Algerian military open fire towards Moroccan border control station

first_imgRabat- A new escalation in the tension between Moroccan and Algeria or an accident? According to a statement issue by the Moroccan Ministry of Interior, elements of the Algerian National People’s Army opened fire towards the Moroccan border control station, Ait Jormane, along the border line between Morocco and Algeria, in the province of Figuig. Two bullets hit the wall of crossing, the statement said.The incident takes place little more than a week after Algerian military guards shot a Moroccan citizen in the border region, about 30 km the Moroccan city of Oujda.last_img read more

SecretaryGeneral urges scaling up of resources for lifesaving immunizations

6 October 2010Stressing the vital role immunizations play in improving the health of millions worldwide, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has called for increasing funding for an innovative United Nations-backed initiative that delivers life-saving vaccines to those who need them the most. Stressing the vital role immunizations play in improving the health of millions worldwide, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has called for increasing funding for an innovative United Nations-backed initiative that delivers life-saving vaccines to those who need them the most.Since its creation in 2000, the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI) reached some 257 million children with new and under-used vaccines. Increased use of vaccines can help prevent millions of deaths worldwide and contribute to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) for child health – a two-thirds reduction in the number of deaths in children under five by the target date of 2015.“Let us commit to increasing the funds available to the GAVI Alliance. Let us commit to improving health for children, women and men everywhere,” Mr. Ban said in remarks at a reception last night in New York to mark the Alliance’s call for action and resources. The Secretary-General noted that immunization, and the work of the Alliance, is a key part of the Global Strategy for Women’s and Children’s Health, which he launched two weeks with the aim of saving the lives of over 16 million women and children between 2011 and 2015.“You are poised to accelerate the introduction of life-saving vaccines – a plan that can prevent more than 4 million future deaths, the child who will live without risk of pneumonia, the girl who will never have to suffer cervical cancer, the millions of women and men who will be saved by a simple injection,” he told the gathering.“You have the knowledge, the networks and the resources to influence the health and well-being of millions of people.”Mr. Ban added that the Alliance, along with the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, are “central pillars of global public health” and essential for achieving the health-related MDGs.Yesterday the Secretary-General announced that donor countries, private foundations, corporations and individuals gathered at the UN for the Global Fund’s third replenishment conference had pledged over $11.5 billion in new funding over the next three years to fight HIV/AIDS, TB and malaria.“This work is not just about replenishing the fund; it is about replenishing hope and dignity in people’s lives,” noted the Secretary-General, who chaired the two-day pledging conference. read more

CGI to buy Swedish technology consulting firm Acando in deal valued at

MONTREAL — CGI Inc. has signed an agreement to buy Swedish technology consulting company Acando.The Canadian firm valued the deal at $614.7 million, including the debt it plans to assume.Under the offer, which has the unanimous support of the Acando board, CGI says it will pay 41.45 Swedish kronors per Acando share.It says the offer represents a 44.2 per cent premium to Acando’s closing price on March 8.CGI says Stockholm-based Acando will add more than 2,100 professionals to CGI from five countries across the region including Sweden, Norway and Germany.The transaction is expected to close in the third quarter.Companies in this story: (TSX:GIB.A) read more

French police fire tear gas water cannons at antiG7 protesters

BAYONNE — French riot police used water cannons and tear gas on Saturday to disperse anti-capitalism protesters in Bayonne, near the resort of Biarritz where President Emmanuel Macron and G7 nation allies were meeting for a three-day summit.A police helicopter circled as dozens of protesters, some hurling stones, shouted slogans and abuse at the lines of police in the Basque town’s historic center.The protesters shouted “Everybody hates the police” and “anti, anti anti-capitalists” as the mood took a darker turn from peaceful protests earlier in the day in an authorized march on the French-Spanish border.Roiled by months of anti-government protests this year, France has deployed more than 13,000 police to ensure protesters get nowhere near U.S. President Donald Trump and other leaders. Authorities designated two counter-summit “villages” and the morning protest about 30 km (19 miles) from the summit.Thousands of anti-globalization activists, Basque separatists and “yellow vest” protesters walked from the French town of Hendaye to Irun in Spain, waving banners calling for climate action, gay rights and a fairer economic model.Story continues belowThis advertisement has not loaded yet,but your article continues below.“The top capitalist leaders are here and we have to show them that the fight continues,” said Alain Missana, 48, an electrician wearing a yellow vest – symbol of the anti-government demonstrations that have been held in France for months.“It’s more money for the rich and nothing for the poor. We see the Amazonian forests burning and the Arctic melting. The leaders will hear us,” he said.Four police officers were lightly wounded on Friday after protesters fired a homemade mortar near the anti-G7 gathering in Hendaye. Police arrested 17 people for hiding their faces.Activists in the counter-summit villages have this week united from France, the Basque region straddling the French-Spanish border and beyond to confront a rich-poor divide they say is growing due to the cynicism of world leaders.“The counter-G7 demonstration is in this Basque region and we want people to see we are part of it,” said Alfredo Akuna, a 46-year-old engineer from San Sebastián in northern Spain who wore traditional Basque clothing.“We’re involved in many movements including anti-capitalism and anti-fascism so it’s important to be here to show that.” read more

UN chief condemns attack on Yemeni hospital supported by Médecins Sans Frontières

In a statement issued by his Spokesperson, Mr. Ban expressed his sincere condolences and deepest sympathies to the families of the victims and to the Yemeni people. This is the latest in a series of attacks on health facilities, following those in 2015 on the MSF-supported Haydan Medical Hospital in Sa’ada and a mobile health clinic in Taiz. “The Secretary-General is extremely concerned about the increasingly limited access to essential health care services for Yemenis,” the statement underlined. “He emphasizes that hospitals and medical personnel are explicitly protected under international humanitarian law and that any intentional attack against civilians and civilian infrastructure is considered a serious violation of international humanitarian law.” The statement further called for this incident to be investigated “through prompt, effective, independent and impartial mechanisms to ensure accountability.” “The Secretary-General again repeats his call on all parties involved in the Yemeni conflict to immediately cease all hostilities and resolve differences through peaceful negotiations facilitated by his Special Envoy,” it added. This attack comes just days after the UN chief voiced his “deep concern” about the intensification of Saudi-led coalition airstrikes and ground fighting and shelling in Yemen, despite repeated calls for a renewed cessation of hostilities. The United Nations recently reported that civilians are suffering a “terrible toll” in the fighting, with casualties now topping 8,100, with nearly 2,800 of them killed. read more

The Slobs looking for their newest member in 2015

Then-redshirt-sophomore quarterback Cardale Jones (12) lines up behind members of the offensive line during the College Football National Championship game against Oregon on Jan. 12 in Arlington, Texas. OSU won, 42-20.Credit: Mark Batke / Photo editorMuch like the rest of the Ohio State football team, the offensive line is bringing back plenty of experience.With four starters coming back to Columbus and just one spot open, it appears as though there’s a two-horse race to become a starting member of what the Buckeyes call “the slobs.”Redshirt-senior Chase Farris and sophomore Jamarco Jones are the frontrunners to replace Darryl Baldwin at right tackle, but offensive line coach and offensive coordinator Ed Warinner said Farris is ahead of the pack.“He hit stride where we thought he was playing really good towards the end of the (2014) season, but you got a starting lineup, we (were) on a roll. Darryl Baldwin was playing his butt off,” Warinner said Thursday. “If he keeps doing what he’s doing, he’ll be able to take that position over, (but) Jamarco Jones is not by any means just going to let him have it.”While Jones is behind Farris on the depth chart for now, he has been getting extensive reps in practice at left tackle with senior Taylor Decker sitting out most of spring practice for rest purposes.Decker said Thursday that he also believes Farris is the favorite to win the job, but has been pleasantly surprised with the way Jones has been performing in his usual spot.“I think he is doing a really good job. The one thing I wanted to see personally out of him was consistency and how he practices. I think he is developing that, especially with all of the reps he is getting, he doesn’t have a choice,” Decker said. “Coach (Urban) Meyer is going to be right there watching him. Coach Warinner is going to be watching him because they expect a lot out of him.”Regardless of who wins the job, Warinner said he is pleased with the personnel he has along the offensive front. “I love the chemistry with those guys. They are great people, I love being around them. They are part of a family that we are all a part of,” Warinner said. “Those guys are great, great kids and that’s why we have a great room and so forth.”Redshirt-junior offensive lineman Pat Elflein, who is set to enter into his second full season as a starter, said the chemistry within the unit is a credit to Warinner’s “very intense” coaching.“He’s a perfectionist. He won’t let anything slip. No matter what it is, wrong step, whatever, hand placement, if it’s not perfect, he’s on you,” Elflein said Thursday. “I think that is probably his best quality and that’s why we’ve been playing so good. He has developed so many guys to be great players.”But while he is a coach and not a player, how does Warinner fit in among the self-named “slobs?”“I don’t know where that name came from. I didn’t give them that, but I am the head of them. So I am an honorary. I am also trying to lose 10 pounds,” Warinner said with a smile. “They are always trying to gain their weight. They’re human garbage disposals. Eight-thousand calories a day and they look pretty good doing it. If I keep up with them, you’ll have to get a 4X (shirt) for me.”With a coach who has developed players and has just one starting spot to fill, Elflein said he is excited to see where the Buckeyes’ front five can go.“We just have to get everybody on the same page. It’s not easy. That’s our goal is to get everybody bought into the culture and if we can do that, watch out,” Elflein said. “We are going to have a good unit.”The Buckeyes are set to take to the field for their annual Spring Game on April 18 at Ohio Stadium before beginning the 2015 season on the road against Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Va., on Sept. 7. read more

BREAKING Dave Chowtie tops 2019 NGSA with 532 marks

Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedTop Students Chowtie, Lall dream of becoming doctor, economistJuly 3, 2019In “latest news”HAPPENING NOW: NGSA results being announced by Minister of EducationJuly 3, 2019In “latest news”NGSA 2019: ‘Overall improvement across all subjects would be ideal’ – Chief Education OfficerJuly 5, 2019In “latest news” Dave Chowtie receiving a previous award in excellence for MathematicsEducation Minister, Nicolette Henry.Minister of Education Nicolette Henry announced that Dave Chowtie from Graham’s Hall Primary and Venisha Lall from C.V Nunes have been adjudged this year’s top students  with 532 marks out of a possible score of 536. He was awarded a place at Queen’s College.14, 300 candidates wrote the NGSA on April 17 and 18 2019. Minister Henry noted that there was improvement in Mathematics in the various regions. Candidates gained places in the top five secondary schools from across the various administrative regions in Guyana, She also noted that there is more competition between public and private schools.Minister Henry congratulated all the students who wrote the exams and thanked the parents and the education administration for their efforts in ensuring the students’ success.Along with the announcement of the top performers today, pupils will also be able to view their scores online by providing their respective candidate number and other details. This assessment marks the completion of the primary education programme and determines which secondary institution these students will be placed at.However, prior to this, the students had to write the National Grades Two and Four Assessments back in 2012 and 2014 respectively. A percentage of the marks from all three assessments is calculated to determine the overall performance of each student.The NGSA performance is calculated by adding five per cent of each candidate’s Grade Two scores in mathematics and English, and 10 per cent of the Grade Four score in the same subjects.This is then added to a further 85 per cent of each candidate’s score in those subjects at the Grade Six Assessment. The combined scores in mathematics and English are then added to the scores gained in science and social studies. (More details later)  read more

GPF pledges full support to G Division Commander after fire guts

Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedGPF announces several changes to facilitate officers proceeding on “much-deserved” leaveFebruary 19, 2018In “latest news”Suriname officers engage Guyanese counterparts over pirate attacksMay 21, 2018In “Crime”Hicken appointed as new Commander for ‘A’ Division; James to head CIDApril 7, 2014In “Crime” Commander Crystal RobinsonThe Guyana Police Force (GPF) has pledged its support to bring relief to G Division (Essequibo Coast-Islands) Commander, Crystal Robinson and her family after her Stewartville, West Coast Demerara home was completely gutted by fire early Saturday morning.In a statement to the press, the GPF said that a high-level team led by acting Commissioner of Police Nigel Hoppie on Saturday visited the burnt remains of Robinson’s home. “He [Hoppie] personally assured her of the Force administration‘s full support in bringing relief to the family at this most difficult time,” the missive read.Along with the acting Commissioner, Crime Chief (ag) Senior Superintendent Michael Kingston; Deputy Commander of D Division, Superintendent Dion Moore; Personal Assistant to the Commissioner, Superintendent Allistair Roberts; Deputy Traffic Chief, Deputy Superintendent Joseph Jack as well as other senior officers were present to lend their support.Meanwhile, the Guyana Fire Service is yet to determine the cause of the fire which completely destroyed the two-storey building during the wee hours of Saturday.The Commander in a brief interview on Monday explained that she has been staying with a relative in the same village since her home was destroyed. She said she is awaiting the GFS report before she begins reconstructing her house.In an interview with INews on Saturday, she had explained that she was at the Police Pageant at the National Cultural Centre when she received a call at about 12:30h informing her of the fire.She explained that by the time she reached her Lot 154 Back Street, Stewartville, WCD, home, it was already completely engulfed in flames. Firefighters, who arrived at the scene late, were also unable to save anything from the blaze.She complained that the first fire tender got stuck in mud on its way to her home, while the second arrived without water. By the time the third one got there the house was already destroyed.Robinson told this publication that she lived in that home for 51 years with her parents and other relatives. Luckily, none of the five occupants was at home at the time of the fire.According to her, a neighbour observed flames in the garage of the house and contacted the Guyana Fire Service (GFS), which took some time before showing up at the scene.Robinson said that three vehicles including PMM 7862, PSS 1387 and PVV 2106 were destroyed by the fire. read more

Poor marketing cited as major reason for business failure

Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedOil & Gas: Govt should hold off on T&T MoU, assess impact on local businesses- GCCISeptember 6, 2018In “Business”Lack of access to financing stifling small businesses- GCCI HeadJuly 21, 2018In “Business”Crime woes trigger response from Guyanese business leadersOctober 20, 2016In “Crime” Gary Thompson, a member of the forum’s steering committee; GCCI Executives Richard Rambarran and Timothy Tucker, and Martin Massiah, another member of the steering committeeThe Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) Tuesday launched its 2nd Business Development Forum.The event aims to, among other things, help businesses grow.Gary Thompson, a member of the forum’s steering committee, explained that businesses are prone to failure when there is a lack of understanding about marketing.“If we are to look at agro processing, we would see that most of these players have brands that are ready for the market. But what we see lacking is a clear understanding of marketing and branding.”“What we see lacking is people get into business without a clear understanding as to who is your target audience, your market size, density and dispersion.”He says the forum will address this issue.“So we have a number of speakers lined up that will be able to speak to these issues. One of the fundamental things in marketing is identifying market opportunities and means,” he noted.GCCI Executive Timothy Tucker explained that the primary objective of the initiative is to help businesses build their capacity for Guyana’s upcoming economic boom.“So you want to move businesses from small businesses and grow them, so they can be competitive on the international standard. We have several different large companies coming into the country and the chamber wants its members and the business community to move from where they are.”The Business Forum will be held at the Pegasus Hotel from September 27 to 28.Partnership organisations include Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), Ansa McAL Trading Guyana, Republic Bank, and the Ministry of Business.Among the speakers at the event are businessmen Rosh Khan and Vishnu Doerga, Rowen Willabus, and Nigel Deosaran. read more

Junior WC 2011 Tunisia and Egypt beat Europeans and reach Semifinal

← Previous Story Ivan Cupic injured again! Next Story → Gensheimer new captain of the “Lions”! Junior handball Fantastic four matches we had oportunity to see in the Junior World Champioship quaterfinal in Greece. Two of four matches was decided in the last seconds. Denmark beat Sweden 28:27 with the winning goal from the left wing position in the last few seconds. Tunisia beat Spain 31:30 and become the first African team in the “LAST 4” followed by Egypt, who has no problem with Slovenia 26:21. At the end of the Day, Germany won over France 28:23.Junior WC 2011 semifinal:Germany – TunisiaDenmark – Egypt read more

Appeal for information after Kilkenny man 25 killed in Tramore

first_imgUpdated at 3.37pmGARDAÍ INVESTIGATING THE killing of a 25-year-old man in Tramore, Co Waterford have issued a fresh appeal for information this afternoon.One person has been arrested in connection with the death last night of Kilkenny man Michael O’Dwyer, who was found seriously injured after gardaí were called to a house at Seafield Holiday Cottages at around 11.30pm.He was treated at the scene before being taken by ambulance to Waterford Regional Hospital, where he was later pronounced dead.A 32-year-old man was arrested at around 11.40pm last night, and is currently detained under Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act at Tramore Garda Station.A post-mortem examination is being carried out this afternoon at WRH, and a family liaison officer has been appointed.Gardaí at Tramore are appealing for witnesses —  in particular, they’re looking to speak to anyone who may have seen or heard any suspicious or unusual activity in the holiday home complex between 10pm and midnight last night.Anyone with information is being asked to contact Tramore Garda Station on 051 391 620 or the Garda Confidential Line 1800 666 111.Additional reporting, Daragh BrophyFirst posted at 8.33amRead: Elderly woman ‘shaken’ after burglary by four masked menRead: Five teenagers arrested over spate of robberies in Dublinlast_img read more

Adrift on the winedark sea

first_img Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram As he looked out at the five-mile stretch of blue sea separating Greece and Turkey, Eric Kempson knew he should be worried.“Excuse me. Is this Greece?” asked a 24-year-old Pakistani man, whose suit was soaked to his waist.Clearly overloaded with people, the inflatable boat, which he had been observing from a vantage point near his home on the northern shore of the Greek tourist island of Lesvos, was in difficulty. With a stiff northeasterly breeze at its back, the eight-metre vessel was veering off course and risked ending up running aground on the sharp rocks at the foot of some cliffs.But luckily for this boat’s 75 passengers – who would turn out to be Somalis, Afghans and Pakistanis – help was at hand, as Spyros Kontomichalos, a well-built professional soldier, quickly dropped his plans to go spear-fishing and rushed to direct the boat towards the nearest beach.As it approached the rocky shore, the boat’s passengers leapt out into the water, delighted to finally set foot in the European Union after setting out at daybreak, almost three hours beforehand, from the Turkish coast. And with traffickers back in Turkey charging anything up to €1,000 a head for the crossing, which in better boats and more favourable conditions can take as little as 25 minutes, it’s undoubtedly the most expensive journey these migrants will ever take.“Excuse me. Is this Greece?” asked a 24-year-old Pakistani man, whose suit was soaked to his waist.Behind him, a group of young Somali men struggled to lift the sole woman passenger from the boat to her wheelchair, the only possession she managed to bring from the other side. Later, Riyan (30), would explain that she had been shot in the back 15 years previously. She said she was making the journey on her own, and her aim was to reach Germany where she hoped she could have an operation.This migrant vessel was one of four to land [last month] near the beautiful town of Molyvos, with its medieval hilltop fortress that can be seen from miles around. Tourism is the lifeblood of the place and the permanent population of about 1,500 relies almost exclusively on the money they make during the summer to keep them going during the difficult winter months after the tourists have gone.For weeks, Kempson, a British painter and sculptor who made his home in Molyvos 16 years ago, and his wife Philippa have been daily witnesses to the rapid increase in the numbers of refugees and migrants arriving from Turkey.“It’s been a nightmare for the last few weeks. We really need some help. Only a few of us have been trying to help. This story needs to get out there and Europe really needs to send some help,” he says.Humanitarian crisisAbout 70 per cent of those arriving on the boats are Syrian refugees, including many families with young children. They are fleeing the four-year civil war that has devastated their country and, according to the United Nations, triggered the largest humanitarian crisis since the second World War.An estimated 7.6 million people are now displaced within Syria, while almost four million have fled to neighbouring countries, mostly to Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan, where the vast majority have remained, often in appalling conditions.Syrians in Molyvos say only Europe – by which they usually mean Germany or Sweden – can offer them and their families the safety and opportunities they desperately seek.Last week, the head of EU border agency Frontex said 40,000 migrants had arrived on Europe’s shores through Greece since the beginning of 2015, compared with 37,000 through Italy, which has been at the focus of the EU’s efforts in the Mediterranean recently. Greece’s eastern Aegean islands experienced a fivefold increase in migrant traffic in March and April compared with the same period last year.Fatma (34), who fled Damascus a month ago, said she paid a trafficker in Turkey €3,000 to put her, her two teenage daughters and her eight-month-old son in an inflatable boat to Greece.She is from Yarmouk, a Palestinian suburb with the formal status of a refugee camp on the outskirts of the Syrian capital. Under siege by government forces for almost two years, parts of the district, much of which is in ruins, were overrun by militant jihadist group Islamic State (IS) in April. She too wants to reach Germany.Temporary permitDuring their short stay in Molyvos, the refugees generally gather in the unpaved car park at the entrance to the town, where many spend the first night sleeping out in the open. If they’re lucky, a bus will take them to Mytilini, the island’s capital.There they can expect to wait with hundreds of others for days at the city’s port before being admitted to a camp, processed and handed a temporary permit to remain in Greece.That paper gives them the time to make plans to continue their journey into western Europe which, despite EU rules stating refugees must apply for asylum in the country of entry, is what thousands have already managed to do.No bus was sent to Molyvos on Monday or Tuesday, leaving men, women and children to walk the 65km to Mytilini in daytime temperatures that reached 30 degrees. As offering any assistance to undocumented migrants is illegal in Greece, locals and tourists are reluctant to offer them lifts, although some do.“The authorities have been putting barriers in our way and making Greeks afraid. Greeks are not like that; they are family-oriented,” says Kempson.Finding itself at the start of the tourist season and in the midst of the Greek financial crisis, Molyvos can barely cope with the surge in the numbers of refugees and undocumented migrants. There has been no official response and no humanitarian NGOs have shown up in the town, which has been without a public doctor for eight months, Kempson says.Filling that gap is a small team of locals, among them many expats, who are struggling to offer basic assistance to the refugees, which at best includes some food every morning and evening, fruit, water, clothing, blanket, toiletries, nappies and other essential items.Others try to offer women and children a bed at least once a week.“I’m half-Croatian, so I know what it’s like to be put out of your home,” said one Molyvos resident, Emma, who declined to give her surname, as she took Fatma, her children and five others home for the night.But it’s an uphill struggle. Without any outside help, the volunteers know they can’t keep up with the sheer number of arrivals which, going by previous years, are expected to peak between July and September.Many of the volunteers earn their living from tourism themselves, as Dina Adam, a hotel employee, and Hannah, owner of a children’s clothes shop, explain as they make 90 sandwiches one evening for that day’s arrivals. They say finding the time to help out is becoming more difficult as the season gets into full swing.Wholly dependent on public donations, the volunteers have been heartened by the response from many tourists staying in the town, including a Dutch couple who offered the €100 that they had earmarked for a boat excursion.“We are on holidays in Greece and see the good work you are doing for the refugees … keep on helping people,” the holidaymakers wrote on a note accompanying the money.But among locals in Molyvos, there’s no agreement on how best to deal with the issue. There is a fear that the considerable international publicity generated by the crisis, in particular exaggerated tabloid reports that claimed refugees were turning the island of Kos into a “disgusting hellhole” for British holidaymakers, will affect tourism.Refugee crisis“Yes, we get looks from some people because of what we’re doing for the refugees. But we tell them we don’t want them to stay here and remind them they don’t want to stay here either,” says one volunteer.“I do worry about how my guests view the situation,” says hotelier Dimitris Vatis, as a migrant boat comes ashore near his hotel. “Some say they’ve heard about it, others seem to be unaware. But in general no one knows about the refugee crisis here in Greece as all the focus is on the situation between Libya and Italy.”For one of his German guests, the scene unfolding in front of her is a wake-up call, one that she and others need to see. “This is part of life. It’s no longer something we see just on our TV screens.”* This story appeared originally in The Irish Times. (www.irishtimes.com)last_img read more

Crosshairs on Lockout Laws as Keep Sydney Open targets election scalp in

first_img Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram Only a few days out from the New South Wales State election, one of the major issues facing Sydney-siders is the future of the city’s infamous lockout laws.Keep Sydney Open Party’s Summer Hill candidate, Andrea Makris, argues that while lower house seats may prove beyond their reach, the social-turned-political movement is focused on championing a policy shift in the State’s highest chamber.“There’s only a few seats left once the major parties, including the Greens, have taken up the seats in the Upper House,” she says.“We want a seat at the table to represent culture and small business, and unlock our night-time economy.”Since their introduction in 2014, the laws have led to an overall reduction in the number of assaults within the lockout area, but artists and businesses alike have suffered through the loss of public space and revenue. Additionally, alcohol induced violence has increased in surrounding suburbs, including The Star casino, which is ten times more violent than NSW’s most violent pub yet remains exempt from the lockout restrictions.“You can’t flick a switch and bring it all back overnight,” Makris says.READ MORE: Who are the Greek candidates in the NSW elections?“It’s going to take some time, but the main thing is to lay down the framework for businesses to have the confidence to open up again.”Last week, Time Out Worldwide ranked Sydney a lowly 39th in its survey of the 48 best cities in the world in 2019. Unsurprisingly, Melbourne ranked second-best, ahead of London and Los Angeles and only just behind New York at the top of the list.Paul Ioakimidis, owner of Newtown’s Steki restaurant for almost two decades, is focused on maintaining his business’ reputation and admits the lockout laws are “not a big issue for us anymore”.“It’s changed the demographics, the nightlife of Newtown a little bit,” he says.“We’ve stuck to what we were doing before.”Mr Ioakimidis does feel that local councils in the area have recently upped the ante in promoting the night economy and expects things to improve.“If it’s not a drinking, pub culture, and a restaurant culture,” he says, “then I think it will be better for everybody.”A few suburbs across, Leichhardt hosts another recently-formed hub of Greek restaurants and nightlife. One of the restaurants, Filema plays liveGreek music for functions and on Saturday nights.Owner Nick Kapeleris is anxious to point out that the acoustics are there primarily to enrich diners’ experience.“The primary business is a Greek restaurant, it’s not a live music venue,” he asserts. “That’s the way it is.”Outside of Sydney’s lockout zone, Filema and its Greek neighbours aren’t subject to many of the laws and restrictions that forced some venues to close and others to evolve. But there’s still plenty of challenges in what Mr Kapeleris feels is a saturated restaurant market.“People aren’t going to go out on a Wednesday, Thursday night to hear live Greek music,” Mr Kapeleris argues.“My crowd on Wednesday, Thursday is not a crowd that comes in to hear live music; they come here for a quiet dinner.”Against the backdrop of restrictions and lockout laws in force along Oxford Street, promoter Billy Billiris heralds last Friday’s launch of his ‘Made in Athens’ club night as a success.Approximately 500 guests experienced a “European vibe” at the Universal nightclub, with 8 DJs playing until 4am and live entertainment which included a bouzouki, clarinet and pyrotechnics.“We had somebody celebrating their 21st in one booth and somebody celebrating their 40th birthday in another; no fights, no problems,” Billiris says.“The lockouts affect all of Oxford Street, so maintaining a vibe and keeping people satisfied is key.”In the current circumstances, however, he accepts that events like ‘Made in Athens’ can work in Sydney “every six weeks”.“The problem is a lot of people are copy-pasting each other, there’s no originality.”For Ms Makris and Keep Sydney Open, shifting the direction of State government policy into Sydney’s lockout laws is a matter of both cultural and economic sense.“If we unlock the night-time economy, there are more jobs and growth,” she says. “$16 billion worth of potential in our night-time economy that would help people who are finding it hard to pay the rent.”last_img read more

‘Green burials’ touted in book; author will speak at Vintage Books

first_imgDoes Grandma really need the Cadillac of caskets when her body expires?Blunt, but an increasingly serious question as the median funeral cost — not for cremation — rose to $7,360 in 2017, according to the National Funeral Directors Association.The bulk of that average comes from the metal casket, ringing in at $2,400. (Cremation caskets, according to the association, still cost $1,000.)“You don’t have to open your wallet and give your cash away,” said Boring, Ore.-based funeral director Elizabeth Fournier in a recent phone interview.Fournier, nicknamed the “Green Reaper,” operates Cornerstone Funeral Services and Cremation in Boring, and recently penned a book called “The Green Burial Guidebook,” in which she illustrates why high funeral costs are unnecessary — unless it’s what the loved one who died wanted — and that there’s a much more environmentally friendly way to go about it.She’ll be giving a talk about these topics at 2 p.m. Saturday at Vintage Books, 6613 E. Mill Plain Blvd., Vancouver.“The typical ceremony run by a funeral home — one that involves embalming and a casket burial in a traditional cemetery — not only can fail to provide a satisfying ritual for mourning, but it frequently leaves behind lasting financial and ecological burdens,” she writes in the book’s introduction.The concept of green burials isn’t new, but is steadily on the rise as more people become aware not only for the cost factor, but also the environmental factor. In the Pacific Northwest, we like our organic foods and saving the planet how and when we can. Some of those fancy caskets might contain metals and other materials that leak toxins into the earth.last_img read more

Alaska Senators No Fans of Iran Deal

first_imgThe Obama administration faced a tough crowd this morning as it defended its nuclear agreement with Iran in Congress. Both of Alaska’s senators are among the chorus of lawmakers who say the deal is bad for the U.S. and the region.Download AudioIn the Senate Armed Services Committee, Republican members were ready to pounce. Chairman John McCain of Arizona said the agreement would pave the way to a nuclear Iran and allow it to go on “shopping spree” for other weapons. Four Cabinet secretaries and the chairman of the joint chiefs defended the deal, saying it would restrict Iran and let the world know if it were cheating. If so, they said, the U.S. would snap economic sanctions back in place, and, through the U.N., trigger automatic international sanctions, too.Three hours into the hearing, it was Alaska Sen. Dan Sullivan’s turn to question the witnesses. Sullivan challenged Secretary of State John Kerry on a term “snap-back” sanctions.D.S.: Is there a term called the snap-back provision in the agreement?J.K.: I don’t think it’s specifically —— No there isn’t. the word ‘snap back’ is not in the agreement …–No but it’s created by —— Let me make my point. I have a lot of questions and I don’t have a lot of time. Sullivan says the term “snap back” is somewhat deceitful. He says he knows from his service in the George W. Bush Administration, isolating Iran economically wasn’t easy.“That was a slog,” Sullivan said. “That wasn’t a snap. That took years to get countries to divest out of the Iranian economy. It’ll take years to do it again.”Sullivan also suggested the deal leaves the U.S. impotent to punish Iran with sanctions for non-nuclear aggression it might commit.“An act of terrorism happens. It’s big,” Sullivan said, setting up a hypotherical. “They kill more American troops. They blow up a consulate. It’s likely, I think it’s likely, that they’re going to do that in the next 10 years.  … We impose sanctions … . This is our power!”But, Sullivan told Treasury Secretary Jack Lew, the agreement says Iran will treat the reimposition of sanctions as grounds to stop holding up its end of the bargain.–If we ever, ever impose so-called snap-back sanctions, isn’t the deal over? Where am I wrong on that question?–Well, Senator, we would snap sanctions back once they violated the agreement …Sullivan cut him off. He said he wasn’t talking about Iran violating the nuclear agreement, but other bad acts by Iran.“Answer the question!” Sullivan insisted. “You didn’t answer it in the closed setting. You’re not answering it now!”Secretary Lew’s take is that not all sanctions would end the agreement. Lew says the U.S. could still punish Iran for non-nuclear terrorism while leaving the deal in place.Sullivan’s approach was in keeping with the tone of the hearing. It ended with pointed questions from two Republican candidates for president – Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, and Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas. Cruz was especially testy in asking Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz about a certain type of nuclear assault.“It could kill tens of millions of Americans. Do you agree with that?” Cruz asked.“It would depend obviously on the specifics,” Moniz said.Cruz tried to pin him down, then called him out for equivocating.“You’re refusing to answer the question,” he said.Sen. Lisa Murkowski doesn’t serve on committees that have taken up the Iran nuclear agreement. She’s been busy crafting a national energy bill, but she’s been briefed on the Iran deal and says she intends to read it for herself. So far, Murkowski is highly skeptical.“What I am hearing, what I am reading is giving me no greater assurance about the soundness of this agreement,” she said.Murkowski says an alternative might be expanded sanctions.“The president is trying to suggest that it is this or war. I reject that,” she said.Congress has until late September to review the deal. Opponents seem to have the votes to pass a resolution of disapproval, but it’s less likely they can override a presidential veto.last_img read more

Sri Sathya Sai Paduka Pooja Mahotsav today

first_imgHyderabad: Sri Sathya Sai Paduka Puja Mahostavam to be held on July 13 at Sri Sathya Sai Vidya Vihar, Bagh Amberpet (Durgabai Deshmukh Colony) at 10:35 am.The Telangana wing of Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organisations (SSSSO) announced that it will be taking up a three-year project under the name of Sri Sathya Sai Grama Seva Mahayagnam and Sri Sathya Sai Divya Patham in the 31 districts of the state covering 306 villages and slums in the rural and urban areas under Sri Sathya Sai Village Integrated Programme. Also Read – Golden 90’s Music Superstars – Alka Yagnik & Kumar Sanu LIVE in Concert will be performing together for the very 1st time in the city of pearls,… Advertise With Us G Kishan Reddy, Union Minister of State, Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India will inaugurate the Sri Sathya Sai Paduka Puja Mahotsavam. During the occasion about 3,000 members from all the districts of the Telangana are expected to participate and all the members will be gifted with Holy Padukas. Speaking on the occasion, P Venkat Rao, the State President of SSSSO, Telangana said, “The objective of the project is to awaken the divinity within by rendering various activities with overall comprehensive development focusing socio care, Medicare and Educare along with spirituality which runs on the divine dictum of Sathya Sai Baba.” Also Read – Warrant issued against Renuka Chowdhury in cheating case Advertise With Us “In the first phase of this project, the messages of selfless love and service will be taken to each of the villages in the form of various service and spiritual activities. This project aims at transforming the villagers into the virtuous path of we are all one,” added Venkat Rao. The core focus of the Sathya Sai Seva Organisations is Educare, Healthcare, SocioCare, Aquacare, and Ecocare. Supplying free drinking water supply to millions in the country, free Medicare facilities with the state-of-the-art technology which can match or surpass the best in the world and value-based education from KG to PG at Prasanthi Nilayam. All the activities of the Sathya Sai Organizations are absolutely free of cost. The binding force of all the activities is pure Love which is based on the dictum and powerful mantra of Sathya Sai Baba.last_img read more

MultiAgency Investigation Shuts Down Synthetic Drug Operation In Houston

first_imgIndictment Share Al OrtizKenneth Magidson (Center), U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Texas, said the drug “can lead to all kinds of physical and mental issues.”Federal officials in Houston have dismantled a major ring that produced and sold a synthetic drug that authorities say is one of the most dangerous threats to public health in the United States.Both federal and local law enforcement agencies –like the Drug Enforcement Agency, DEA, and the Houston Police Department– participated in the investigation.Kenneth Magidson, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Texas, says the drug was sold primarily in the Houston area.It was marketed like synthetic marijuana with names like Kush and sold in establishments such as gas stations and convenience stores.Courtesy of Department of Justicepackaging of synthetic marijuana – street name “kush”Investigators seized more than nine tons of the drug and 16 people have been charged. They are accused of selling the drug and money laundering, among other charges.One of the persons charged is Omar Maher Alnasser, an assistant professor of finance at the University of Houston-Victoria.A spokesperson for the university said in a statement they take this matter “very seriously” and added the university “will fully cooperate with law enforcement on all aspects of their investigation.”Magidson underlines this drug “can lead to all kinds of physical and mental issues, and you can die.”Joseph Arabit, special agent for the DEA in Houston, notes this is a type of synthetic drug that is mostly being sold to youth who either smoke it or ingest it.The raw chemicals used to make it are brought from foreign countries and mixed with plant materials, sometimes in dirty machines like cement mixers.“These synthetic cannabinoids are nothing more than unregulated chemicals sprayed on plant material. It’s poison,” Arabit said.last_img read more

Binay comes up with helpline to address public grievances

first_imgDarjeeling: On the heels of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s Didi Ke Bolo campaign, Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (Binay faction) has come up with a number where the public can lodge complaints.Talking to media persons, Binay Tamang, President GJM stated: “We as an important political party in the Hills have always strived to ensure all round development in the Hills through the GTA. “We have always stressed that all development work (project) have to be upto the mark. We have always maintained transparency. We have vouched for a corruption free GTA and the Hills.” Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataTamang stated that earlier also the GTA had made public a number whereby complaints of sub standard works could be registered. It had evoked immense response. Owing to instant checks, the quality of work improved considerably. “However, we cannot keep tabs on everything. The public have to be proactive. Instead of complaining on social media, they now can complain in this number. We will take immediate action if it is GTA related. If it is state government related we will get in touch with the concerned State Government department,” assured Tamang. Also Read – Lightning kills 8, injures 16 in stateHe stated that the complaints could be relating to sub standard work, anomalies relating to appointments or anything illegal. It can be against leaders along with the rank and file. However, there should be substantial proof and not just to harass an individual or party. “The number is 6291482120. It is a WhatsApp number where the complaints can be registered,” stated Tamang. He stated soon recruitment of teachers along with Group B, C, D staff would ensue for the GTA. “Appointments will be handed out as per rules and strictly on merit basis. In case of anomalies complaints can be registered,” stated Tamang.last_img read more

Former Central American diplomats warn of regional challenges to democracy

first_imgRelated posts:Economist Intelligence Unit: Costa Rica and Uruguay are the only ‘full’ democracies in Latin America President of Guatemala calls Costa Rica’s Solís a ‘strategic partner’ to change drug debate Black Costa Rican congresswomen report racist threats Costa Rica’s 2015 social media sensations WASHINGTON, D.C. – Authoritarianism is gradually making a comeback throughout the hemisphere in the form of dictatorial regimes that “took root under the guise of rule of law,” three Central America experts warned at a panel Thursday in Washington.Coincidentally, the event took place just as Luis Guillermo Solís was being sworn in as Costa Rica’s 47th president – and on the same day Venezuelan police demolished four protest camps in Caracas and detained 243 anti-government demonstrators.“Hugo Chávez has been dead for over a year now, but his spirit lives on in Venezuela” through his hand-picked replacement, President Nicolás Maduro, said Jaime Daremblum, Costa Rica’s former ambassador to the United States and current director of the Hudson Institute’s Center for Latin American Studies, which sponsored the conference.Daremblum said Maduro has suppressed Venezuela’s opposition movement more violently than Chávez had ever done. Since February, at least 41 people have died and more than 700 have been injured in daily street protests against the Maduro government, which demonstrators say has done nothing to stop rampant crime, runaway inflation and shortages of basic goods.“The United States obviously has a major interest in preserving Latin American democracy, yet it has shown relatively little leverage over governments in Caracas, La Paz, Quito, Managua and Buenos Aires,” complained Daremblum, a frequent critic of the Obama administration. Jaime Daremblum, Costa Rica’s former ambassador to the United States, is now director of the Hudson Institute’s Center for Latin American Studies. Larry Luxner/The Tico TimesOther speakers included Kevin Casas-Zamora, secretary for political affairs at the Organization of American States and former vice president of Costa Rica, and René León, El Salvador’s longtime former ambassador in Washington. Héctor Schamis, an adjunct professor at Georgetown University and columnist for Madrid’s El País newspaper, also offered commentary.“Not so long ago, Mexico was ruled by a one-party bureaucracy, Brazil, Argentina and Peru were military dictatorships, El Salvador, Guatemala and Nicaragua were involved in civil wars, and only a handful of nations were truly democratic,” said Daremblum, who was Costa Rica’s top envoy to Washington from 1998 to 2004.“Compared with the early 1980s, Latin American democracy is doing pretty well. And yet, over the past 15 years, Latin America has become a region divided between authoritarian populism and liberal democracy, between 21st-century socialism and free-market capitalism,” he cautioned. “But unlike in the old days – when the biggest threat to democracy came from armed guerrillas and military coups – today it’s from leaders who were fairly elected but who have hollowed out democratic institutions, persecuted political opponents and attack independent journalists.”These heads of state, he said, include not just Venezuela’s Chávez and Maduro but also Ecuador’s Rafael Correa, Nicaragua’s Daniel Ortega, Bolivia’s Evo Morales and Argentina’s Cristina Kirchner.León added another leader to that list: Salvador Sánchez Cerén, who was elected president of El Salvador in March after a bitterly contested process in which his ruling Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front (FMLN) received 50.11 percent of the vote, compared with 49.89 percent for Norman Quijano of the right-wing Arena party.“President-elect Cerén, who was kissing Castro’s ring last week, said Maduro was his inspiration, and that he will follow Maduro’s guidance because he’s a beacon for the Americas,” said León. “Cerén is taking a very moderate reconciliation discourse in El Salvador – inviting the private sector to invest in his government – while at the same time doing the exact opposite in Cuba and Venezuela. This is bad news for El Salvador, and I think it’s bad news for Central America in general.”León, who represented El Salvador in Washington for 10 years before joining Creative Associates International as an “economic growth consultant,” blamed the Maduro government for unfairly helping to elect Sánchez Cerén.“Venezuela’s attempts to export the Bolivarian revolution using oil money failed in Honduras – barely – last November, but it won in El Salvador in April. If there is a country that’s next in line to become a competitive dictatorship, sadly enough it will be El Salvador,” said the former ambassador.León claimed that the Petrocaribe program – whereby Venezuela provides subsidized oil to countries throughout the Caribbean Basin region – funneled tens of millions of dollars in funds to the FMLN so that the party composed of former leftist rebels could win recent elections at the municipal and national level.“This has transformed the political class in El Salvador into the new entrepreneurial class, but it also violated electoral rules,” he said. “During the current administration of [President Mauricio] Funes, the FMLN regime has attempted to dismantle the Supreme Court and also promoted changing the constitution to perpetuate its power. Not even the opposition political parties were able to derail those attempts. Fortunately they were stopped by civil society.”Ironically, says León, the National Assembly today ranks as the most discredited democratic institution in El Salvador, according to a recent survey, while the most trusted institution is the armed forces – a “contradiction,” he said, for a country that spent so many years embroiled in a civil war that cost the lives of an estimated 75,000 people.Regionally, the much bigger paradox, said Casas-Zamora, is “that right at the moment we all became democratic nations, those mechanisms to protect democracy were rendered ineffective.” Kevin Casas-Zamora is secretary for political affairs at the Organization of American States and a former vice president of Costa Rica. Larry Luxner/The Tico Times‘Tectonic changes’In his talk, Casas-Zamora outlined five “tectonic changes” he says will define the future of democracy in Latin America.The first is a trend toward ideological convergence in which blatantly left-wing or right-wing economic and social policies will no longer sway voters.“It doesn’t matter whether candidates hail from the left or the right. According to regional surveys, 38 percent of the population of Latin America defines itself as being in the center. Another 20 percent are reluctant to place themselves in the left or right, so you have to cater to the center,” said the OAS official. “Otherwise you’re doomed.”The second phenomenon is the rise of civil society at the expense of traditional political parties throughout Latin America.“Mass media has taken over the traditional functions of political representation,” said Casas-Zamora, who served as Costa Rica’s vice president under Óscar Arias from May 2006 until September 2007. “If you’re a grassroots leader with a grievance in your community, where do you take that grievance nowadays? To the local branch of a political party, or to a TV station? Add to that the role of social networks, which have really thrown political parties off balance.”Third is the revamping of constitutional frameworks in places like Honduras and Paraguay, and “the haste in introducing political reforms and pushing them down the throats of society without carefully thinking about the consequences.”The fourth phenomenon is what Casas-Zamora calls the “hollowing out of the rule of law” – a trend he said is exacerbated by the “extremely high and growing” fear of violent crime throughout the region.“Nearly 40 percent of the population of Latin America is willing to tolerate the abuse of authority in the name of the fight against crime, according to regional surveys. Even more remarkable, over one-fourth of the population favors taking the law into their own hands. When you travel throughout the region, this iron fist is never far below the surface. It was the single biggest issue in the last election in Honduras,” he said, noting the “mano dura” approach taken by ruling National Party candidate Juan Orlando Hernández, who won the November 2013 election with 37 percent of the vote in a country that suffers the world’s highest homicide rate.“We also saw bits of that in Panama as well,” said the politician, lawyer and political scientist. “When it comes to crime and the fear of crime, people adapt their behavior and simply accept a greater encroachment of their civil liberties.”The final trend, he said, is the proliferation of social demands, sparked by the growth of Latin America’s middle class – which for the first time in history is larger than the low-income class.“The middle class provides the voice that demands quality in public goods and services,” said Casas-Zamora. “These profound social transformations are rarely the result of political decisions, but rather more fundamental forces such as technological or demographic change.”As a result, he predicted, “Latin American societies will have more women, be older and be more secular – no matter what the politicians do or not do. It’s not politicians who will change societies in Latin America anymore.” Facebook Commentslast_img read more

Capitol Hill Buzz Utahs Lee fundraises off NSA spying

first_imgWASHINGTON (AP) — Sen. Mike Lee is raising money off his opposition to the National Security Agency’s surveillance programs.And he’s hoping the NSA will spy on him and find out all about it.The Utah Republican, who is up for re-election next year, is asking supporters to donate to his campaign and sign a petition backing his legislative efforts to end the NSA’s collection and storage of Americans’ phone records. Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies 5 ways to recognize low testosterone “Eavesdropping or not, let’s send the NSA a message they can’t HELP but hear!” Lee wrote in the email Thursday night. “We may not be able to duplicate the NSA’s complex spider web, but we can get the honest, hardworking people of America to join us in the cause of ending government-sanctioned spying on its citizens.”“And as for this email, the NSA can read it all they want. we WANT them to see this one!” Lee added.He sent the email a few hours after a federal appeals court had declared the NSA bulk data collection program illegal, and with Congress in a heated debate about the practice. Lee and other libertarian-leaning Republicans have joined with many Democrats in trying to end the program, but other lawmakers, including GOP Senate leadership, want it to continue.An NSA spokeswoman did not immediately respond to an emailed request for comment.An occasional look at what Capitol Hill is talking aboutCopyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Comments   Share   center_img Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Patients with chronic pain give advice Sponsored Stories Four benefits of having a wireless security system Top Stories last_img read more