NEW YORK, N.Y. – Kate Spade, a fashion designer known for her sleek handbags, was found hanged in the bedroom of her Park Avenue apartment Tuesday in an apparent suicide, police said. She was 55.Spade’s body was found by a housekeeper not long after 10 a.m., police said at an afternoon news conference. Her husband and business partner Andy Spade was in the apartment at the time.The police department’s chief of detectives, Dermot Shea, said that while investigators were still in the early stages of their inquiry, evidence including the state of the apartment and the presence of a note pointed to “a tragic suicide.”It’s not clear how long Spade had been dead. The medical examiner will perform an autopsy.The couple’s 13-year-old daughter was at school. Shea wouldn’t discuss what was in the note, but law enforcement officials told The Associated Press that, among other things, it contained a message to the teenage girl telling her it was not her fault. The officials were not authorized to speak publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.“We are all devastated by today’s tragedy,” her family said in a statement through a spokesman. “We loved Kate dearly and will miss her terribly. We would ask that our privacy be respected as we grieve during this very difficult time.”A crime scene truck was parked outside their building on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, and barriers had been set up to keep back reporters and gawkers who were arriving to the building.The company she founded and later sold, Kate Spade New York, now has over 140 retail shops and outlet stores across the U.S. and more than 175 shops internationally.Julia Curry, a spokeswoman for the company, said that “Kate will be dearly missed” and “our thoughts are with Andy and the entire Spade family at this time.”Neva Hall, executive Vice-President at Neiman Marcus Stores, said the news was devastating.“Her creative light and bright mind will be greatly missed,” Hall wrote in a statement.Kate Spade was born Katherine Brosnahan and grew up in Kansas City, Missouri.She was working as an accessories editor at Mademoiselle magazine when she launched her company with husband Andy in their New York apartment in 1993. She started the company based on six shapes of bags that she thought every working woman needed. It created a smash.“I grew up in the Midwest, where you have to have it (a fashion item) because you like it, not because you’re supposed to have it,” she told the AP in 2004. “For our customers, fashion is in the right place in their life. It’s an adornment, not an obsession.”From the original boxy handbags, she expanded into shoes, luggage and other accessories, as well as a home line, stationery, and three books. Spade won multiple awards from the Council of Fashion Designers of America and was named a “giant of design” by House Beautiful magazine.“As an accessory, a great bag that takes the outfit somewhere else is interesting,” she told the AP in a 2000 interview.She walked away from the company in 2007, a year after it was acquired from the Neiman Marcus Group for $125 million by the company then known as Liz Claiborne Inc.Coach, now known as Tapestry, bought the Kate Spade brand last year for $2.4 billion, seeking to broaden its appeal.Meanwhile, Spade and her husband — brother of comedian David Spade — started a new handbag company a few years ago, Frances Valentine. And she changed her name to Katherine Noel Frances Valentine Brosnahan Spade.“I will never forget the first Kate Spade bag I got for Christmas in college,” Jenna Bush Hager tweeted. “She was a trailblazer. Her life and death are a reminder that pain doesn’t discriminate. Sending love to her family.”
In preliminary findings from the first study ever of economic losses in the continent’s dairy industry, FAO has found that the milk lost during production, transportation and marketing in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania totals about $59.7 million each year, with losses in Ethiopia and Syria likely to bring the amount up to $90 million.”That’s a lot of spilt milk, and it adds up to a significant sum of money,” says FAO’s Anthony Bennett, who is coordinating a new three-year project to eliminate losses and improve quality. “If you think about it in terms of what it costs to run a school milk programme in eastern Africa – well, with this money you could feed 6 million kids for a whole year.”After consulting local agricultural experts, milk producers and marketers in East Africa and the Middle East, FAO drew up a work plan that would include training agricultural extension workers, farmers, distributors and vendors on milk safety and preservation technologies and improving their access to technical information on how to retain output.Selected trainers have themselves been trained in a month-long FAO workshop in Debre Zeit, Ethiopia, which ended Friday. They are headed home to tailor instruction programmes for their own communities, with the help of FAO experts.
“The trust is not there,” the Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, Valerie Amos, said after touring several communities across Rakhine state on Myanmar’s west coast.“We need the political leaders in Myanmar to support the important humanitarian work being done by the United Nations and our partners,” she added, as she spoke of the need for local leaders to “speak out and explain that they have asked us to be here to help.”“Our job is to try to help everyone in need,” Ms. Amos stated, according to a press release from the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).Clashes between ethnic Rakhine Buddhists and Rohingya Muslims broke out in the north of the state in June, leading the Government to declare a state of emergency there. That bout of violence reportedly left at least a dozen civilians dead and hundreds of homes destroyed, while internally displacing some 75,000 people. Since then, at least 89 people were killed and 36,000 displaced in the wake of a renewed upsurge in violence, beginning in late September, which also left more than 5,300 houses and religious buildings destroyed, according to UN estimates.“Tensions between the communities are still running very high,” said Ms. Amos, who travelled with the Myanmar Minister of Border Affairs, Lieutenant General Thein Htay, to Myebon, Pauktaw and Maungdaw, and also to a series of camps outside Sittwe.“I was shocked to see so many soldiers everywhere keeping communities away from each other,” she added. Ms. Amos said people of both communities consistently gave her the same message: that they were living in fear and wanted to return to living a normal life.“There is an urgent need for reconciliation,” said Ms. Amos. Currently, some 115,000 people are living in camps or with host families across Rakhine state, according OCHA.While Ms. Amos highlighted that security threats to humanitarian workers posed a major challenge to providing assistance, OCHA added that coordination between the Government and UN agencies had improved in the camps outside Sittwe, where more than 70,000 people are living. “The level of assistance provided to people in the different camps varies significantly,” the Office said.Ms. Amos spoke of her concern over camp conditions, noting for example that the situation in Myebon is “dire.”“I saw thousands of people in overcrowded, sub-standard shelter with poor sanitation,” she said. “They don’t have jobs, children are not in school and they can’t leave the camp because their movement is restricted.”Ms. Amos said other challenges included a lack of partners on the ground, while inadequate funding was limiting the capacity to respond.Some $41 million of the $68 million needed to help the 115,000 displaced people during the next nine months remains outstanding, according to OCHA, citing revised figures from the Rakhine Response Plan put together by the humanitarian community in Myanmar.
Wrapping up an official visit to the country, Gulnara Shahinian, the UN Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of slavery, urged authorities to take more vigorous measures to fully implement the laws and policies.“The adoption of the road map for the implementation of my previous recommendations is a clear sign that Mauritania is on its way to eradicate slavery and its remnants once and for all,” said Ms. Shahinian at the end of her follow-up visit to the country to access new developments and initiatives taken in response to previous recommendations.“I am sure that the 6 of March 2014, when the Government will adopt formally the road map, this will mark a turning point in the fight against slavery in country,” she added ahead of presenting her findings and further recommendations to the UN Human Rights Council in September.The Special Rapporteur called the passing of the law criminalizing slavery in 2007 a “milestone” and a “major achievement” for the country’s efforts to eradicate slavery practices, and noted that under the constitutional reform introduced in 2012, persons convicted of slavery can be sentenced to up to ten years in prison.She also noted that a number of legislative efforts launched in 2011 towards securing the rights of housemaids and domestic workers are an important element in the fight against slavery, but highlighted that “concerted action is required to fully realize their human rights.” Ms. Shahinian stressed the need to ensure targeted and tailored solutions for former slaves in order to avoid that the eradication of the vestiges of slavery become incorporated in more general programmes on poverty alleviation. “A prerequisite for the efficiency of these programmes is reliable information which is currently lacking, and that is why an urgent need exists to provide detailed and precise data, statistics and a thorough study,” she noted.Special Rapporteurs serve in an independent and unpaid capacity and report to the Geneva-based UN Human Rights Council, by whom they are appointed.
OTTAWA — A second group has expressed its interest in developing Ottawa’s LeBreton Flats, and it says an NHL arena is part of its plan.DevCore Group, which submitted a bid to develop the area near Parliament Hill in 2016 but lost to a group co-headed by Senators owner Eugene Melnyk, said in a statement Monday that it remains ready to take over the project should the current agreement between the National Capital Commission and Melnyk’s group be terminated.“Our team has the expertise, experience and the financial resources that are necessary to deliver a world class project on behalf of the citizens of Ottawa and all Canadians, working together with the National Capital Commission and the City of Ottawa,” DevCore Group president said Jean-Pierre Poulin said in a statement.“With respect to hockey … we will still include a portion of land adjacent to the LRT station reserved for the exclusive construction of an NHL arena.“We do not believe Ottawa or Canada should be held hostage one day longer.”The current arrangement between the NCC and the RendezVous LeBreton Group, headed by a partnership between Melnyk and Ottawa developer John Ruddy, is in serious peril after Melnyk sued Ruddy for $700 million seeking damages as a result of a “failed joint venture.”Capital Sports Management Inc., a group controlled by Melnyk, says in a Nov. 23 statement of claim that the two companies were not able to finalize a master development agreement for LeBreton Flats and alleges “a number of breaches, all arising out of a conflict of interest, that directly resulted in the failure of the partnership.”The statement of claim was filed a day after the NCC, the Crown corporation responsible for the land at LeBreton Flats, said the RendezVous group advised on Nov. 8 that they had not been able to resolve internal partnership issues.The NCC in 2016 picked RendezVous over DevCore for a development deal for the land that included a new NHL arena for the Senators as well as housing developments.The Senators currently play at the Canadian Tire Centre in Kanata, around 25 kilometres southwest of Ottawa’s downtown.The Canadian Press
Mr Justice Jackson ruled that W should be allowed to travel to his homeland for a maximum of two weeks a year, unless otherwise agreed between the parents, who split up in acrimonious circumstances shortly after he was born.”I think the risk to (the boy’s) security is a background factor, but I find that it is hugely outweighed by the short, medium and long-term advantages to him of having his own experience of his paternal heritage and his knowledge of his large paternal family,” he said. Both W’s mother and father were born abroad, but underwent further education and training in England, where they have lived for several years and have built their professional careers.Mr Justice Jackson said that few other details could be released in order to protect the identity of the boy, who he described as “a very modern child with an unusually rich heritage” who had previously travelled to Paris and other destinations with his father.He said the man had asked for permission to take his son to his “home country” to visit relatives, but that the child’s mother – with whom W lives – was strongly opposed to the idea.She told the court she was profoundly worried that if her son got into difficulties “she would not be there to help him”.In his ruling the judge said he appreciated the mother’s concerns, stating: “Of course the risk that any person, child or adult, might be caught up in terrorism is almost a worldwide phenomenon these days,”The fact that very, very few people in fact suffer physical harm from terrorism does not diminish its power to upset and disturb. When one adds to that the fact that the paternal family are people of standing, the matter comes closer to home.” Mr Justice Jackson went on to say that the father was not taking his son on a tourist holiday, but intended to visit his family, who live in a “well-to-do” area where their home enjoys the benefits of round the clock security.He said: “It is not in an area that is regarded as being particularly under threat although there have been terrorist outrages there too. I am not in these cases especially influenced by the Foreign Office guidance which must apply to people regardless of their backgrounds.“To say to somebody that they should not take their children on holiday to a country that is experiencing unrest might be a very strong argument if they were going there purely for pleasure, but it has to be looked at in context if you are in fact addressing a family who originate there and who may have entirely different needs.“In this case what is significant, to my mind, is that the father himself and his two brothers and his sister, and all the six children of his siblings and his parents have lived in stable conditions. There is no report of any attempt, still less a successful one, to threaten their security and the cousins who W knows from their visits to London have grown up safe and well.” A father insisted on taking his five-year-old son to a conflict-riven country to visit relatives in defiance of the child’s mother, who was terrified he would be placed at serious riskThe man’s former partner feared the boy would be caught up in “civil disorder” if he travelled with his father to the family home in Asia.She pointed out that the country had recently suffered from terrorist outrages and was anxious about their son’s safety if he was taken there.One of her fears was that that her son could be caught up in an attempt to target her former partner’s parents, who are both “very senior civil servants”.But yesterday a High Court judge sided with the boy’s father, ruling that he should be allowed to take the child with him on the visit – despite the country “experiencing unrest”.Mr Justice Peter Jackson ruled that any risk was outweighed by the benefits which the boy, referred to as W, would gain from spending time with family members.His decision came after the boy’s father, described as Asian, went to the Family Division of the High Court to obtain permission to travel abroad with his son against the wishes of his former partner, originally from Europe. 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.
You know what that smartphone with a barely pocket-able 5-inch screen needs? An NFC-capable remote control that allows you to hold a slimmer piece of plastic to your head as you make phone calls and control media playback. Sure, you could just buy a smaller phone, but in case you hadn’t thought of that HTC has announced the Mini.The HTC Butterfly and Droid DNA are both huge, beautiful phones with amazing 1080p screens and specs that are clearly there to allow you to do more than check Facebook and play Temple Run. These are pieces of hardware that, at their core, are capable of being powerful media servers that can encode 1080p video on the fly and stream it wirelessly to your television through HTC’s media link adaptor. In HTC’s vision of the world, your Butterfly sits on the charger when you are at home and acts as the brain for your television. Unfortunately, while it is busy feeding your television content, it’s not doing a very good job being a smartphone.The HTC Mini serves as the rest of your smartphone. Tap the Mini to the back of your phone, and the NFC assisted Bluetooth pairing will allow the Butterfly to send notifications and phone calls to the remote control-shaped accessory. Everything on the Mini is displayed through a small monochrome display that doesn’t appear to have a backlight. From the Mini you can place phone calls, check your email, and control the content playing from the Butterfly to the television. If you’ve misplaced your Mini, but are still within Bluetooth range, you can use the remote to set off an alarm on the phone to locate it. You can even use the Mini to take photos from the camera app on the Butterfly, though we’re not entirely sure why that’s a feature.While certainly a quirky little accessory, it’s an interesting approach to a problem that only exists because phones like the Butterfly and DNA exist. Right now HTC plans to only release the Mini for the Butterfly in China, though pricing still remains a mystery, and there are no active plans to release a similar piece of hardware for the Droid DNA in the US.
Protecting against piracy is something console manufacturers take very seriously due to the potential loss in revenue they believe comes with it. That’s part of the reason why consoles like the PS3 and Xbox 360 have regular system updates applied. If an issue or exploit is found, Sony/Microsoft can automatically patch it either over the Internet or off a disc before a new game is allowed to be played.For the PS4, Sony may be introducing a new test in order to determine whether you are attempting to play a pirate copy of a game. A validation check has been detailed in a new patent, entitled “Benchmark Measurement for Legitimate Duplication Validation,” that Sony filed for back in 2011 and which got published a few days ago that measures the load times of a game. If those times don’t fall within a specified range, the game is classed as suspicious and further validation checks are carried out to ensure piracy isn’t occurring.Such a validation system would require time ranges be specified on a per media and per game basis. So a game distributed on Blu-ray may have an average load time of 50 seconds, with the validation passing if the game loads in between 45 and 55 seconds. A different time would be required for the same game distributed over the PlayStation Network as it would typically load faster.The test performed doesn’t have to be time based, though. Sony could also monitor the data rate of the media transferring to the system. If it didn’t fall within a specified range then the game would be detected as loading from some other media, and therefore is more likely to be an illegal copy.It’s not known whether Sony intends to employ this system in the PS4, but it does offer a silent form of checking the games being loaded on the console are in fact legitimate. In fact, Sony wouldn’t need to use such a system until an exploit allowing copied games to run was found. So it could lay dormant as part of the firmware until it was required. Gamers wouldn’t even know it was there.My biggest issue/concern with such a system is how reliable it can be. Would a console that has a disc player that takes a little while to get spinning due to its age and wear start classing legitimate discs as illegal? A lot depends on how consistent the hardware being used is regardless of the where and when it was manufactured. Sony would also have to take into consideration the different iterations of the hardware it releases, and have some way of updating the load time averages for every single game release. It actually sounds like a big headache Sony would not want to manage.
MP3 DJ Doorbell, ou comment changer à loisir le bruit de sa sonnette !Lassés de la sonnette de votre porte d’entrée qui fait chaque jour le même “ding-dong” ? La firme Swann vient de dévoiler un système qui fera sans aucun doute des heureux. Baptisé MP3 DJ Doorbell, il s’agit, comme son nom l’indique, d’une sonnette numérique dont on peut changer le son à loisir.Grâce à la sonnette MP3 DJ, développée par la société américaine Swann, le carillon de votre porte d’entrée ne fera plus jamais le même bruit ! Pour 50 dollars, soit 38 euros, les blasés de l’éternel “ding-dong” pourront choisir n’importe quelle musique comme nouvelle sonnerie, et la modifier au gré de leurs envies et de leurs visiteurs.À lire aussiMaladie de Charcot : symptômes, causes, traitement, où en est on ?Le produit est livré avec la sonnette elle-même et un haut-parleur sans fil qui fonctionnent tous les deux avec des piles AAA. Lorsque l’on appuie sur la sonnette, elle envoie un signal au haut-parleur équipé d’une carte SD sur laquelle l’utilisateur pourra stocker toutes les musiques de son choix.La sonnette MP3 DJ peut accepter des cartes SD allant jusqu’à 32 Go de capacité de stockage, soit quelque 10.000 titres qui raviront sans aucun doute les mélomanes !Le gadget est d’ores et déjà disponible à la vente. Il est proposé à la commande sur les sites de Radio Shack, Amazon, Barnes & Noble et Sears.Le 24 mars 2012 à 11:15 • Emmanuel Perrin
KUSI Newsroom MCAS Miramar breaks ground on two military construction projects KUSI Newsroom, March 16, 2018 00:00 00:00 spaceplay / pause qunload | stop ffullscreenshift + ←→slower / faster ↑↓volume mmute ←→seek . seek to previous 12… 6 seek to 10%, 20% … 60% XColor SettingsAaAaAaAaTextBackgroundOpacity SettingsTextOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundSemi-TransparentOpaqueTransparentFont SettingsSize||TypeSerif MonospaceSerifSans Serif MonospaceSans SerifCasualCursiveSmallCapsResetSave SettingsMCAS MIRAMAR (KUSI) — MCAS Miramar broke ground Friday on the F-35 hangar and apron expansion project.The groundbreaking begins the construction of the first two of nine military construction projects to support the arrival of the F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter to MCAS Miramar in 2020.This project will enable 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing to execute their mission with a highly advanced aircraft, which will replace the F/A-18 Hornet at MCAS Miramar. The Marine Corps will eventually transition its entire tactical air fleet to F-35, to include three legacy platforms: the AV-8B Harrier, the F/A-18 Hornet, and the EA-6B Prowler.The F-35 represents a quantum leap in air dominance capability. It combines next-generation fighter characteristics of radar-evading stealth, supersonic speed, fighter agility and advanced logistical support with the most powerful and comprehensive integrated sensor package of any fighter aircraft in history to provide unprecedented lethality and survivability. Posted: March 16, 2018 Categories: Local San Diego News FacebookTwitter Updated: 10:22 PM
The last U.S. patent covering the original Roundup Ready soybean trait expires in 2015. As U.S. farmers begin thinking about purchasing their soybean seed for 2014 planting, they have a new resource to answer their questions about the expiration of Monsanto’s original Roundup Ready soybean trait – Soybeans.com. Farmers can also listen to an ASA Educational Podcast on the announcement here.“Even though the original Roundup Ready soybean trait is covered by a patent in the United States until the start of the 2015 planting season, we’re already getting questions from farmers about what they can and cannot do with Roundup Ready soybeans. Soybeans.com can help answer questions growers may have about patents as they pertain to planting and saving original Roundup Ready varieties, as well as the benefits of new seed. It’s a great resource for farmers as they plan for next year,” said Monsanto’s U.S. Oilseeds Product Management Lead Norm Sissons.The site outlines Monsanto’s commitments regarding the original Roundup Ready trait patent expiration, explains the different patents and breeders’ rights typically covering soybean seed, and includes frequently asked questions and a decision tree on saving seed.“We hope by having a web site like soybeans.com available, we’re able to provide a useful service to farmers and answer their questions,” said Sissons. “Soybeans.com helps give farmers a good understanding of seed patents, so they are aware of how they can legally use the seed they purchase and so they understand which seeds varieties are still protected by patents and may not be savable, including Monsanto’s second generation higher yielding soybean trait, Genuity Roundup Ready 2 Yield.”“Because patent law and seed technology is complicated, figuring out which seeds can be legally saved and planted is complicated too. Soybeans.com is a good first stop for farmers who are interested in potentially saving and planting soybeans with the original Roundup Ready trait,” Sissons added. “We recommend they review soybeans.com and then visit with their local seed dealer to get more information before purchasing their seed.”
What’s open and what’s closed for Presidents Day:• MAIL: No home delivery except for Express Mail. Post offices closed. The postal unit inside the Shell gas station at Fisher’s Landing, 16320 S.E. Cascade Park Drive, is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.• GARBAGE: Trash and recycling collection follows the regular schedule today in Vancouver and most of Clark County. In Camas, today’s trash and recyclables will be picked up with Tuesday’s collections. • PUBLIC SCHOOLS: No classes.• COLLEGES: No classes at Clark College and Washington State University Vancouver.• GOVERNMENT: City, county, state and federal offices closed. Washington Legislature in session. Most state agencies will also be closed on Tuesday for a furlough day.• PUBLIC LIBRARIES: Closed.• BUSES: C-Tran and TriMet follow regular schedules. C-Tran offices closed; call center open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.• PARKING: Meters in downtown Vancouver free.• DRIVER LICENSING: Offices closed. Licensing offices will not be closed for the state furlough on Tuesday.• VEHICLE LICENSING: Offices closed. Offices in Clark County will not be closed for the state furlough on Tuesday.• EMISSIONS TESTING: Stations closed. Stations will not be closed for the state furlough on Tuesday.• LIQUOR STORES: Most state-run stores open today.• BANKS: Closed.• FINANCIAL MARKETS: New York Stock Exchange, Nasdaq and other markets closed.• ANIMAL SHELTER: Humane Society for Southwest Washington open.• FORT VANCOUVER NATIONAL HISTORIC SITE: Visitor center and fort open.• FIRSTENBURG COMMUNITY CENTER: Open 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.• OREGON ZOO: Open.• WESTFIELD VANCOUVER MALL: Open 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.• THE COLUMBIAN: Columbian offices open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Circulation line, 360-694-2312, answered from 4:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.
HIALEAH, FLA. (WSVN) – Police are seeking the public’s help to locate two men in connection to two business burglaries in Hialeah.Surveillance video captured the subject sneaking into and casing the office of a workshop near West 80th Street and 25th Court, Wednesday. They quickly noticed the camera recording, turned it around and took off.Neighboring business owner Bill Snyder said he was targeted around the same time. He said someone stole his phone and an envelope with money from his desk drawer.“It’s very scary to think that they’ve invaded your privacy just like that. It’s terrible,” he said. “I know what they look like now, so if I see them, it won’t take me but a second to dial 911.”If you have any information on either of these burglaries, call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS. Remember, you can always remain anonymous, and you may be eligible for a $1,000 reward.Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Dan Cohen AUTHOR An $8 million grant from DOD’s Office of Economic Adjustment (OEA) awarded last week to the University of Michigan’s Institute for Research on Labor, Employment and the Economy will be used to help dozens of communities and companies across Michigan, Ohio and Indiana address the loss of jobs in the defense industry stemming from cutbacks in DOD spending.“When communities are faced with the type of sudden and severe economic dislocation that can result from a defense plant closure or a mass layoff, it is necessary, but often difficult to create an effective community response,” Lawrence Molnar, an associate director at the institute and the project’s principal investigator, said in a news release. “Our community-based scope of work combines assistance from both the public and private sectors in communities and regions experiencing or anticipating adverse impacts of defense downsizing.”The university — in partnership with Purdue University and Ohio State University — already has designed and begun to implement strategic programs tailored to more than 40 companies and seven communities through the school’s Defense Manufacturing Assistance Program. The new funding will allow that effort to increase collaborations with regional defense industry research institutions.The $8 million grant, awarded through OEA’s defense industry adjustment program, will support a two-year project that will target 72 communities and companies across the three states. The goal is to generate diversification plans for those communities and companies so they are more resilient and can attract new business, while retaining and growing existing enterprises.The Defense Manufacturing Assistance Program assesses many factors for each participating company and community, including their financial health and market placement. The program then works with each participant to implement diversification plans, which are jointly funded by all parties.The University of Michigan currently is working with Battle Creek and Sterling Heights and is in the process of evaluating a number of other municipalities — Ypsilanti Township, Saginaw, Lansing, Cadillac and Grand Haven — to determine the impact from defense jobs losses and community interest, reported the Detroit Free Press.Michigan, Ohio and Indiana have lost more than 6,800 defense supply-chain positions in recent years as DOD has drawn down from wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and stringent budget caps have been imposed across the federal government.
Icicle Seafoods has a new owner. Canadian-based Cooke Seafood announced it had signed a definitive agreement to buy Icicle’s whole operation.Download Audio(Graphic credited to Icicle Seafoods)Icicle Seafoods started small in Petersburg and grew into one of the largest seafood companies in North America. In 2007, private equity firm Paine and Partners acquired Icicle, and began looking to sell it whole or in pieces a little over a year ago. Outlets like Undercurrent News and Intrafish aggressively covered the pending sale, tracking as other US companies like Trident, Copper River, and Silver Bay, several foreign seafood giants, and even Alaska’s CDQ’s expressed interest. Last June, Icicle inked a deal with wealthy Indonesian investors, but that fell through by September.Enter Cooke Aquaculture, which hails from the small coastal town of Blacks Harbor in New Brunswick, on Canada’s east coast.“Cooke is owned by Glen Cooke, he’s the CEO, and his father and his brother started the company 30 years ago, primarily farming salmon. But in recent years they have broadened out to a broader seafood agenda,” said Cooke’s Communications VP Nell Halse.That includes Cooke’s purchase last year of the Wanchese Fish Company in North Carolina.Icicle has three main components: a major farmed salmon operation in Washington State, its wild salmon arm in Alaska, and everything else it buys or has quota for in Alaska, like pollock, crab, halibut, black cod, and even Togiak herring. Halse admits the wild stocks with their volatile markets weren’t the immediate draw for Cooke.“To be honest, the first interest point would have been the farmed salmon operations in the state of Washington. That’s what drew them to the opportunity. But the more that they ventured into understanding the full scope of the company, and its three different business units, I think there was a real excitement and interest in acquiring the whole operation.”The purchase price between the private parties was not disclosed. Recognizing there’s much to learn yet about its new acquisition, Halse says Icicle will stay a standalone company with few initial changes:“We’re maintaining the management team, the CEO will continue to head up the company, so we’re very fortunate we’ll be able to learn from an experienced team of people,” said Halse.Cooke Seafoods likes the potential it sees adding Icicle’s farmed and wild products into what it feels is its own already a strong customer base with good marketing and good distribution. Halse says the family-run company also keeps more in mind than just the bottom line:“Even though we’re talking about the very important fishery in Alaska, it’s also about coastal and rural communities and providing economic opportunity and jobs for people there.”She says CEO Glen Cooke already toured all of Icicle’s facilities in Washington and Alaska, and adds that Cooke Seafoods aims to be in this for the long haul.
Share Graphic by Todd Wiseman Texas — the state that has executed the most people by far since the death penalty was reinstated in the United States 40 years ago — had the nation’s second-busiest death chamber this year for the first time since 2001. Georgia’s nine executions in 2016 surpassed the Lone Star State’s record-low number of seven.The shift came in a year that saw several high-profile U.S. Supreme Court cases regarding the death penalty, fights over lethal injection drugs and a 25-year low in nationwide executions. Texas has seen decreasing numbers of new death sentences and executions in recent years.“The death penalty landscape in Texas continues to change dramatically,” said Kristin Houlé, executive director of the Texas Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty, in the advocacy group’s release of its annual report Thursday. “Prosecutors, juries, judges, and the public are subjecting our state’s death penalty practices to unprecedented scrutiny and, in many cases, accepting alternatives to the ultimate punishment.”Only three death sentences were handed down by Texas juries in 2016 — all to black men, according to the anti-death penalty group’s report. Another sentence was officially handed down this January after a competency review, but the group marked it as a 2015 sentence since the jury sentenced the man last year. At its peak in 1999, the state had 48 new death sentences. The number dropped significantly after 2005, when life without parole became the alternative for jurors in death penalty trials, but the past two years dipped even more.“Could it simply mean there are a lot less murders in Texas these last 15 years, so naturally the number of death-eligible defendants is way down as well?” said Robert Kepple, executive director of the Texas District and County Attorneys Association, in an earlier email. “That, coupled with life without parole option, means less death penalties.”Only one trial in Texas this year where prosecutors sought the death penalty resulted in the alternative sentence of life without parole, according to the annual report. Data from the Texas Department of Criminal Justice shows more than 40 others this year were convicted of capital murder and given the lesser sentence.And while fewer new inmates shuffle into cells on death row, fewer are being shuffled out to be executed as well.Since the U.S. Supreme Court reinstated the death penalty in 1976, Texas has executed 538 men and women, according to the Death Penalty Information Center. That’s nearly five times as many as Oklahoma, which has the second most at 112. Georgia, this year’s leader in executions, has 69. This year, Texas’ seven executions hit the lowest mark since 1996, when executions halted amid legal challenges to a new state law intended to hasten the death penalty appeals process.The number would have been higher, but 12 people got relief when courts either delayed, halted or rescheduled their executions, the report said. Seven stays of execution were handed down by the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, and one was given by a federal appellate court.The U.S. Supreme Court took up a couple of Texas death penalty cases as well this year. Duane Buck and Bobby Moore brought their cases to the high court in search of getting new sentences. Buck’s case focused on racist testimony in his trial, while Moore’s touched on intellectual disability.Though the death penalty may appear to be slowing, it is not gone. Nine executions have been scheduled in Texas for next year, according to the corrections department.Read related Tribune coverage:The U.S. Supreme Court appeared fairly split along party lines in Texas’ latest death penalty case, which focuses on how to define intellectual disability among death row inmates.A psychologist testified at Duane Buck’s trial that blacks are more dangerous than whites. Buck wants a new sentencing trial.This article originally appeared in The Texas Tribune at https://www.texastribune.org/2016/12/15/unusual-year-death-penalty-texas-didnt-have-most-e/.
Laura Skelding for The Texas TribuneFormer Texas Comptroller Susan Combs on November 16, 2016. Combs has started a project to help women called HERdacity and written a book, Texas Tenacity: A Call for Women to Direct Their Destiny. The project is an online community aimed at empowering women and the book will be released in early 2017.President Donald Trump announced Monday he will nominate former Texas Comptroller Susan Combs to serve in the U.S. Department of the Interior. Trump is tapping Combs to be an assistant secretary of the Interior for policy, management and budget, according to the White House. The department is responsible for the management of federal land.Combs, who has also served as agriculture commissioner and a state representative, was once considered a candidate to be Trump’s agriculture secretary. She met with his transition team multiple times, but the job ultimately went to former Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue. Combs was not a vocal Trump supporter during the campaign. She supported two of his primary rivals: former Hewlett Packard CEO Carly Fiorina and U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida.Combs’ nomination was applauded by U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, who said Texans “have long benefited from the leadership and tireless work ethic of Susan Combs.”“Always a fierce advocate for rural Texans, Susan will be a tremendous asset to the Department, and I look forward to supporting her nomination,” Cornyn said in a statement. Share
Guest co-host Sonny Messiah-Jiles (CEO and Publisher of the Defender Media Group) joins host Gary Polland for a discussion about changes in the makeup of the Texas Legislature following the midterm elections, gaining insight into the most pressing issues facing Harris County and Texas residents. Topics include education funding, health care, and more. With guests Paul Bettencourt, Texas State Senate, District 7; and Gene Wu, Texas House of Representatives, District 137. Original air date: November 16, 2018.Watch more episodes of Red, White and Blue Share
Meanwhile, Costa Rican model and activist Leonora Jiménez queried Dobles on the makeup of the Incopesca board of directors. Five board members are representatives of the commercial fishing industry, a fact conservationists have long gnashed their teeth over.Dobles did his best to bat away the criticisms, pointing out that the Incopesca board is composed according to the law that created the organization. He also pointed out that the institute operates on one of the smallest governmental budgets in the country, and that with only 18 inspectors to man the public dock in Puntarenas on the Pacific coast, the organization has a massive job on its hands.Environmentalists seemed unimpressed with Dobles’ responses, but several fisherman stood to voice their support for Incopesca and to accuse Arauz of lying.But when the tide went out and the heated exchanges died down as attendees made their way towards tables lined with coffee and hors d’oeuvres, it was hard to tell who had been the sharks and who had been the bait.“Pretoma and [conservation group] MarViva want to shut down and stop everything,” said a man who identified himself as shrimp trawler, but did not want to share his name. “Help us improve, help us make our fishing better, but don’t shut us down.” Facebook Comments Gabe Dinsmoor “After an analysis of almost seven or eight months, … [the SAA] believes the response of Costa Rica … is totally consistent to answer each and every argument presented by Pretoma, and as a result, officially notified the government of Costa Rica that it has suspended the evaluation process and ordered that it be archived,” Dobles said.The Incopesca official added that the dismissal of the complaint means Costa Rica avoids potential fines of up to $15 million.Two weeks ago, the United States announced the end of a three-year embargo on Costa Rican shrimp exports. The ban was levied against the country in 2009 for lack of enforcement of the use of TEDs on shrimp trawlers. U.S. inspectors visiting Costa Rica in October and November of last year concluded the country had improved means to sanction captains that did not use the devices, which help protect endangered sea turtles from drowning in fishing nets.Dobles and his Incopesca entourage then headed across town to the Legislative Assembly where the environmental sharks were circling.The Front for Our Seas is a collective of nongovernmental conservation organizations, including Pretoma, organized to “improve marine administration via a series of legal, scientific and political approaches.”The front held their own public discussion in the assembly’s Ex-Presidents Salon, and Dobles ended up seated next to Pretoma President Randall Arauz, who filed the now-dismissed complaint before CAFTA.For the next two and half hours, speakers from different environmental groups took swipes at Incopesca, accusing the institution in no uncertain terms of abetting shark finning, a destructive practice that is decimating shark populations globally. Groups also accused Incopesca of setting fisheries policy with little or no scientific studies or annual fisheries data to guide policy-making, of allowing foreign fleets to over-exploit tuna fisheries in Costa Rican waters, and of catering to the semi-industrial and industrial national fleets at the expense of small-scale fishermen in the development of management policy.Last week, the Front for Our Seas filed a lawsuit before the Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court (Sala IV) asking for a ban on shrimp trawling, which is recognized to be an environmentally destructive form of fishing resulting in sea-floor damage, siltification of ocean waters and huge amounts of non-shrimp bycatch. The Sala IV agreed to hear the suit.The attacks on the institute were like chum in the water, eliciting grumbles from fishermen attending the forum in support of Incopesca, and stirring environmentalists into a feeding frenzy of grievance-airing.Some fishermen held signs questioning Pretoma or showing support of the institute, and they cheered Dobles when he finished speaking. Metaphorical seas turned red in San José on Thursday as government officials and conservation organizations got together to celebrate World Oceans Day.The Costa Rican Fisheries Institute (Incopesca) started the day off with what appeared to be a preemptive press conference announcing the rejection of a complaint filed by the Marine Turtle Restoration Program (Pretoma) before the Secretary of Environmental Affairs (SAA) for the U.S.-Central America Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA).That complaint alleged Incopesca had not complied with regulations in CAFTA requiring shrimp trawlers to use Turtle Excluder Devices (TEDs) on their nets.Luis Dobles, Incopesca board president, called the allegations “false” and “reckless.” Luis Dobles, President of Incopesca, fields criticism from environmentalists at a forum hosted by the Our Oceans Front at the Legislative Assembly in San José on World Oceans Day. Environmental organizations accuse Incopesca of mismanaging marine resources in Costa Rica. Randall Arauz, president of Pretoma, talks to reporters at a forum on marine resource management at the Legislative Assembly Thursday June 07, 2012. Gabe Dinsmoor No related posts.