Category: etyvk

Federal environment minister says Saskatchewan will have a carbon tax

first_img“I remain hopeful that you will change course ahead of the Sept. 1 deadline for all provinces and territories to submit their carbon-pricing plans.”Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe said as recently as Friday that the province has not changed its mind about being the lone holdout on Ottawa’s Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change.After a meeting with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Moe said the province has a plan of its own and only signs agreements it can honour.McKenna said Saskatchewan will be subject to a carbon tax, whether it signs on or not.“To be clear, we cannot accept your request not to price carbon in Saskatchewan,” she said. “In the event that your government does not adopt a price on pollution that meets our standard, we would have no choice but to ensure that a price on pollution applies in Saskatchewan, just as we would anywhere else in the country.”The federal government would apply its carbon pricing in Saskatchewan and would ensure any revenues raised stayed in the province, she said.Saskatchewan has already missed one deadline to sign on to the federal plan, which McKenna has said means the province won’t get $62 million in funding for emissions-reduction programs. Both Moe and Duncan have said they will still apply for the money from the low-carbon fund.In her letter, McKenna said Saskatchewan’s share will be open to provinces, territories, municipalities, businesses, non-governmental organizations and Indigenous communities across Canada including in Saskatchewan.“Funding will be awarded to projects selected under a competitive process,” she said. “I look forward to seeing excellent proposals come forward from your province.”(THE CANADIAN PRESS) REGINA, S.K. – Canada’s environment minister says Saskatchewan will be subject to a federal carbon tax if it doesn’t sign on to a national climate change plan by the fall.Catherine McKenna says in a letter to her Saskatchewan counterpart, Dustin Duncan, that Saskatchewan is best positioned to design a carbon-pricing approach that works for the province.“The other nine provinces have taken us up on that approach,” she wrote. “It’s unfortunate that your government has not yet chosen to do the same.”last_img read more

Morocco to Take Part in 2016 Arabian Travel Market in Dubai

Rabat – Morocco will take part in the 2016 Arabian Travel Market (ATM), to be held on April 25-28 in Dubai, the ministry of Tourism said.The event will be an opportunity for Morocco to promote its tourist offers and consolidate its market share in the Gulf and the Middle East region, the ministry added in a statement.According to the World Tourism Organization, international tourist arrivals in the Middle East are estimated to have grown by 3 million in 2014, increasing the total to 51 million. Over 26,000 visitors expected to attend Middle East’s largest travel trade event with 2,800 confirmed exhibitors, 64 national pavilions and over 50 seminar and technology theater sessions.With MAP

Moroccan Police Arrest Security Guard for Raping, Robbing Woman with Baby

Rabat  – The National Brigade of Judicial Police (BNPJ) in Mehdya near Kenitra arrested on Thursday a night guard who, armed with a sharp weapon, robbed a woman and raped her in front of her baby.The 54-year-old man raped and abused the woman in a construction site he was guarding in Mehdya. On Thursday night, police received a call from an anonymous person who reported the rape. The guard, the primary suspect was arrested on the same night, reported the General Directorate of National Security (DGSN) on Friday. Police immediately transferred the woman and her baby to a local hospital for emergency care. The baby was apparently not subjected to any form of violence, said DGSN.Police also seized the victims’ bracelet which the man had stolen during the robbery.The suspect is currently in custody pending investigations.Recently, Morocco has witnessed several shocking rape cases that became nationwide topics, including cases of sexual harassment and violence plaguing women.Read Also: Police in Tetouan Arrest Spanish Prison Escapee with International WarrantOne of the rape cases that made international headlines and fueled the activism of national and international NGOs who was of Khadija, a teenager who was allegedly kidnapped, raped, held in captivity, and forcibly tattooed last summer. According to an annual report issued by the King’s Attorney General, Mohamed Abdel Nabawi in 2018, there were over 1,600 rape cases reported in 2017 in the country.In hopes to eliminate sexual harassment and gender-based violence, Morocco enacted Law 103-13 in September 2018.But some women’s associations have expressed disappointment with the law. They say it contains loopholes because some offenders still receive leniency, which,  according to the Union of Women’s Action (UAF), a Moroccan feminist association, will not allow the elimination of the violence that “affects two-thirds of Moroccan women.” read more

Stalemate persists in installation of Kosovo government UN Security Council told

Jean-Marie Guéhenno, UN Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, briefed the Security Council this morning on developments in Kosovo since the 17 November province-wide elections, which had failed to give one party the necessary majority in the Assembly to form a government without entering into a coalition.UNMIK continued to work to create an environment in which Kosovo’s minorities would feel secure to participate in public life, Mr. Guéhenno said, adding that overall the last three months had been calm.He underscored that a more robust and active approach by UNMIK and the international force for Kosovo (KFOR) towards the so-called “bridgewatchers” had also helped to decrease the level of violence in Mitrovica North, and appeared to have undermined some of the support for that element.On the negative side, Mr. Guéhenno pointed to last week’s murder in the Pec region of Ismael Hardaraj, a Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK) member of the Assembly. UNMIK had launched a thorough investigation, but at this point the motivation for the killing was unclear.The current Council President, Ambassador Jagdish Koonjul of Mauritius, informed Council members this morning that Secretary-General Kofi Annan intended to appoint Michael Steiner of Germany as his new Special Representative for Kosovo and chief of UNMIK.Many Council members warmly commended Mr. Steiner’s predecessor, Hans Haekkerup of Denmark, for his stewardship in Kosovo, his work with UNMIK and his efforts to organize the recently held elections.Following Mr. Guéhenno’s briefing, representatives from 18 countries took the floor during an extensive discussion of the situation in Kosovo. read more

Airbnb reverses decision to ban listings from West Bank settlements

first_img Apr 10th 2019, 9:05 PM https://jrnl.ie/4586461 Short URL 24 Comments Share123 Tweet Email Image: Shutterstock/Tero Vesalainen Wednesday 10 Apr 2019, 9:05 PM 7,920 Views center_img Image: Shutterstock/Tero Vesalainen By AFP Airbnb reverses decision to ban listings from West Bank settlements The move came as a result of multiple lawsuits being filed by hosts against the company. We will continue to allow listings throughout all of the West Bank, but Airbnb will take no profits from this activity in the region.Profit generated from Airbnb listings in the West Bank will be donated to nonprofit groups dedicated to humanitarian aid in various parts of the world, according to the company.Airbnb added that it will implement the same approach for listings in Moscow-backed separatist regions South Ossetia and Abkhazia, two other disputed areas where the company previously planned to take action.The class action suit had sought 15,000 shekels (€3,717) in damages for the lead plaintiff and each other settler host should Airbnb delete them from its listings, a spokesman said earlier.The decision would have affected around 200 homes in Israeli settlements that had been listed on the platform.Around 400,000 Israelis live in settlements that dot the West Bank and range in size from tiny hamlets to large towns, in addition to 200,000 living in settlements in annexed East Jerusalem.The international community considers the settlements to be illegal and a barrier to peace between Israelis and Palestinians.Normalising settlementsA major campaigner against Airbnb’s earlier decision told AFP that “Airbnb has realised what we have long argued – that boycotts of Jews anywhere, even just in the West Bank, are discriminatory”.“This is a huge blow to efforts to delegitimise the Jewish presence in the West Bank,” said Eugene Kontorovich, Director of International Law at the Jerusalem-based Kohelet Policy Forum.But Arvind Ganesan, of New York-based Human Rights Watch, called Airbnb’s retreat from the decision disappointing.“Donating profits from unlawful settlement listings, as they’ve promised to do, does nothing to remedy the ‘human suffering’ they have acknowledged that their activities cause,” Ganesan said.By continuing to do business in settlements, they remain complicit in the abuses settlements trigger.Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had pledged to annex settlements in the occupied West Bank if he won yesterday’s election.Netanyahu’s victory was secured earlier after his main contender conceded defeat in the tightly fought race.  An Amnesty International report published early this year argued that digital tourism giants Airbnb, Booking.com, Expedia and TripAdvisor are profiting from “war crimes” by offering services in Israeli settlements.The London-based rights group’s “Destination: Occupation” report called on the companies to stop listing tourist accommodation, activities and attractions in settlements in occupied territories, including East Jerusalem.“In doing business with settlements, all four companies are contributing to, and profiting from, the maintenance, development and expansion of illegal settlements, which amount to war crimes under international criminal law,” the report said.Israeli public security minister Gilad Erdan threatened to bar Amnesty from access to the Jewish state over its charge.Israel sees the movement to end illegal settlements in the West Bank as a strategic threat and accuses it of anti-Semitism – a claim activists deny, saying they want only to see an end to Israel’s occupation.Amnesty launched a campaign in 2017 calling on governments to prevent businesses based in their countries from operating in settlements.Israel passed legislation that same year banning entry to foreigners who support boycotting the country or its settlements. HOME-SHARING PLATFORM Airbnb has announced it will back off a plan to remove Jewish settler homes in the occupied West Bank from its rental listings to end lawsuits brought by hosts.The agreement settles all legal actions brought by hosts and potential hosts who went to court with concerns about listings, according to Airbnb.Israeli lawyers filed a class action suit against Airbnb in November immediately after it said it planned to remove from its rental listings Jewish settler homes in the West Bank “that are at the core of the dispute between Israelis and Palestinians”.“Airbnb will not move forward with implementing the removal of listings in the West Bank from the platform,” the San Francisco-based company said yesterday in a news release. Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this articlelast_img read more

Laws Regs Other Considerations When Buying Seed

first_imgInformation provided by the American Seed Trade Association (ASTA). No matter what type of seed you buy, it’s important to know exactly what you’re getting.  There’s a lot more to buying seed than meets the eye.  Quality seed has been bred for specific traits, such as geographic adaptation, disease or insect resistance, physical attributes, or plant function.  It has been selected, harvested, cleaned, analyzed, tested, processed, packaged and shipped.  Professional seed producers with years of knowledge and expertise have the infrastructure and know-how to ensure you have the best seed to address your specific challenges and concerns.In addition to the many steps involved in seed production, state and national regulations provide a system of checks and balances to ensure you get your expected product.  These laws require accurate labeling and purity standards for seeds in commerce, and prohibit the importation and movement of adulterated or misbranded seeds.  All 50 states have seed laws that govern the intrastate movement and sale of seed.  These laws are basically “truth-in-labeling” laws designed to provide consumers with important information relating to product quality and identity.Interstate commerce of seed involves the Federal Seed Act, acting in coordination with the state seed laws.  Created in 1939, the Act was designed to require accurate labeling and purity standards for seeds in commerce. In addition, the law works in conjunction with the Plant Protection Act of 2000 to authorize the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) to regulate the importation of field crop, pasture and forage, or vegetable seed that may contain noxious weed seeds. USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service is responsible for enforcing the labeling and purity standard provisions to promote uniformity among state laws and fair competition within the seed trade.  Seed companies spend a lot of time and effort to ensure compliance with these individual state laws, which can be difficult since most seed is sold across state lines.As you can imagine, 50 state seed laws and a federal seed law can make trade fairly complicated.  So, in 1946, the Association of American Seed Control Officials created the Recommended Uniform State Seed Law, often referred to as “RUSSL.”  That document serves as a model law for the states and is reviewed and updated regularly.  While RUSSL is technically a guideline, rather than a law, it serves as a general reference point for states when seed law changes occur.State seed laws generally include provisions for labeling the kind, variety, purity, germination, date of test, and other information of value to the grower. Some states have included regulations for flower, herb, tree, and shrub seed, in addition to those for agricultural and vegetable seed.  It is always important to know the differences in state laws, as requirements vary from state to state.  Your seed supplier can help you understand the laws in your state.Germination is defined as the process of seeds growing into plants.  Purity identifies everything that is in the package including other seeds, weeds, and inert materials.  While seed processors strive for the highest level of purity, because seed is an organic material, it is difficult to ensure 100-percent pure seed.  Today’s sophisticated lab equipment and highly-trained personnel can identify everything that might be in a package of seed.  Many seed companies employ seed testing professionals, either internally or out-sourced to commercial labs, to verify that their seed output is in compliance before it ever makes it to the marketplaceEnsuring a consumer’s seed is free of noxious weeds is a critical concern for all seed companies.  It is important to understand the difference between state noxious weed laws, and state noxious seed laws.  Both laws are designed to limit the spread of both noxious weeds and seeds.  Noxious weed laws identify plants that have been determined to be injurious to crops, ecosystems, habitats, livestock or humans.  Noxious weed laws require landowners to control or eradicate noxious weeds growing on their property.  Noxious seed laws are designed to identify specific seeds of the same, and prevent spread of these plants as the farmer or landowner plants their crop, pasture, lawn, or wildlife plot.  Often they are different within a state because the some plants may be considered noxious but aren’t likely to be founds in purchased seed.  Conversely, some weed seeds may be listed as noxious seeds because that could be the primary method of spread.   In preparing seed for sale, seed producers generally pay a laboratory to conduct an “all states” noxious weed identification test for their products so that they may distribute seeds between states.Probably the most important tool in the enforcement of the state and federal seed laws is the lab test.  Seed tests by the regulatory seed labs—which are often independent of the office of the state seed control officials—use statistical sampling methods to verify the seeds’ germination and purity.  If an issue is found by seed control officials, the company will be required to recall that lot and correct the issue.  However, typically problems are discovered through internal, proactive testing processes within a seed company and the products don’t go to market.  You can be assured a seed company will do all they can to ensure a quality product; errors are costly, and grower confidence is of outmost importance.Here’s the bottom line:  State and federal seed laws are in place for the benefit of the grower and the producer.  It is imperative that consumers get the quality and type of seed they desire, and that the seed will grow and produce their expected result.  Seed production is complicated and requires extensive education and experience.  Professional seed producers have committed a significant investment in personnel, equipment, research and testing to ensure the highest quality seed for growers.  Whether it’s for your agricultural production, conservation planting, or backyard gardening, it pays to know that the seed you purchase is exactly what you desire – and state and federal seed laws are in place to assist.last_img read more

Mans body discovered near Fourth Plain

first_imgA dead man was found lying in a hedge Thursday morning in the 8000 block of Fourth Plain Boulevard, east of Andresen Road.The man’s body was discovered and reported to 911 by employees at the nearby Washington Department of Revenue.The Vancouver Police Department was dispatched to the scene shortly after 9 a.m. Vancouver Fire units on their way to the scene were called off when it was discovered the man was deceased.Thursday night, a police officer said no foul play was involved. The man’s name was not released.last_img

North Bothell claims Washington state Little League title

first_imgThe voyage to San Bernardino, Calif., begins with a shower of sparkling cider on the infield at Fort Vancouver Little League.At least that’s how it started Saturday for the boys from North Bothell, who won the Little League 11-12 year-old state baseball title with a 5-3 victory over Kent. And then they celebrated.The victory sends North Bothell to a regional tournament in California, where it will compete with other state champions for a spot in the Little League World Series at South Williamsport, Pa.Elijah Diggins delivered the big blow for North Bothell, hitting a two-out three-run homer to cap a five-run outburst in the bottom of the fourth.“I was just hoping to make solid contact,” said Diggins, who had struck out in his first two at-bats. “It was a curveball. I knew it was coming because he’d been throwing it to me all day and I hadn’t been hitting it.”Carson Ryder and Josh Kollman started the big inning with doubles. Two outs later, Jacob Yost hit a single, and Ryan Jorgenson followed with a walk before Diggins’ homer.last_img read more

Wilmington Little Leagues Latest Game Summaries

first_imgWILMINGTON, MA — Below are a few recent Wilmington Little League game summaries:AAA: Astros survive Royals’ comeback, 7-6, on May 14, 2018 at Boutwell FieldThe Astros played their second straight one-run game, barely matching the Royals’ late comeback with their own in their half of the sixth inning. Everyone reached base at least once, starting with Joe Cavanaugh, Ronnan Scafiddi, and John Roofe who each singled in the second inning leading to their first run. The big hits came in the third as Luke Kitanov blasted a home run and Joe Gronemeyer ripped a double. Evan Cummings lined out on a screaming rope in the first but singled in the fourth and Ethan Afthim had another clutch single batting in Cummings. Roofe singled and scored in the fifth and Jake Cronin singled in the sixth, eventually scoring the game winner. Joe Fennelly, Tim Watson, Kevin Pruslin, Will Poyant, and Kyle McDonald reached base as well and added to the run total. Poyant was dominant again on the mound striking out seven in three innings. Kitanov pitched three strong innings himself and made several great plays in the field while on the mound.. Watson snared a sharp liner in the first setting the tone for a strong defense. Gronemeyer was flawless at first base and Fennelly made several great plays behind the plate. Poyant and McDonald turned in some good plays as well. The Pirates were outstanding in the field, snaring no fewer than four sharp liners. Mikey Ware made several great line drive catches and pitched three innings. Jackson Hegarty pitched the next two and Jack Martinson made his pitching debut in the sixth. Logan Zimmer, Hegarty, and Martinson did a great job behind the plate. Will Biscan lined a double to knock in two runs and also caught a line drive at short. He made a heads-up play tagging out the lead baserunner late in the game. It was a fun, exciting game for all and the fans got more than their money’s worth in the stands!Single A: Braves vs. Astros, May 17, 2018The Astros hosted the Braves in a long awaited rematch . The Braves came out swinging and the Astros were held in check by a fine defensive play at third base by Lex Limoli to keep the run totals down . The Astros rallied in the second with big hits by Joe Mytch, Jackson Cipolle and CJ Morad. Strong catching performance by Dylan Costantiello helped keep the pitchers in check . Pitcher Masen Voner made closed the game out for the Astros . Game Balls were awarded to Joe Mytch for his big hit and Dylan Costantiello for his fine catching performance.Rookie League: Astros vs. Giants, May 19, 2018The Astros hosted the Giants in a battle of unbeatens. The evenly matched teams played to a tie. For the Astros, Anthony Aborn and Noah Drane stood out both in the field and at the plate while for the Giants Evan Jageler and Grady Considine made highlight reel catches in the field (including an incredible diving effort by Evan)! (NOTE: Summaries provided by the Wilmington Little League.)Like Wilmington Apple on Facebook. Follow Wilmington Apple on Twitter. Follow Wilmington Apple on Instagram. Subscribe to Wilmington Apple’s daily email newsletter HERE. Got a comment, question, photo, press release, or news tip? Email wilmingtonapple@gmail.com.Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… RelatedWilmington Little League’s Latest Game SummariesIn “Sports”Wilmington Little League’s Latest Game SummariesIn “Sports”Wilmington Little League’s Latest Game SummariesIn “Sports”last_img read more

New study says Chukchi polar bears are healthy despite sea ice loss

first_imgPolar bears traverse a frozen landscape. (Photo courtesy U.S. Fish and Wildlife)The very first tally of the Chukchi Sea polar bears has just been published, and here’s the big takeaway: Despite a decline in their sea ice habitat, for now the bears are doing well.In a study published last week, researchers found that the Chukchi bears are healthy, and they estimate there are about 3,000 of them — which is relatively abundant.That’s despite the fact that the bears’ window to hunt on the ice has been reduced by about a month over the last few decades.Eric Regehr is a polar bear researcher at the University of Washington and led the study, which collected data on bears between 2008 and 2016.His team thinks a possible explanation for the population’s health is that the Chukchi Sea is especially rich in the bears’ food source: ringed and bearded seals.“Our hypothesis is that even though the bears in the Chukchi Sea have less time on the sea ice, during those months on ice in good hunting habitat that they do have, there are so many seals they’re able to fulfill their annual nutritional requirements,” said Regehr.That could be a factor in why polar bears in the Chukchi Sea are still thriving, while Alaska’s other population of polar bears on the Beaufort Sea are getting thinner and seeing a population decline.Regehr said the Beaufort Sea likely has fewer seals than the Chukchi Sea, so the Beaufort bears may not be getting the food they need as sea ice declines.He stresses that just because the Chukchi bears are doing well now, it doesn’t mean that they will continue to do so.“Unless the underlying problem of climate change is addressed, the sea ice is expected to continue to diminish,” said Regehr. “And at some point that will likely have a negative effect on the bears in this Chukchi area.”Variability in the Arctic means that, in the short term, there may be differences in the health of the 19 groups of polar bears worldwide. But in the long-term, continued ice loss will likely cause negative effects for polar bears across the board.last_img read more

Two held at RGIA for trying to travel to Delhi on fake

first_imgHyderabad: The Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) sleuths on Monday took two persons into their custody at Rajiv Gandhi International Airport (RGIA) in Shamshabad, who were tried to travel to Delhi on fake tickets. The two persons including a woman were intercepted at Airport by the sleuths and took into custody while they were boarding to Indigo flight and handed over to Airport police for further enquiry. Both of them belongs to Raichur in Karnataka. By registering a case police are investigating.last_img

Wipro Ventures makes its first VC investment with TLV Partners deal

first_imgWipro Ventures Ltd. has invested an undisclosed sum in the Israel-based TLV Partners to officially enter the race to invest in venture capital (VC) firms and start-ups dealing with disruptive technologies, reports Mint.Wipro’s first investment in TLV Partners, the Tel-Aviv based VC firm that is valued at $115 million, will open up opportunities for it to tie up with start-ups in the latter’s portfolio. This would be aimed to improve Wipro’s services with a focus on enterprise software and security.”We engage with these companies based on the level of maturity of the solution and the specific needs of our clients,” a Wipro spokesman told the publication. According to Mint, Wipro Ventures is said to have invested less than $5 million in TLV Partner’s debut fund-raising. “As we try to broaden our reach in the start-up ecosystem, it’s impossible for any one individual or team to evaluate the most promising start-ups. So it’s only logical that we also look to invest/partner with some early-stage venture capital funds,” a Wipro executive had told Mint last year.The corporate arm of Wipro has already invested in a total of six start-ups, two of which — Axeda and Altizon — focus on internet-of-things technologies. The others are Talena, which specialises in big data management; Emailage, which combines machine learning and cyber security; Vicarious, which focuses on artificial intelligence; and the real-time cyber security firm Vectra.Wipro’s move reflects the new strategy in the IT and BPO industry, where big IT vendor companies are competing to invest in VCs to gain access to a wider range of start-ups involved in areas like artificial intelligence, cloud computing, cyber security and big data.Wipro’s investment in TLV Partners highlights how lucrative Israel’s enterprise software ecosystem is to India since Infosys had acquired another Israel tech firm, Panaya, for $200 million in 2015, according to the Economic Times. Infosys had earlier invested in two VC firms, Vertex Ventures and 500 Startups, last year. The company’s capabilities were also extended to cloud computing, wearables and data extraction through its investment in Trifacta, Waterline Data, CloudEndure and Nova.last_img read more

Kerala Model Crony communism in the time of flood

first_imgPersonnel of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and local people help with rescue operations in hill areas hit by landslides in Kerala.@NDRFHQ/TwitterHas Kerala Chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan has lost the precious connect with the people that every democratically elected ruler should have? He has, and it hardly surprises anyone that Vijayan hasn’t realised the bitter truth yet. From one laughable lapse to another, his rickety apple cart is chugging on. The Left leader, a prisoner of the time-warped Stalinist thought process, seems to be holding on to the belief that making Kerala a police state is the best route to suppress criticism.The latest example is the widely carried out witch-hunt against mediamen, activists and social media users who criticised the government’s handling of the disaster relief funds. The sloppy management of the flood disaster in 2018 had earned Vijayan and his government deeply rooted disaffection among Kerala’s general public. The state survived the disaster because a highly socially aware and committed general public raised their game even as a the government machinery squarely failed. However, what heightened the sense of betrayal of the Kerala public was the blatant misuse of the food relief funds that followed. General public, not just political opponents, vented their anger when a second flood havoc struck the state this month. However, Kerala’s new police state had an easy way to smother criticism. File cases against social media users and media outlets that criticised the government. “The cases have been registered for spreading false campaigns on the relief works and all such people would be arrested and proceeded against as per the law,” State police chief Loknath Behera said after booking 19 people. The swift police move came a day after Vijayan called whistleblowers and social media voices “anti-social elements.”  Was the criticism false and motivated? Pinarayi VijayanPTIThe Vijayan government loves to believe that the money and muscle power of the Marxist Communist Party give them the mandate to steamroller critics. The government floundered on many fronts when the flood disaster struck Kerala in 2018. The clueless government was in denial when hundreds died. When fair criticism mounted, the critics were easily termed villains and hunted down by the cyber wing of the Marxist party. So, did the government misuse the Chief Minister’s Disaster Relief Fund (CMDRF)? Yes, it did, multiple times, and brazenly. But if you say that aloud in Kerala your chief minister calls you an anti-social and his police would slap charges that attract imprisonment up to three years. That’s so much for the party that preaches the virtues of freedom of expression and tolerance.”CMDRF is an official system and the money received would be used for distress relief only… The fund is used for helping the poorest among the poor. All the allegations that the fund was being used for any other purpose is wrong,” Vijayan said. He added that those who said otherwise were commiting the most “heinous crime” and should be locked up.A lot of people in Kerala believe he was lying through the teeth. A look at incidents widely reported in the media will help. When CPI-M MLA KK Ramachandran Nair died, Vijayan’s cabinet gave the family Rs 25 lakh from the Chief Minister’s Disaster Relief Fund (CMDRF) in flagrant violation of norms. The disaster relief fund is not meant for paying off bank loans of party leaders. In another blatant violation of norms the CM misused the disaster relief fund again by giving Rs 25 lakh to the family of Uzhavoor Vijayan, the state chief of NCP, an ally in the ruling coalition. An equal amount was doled out to the family of a CPM worker who was killed in an accident. Again, from the chief minister’s disaster relief fund.However, the most disastrous of the indiscretions was Vijayan’s travel in a chartered helicopter to attend a party meeting using funds meant for disaster relief. The CM spent Rs 8 lakh from the State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF) on a chopper ride to attend a CPM meeting in February 2018. When the media reported it widely the government cancelled the original order.  In January 2019, the Kerala Lokayukta admitted a case against CM Vijayan and the state government over the misuse of the Chief Minister’s Distress Relief Fund. The case before the Lokayukta was that the CM and ministers showed “favouritism” in giving hefty financial help to NCP leader late Uzhavoor Vijayan and former CPI(M) MLA K K Ramachandran Nair. The complaint also highlighted that Rs 25 lakh was allotted from the CMDRF to the family of a civil police officer who died in an accident while escorting CPM state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan.What is CMDRF?As per rules, money from CMDRF can only be used for providing relief to people affected by natural calamities. If money is allotted for medical treatment then the beneficiary should be from below the poverty line. CMDRF is not a party fund that the CM can distribute as he pleases to his henchmen. But the CM’s army of advisers failed to tell him that. And when the people said that on public channels they became anti social elements! Fattening the cronies Another disgraceful farce is the skewed priorities at the Rebuild Kerala Initiative (RKI), which was set up to coordinate flood relief efforts. Though basic relief hasn’t reached tens of thousands of victims a year after the disaster struck, the RKI has gobbled up Rs 10 crore for its own establishment costs. The most shocking breach of public trust was the Vijayan government’s decision to rent out a building owned by a party fellow traveller as office for the RKI and furnish it to the hilt. Passengers travel in a truck to a safer place as flood waters ravaged the National Highway 47 in Ernakulam district of Kochi on August 17, 2018AFP/Getty ImagesThe government is spending Rs 88.5 lakh from the RKI funds to furnish the rented property, the Times of India reported, citing an order issued by the planning and economic affairs department. The building is right next to the state secretariat. It’s not as if government buildings can’t be found in the capital city to run the RKI office from. But it’s clear that the government is hell bent on fattening its cronies in the name of flood relief. The money in the CMDRF is the sum total of the contributions, large and small, from people everywhere in the world who wanted to help the flood-hit state. This government breached the trust element underlying a disaster relief contribution. But those who questioned it, and aired concerns over the intentions of the government, were booked under Section 118 B and 120 O of the Kerala Police Act. Section 118 B of Police Act against criticsSection 118 B provides for “imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years or with fine not exceeding ten thousand rupees or with both” for the offence of ” knowingly spreads rumours or gives false alarm to mislead the police, fire brigade or any other essential service”.Section 120 O stipulates punishment of up to one year for “causing, through any means of communication, a nuisance of himself to any person by repeated or undesirable or anonymous call, letter, writing, message, e-mail or through a messenger.”These case just show the audacity and brazenness of the government. Raise your voice against incompetence, corruption and nepotism, the cyber coolies will bury you under a sleaze load first and then the police will hunt you down. It’s a pity that a communist government in Kerala is stooping so low to protect its image. Perception management, Stalinist style?(The author is Managing Editor, International Business Times, India. Views are personal. Reach the author at j.jacob@ibtimes.co.in) Close Kerala Floods | Rain, landslide play havoc in state, 17 killed; CM chairs review meetinglast_img read more

Houston Man Accused Of Trying To Join Islamic State Pleads Guilty

first_imgAP Photo/Asmaa WaguihA member of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) defuses a bomb left by Islamic State militants at the stadium that was the site of IS fighters’ last stand in the city of Raqqa, Syria, Wednesday, Oct. 18, 2017.A Houston man who planned to travel overseas and shared information on making bombs and using machetes has pleaded guilty to trying to join the Islamic State group.Prosecutors say 20-year-old Kaan Sercan Damlarkaya pleaded guilty Monday to attempting to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization.Damlarkaya, who is a U.S. citizen, was arrested in December 2017 following an undercover FBI investigation. He remains in custody pending sentencing in Houston and faces up to 20 years in federal prison.Investigators say Damlarkaya shared information on making and using weapons with people he thought also supported IS. When agents arrested Damlarkaya, they executed a search warrant at his residence and found a machete by his bed. As part of his plans to join ISIS overseas, starting in approximately early August 2017, Damlarkaya had numerous conversations online with many individuals he believed to be fellow ISIS supporters, according to the Department of Justice.During his discussions, Damlarkaya described his intentions to travel overseas to fight for ISIS in Syria or Afghanistan. He added that if he was unsuccessful in joining ISIS overseas, he would conduct an on attack on non-Muslims in the United States and that it was his “dream” to be a martyr.U.S. District Judge Andrew S. Hanen accepted the plea on Monday and has set sentencing for Sept. 30, 2019. At that time, Damlarkaya faces up to 20 years in federal prison and a maximum $250,000 possible fine.  Sharelast_img read more

Cher has brutally torn apart demented racist Donald Trump – and its

first_imgCher has apologised to British people for President Donald Trump’s hateful retweets.Trump faced criticism from Prime Minister Theresa May and MPs on both sides of the aisle after retweeting videos posted by far-right group Britain First’s deputy leader.  The posts from Jayda Fransen were vile anti-Muslim propaganda, but Trump was unapologetic.Britain First attacked Blind Date earlier this year after the dating TV show publicised plans to air a groundbreaking LGBT episode.“POLITICAL CORRECTNESS: BLIND DATE TO FEATURE FIRST-EVER LESBIAN ROUND TO TIE IN WITH LONDON PRIDE 2017!” the party’s Facebook page screamed above a now-defunct link.Naturally, Cher – who will star in the new Mamma Mia! sequel – tore Trump apart.She also pleaded for Brits not to judge all Americans by their controversial President.In all-caps, she wrote: “I WOULD LIKE 2 APOLOGISE 2 BRITISH PEOPLE”.“THE PERSON WHO OCCUPIES OUR WHITE HOUSE IS A DEMENTED RACIST“I’M NOT PROUD OF MY FEELINGS TOWARDS HIM, BUT GOD, I CAN’T BEAR 2 SEE OR HEAR HIM,” she added.“HE’S AN INSUFFERABLE ”The clown emoji speaks volumes.The Oscar-winning singer and actress also thanked the UK’s Parliament after US diplomats reportedly dropped plans for Trump to visit the country early next year.“I’M PROUD PARLIAMENT STOOD UP TO HIM & RESCINDED HIS VISIT.,” she wrote.Trump tweeted directly at May – after mistakenly tweeting at a completely unrelated person with a different Twitter handle – to reprimand her for taking offence at him spreading hate. President Trump: I’m doing the military a favour by banning transgender troopsMike Pence insists his anti-gay record is ‘fake news’ in response to Olympic figure skater45 senators urge block of Trump’s trans military banPINK NEWS- The US President said: “Don’t focus on me, focus on the destructive Radical Islamic Terrorism that is taking place within the United Kingdom.“We are doing just fine!”The US is not, in fact, doing just fine.This week, 31-year-old Oklahoma native Brooklyn BreYanna Stevenson became the 27th trans person to be killed this year in the US.It is now by far the most deadly year on record for trans people in the US.Since taking office in January, Trump has faced an avalanche of criticism for his treatment of trans people.In February, he revoked protections for trans students.And in August, he announced a ban on trans people serving in the military.Trump has also supported Roy Moore, the Republican Senate candidate in Alabama who said last month that “the transgenders don’t have rights.”Moore added that his Democratic Party opponent Doug Jones “believes in transgender bathrooms and transgenders in the military.“I disagree with him 100 percent.”Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… eTN Chatroom for Readers (join us)last_img read more

LAX has just given us smart bathrooms and we should all be

first_img Travelweek Group LAX has just given us smart bathrooms and we should all be grateful Tweet LOS ANGELES — Starting today, passengers at LAX will be doing their business in far more intelligent quarters.Los Angeles International Airport has partnered with tech companies Infax and Tooshlights to transform a bathroom in Terminal 4 into a ‘smart restroom’. Available to American Airlines, American Eagle and Qantas fliers, the updated lavatory combines cutting edge technology to make it a little less gross and a lot more efficient.As part of the pilot program, 20 restroom stalls will feature a lights system similar to those found in parking garages; each unit consists of a smart latch and indicator light that turns green when it’s available, and red when it’s occupied. There are also blue indicator lights for ambulatory stalls.Credit: ToshlightsYou know what this means – no more having to duck your head under stalls to check for feet, a major plus in our book!In addition, Travel+Leisure reports that a digital tracking system keeps count of the number of people who go in and out of the restroom, as well as the amount of time in between cleanings. After a set number of uses, janitors are then notified to clean the facility.More news:  Can you guess the top Instagrammed wedding locations in the world?“We’re incredibly excited to try out this new technology, which should help improve our guest experience and allow us to better monitor and service our restrooms,” said Barbara Yamamoto, Chief Experience Officer at Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA). “The desire for clean and available restrooms is consistently in the top ranks of what guests want at an airport, and this will help us provide a higher level of service to the travelling public and allow us to better meet our strategic goal of delivering facilities and guest experiences that are exceptional.”If the pilot program is successful (and we don’t see why it wouldn’t be because, yay for clean bathrooms!), LAX hopes to expand the program throughout Terminal 4. << Previous PostNext Post >>center_img Posted by Wednesday, April 4, 2018 Tags: Airports, Californialast_img read more

Builder Confidence Improves for Third Month

first_imgBuilder Confidence Improves for Third Month in Daily Dose, Data, Featured, Headlines, News Confidence Homebuilders Housing Starts National Association of Home Builders New Home Sales 2014-08-18 Tory Barringer August 18, 2014 586 Views center_img Builder confidence in the market for newly built, single-family homes continued to improve this month, despite ongoing shakiness in new construction numbers.The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) reported on Monday a two-point increase in its Housing Market Index, a gauge of builder sentiment measuring current single-family new home sales, expected sales six months out, and volume of traffic from prospective homebuyers.As of August, the index measured 55, five points above the benchmark separating a market largely viewed as poor from one viewed as good.All three index components moved upward, with the measure of present home sales climbing to 58, expected sales rising to 65, and buyer traffic increasing to 42.”Each of the three components of the HMI registered consecutive gains for the past three months, which is a positive sign that builder confidence appears to be firming following an uneven spring,” said NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe. “Factors contributing to this rise include sustained job growth, historically low mortgage rates and affordable home prices, which are helping to unleash pent-up demand.”Regionally, August was a mixed picture. Builders in the Northeast and the Midwest expressed greater confidence, boosting those indices to 41 and 65, respectively. The indices for the South and West pulled back slightly, dipping to 51 and 57, respectively.Each region’s three-month moving average was up, thanks in part to significant improvements in July.While the latest increase brings the headline HMI to its second highest point so far this year—nearly undoing all of the damage from a plunge in February—the effects have yet to be seen in housing starts. Despite gains in confidence over the last few months, new construction has remained weak, plunging 9.3 percent month-over-month in the Census Bureau’s June data.Crowe explained that, as a leading indicator of building activity, the index reflects an expectation of improvements in new home sales and construction for the rest of 2014.”Builders are seeing buyers that normally would have been buying several years ago, but because of economic conditions had postponed that purchase,” he said. “So they’re more confident that the pent-up demand will be released.”Estimates for new construction in July are set to be released Tuesday. Economists surveyed by Econoday are calling for a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 963,000 new units started. Sharelast_img read more

There may be no better way to take in the sights o

first_imgThere may be no better way to take in the sights of New York then from the seat of a bicycle while riding the scenic bike path along the Battery Park Esplanade or over the architectural wonder that is the Brooklyn Bridge. The world-renowned hotel is known for its outstanding waterfront location, panoramic views of the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island and New York Harbor, and service excellence.The Bike, Bed & Breakfast package includes the following: •Overnight luxury accommodations for Deluxe City View Guest Room •American breakfast for two in the hotel’s 2 WEST restaurant •Full-day bike rentals for two:Bike pick-up is conveniently located across the street from the hotel Trek bicycles, locks, helmets, bottled waters and NYC bike mapsThe Bike, Bed & Breakfast Package is offered weekdays and weekends August 24, 2009 to November 14, 2009 and is priced starting from $460 USD per couple and requires a 2-day advanced reservation. Supplemental cost for each additional person staying in the room is $100. This package is subject to availability and exclusive of taxes and gratuities.http://www.ritzcarlton.com/batteryparklast_img read more

VerHeulen welcomes local business owner to Capitol for governors State of the

first_img Categories: State of the State,VerHeulen Photos State Rep. Rob VerHeulen talks and his guest Jon DeWys, owner of DeWys Manufacturing waiting in anticipation of the 2014 State of the State address. 17Jan VerHeulen welcomes local business owner to Capitol for governor’s State of the State addresslast_img

Reps Marino Farrington seek emergency disaster fund reforms

first_img16May Reps. Marino, Farrington seek emergency disaster fund reforms Bills ensure adequate funding, set up tier system for grants Categories: Diana Farrington Newscenter_img Two Macomb County state representatives have introduced legislation to reform the state contingency fund designed to aid communities dealing with disasters.State Reps. Steve Marino and Diana Farrington introduced the measures, which are designed to continuously maintain a greater amount of emergency funds that can be used more quickly to help local governments cope with disasters.“If the Fraser sinkhole taught us nothing else, it’s that the state emergency fund is inadequately designed to deal quickly with multiple disasters that occur across our state,” said Marino, of Harrison Township. “It should not take an extended debate in the Legislature to ensure that we have adequate funding so communities can quickly react to a disaster. We should have a system that addresses the immediacy of the situation and ensures funds are available.”Rep. Farrington, of Utica, said an escalating amount of aid based on county or city population will work more efficiently than an arbitrary amount decided upon by the Legislature.“My bill changes the maximum grant availability based on the number of people who might be affected,” Farrington said. “There is no one-size-fits-all solution, and this tiered system will take the guesswork out of the equation.”Under Marino’s bill, the Legislature would continually maintain the minimum balance of the fund at $2.5 million instead of the current balance of $1 million.Farrington’s bill sets up a tier system, allowing a maximum assistance grant of $1 million for a county or municipality of 75,000 or more; $500,000 for entities with populations between 25,000 and 75,000 people; and $250,000 for local governments with 25,000 people or fewer. The current maximum grant is $100,000.The bills were referred to the House Appropriations Committee.#####The bills are House Bills 4609 and 4610last_img read more