartment to decide whether to take in guests for Alexandria House. Barring a nuisance complaint, nothing in city code prohibits that.So neighbors are still concerned — and the city says Honan will have to go through another public permitting process if he wants to move ahead with the two-floor plan. Honan’s not sure it’s worth the risk.“If there was an article that came out that said Alexandria House is going for another conditional use….” He sighs. “I don’t know what would happen. I just — I’m thinking it could make more restrictions, maybe.”His other option is to scrap the downstairs bedroom, and get a building permit for the commercial space and apartment as originally planned. As of now, he hasn’t decided what to do — he’s busy buttoning up the Elbow Room for the winter. The city’s letting him do things like seal the roof and walls through the end of the year.“So the good news is I’ve got my hands full of work to do,” Honan says. Come January, though, that permission expires — and he’ll have to pick a plan in order to move forward.Click here to see Honan’s recent building permit application, the city’s stop-work order and the changes they’ve requested to the new plans.last_img read more

Volkswagen to layoff 30000 people in 5 years

first_imgVolkswagen, German automaker and its labour unions have agreed to layoff 30,000 people over the next five years at its VW brand. The aim of cutting the jobs is part of a plan to boost profitability and to provide funding for electric and self-driven cars post the disastrous carbon-emission scandal. Europe’s largest auto manufacturing company is trying to increase savings in its home-country, where costs are high. Volkswagen also has to shell out billions of euros in payments for the cleanup related to its carbon emission scandal, Reuters reported.The company is expected to make the announcement later during the day during a press conference, which would take place at the company’s headquarters in Wolfsburg. The unanimous decision of going ahead with job cuts follows eight months of intense negotiations and the works council and the trade union.Sources quoted by the news agency said the labour union leaders have agreed to the job cuts on a prior managment’s pledge to create new jobs and the VW’s investment in electronic cars (mainly at factories in Germany). The firm also plans to create additional 9,000 jobs by investing in electric car technology. According to a previous report in German newspaper Handelsblatt, about 30,000 jobs would be axed by 2020 in a bid to save about 4 billion euros. It also said that Volkswagen would cut 10,000 jobs outside Germany (focusing in North and South America).last_img read more