US Withdraws from Biased UN Human Rights Council

By Dana LegerRabat – Nikki Haley, US ambassador to the UN, announced on Tuesday that the US withdrew from the United Nations’ top human rights body, the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC).“We take this step because our commitment does not allow us to remain a part of a hypocritical and self-serving organisation that makes a mockery of human rights,” she said alongside US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in Washington, D.C. Pompeo accused the council of being “a protector of human rights abusers.”Both Haley and Pompeo said the decision had been made after a long year of efforts to shame the council into reform.Haley added that the decision “is not a retreat from human rights commitments,” and accused the council of being “a protector of human rights abusers and a cesspool of political bias.”“Look at the council membership, and you see an appalling disrespect for the most basic rights,” said Haley, naming Venezuela, China, Cuba, and the Democratic Republic of Congo.The decision to withdraw comes after the council accused Israel of using excessive force last month and voted to investigate Israeli killings of Palestinian protesters in the Gaza Strip. Since March 30, more than 120 Palestinian protesters have been killed and over 13,000 have been injured by Israeli forces.Reactions to the withdrawalZeid Ra’ad al-Hussein, the UN high commissioner for human rights, called the announcement by US President Donald Trump’s administration “disappointing, if not really surprising,” adding, “Given the state of human rights in today’s world, the US should be stepping up, not stepping back.”“Disappointing, if not really surprising, news. Given the state of #HumanRights in today’s world, the US should be stepping up, not stepping back” — UN Human Rights Chief #Zeid following USA decision to withdraw from U.N. Human Rights Council.#StandUp4HumanRights— UN Human Rights (@UNHumanRights) June 19, 2018The European Union said that the move “risks undermining the role of the US as a champion and supporter of democracy on the world stage.”Al Jazeera’s Rosiland Jordan, reporting from Washington, D.C., said the US exit “did not come as a shock” as it was something that Haley had talked about soon after becoming the US ambassador to the UN in early 2017.Israel, a major ally of the US, praised Washington’s “courageous” move.“The primary reason why the US is pulling out of the council now is because of its efforts to reduce or eliminate of the unfair criticism, in the US’ view, of Israel’s treatment of Palestinians,” Jordan said.The UNHRC and its rocky relationship with the USThe UN created the Human Rights Council in 2006 to replace the UN Commission on Human Rights, which at the time faced widespread criticism for allowing countries with poor human rights records to become members.A group of 47 elected countries from regions across the globe serve for three-year terms on the Geneva-based council.The UNHRC meets three times a year and reviews the human rights records of all UN members in a strategic process, known as the Universal Periodic Review. The council claims this gives countries a chance to explain what they have done to improve human rights.The council has set up commissions of inquiry to report on human rights violations in countries including Syria, North Korea, Burundi, Myanmar, and South Sudan.The US has a long history of conflicting relationships with the UN Human Rights Council. The Bush Administration boycotted the council when it was created in 2006 for similar reasons as those cited by the Trump administration.At the time, the US ambassador to the UN was John Bolton, who is currently President Trump’s national security adviser and a strong critic of the UN.In 2009, the US re-joined the UNHRC under the Obama administration. read more

Incident draws attention to inflight harassment and airline response

MONTREAL — In the wake of an onboard incident where flight attendants and bystanders acted swiftly to deal with alleged sexual harassment, Canada’s two biggest airlines say its crews are trained to handle passengers who pose a threat — though one expert warns that airline policy and behaviour are two different matters.On Monday, Toronto Star journalist Joanna Chiu took to Twitter to recount an experience on a recent flight on which she overheard a man who appeared to be in his late 30s ask a teenage girl for a “dirty” photo.Chiu, the Star’s Vancouver bureau chief, said she and other travellers intervened, informing the flight crew who had the man move after some resistance.The post, which did not identify the airline, prompted hundreds of responses highlighting the harassment and aggression women often endure while travelling, and how bystanders and flight crew can play a critical role in helping victims.WestJet Airlines Ltd. said flight crews have a “duty to assess, refuse or move anyone who is exhibiting signs of not being fit to fly or is perceived to be posing a risk to the safety and well-being of our guests and crew.” Crews have the authority to remove a guest from the flight at the next touchdown and request authorities on the ground ahead of time.Air Canada declined to detail its training procedures “in order to protect the effectiveness of using them,” but said it has a range of protocols to handle safety concerns.Julie Roberts, who heads the airline division of 15,000 flight attendants at the Canadian Union of Public Employees, says a flight manual at Air Transat, where she works, lists four levels of interference, with response options that range from re-seating to separation techniques.On board is a restraining kit that includes handcuffs, an upper-body seat belt and even a “spitting mask,” she said.“If the behaviour doesn’t stop…I would get the pilot to make sure the RCMP is waiting,” said Roberts. Passengers between the ages of 12 and 16 who are travelling alone are seated in first class when possible, she said.With safety top of mind, though, subtler interactions, including inappropriate remarks or touching, may go unnoticed.“It could use some more attention…Harassment policies within most airlines are pretty outdated,” Roberts said, adding that passenger vigilance is key.Angela Marie Marie MacDougall, executive director of the Battered Women’s Support Services non-profit in Vancouver, said air travel can open the hatch to “men who want to assert their dominance.”“You’re in such close proximity in those airline seats and there’s this extraordinary amount of physical intimacy,” she said. “Like with a lot of sexual harassment, it’s usually a thing around opportunity.”MacDougall said Canadian reserve and politeness can wind up enabling harassment.“Canadians are by and large polite…and so to speak out about something is not a cultural norm,” she said. “What we’re asking people to do now is to break some of the taboos that we’ve had around speaking out.”MacDougall applauded vigilant flight attendants, but said harassment policies aren’t always put into practice.“I’m aware of experiences of unaccompanied minors that have been sexually assaulted by men — girls 10, 12 years old,” she said. “Policy does not mean something gets done.”MacDougall recommended several ways to help in a threatening situation. Bystanders can ask the woman if she’s OK, offer to switch seats or alert authorities. They can start by simply asking her the time so she knows she’s not alone, or looking disapprovingly at the harasser.“Women know, girls know that this kind of thing is endemic. It’s a well-worn path in Canada. Largely we suffer in silence,” MacDougall said.“It’s only been in recent years — because of social media, frankly — where we’ve able to amplify our experiences of sexual harassment.” Christopher Reynolds, The Canadian Press read more

Israeli easing of Gaza blockade painfully insufficient senior UN official says

22 April 2010The recent easing of some Israeli restrictions on the entry of goods into Gaza is welcome but infinitesimal when compared to the needs of the 1.5 million Palestinians living there, the top United Nations official in the Strip said today. “[It is] a drop in the bucket,” said John Ging, Director of Operations in Gaza for the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), at a news conference in New York, repeating the categorization used by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on his visit to the Strip last month.“A drop in the bucket, of course, is not a half-full glass,” he said of Israel’s agreement to allow in some supplies of clothing, wood and aluminium, the latter needed for a prime UN objective – rebuilding UNRWA schools devastated by Israel’s military offensive against Gaza’s Hamas authorities 18 months ago. “The context is so great, the scale of the need is so large.”Mr. Ging noted that a conference in Sharm el-Sheikh last year put a price tag of $4.5 billion on the reconstruction and recovery of Gaza. “That’s $4.5 billion, at the moment, of despair and misery until such time that recovery and reconstruction gets under way,” he said.UNRWA cannot cater to the thousands of children with the right to education under UN resolutions as refugees. Gazans are “demanding of us to accommodate their children in our schools. They have not been allowed to build a school in Gaza for three years,” he added. Israel imposed its blockade for what it called security reasons after Hamas, which does not recognize Israel’s right to exist, ousted the Fatah movement in the Strip in 2007. Mr. Ging said the recent easing, including a monthly allowance of 25 truckloads of aluminium, is “very welcome, welcome not just for the physical impact that they [the goods] have, even though it is quite insignificant in the larger scale, [but] for the psychological impact that it has because it is the first positive step, and secondly for the practical proof that it provides that it can be done.“So if we can have 25 truckloads of aluminium a month, then why not 50, and if we can have 50, then why not 100 and so on?” he asked, noting that at the monthly rate of 25 it would take five and a half months to bring in all the aluminium needed for the schools.The arguments put forward to justify the blockade are now being undermined by these positive developments “because it is now demonstrated that there are ways of overcoming the security challenges and that’s what we want to build on now, capitalize on what is now the possible and expand it to the maximum extent,” he added. He gave the same overall grim picture of the impact of the blockade as in previous accounts. “It’s bewilderingly difficult for them on a daily basis. It’s a struggle to survive [with] the infrastructure and water and sanitation in a state of collapse and all that goes with that,” he said, stressing that there is no prospect for restoring a legitimate economy because there is no commercial trade into or out of Gaza.“That leads to the impoverishment of the people, and the physical suffering of so many continues on a daily basis, not just physical suffering, but psychological suffering because people are at their wits’ end to understand when all of this will come to an end.”He concluded with an impassioned plea to ease the Gazans’ plight. “It’s time to put the people before the politics. If we do prioritize the people, and if we do focus on the needs of the people, in many of our views, that will make the politics easier moving forward. Ignore the people, abandon the people, leave the people to despair and desperation, and that will make the politics more difficult going forward,” he added. read more

Leamington expected to hear good news on Heinz plant today mayor says

Update 9:30 a.m.: H.J. Heinz said Thursday it has signed a letter of intent to sell its Leamington plant to Highbury Canco, a Canadian firm. The plant was to be shut down. More details soon . . .—————LEAMINGTON, Ont. — Leamington, Ont., may be about to hear some good news after it was devastated last November by word of the planned closure of a major employer in the community.[np_storybar title=”Heinz in Leamington” link=”https://business.financialpost.com/2013/11/14/heinz-in-leamington-a-look-back-at-ketchup-giants-history-in-canadas-tomato-capital/”%5DA look back at ketchup giant’s history in Canada’s tomato capital in photos [/np_storybar]A statement is expected Thursday morning from food giant Heinz on negotiations that could save a southwestern Ontario tomato processing plant from complete closure. Leamington Mayor John Paterson told the CBC he has been in contact with a company official and that a decision is expected between 9 a.m. and 9:30 a.m.Heinz said it would close its plant in the southwestern Ontario community by late June, putting close to 800 full-time employees out of work.Various unconfirmed media reports suggest an announcement could be made this week about a partial reopening of the facility.Leamington Mayor John Paterson says Heinz now plans to shed some light on efforts being made to save the plant, adding that the company has told him “it will be a good day.”Paterson says a number of serious business proposals regarding the facility emerged after Heinz said it planned to shutter the plant.He says the municipality isn’t privy to talks between Heinz and the interested parties.Ontario’s minister of economic development, trade and employment said while he couldn’t comment on negotiations between Heinz and any potential investor or buyer, the province wanted to do all it could to support Leamington.News of the closure came after Heinz was sold last year to Warren Buffett’s Berskhire Hathaway for more than US$28 billion.In November, the world famous investor promised Leamington workers “very generous severance” packages.The initial Heinz decision also affected up to 500 seasonal workers hired each year during tomato-harvesting season. read more

Army rejects human rights allegations

He insisted that had there been any deliberate intention of violating human rights the Security Forces would never have dared to bring the civilians into the safe area. ‘It is worthy of mentioning how our troops, despite numerous risks to their own lives and security, gave prominence to those rescued people trekking and did their maximum to relieve them of the initial burdens and misery, by whole-heartedly ensuring their right to life. Ours is the one and only Army in the world which has carried out the biggest ever rescue operation in the most humane manner, although all of them were coming from enemy-held areas. No other Army could boast of a parallel of an operation of this magnitude or nature in our contemporary history. How could then one finger at us, denying that factor and labeling us as they wished based on misleading accounts,’ the Commander said. The Sri Lanka army insists it never abused human rights during the war against the LTTE which ended three year ago.Army Commander Lieutenant General Jagath Jayasuriya said that during the final phase of the war the army acted magnanimously and rescued more than 300,000 trapped civilians from the LTTE after demarcating the ‘No Fire Zone’ in Puthumathalan. ‘World powers like former Minister Milliband hurriedly arrived in Sri Lanka at that critical phase of the humanitarian operations and placed indescribable pressure on the government, asking HE the President to stop all ongoing operations forthwith. With due respect, I must mention here, that HE the President never bowed down to those pressures, nor did the Secretary Defence who stood by us. Their main concern was the safety and care that could be provided to those rescued people and people still were seeking refuge with Army troops. The government never underestimated the intensity of the catastrophe, instead almost everything we, the ground troops needed and projected on behalf of the influx of escapees, was readily provided or airlifted at the earliest. It is pertinent to know the whereabouts of those human rights watchdogs at that point of time or where they had gone,’ he said. read more

President refuses to fully implement UNHRC proposals

The President had said this while attending an event in Meegahatenna, Kalutara today. President Maithripala Sirisena today refused to fully implement proposals submitted to Sri Lanka by the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC).The President said that he will ensure any proposal which goes against the Constitution of the country is not implemented. He said that the UNHRC had made several statements which were factually incorrect. He said that the statement made on behalf of Sri Lanka at the UNHRC was drafted with his involvement and it was for that reason that the statement firmly opposed a hybrid court to investigate human rights abuses. The President said that while the Government will accept what is right it will reject what is wrong.He said that the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights had been misled by some groups with regards to the part on land occupied by the Army in the North. Foreign Minister Tilak Marapana read the statement at the UNHRC but the President says the original statement was different to what was eventually approved by him.Speaking further, the President said that the Missing Persons Office and the proposed Truth Seeking Commission are part of proposals from outside the country which are not looking to serve the country by the LTTE diaspora.Last week the UNHRC passed a Resolution on Sri Lanka titled “Promoting reconciliation, accountability and human rights in Sri Lanka” which gives Sri Lanka another two years to fully implement Resolution 30/1 of October 2015. The Resolution which was put before the UNHRC last week was cosponsored by Sri Lanka. The President said that he is not prepared to accept her proposal on the land issue mentioned in her report on Sri Lanka which was formally released at the UNHRC last week.He also said that he was not aware of the decision taken by the Government to cosponsor the Resolution on Sri Lanka at the UNHRC.“On February 25th the Sri Lankan Ambassador in Geneva (Ambassador A.L.A. Azeez) had signed the Resolution without informing me. I do not accept that,” he said. Resolution 30/1 of October 2015 notes the importance of participation in a Sri Lankan judicial mechanism, including the special counsel’s office, of Commonwealth and other foreign judges, defence lawyers and authorized prosecutors and investigators.However the Government says it will not agree to the inclusion of foreign judges. (Colombo Gazette) read more

International assistance force for Mali transformed into UN peacekeeping mission

Presentation of troops during the transfer-of-authority ceremony. Photo: MINUSMA/Blagoje Grujic Passing of command from General Abdulkadir Shehu of AFISMA to General Jean-Bosco Kazura of MINUSMA. Photo: MINUSMA/Blagoje Grujic Left to right: MINUSMA head Bert Koenders, UN Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Herve Ladsous and Malian Prime Minister Diango Cissoko meet in Bamako for the handover. Photo: MINUSMA/Blagoje Grujic Government, regional and international officials view the handover. Photo: MINUSMA/Blagoje Grujic The transfer of authority from the forces of the African-led International Support Mission in Mali (AFISMA) to the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) took place during a ceremony in Bamako, capital of the West African country, the entire north of which was occupied by radical Islamists for nearly a year.“The establishment of MINUSMA is the result of a unanimous decision of the United Nations Security Council and has reaffirmed the engagement of the international community to accompany the people of Mali in their quest for stability, peace and prosperity,” Bert Koenders, Special Representative of Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and head of MINUSMA, said at this morning’s ceremony.The conflict, which began in early 2012 with a rebellion of ethnic Tuareg groups, displaced hundreds of thousands of people and prompted the Government to request assistance from France to halt the southward march of the extremists, as AFISMA gradually built strength.In April, the Security Council approved the 12,600-strong MINUSMA to take over from the African-led force, authorizing the blue helmets “to use all necessary means” to carry out security-related stabilization tasks, protect civilians, UN staff and cultural artefacts and create the conditions for provision of humanitarian aid. MINUSMA troops in Timbuktu receive their blue berets. Photo: MINUSMA/Blagoje Grujic A newly-inducted MINUSMA peacekeeper is welcomed by the Malien Republican Guard. Photo: MINUSMA/Blagoje Grujic ‹ › MINUSMA’s core task is to support the political process in Mali, in close coordination with the African Union (AU) and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).“We continue to work in close collaboration with the African Union, ECOWAS and other international partners, including the French forces, to support the Malian people in that quest,” said Mr. Koenders, who was accompanied at the ceremony by Herve Ladsous, Under-Secretary-General for UN peacekeeping operations, as well as by Malian and African Union officials. Mr. Koenders, noting that MINUSMA would gradually built to its authorized military strength in the months to come, appealed to the UN Member States to provide adequate resources, including specialized units and “force multipliers” such as combat helicopters. “The challenges to be confronted by MINUSMA are multiple and numerous,” he said, pointing to not only “immense” security and logistics issues, but also to those in the political and socio-economic and spheres, making, he stressed, wide partnerships critical to success.With its launch today, MINUSMA becomes the third largest peacekeeping operation of the UN among the 16 currently deployed across the world, according to its authorized force levels. read more

AuruMar adopts Maptek Vulcan 3D modelling software for marine mining

first_imgAuruMar, a technical services company conducting marine exploration and mining projects, has purchased Maptek Vulcan 3D modelling software for their marine continental shelf exploration operations. AuruMar will apply Vulcan GeoModeller to the mineral resource development program for its 26 mining leases offshore of Nome, Alaska. “We wanted to be able to look at and model our geological data in 3D,’ said Urban Burger, AuruMar Geologist. “The Vulcan platform also offers us the opportunity in the future to do resource modelling, mine planning and reconciliation in the same environment.”Vulcan GeoModeller provides a complete set of tools for exploration and mining geologists with with functionality for both stratigraphic and non-stratigraphic deposits. “GeoModeller tools are beneficial to marine shelf mining because of the different deposits and environments that have to be considered in their daily planning and operations,” said Nick Venter, Maptek Africa Technical Sales Manager. “Vulcan is our first 3D modelling package,’ said Burger. ‘The reaction has been positive and I enjoy Maptek’s no nonsense services approach.”AuruMar is a technical services company based in Cape Town, South Africa. It was established in October 2009 as a joint venture between De Beers and Anglo Gold Ashanti to manage the technical and operational aspects of marine exploration and mining projects. The company primarily focuses on the exploration for gold on continental shelves, with several other exploration projects in its global portfolio. “AuruMar is a great company to add to the South African client list,’ said Venter. “It reflects Maptek’s diverse customer base and the comprehensive solutions we offer.”last_img read more

RCT bolsters ControlMaster automation solution with Multiple Machine Control

first_imgRCT has released the latest advancement to its ControlMaster® automation range in the form of Multiple Machine Control (MMC), which enables a single operator to control more than one mining machine at a time.This entirely new operating system, also known as Control, is transforming the mining process in terms of productivity, efficiency and safety with a single operator able to remotely control more machines from the same operator station in a central location at a mine site, RCT said.RCT’s Automation and Control Product Manager, Brendon Cullen, said: “It allows for an operator to send multiple machines to their destinations on ControlMaster Guidance Automation and concentrate on performing specific tasks with another machine.“For example, the operator can supervise digging, dumping and loading functions before sending the machine to its destination on auto tramming and taking control of the next machine.“The mining industry is striving to further streamline efficiencies and having one operator control multiple machines is allowing these efficiencies to be realised,” he said.MMC meets a need in the industry as it helps clients to safeguard operators by removing them from the cab of mobile machines and, in some instances, from the hazards at a mine site. It also improves productivity and, in turn, profitability, according to RCT.RCT said: “MMC can be implemented across surface and underground fleets and differs from other solutions available on the market today for a number of reasons including its usability and functionality.”Cullen said: “The system can integrate into any site’s current operations and can be installed on any mobile machine, regardless of make or model. Being agnostic is a big advantage, as mine sites utilise more than one brand of mobile machines in their fleet.”Another point of difference with MMC is there is no need for mine sites to upload mine maps before using the technology.“This further ensures fast deployment between work areas as well as the opportunity to expand the system if and when required,” Cullen said.While MMC operates on a digital network, RCT can provide technology—called RCT Bridge— that can interface with a mine site’s analogue communications network.Cullen said: “The MMC solution can be operated locally at the work area, at a central location such as the office buildings on a mine site, or relocated to a central operating station location off site to a city (near or far).“The system has the ability to change the way customers operate; some of the benefits associated with this change in mining practices include the possibility of introducing three eight-hour shifts from two 12-hour shifts.“This provides better work/life balance for operators and, in the face of the labour shortages the industry is facing, the job role can be opened up to more people who weren’t able to travel to site to work in the field due to family commitments or perhaps even a disability.”He concluded: “Moving operation centres from sites would also eliminate the need for lengthy and often costly inductions as well as the cost associated with transporting and housing operators on site.MMC has already been deployed at several sites around the world, RCT said.last_img read more

ATT Raises Early Upgrade Fee On iPhone

first_imgAT&T has doubled the iPhone’s early upgrade fee by $50.00. This is on top of the end of contract fee that was already written up in the original contracts. It is safe to assume that this new fee will be in place for those who leave the contract for another phone service provider as well. AT&T is also increasing the same amount for the Windows 7 phones. No word on if the increase will affect Android phone users. AT&T says the increase is a result of the rising cost of the smartphone market.Via TG Dailylast_img

Terence Quick lashes out against Greek Americans

first_img Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram The guest of honour at the Holy Epiphany celebrations in Florida’s Tarpon Springs was Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Greece Terence Quick, who is currently visiting the US and is in charge of affairs concerning Greeks abroad.At the end of the festivities, and while addressing the thousands of Greek Americans who had gathered in Tampa, he diverged from his original speech to address his fellow speakers and community leaders.“I will begin my speech with a confession,” the deputy minister said. When I was leaving my home 24 hours ago to come to Tampa, Tarpon Springs, I knew I’d come to a city with a strong Kalymnian heritage. I believed that the Greek diaspora here would have preserved the language of the homeland. You took me by surprise. You confused me. I am saddened.“There is only one key-note speaker left to go on stage after me for this Greek event. Even though minutes before we were all sitting at the table, chatting candidly in fluent Greek, not one of the previous speakers addressed the public in their native language, Greek. Everyone chose English, putting their mother tongue aside,” he added, asking for the audience to allow him to freely express his emotions.Drawing on the fading Greek connection of the fourth and fifth generation Greeks in America, he stressed the importance of the Greek language as part of the Hellenic identity. “This is why I choose to continue this address in Greek, the mother of all languages,” he said. “Promoting Greek language teaching in every diaspora community, in every continent, is at the top of my ministerial agenda. “I applaud the diaspora’s requests for the Hellenic state to support Greek language teaching. We have commissioned hundreds of teachers regardless of the crisis to come and teach Greek, but expats should do more than just ask for help. They too should contribute to the preservation of their cultural identity by speaking Greek, not just English.”last_img read more

Et lHoverboard devient réalité

first_imgEt l’Hoverboard devient réalitéTous les fans des aventures de Marty McFly apprécieront cette découverte: un skateboard permettant de léviter au dessus du sol.Ceux qui ont vu la trilogie Retour vers le futur se souviennent forcément de cette séquence marquante du deuxième opus où Marty McFly utilise un Hoverboard, un skate permettant de se déplacer au dessus du sol sans contact. Aujourd’hui, ce rêve de gosse devient réalité avec la présentation du MagSurf, un dispositif permettant de léviter à 2 centimètres du sol.À lire aussiL’hoverboard présenté par l’université de Paris DiderotConçu par l’Université Paris-Diderot (lien non disponible) à l’occasion de la Fête de la Science, ce MagSurf utilise un système de refroidissement à l’azote liquide. Lorsque l’appareil atteint la température de -195 degrés, il commence à s’élever et peut suivre un rail installé sur le sol. On est encore loin des courses poursuites effrénées du film culte, mais la performance reste impressionnante.L’Université a annoncé vouloir breveter ce système et qu’il serve comme divertissement dans les parcs d’attraction. Mais de là à imaginer que nous volerons sur des skates dans les prochaines années, il n’y a qu’un pas qu’il est facile de franchir.Découvrez la démonstration vidéo de cette incroyable invention filmée par le Nouvel Obs Le 13 octobre 2011 à 13:15 • Maxime Lambertlast_img read more

North and Middle Caicos Residents Demand more attention

first_imgFacebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppProvidenciales, 14 Apr 2015 – Some islanders are feeling a sense of disconnect and exercised no restraint when it came to expressing themselves when Cabinet Ministers and their Member of Parliament turned up for public meetings last week. There was a strong demand for better representation from residents of North and Middle Caicos when the Premier, Minister for Home Affairs George Lightbourne and Member of Parliament for the two islands, Minister DonHue Gardiner met with them on Friday in an afternoon town hall meeting. PTV8 was there, with cameras rolling to capture the frustrations and concerns of residents who say they feel ‘forgotten.’Among the issues, that since December, the District Commissioner has resigned and no one has been hired to fill the post.Minister Gardiner shared that both islands will get its own DC and explained that interviews for the North Caicos District Commissioner will begin soon with the Middle Caicos DC job becoming available this month.It seemed to catch both Minister Gardiner and the Premier off guard that there is no vehicle on the islands for Immigration Officers, despite there reportedly having been a report to the Director. Additionally, North and Middle Immigration officials say there are actually planes landing on the island of North Caicos at the unmanned airport; the Minister said that is not supposed to be happening without proper authorization from the Airports Authority; and yet it is.It seemed to satisfy the residents that there is a budget allocation of $180,000 for Middle Caicos. Related Items:last_img read more

Police shoot and kill another suspect in gun fire exchange investigation launched

first_img Related Items:#magneticmedianews, #PoliceshootandkillsuspectinNassau Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp#Bahamas, December 18, 2017 – Nassau – Friday evening a man was shot to death by Police after he reportedly fired a gun at officers who were on a search for the vehicle and those inside as suspects.   An all points bulletin was launched Friday morning and Police say around 7pm, the vehicle described was spotted by officers and a chase ensued.     The suspects crashed into another car, the passenger exited the sky blue coloured Nissan Bluebird SD and that man, pointed and fired at Police.   His move caused a return of gunfire from Police and the suspect was killed on the spot.Another man is in custody, arrested and an Austria Glock pistol and ammunition were retrieved from the scene explained the report.   The shooting happened on Cordeaux Avenue and Washington Street; it is under investigation.#MagneticMediaNews#PoliceshootandkillsuspectinNassau Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApplast_img read more

Delayed Global Approvals for Ag Biotech Traits Projected to Cost Farmers and

first_imgInformation courtesy of Illinois Soybean Association. Regulatory roadblocks and divergent approval systems are slowing the biotechnology-driven yield advances needed to feed our growing world. Dozens of new transgenic events for crops are ready for registration this year, but the lack of a global, synchronized, science-based approval system prevents farmers from adopting new technologies, causes international trade disturbances and significantly reduces economic benefits for farmers and consumers worldwide.American Soybean Association (ASA) President Wade Cowan, First Vice President Richard Wilkins and Secretary Ron Moore joined  than 100 biotechnology regulators, government officials, industry companies and organizations, international trade experts and farmers met in Bloomington, Ill., on Aug. 31 to listen and discuss the state of the regulatory system and its implications for the future of agricultural biotechnology.The Illinois Soybean Association (ISA) hosted the symposium. Daryl Cates, soybean farmer from Columbia, Ill., and ISA chairman, says the farmer-led organization is committed to the future of biotech traits as keys to healthy and secure food for more people around the world.“Biotech crops mean food security for many countries around the world, and yet today’s biotechnology approval process is susceptible to international politics, making it volatile and inefficient,” says Daryl Cates, soybean farmer from Columbia, Ill., and ISA chairman. “We need a global, cohesive, science-based regulatory system so farmers can produce more food and nations can enjoy food security.””Genetic engineering is important to meeting the greatest challenge of our time: nourishing a growing population without further destroying the environment,” says keynote speaker Pamela Ronald, director, Laboratory for Crop Genetics Innovation at the University of California-Davis.Nicholas Kalaitzandonakes, director of the Economics and Management Agrobiotechnology Center at the University of Missouri, told the attendees that delayed biotech trait approvals cost consumers and farmers billions of dollars. He says the timely introduction of new herbicide-tolerant soybean varieties is estimated to generate almost $40 billion in economic value across all soybean markets from 2015 to 2025. About 56 percent of the benefits would go to producers and 44 percent of the benefits to consumers. If regulatory approvals are delayed by three years, the economic benefit is cut nearly in half to $21 billion.Sponsors of the symposium included Penton Agriculture, DuPont Pioneer, the U.S. Soybean Export Council, Dow AgroSciences, Monsanto, FLM+, Michigan Soybean Promotion Committee, Syngenta, National Corn Growers Association, National Soybean Research Laboratory, University of Illinois, Indiana Soybean Alliance, Bayer CropScience, Illinois Corn, Illinois Pork Producers Association and the National Association of Wheat Growers.last_img read more

Apple introduces new health messaging features for mobile

first_imgSAN FRANCISCO — Apple today introduced new health and messaging features for the software powering the iPhone and iPad, laying the groundwork for a busy second half of the year as the company works to emerge from a stretch of slowing growth.Apple released new mobile software, called iOS 8, at its annual developer conference in San Francisco. The software includes HealthKit, which lets people monitor their health and acts as a data hub for fitness apps. The company also showed products called ICloud Drive and Maildrop for storing and sending files, and an updated version of its Mac operating system dubbed Yosemite.As smartphones and tablets with similar shapes and designs proliferate globally, Apple, Google, Samsung and other technology companies are focused on differentiating their products through software and services that run on the devices. The release of its new tools today shows how Apple is increasingly positioning its gadgets to be more of a hub for people’s lives, such as tracking fitness activity.The updates offer a glimpse of Apple’s direction since the death of co-founder Steve Jobs in 2011. With iPhone and iPad sales no longer the source of growth they once were, Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook has been under pressure to deliver another hit.The event follows last week’s announcement that Apple is buying headphones and music-streaming company Beats Electronics for $3 billion, another move to rev up growth. The company plans to keep the music and headphones products as a separate brand, a first for Apple, and the deal brings on board music- industry veteran Jimmy Iovine and musical artist Dr. Dre. Iovine was among the attendees at Monday’s event, which is Apple’s 25th developer conference.last_img read more

Massachusetts introduces equal pay for comparable work law

first_imgThe US state of Massachusetts is introducing a pay equality bill to ensure equal pay for comparable work for all employees.Charlie Baker, the governor of Massachusetts, signed the Act to Establish Pay Equality into law on Monday 1 August 2016, after it was unanimously passed by both the Massachusetts House and the Senate.The new law will prevent pay discrimination for comparable work based on gender, as well as allowing employees to freely discuss their salaries with colleagues.In addition, job applicants will not be required to provide their salary history to prospective employers before receiving a formal job offer. Instead, employers can take into account factors such as work experience, education, job training or target measurements as a basis for pay.The bill will go into effect on 1 July 2018.Baker said: “I am pleased to sign the bipartisan legislation to create a more level playing field in the Commonwealth [of Massachusetts] and ensure that everyone has the opportunity to earn a competitive salary for comparable work.”Maura Healy, attorney general for Massachusetts, added: “This new law is an important step toward ensuring economic security for Massachusetts women and families. It makes vital updates that reflect our modern economy and balance the needs of workers and the business community.“Pay equity is not only a women’s issue, it’s a family issue, and with this new law on the books, we are closer to closing the pay gap in our state.”last_img read more

Avengers Endgame originally had a Thanos fight scene with Hawkeye and Black

first_img Avengers: Endgame breakdown of Thanos’ fate Tags 7 Photos 0 Culture TV and Movies Jeremy Renner plays Hawkeye. Captura de pantalla por Jován Pulgarín/CNET Perhaps one of the most powerful scenes in Avengers: Endgame was the battle between Hawkeye and Black Widow on Vormir, as they fought it to decide who would sacrifice themselves for the Soul Stone. It was a unique scene. We’re used to seeing heroes fight for their survival, not for the right to die.It turns out that scene was part of a reshoot. Initially, Hawkeye and Black Widow were supposed to be fending off an attack from Thanos, but that scene was cut, reshot and replaced.”It was a tough scene for us to shoot,” explained Renner, at Ace Comic-Con over the weekend. “It’s a reshoot we did about six months ago. The original was a lot more complicated, with an attack by Thanos. This was just us.”Which made perfect sense. No one would have batted an eyelid if Black Widow’s eventual death had been the result of some sort of battle with Thanos, but the scene that made the final cut was a far more an interesting way to resolve that scenario. It had more impact and, for me, was one of the most memorable and interesting sequences in the entire movie. Good call!center_img Preview • ZTE’s Hawkeye packing midrange specs hits Kickstarter Post a comment Share your voice ZTE Hawkeyelast_img read more

Commercial company conducts rocket exercise at Kodiak launch facility

first_imgA Vector test rocket, or vehicle, housed inside the AAC facility. (Photo by Daysha Eaton / KMXT)A commercial company that aims to launch small payloads into the earth’s orbit is conducting tests for a future launch from Alaska Aerospace Corporation’s facility at Narrow Cape.Listen nowThey’re trying to develop a streamlined rocket, or vehicle, to carry small payloads.The employees of the company, Vector, are conducting tests with a simulation rocket.Pacific Spaceport Complex facilities director Bruce Walter enters what looks like a locker room. It’s important that no dust gets through.“This is where you would don your white robe, if you will. Booties, pants, hoods, and you’d walk through the air bath, which is just a big air Jacuzzi, gets all the dust off of you, HEPA filter’s at the bottom to take the particles out, and then you step into the clean room,” Walter said.What’s known as the clean room is big and well-lit. The ceiling is so high that it dwarfs anyone that enters. It’s like a cathedral, but for spaceships. This building is where staff prepares satellites, also known as payloads, for launch.What looks like a rocket is set up on one side of the room. It’s dark grey with orange lettering along the side reading Vector. The company says it’s 43 feet long and 42 inches wide.Walter explains it’s a test model.“They’re going through the steps to make sure that all of their procedures work with the real vehicle,” Walter said. “This is a mock up. If you look in the back end of it, it’s just a big, empty tube.”John Garvey, president of launch services for Vector, says the exercises this week are part of a test run. They’re focusing on the operations, like moving the vehicle around.“And we’re just trying to establish that as the basis so that when we move up to the next level, issues like transporting it, picking it up, erecting it vertical will already have been accepted as normal so we can start working on the next level of functions,” Garvey said.Garvey says they were out at the facility on Tuesday for the exercise and continued with exercises Wednesday.last_img read more

IAF gets first batch of four Apache attack helicopters from US

first_imgNEW DELHI: US aerospace major Boeing on Saturday handed over the first four of the 22 Apache attack helicopters to the Indian Air Force while another batch of four choppers will be delivered next week. The delivery of the first batch of the AH-64E Apache helicopters to the IAF at the Hindan airbase came nearly four years after a multi-billion dollar deal for the choppers was sealed. Also Read – Shashi Tharoor accepts Modi’s language challenge Advertise With Us Boeing said the first batch of the Apaches arrived in India and an additional four choppers will be delivered to the IAF next week. “The eight choppers will then move to the Pathankot Air Force station for their formal induction by the IAF, in September,” it said. The AH-64E Apache is one of the world’s most advanced multi-role combat helicopters and is flown by the US Army. Also Read – HC declines protection to Shivakumar from arrest Advertise With Us The IAF had signed a multi-billion dollar contract with the US government and Boeing Ltd in September 2015 for 22 Apache helicopters. Additionally, the Defence Ministry in 2017 approved the procurement of six Apache helicopters along with weapons systems from Boeing at a cost of Rs 4,168 crore for the Army. This will be its first fleet of attack choppers. Advertise With Us Senior IAF officials said the addition the Apache fleet will significantly enhance the force’s combat capabilities as the chopper has been customised to suit IAF’s future requirements. “The arrival of the Apaches, ahead-of-schedule, validates Boeing’s commitment to delivering on its promise of modernising India’s defence forces. Boeing has ensured a high rate of mission readiness and increased operational capabilities through its current partnerships with the IAF,” Boeing said in a statement. The company has delivered more than 2,200 Apaches to customers around the world since the aircraft entered production and India is the 14th nation to select it for its military. “By 2020, the IAF will operate a fleet of 22 Apaches, and these first deliveries are ahead of schedule,” Boeing said. The aerospace major said the AH-64E has the latest technology insertions, maintaining its standing as the world’s best attack helicopter. The AH-64E Apache for the Indian Air Force completed successful first flights in July 2018. The first batch of Indian Air Force crew began their training to fly the Apache in the US in 2018. “It is the only available combat helicopter with a spectrum of capabilities for virtually any mission requirement. For the AH-64 E, this includes greater thrust and lift, joint digital operability, improved survivability and cognitive decision aiding. “It is uniquely suited to meet the commander’s needs, including reconnaissance, security, peacekeeping operations, and lethal attack – in both land and littoral environments – all without reconfiguration,” it said.last_img read more