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Unnecessary alteration

first_imgThe recent controversial amendment to certain provisions of the Right to Information Act 2005 was a threat to the very existence of the institution. Several opposition parties, as well as activists, feel that squeezing RTI means that the government may threaten or lure the Chief Information Commissioner and Information Commissioners to suit its political exigencies. The amendments made changes in the terms and conditions of appointment of the Chief Information Commissioner (CIC) and the Information Commissioners at the Centre and in states. The fixed tenure of five years for the CIC and the ICs was done away. Their salaries too have been altered. Both will now be separately notified by the government of the day. The original RTI Act was passed after it was discussed and cleared by the Parliamentary Committee on Personnel, Public Grievances, Law and Justice. It recommended the level of the Chief Election Commissioner for the CIC and that of Election Commissioners for the ICs respectively. Also Read – A special kind of bondTo recall the genesis, need, concept and evolution of the RTI Act, it may be appropriate to trace the roots since the days of earlier NDA government, or to that matter, the days when Inder Kumar Gujral was Prime Minister. When the then NDA government, though enacted the Freedom of Information Act, did not frame the rules and regulations and as a result, the Manmohan Singh UPA government brought the RTI Act on June 21, 2005. Though the then President APJ Abdul Kalam gave his assent on June 15, 2005, he went on record that confidentiality of communication between the Head of State and Head of Government should be maintained. He further emphasised that notings by bureaucrats on files should also be privileged, as otherwise, it could adversely affect the decision-making process. He, however, expressed the view that the legislation is an empowering tool and added that, “the Right to Information can provide immense relief to people who feel they have been wronged”. An Act of this sort, framed with meticulous care, is rarely seen anywhere in the world. Also Read – Insider threat managementThe strong driving force behind RTI Act was undoubtedly the nine-point Action Plan adopted in the Chief Ministers’ conference chaired by the then PM IK Gujral held on May 1997, on the eve of 50 years of independence. The conference observed that even after (by then) 50 years of independence, people have growing doubts on state and central governments and to justify the trust of the people, an action plan containing the components of Accountability, Transparency and Citizen friendly government was necessary. In the process, the chief ministers and the Prime Minister, irrespective of party affiliations, agreed on enacting Freedom of Information Act, and to make it a success, every government department should draft citizen charters and establish public facilitation and information centres. Unfortunately, in the majority of states, either all three or one or more remained only on paper and for namesake. The RTI Act provisions generated lots of hopes in citizens. The main reason for enacting such a law was that democracy requires an informed citizenry and transparency of information is vital to its functioning. The question was what constitutes information? The answer is simple. Information means any material in any form including records, documents, memos, e-mails, opinions, press releases, circulars, orders, logbooks, contracts, reports, papers, samples, models, data material, etc., held by any public authority. Any authority or body or institution of the government including non-government organisations substantially financed by the government is a public authority and they are expected to maintain all its records. All this information shall be widely disseminated in the public domain and in an easily accessible format. Each public authority shall appoint Public Information Officers (PIO) who are responsible to provide information when a citizen seeks. In case if the citizen does not get a response from the PIO within the prescribed time, he or she has a right to approach the Information Commission for redressal and the concerned Commissioner(s) initiate appropriate action against the PIO who fails to give information.A couple of doubts still haunt citizens in the implementation of the Act despite the formation of commissions in some states and the Centre. Is it possible for the government to commit to “provide for setting out the practical regime of right to information for citizens to secure access to information under the control of public authorities” as stated in the Act? For each and every government department, unless otherwise committed to the Act, is not possible. Every Public Authority shall, as per the Act, maintain all its records duly Catalogued, Indexed, Computerised and Connected through a network all over the country as well as publish within four months from the enactment of this Act, the particulars of its organization, functions, powers and duties of its officers and employees besides the procedure followed in the decision-making process. How many have done this? In addition, they should publish within four months from the enactment of this Act, the budget allocated, proposed expenditures, reports on disbursements, manner of execution of subsidy programmes, facilities available to citizens for obtaining information, working hours of a library or reading room and names, designations and other particulars of the Public Information Officers as Single Point of Contact. It is debatable as to how many adhere to this as of now either at Centre or in states. The Act did not define the phrase “substantially financed” and as a result, Non-Government Organisations (NGO) ignored their obligations under the Act. The Second Administrative Reforms Commission’s recommendation that organisations which perform functions of a public nature that are ordinarily performed by government or its agencies, and those which enjoy natural monopoly may be brought within the purview of the Act is yet to be implemented. Any Organisation (Government or Non-Government) may take shelter under clauses. “There shall be no obligation to give any citizen such information which is classified as “the disclosure of which would prejudicially affect.” Does this provision not amount to limitations? Some Pro-Active Initiatives may perhaps help in better implementation of the Act. They are: Identification and analysis of citizens’ information needs; Developing Active Public Information Tools and Techniques like briefings, central information contact, information hotline, technical assistance, simulation games, information centres and field offices, expert panels, field trip, open houses, community fairs etc. Finally, in a country like ours where nothing is practicable without political influence and interference, identification and appointment of persons of eminence in public life with wide knowledge and experience in different fields, as required in the Act, for the positions of Information Commissioners is a Herculean task. While this has been the scenario, the government’s decision to amend the act to suit its requirements is unhealthy and further diminishes the strength of the Act. Let the Indian Right to Information Act remain as the best in the world as was originally conceived and passed by the Manmohan Government. All that the citizens are saying is to ‘treat us with courtesy and respect, make things easy for us, provide reliable and timely help, give us choice and voice and shift from rule-driven procedures to citizen service-driven procedures’. Any direct or indirect control on the Act amounts to infringement of citizen’s right. (The author is Chief PRO to Telangana CM. The views expressed are strictly personal)last_img read more


Government seeks Chinese help to revive port

The new Government is banking on Chinese investment to revive a port project that became a symbol of the previous government’s excesses bankrolled by China, the South China Morning Post reported.Hambantota gained notoriety as a port without ships and was the butt of opposition criticism of then President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s tendency to throw Chinese money at vanity projects in order to line his pockets.Following Rajapaksa’s ouster in January’s presidential election, the new government first toyed with the idea of turning the port into a ship-breaking yard, before deciding to make it a dockyard.“We have US$1.5 billion sunk in the project and no revenue. We need to make use of it. We want Chinese investors to come and help turn it into a dockyard as well as invest in an industrial park there,” Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Harsha de Silva told the South China Morning Post in an exclusive interview.Among Sri Lanka’s leading economists, de Silva has been put in the foreign ministry to drive economic diplomacy in the national unity government put in place after parliamentary elections in August.“The Chinese have expressed interest in the project. Hopefully things will start moving after Colombo Port City is sorted,” he said, alluding to a stalled Chinese-funded real estate reclamation project in Sri Lankan capital that has become a bone of contention between the two countries. The new government has shelved Port City, making China wary of investing in the South Asian country.The Sri Lankan cabinet has approved a plan by China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC) to do a feasibility study to build the dockyard at Hambantota. CHEC has also proposed to manage and operate the dockyard.Hambantota is among the many big-ticket infrastructure projects China funded during Rajapaksa’s rule. Sri Lanka is estimated to have received up to US$5 billion from China in the form of aid, soft loans and grants in the past six years. Nearly 70 per cent of the infrastructure projects in the country have been funded by China and built by Chinese companies.Funded by a Chinese loan of US$316 million in 2010, the port received just six ships in 2011 and 18 in 2013. Traffic picked up thereafter partly due to government incentives. But the port that was touted as a competitor for Singapore has continued to bleed the government, drawing opposition fire for wasting public money on projects that only helped China. Now in power, the anti-Rajapaksa forces are also looking for Chinese funding but in a different way.“China is a big source of project funding the world over. There is no denying that,” de Silva said. “But we want Chinese funds as investment, not loans. The loans we have been taking from the Chinese are taking a toll on the government. More than a third of our tax revenue goes into loan servicing.”China Exim Bank funded 85 per cent of the US$361 million for the first phase of the Hambantota project that was executed by CHEC and Sinohydro. With barely enough ships to cover its operational costs, the port incurred annual interest payments of US$16.5 million in 2012, US$18.5 million in 2013 and US$16.7 million last year.Rajapaksa still went ahead with the second phase, costing US$808 million, again funded by China. That contract was given to state-controlled and Hong Kong-listed China Communications Construction Company (CCCC) and China Merchants Group. China Merchants Holdings International and CCCC were also granted exclusive operating rights to four berths at the port.Also contracted to undertake all land reclamation and infrastructure works for the Colombo Port City project, CHEC is a subsidiary of CCCC, which is financing the controversial real estate project.De Silva also urged China to invest in the 45 export-driven special economic zones the Sri Lankan government plans to set up, primarily catering for the Indian subcontinent.“Sri Lanka enjoys a geographical advantage in the Indian market,” he said. “More than 70 per cent of all transshipment through Colombo is India-related traffic. If China wants to tap that market, Sri Lanka is the place to set up shop.” read more


Inventory down but sales and prices jump again for Vancouver homes

Inventory down but sales and prices jump again for Vancouver homes by The Canadian Press Posted Aug 5, 2015 12:39 pm MDT Last Updated Aug 5, 2015 at 4:40 pm MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email VANCOUVER – There appears to be no ceiling for the cost of homes in the Vancouver area, as more properties keep selling for higher prices.The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver released statistics Wednesday showing July sales of homes jumped 30 per cent compared to the same time last year. The average price for a residential property in the board’s 16 cities, districts or municipalities was $700,500, an 11.2 per cent increase from 2014.While the demand is high, there are fewer homes on the market, and board president Darcy McLeod said that can lead to multiple offers on homes in desirable areas.In such cases, he said agents often have a day or two to do their due diligence.“Certainly, setting that strategy out ahead of time with your Realtor is great advice for anybody who’s entering into buying into the marketplace.”A home inspector may be waiting in the wings and financing needs to be secured, he said, adding some people take an inspector with them to open houses.The board estimates there are 5,000 to 6,000 fewer homes on the market compared to the last five to six years.McLeod said increased buyer demand creates hesitation on the part of sellers who want to move within the same region because they are worried about what they’ll buy in an aggressive market.Sales of detached homes also jumped by almost 18 per cent in July, with the composite price at more than $1.14 million.However, McLeod said that figure doesn’t really represent the entire market.Price increases can be very localized, with neighbourhoods that are really hot alongside those that are not, or others where the average price increased a year ago but remained static this year, he said.There is still plenty of inventory — over 70 per cent — under the $1-million price tag, McLeod said.Key factors for higher sales and pricing included desirability for living in a region, the low interest rate, and most importantly, high consumer confidence, he said.“Although we hear stories that it might be an over-inflated market, consumers don’t seem to think that. They’re speaking with their chequebook, so to speak, and stepping up and purchasing homes.”He doesn’t see a cooling trend soon in a market that is driven by world factors, noting the region is attractive to people moving from other parts of the globe.“Greater Vancouver continues to be — in terms of a global perspective — an affordable place to live. We think it’s very expensive but if you look at the overall housing stock, not everybody is living in a million-dollar detached house,” McLeod said.“Will the prices fall significantly any time in the near future? I doubt it.” read more


Dolphins Release OftInjured Veteran QB David Garrard

The Miami Dolphins released David Garrard on Tuesday, a day after the veteran quarterback returned to practice from a knee injury that had bothered him for the entire preseason.Garrard confirmed his release on Twitter, writing, “To all the dolphins fans thx for ur support! Best of luck to all my teammates. Thx for making me feel at home!! Phins up!!”Garrard, 34, underwent arthroscopic surgery in early August and missed all four preseason games. He was listed as the fourth-string quarterback on the depth chart Monday after being the first-team QB early in training camp.Had the Dolphins kept Garrard, they would have had to guarantee his contract – a risky move considering he’s coming off an injury.Garrard, a longtime starter with the Jacksonville Jaguars, was signed by Miami in the offseason. His injury opened the door for rookie Ryan Tannehill to get more playing time and eventually earn the starting job.Garrard looked much improved while practicing on a limited basis on Monday, warming up with the team before going through early drills and throwing some passes.Garrard did not participate in either 7-on-7 or full-team drills Monday.He was ultimately done by his own price tag. Both he and fellow backup Matt Moore make too much money to be the third-string quarterback, meaning one of them had to go.Moore has struggled by most accounts in picking up the Dolphins’ new offense, but was still a safer choice than the injury-prone Garrard.Moore, who was last year’s starter, will back up Tannehill, while Pat Devlin is listed on the depth chart as the No. 3 quarterback.Garrard could still land another job within the league, especially after Week 1 because any contract he signs at that point would not be guaranteed for the year.Garrard was a fourth-round pick by the Jaguars in the 2002 NFL Draft after enjoying spectacular collegiate career at East Carolina. read more


The World Series Baseballs Sure Seem Juiced But Are They

The rate of long balls is up about 69 percent compared with the regular season, while the next largest bump is only 56 percent, achieved in 2009. According to a simple statistical test, the probability of witnessing so many home runs in the Series (considering the rate in the regular season) is about 1 in 80.1I used a binomial test, assuming that the rate of home runs per contact in the regular season is the true probability. That is a very fragile conclusion, however. Had we performed the same analysis after Saturday’s game, the result would be that the rate of home runs was not as elevated.2The probability of seeing as many home runs as we saw up through Game 4 is about 1 in 20. We ought to be no more certain today that the balls are more lively than we were a few nights ago.Despite the most recent round of allegations, there’s no compelling evidence that the baseballs are especially home-run prone this postseason — or any different than what we saw during the regular season. Since the middle of this year, evidence has been mounting that alterations to the baseball are to blame for the all-time high home-run rates. What we are seeing in this Series might be a result of the prior changes to the ball, rather than a whole new bout of modifications.You won’t find a bigger believer in the juiced ball hypothesis than me, but the evidence for a World Series change driving a home run explosion is much thinner than the broader case that Ben Lindbergh, Mitchel Lichtman and I assembled over the course of the past few years.For starters, the World Series spike is partially due to the fact that the Houston Astros are very good at hitting home runs. The team’s historically excellent offense is the source of many of the gaudy home-run totals already. So far, the Astros have hit 13 homers in five games, which sounds like it could be record-breaking on its own. But there were 103 five-game streaks in the regular season that saw a team drive 13 or more balls over the fence, including six such streaks by the Astros themselves.There’s another problem with the juiced ball hypothesis. Verducci’s article alleges that the balls are more slick than normal. But academic research suggests that a more slippery baseball actually travels less far than a rough one. Similar to the dimples on a golf ball, a little bit of surface texture acts to reduce air resistance instead of slowing the ball down. So while we might expect slick baseballs to mess with a pitcher’s grip, we wouldn’t necessarily expect them to get out of the park more often.There is some evidence to support the idea that the balls are more slippery. I used Statcast’s pitch tracking to compare the air resistance of playoff baseballs to those used in September and found a slight increase in drag in that time. The bump in drag coefficient of 0.023 is enough to reduce fly-ball distance by about 11.5 feet, which doesn’t explain at all why so many hitters are launching homers. Furthermore, this kind of fluctuation in air resistance happens all the time. (Drag coefficient dropped by a similar amount from August to September, for example.) As I detailed in an earlier article, whether because of manufacturing variations or intentional tampering, the drag on MLB baseballs often hops around from month to month, pulling home-run rates with it.One way in which a slicker baseball could be causing more homers is if it is harming a pitcher’s ability to hold the ball. Some pitch types — those that require a more forceful grip on the baseball’s surface, like a slider — are expected to be affected most. Yet the evidence for an effect on that offering is much more murky. The ESPN Stats & Information Group found that pitchers’ spin rates and called-strike percentages dropped dramatically in the World Series, suggesting that they were having trouble getting a grip. But other sabermetricians have found no effect — or contradictory impacts on different hurlers. The increase in home-run rate might be coming from pitchers trying (and failing) to adjust to a new surface texture, rather than the ball itself being more conducive to homers.Without more data — or a sudden wave of candidness from MLB commissioner Rob Manfred about any manufacturing changes to the ball — it’s hard to say for sure what’s happening to the ball. For now, we’re left with the possibility that this World Series is just business as usual in the home-run era — or that a new baseball is changing the game again. Just before the Houston Astros’ 13-12 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game 5 of the World Series, speculation was running rampant about juiced balls. Sports Illustrated’s Tom Verducci wrote an article detailing accusations from multiple pitchers that changes to the surfaces of the World Series baseballs were behind a spike of home runs in the Fall Classic.This passed the eye test of even the most casual fan. Sunday’s game featured seven long balls, which wasn’t even the most in a game in this series. Game 2 saw eight homers, including five in extra innings — something that hadn’t occurred in any game, let alone a Series game. With one or two games left, the Dodgers and Astros have already broken the all-time marks for home runs in a World Series and in an entire postseason. The current rate of at-bats per home run stands at 15.8, which would slot in between the career marks of Albert Pujols and Frank Thomas. The average World Series rate since 1995 (the beginning of the wild-card era) is a much more pedestrian 34.8 at-bats per homer.Examining the ratio of home runs per contact in all World Series since 1995, this year has the largest increase from the regular season to the Series. read more


No more plastic bags in Alonnisos

first_imgStarting this week, Alonnisos is abolishing the use of plastic bags. The ambitious project is backed by the entire island, which in the last few years has made major leaps forward on issues concerning environmental protection. If it succeeds, the Greek island will become the country’s first area to implement such a pivotal change in daily consumption habits.Protected by the European Union’s Natura program and located in the heart of the National Marine Park of the Northern Sporades, Alonnisos hopes to earn the title of the country’s “greenest” island.“People here have had environmental concerns for a number of years, regardless of laws and prohibitions,” said Alonnisos Mayor Petros Vafinis. “There is an eco conscience, which the older generation might have referred to in another way, but essentially, it exists.”Vafinis sounded enthusiastic with regard to the island’s recent environmental achievements. “When we started the recycling program in 2012, I did not expect people, especially older citizens, to participate in the effort. Grandmothers are now first in line at the recycling bins. I’m very pleased with the progress made.”And now the island has declared war on plastic bags.“Last year I took part in a conference about recycling on islands. The issue of plastic bags was raised by some scientists and what I heard had an effect on me. It’s a material which takes 400 to 500 years to disappear and is very damaging to both land and sea. We discussed it at the municipal council and decided to go ahead with the idea, with the help of two nongovernment organizations, the Hellenic Society for the Study and Protection of the Monk Seal (MOm) and the Mediterranean SOS Network.”Two meetings with the island’s entrepreneurs followed. “We decided to begin the abolition of plastic bags on December 1. Professionals have stopped ordering new shipments and, as a replacement, started putting orders for tissue paper bags and multiple-use plastic ones which they will charge for. Eighty percent of clothes stores are already using paper bags instead. Even outlets selling souvenirs agreed to place orders for paper bags, despite the added expense,” added Vafinis. “The Mediterranean SOS Network and MOm will donate 2,000 tissue paper bags and distribute fliers in order to raise awareness and inform all of the island’s residents. A campaign targeting visitors will get under way in the summer.”“Alonnisos is a small island with tremendous environmental value and a very positive stance when it comes to environmentally friendly practices,” noted Natalia Roumelioti, coastal zone management projects coordinator at the Mediterranean SOS Network. The organization is taking part in Debag, a campaign aimed at raising awareness with regard to limiting the use of plastic bags around sea areas, which began in early September with European Union funding. “Reducing the use of plastic bags is important for the environment, it’s easy and, as of recently, an obligation following new EU legislation. This might sound somewhat ambitious, but I think Alonissos will succeed.”EU directive“I’m very optimistic,” Vafinis added. “Though we don’t expect plastic bags to completely disappear by December 31, we hope to succeed by the end of next year,” he added.In May last year, the European Parliament ratified a directive limiting the use of “thin” plastic bags (of the supermarket variety) based on a specific timetable. Member-states are called upon to limit consumption to 90 bags per person per year by the end of 2019 and to 40 bags by 2025 – it is estimated that about 242 plastic bags are used per person every year in Greece. Alternatively, EU countries are called upon to ensure that there will be a charge introduced for plastic bags by the end of 2018.Source: Kathimerini Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img read more


Mongolie la capitale OulanBator étouffée par la pollution

first_imgMongolie : la capitale Oulan-Bator étouffée par la pollutionCapitale de la Mongolie, Oulan-Bator compte seulement un million d’habitants. Mais cette ville située à 1.350 mètres d’altitude est aujourd’hui l’une des plus polluées du monde. Une situation inquiétante, qualifiée de “catastrophique” par le président du pays, Tsakhia Elbegdorj.Selon la Banque mondiale, les niveaux de pollution relevés dans les zones urbaines de la Mongolie comptent parmi les plus élevés du monde. Une situation qui s’aggrave en hiver. La température peut en effet descendre jusqu’à -25°C entre décembre et mars, et les familles se chauffent pour la plupart au charbon. Interrogée par l’AFP, Narantuya, une chômeuse de 39 ans mère de sept enfants, ne comprend pas d’où vient ce brouillard qui ne quitte presque jamais la ville. “Je ne sais pas d’où cela vient mais je sais que cela affecte mes enfants. L’hiver, ils sont constamment malades avec des rhumes et de la toux. J’ai tout le temps peur que l’un d’entre eux tombe gravement malade”, raconte-t-elle.C’est dans les quartiers peuplés de yourtes que la pollution est la plus forte, ont noté des chercheurs de l’Université nationale de Mongolie. Mais si l’année dernière, est entrée en vigueur une législation visant à infliger des amendes aux industries les plus polluantes, et notamment les centrales thermiques et les mines de charbon, le texte trop lacunaire ne semble pas porter ses fruits. Toutefois, comme l’a indiqué à la même source Munkhbat Tsendeekhuu, employé du ministère de l’Environnement, le gouvernement a prévu de débloquer cette année 30 milliards de tugriks (17,7 millions d’euros), afin de financer le développement d’énergies propres.À lire aussiLa Méditerranée est officiellement la mer la plus polluée par le plastiqueMais cet argent, les experts craignent qu’il ne soit pas utilisé judicieusement, de façon à lutter contre les réelles sources de la pollution de l’air. “90% de la pollution de l’air provient des poêles dans les yourtes et moins de 10% des voitures et des centrales électriques”, souligne Lodoysamba Sereeter, chercheur de l’Université nationale de Mongolie. “Le gouvernement a dépensé sept milliards de tugriks de 2007 à 2009 pour produire des briquettes de charbon de presse. Hélas elles ne réduisent pas les émissions car les poêles des yourtes ne sont pas conçus pour les utiliser”, déplore-t-il.Alors que “pour l’instant la population ne semble pas convaincue qu’il y a un réel danger”, Onno van den Heuvel, du Programme des Nations unies pour le développement (Pnud), estime que les graves conséquences de cette pollution n’apparaîtront certainement pas avant plusieurs décennies. “Les plus graves problèmes sont devant nous. A long terme, nous verrons les impacts”, souligne-t-il.Le 13 février 2011 à 17:13 • Emmanuel Perrinlast_img read more


WSUV professor helps reveal scale of carbon in surface soils

first_imgA Washington State University Vancouver professor’s research has revealed the scale of carbon locked in the Earth’s surface soils and potentially found insight into possible means to capture that carbon to fight global climate change.Marc Kramer, an associate environmental chemistry professor at WSU, and Oliver Chadwick, a soil scientist at the University of California Santa Barbara, spent five years taking and testing soil samples around the world for their latest study, published in the journal Nature Climate Change.The two analyzed soil data taken from the Americas, New Caledonia, Indonesia and Europe, along with 6-foot deep soil samples from more than 65 sites, through the National Science Foundation’s National Ecological Observatory Network.Rainfall, they found, takes carbon in the environment and rinses it through soils, where it interacts and bonds with minerals in the soil.“The way to look at this is a global pathway for how carbon is accumulated in soil,” he said. “What we didn’t know before this paper is … what are the pathways for how carbon accumulates in mineral soil?”Carbon regularly cycles through the environment, as different reservoirs of the element exchange carbon over time. For instance, photosynthesis, the process in which plants use sunlight to synthesize foods from carbon dioxide and water, cycles about 2.5 billion tons of carbon into the Earth’s soils annually, according to NASA.last_img read more


PM Christie calls for peaceful elections amidst minor unrest criticism

first_img Related Items:#BahamasGeneralElections2017, #PMChristiecallsforpeacefulelections Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Fred Smith, Q.C : Christmas has come Early to Bahamas, FNM paints Parliament red Recommended for you 88 Percent voter turnout Bahamas General Elections 2017 Fred Mitchell’ s Sour Grapes rant following FNM win. Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppBahamas, April 12, 2017 – Nassau -PLP government. Christie made the call during the general election date announcement. The election has been set for May 10.Christie called on citizens to uphold the history of parliamentary democracy in the Bahamas. “You will make that momentous decision in what I earnestly hope and pray will be free and fair elections following a spirited but peaceful campaign. Let us contest the forthcoming elections with all the vigour at our command. Let us do so, however, with respect for the human dignity of our opponents and with respect for the traditions we all hold dear,” said Christie.However, Christie’s call for peace comes following a week of protest and allegations of government neglect and politically motivated arrests. Last week, approximately 200 people marched to the PM’s office citing government inaction regarding landfill fires and opposition to the proposed Interception of Communications Bill as issues. Also last week, political activist Omar Archer was arrested on what some are calling trumped-up charges. Meanwhile, another political activist, Cay Mills’ bus was set on fire the morning of the announcement at his home. It is not clear whether the fire was related to Mills’ anti-government activism. Mills is an independent candidate for North Abaco. A recent Tribune 242 editorial called Christie an “emperor” and his government “hostile.”No mention of these incidences were made by Christie, who said: “Let us by our conduct in the general election campaign that officially starts today prove ourselves worthy of the great democratic traditions of free, fair and peaceful elections that have made our country the marvel of nations around the world. I have every confidence that we shall.”Story by: Zahra Gordon#PMChristiecallsforpeacefulelections#BahamasGeneralElections2017last_img read more


Houston Uses Freeway Billboards To Fight Its Overpopulation Of Stray Animals

first_img 00:00 /01:19 To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code: Listen Al OrtizFrom left to right: Alan Ratliff, chair and president of Houston BARC Foundation, Council Member Karla Cisneros –who is holding Otto— Ashley Turner, Mayor Sylvester Turner’s daughter and Lee Vela, vice president of Public Affairs of Clear Channel Outdoor pose next to the campaign’s billboard.Houston is launching a new campaign to address an old problem as an outreach effort is underway to promote the spaying and neutering of pets with the goal of reducing the city’s stray animal overpopulation.The City’s Bureau of Animal Regulation and Care, commonly known as BARC, says it doesn’t have exact figures about stray animals in Houston, but they are in the thousands.The intake at BARC’s shelter is about 26,000 animals a year, according to Ashtyn Rivet, the shelter’s deputy assistant director.A big factor contributing to this situation is insufficient spaying and neutering by pet owners.Mayor Sylvester Turner’s daughter Ashley Turner is participating in a public outreach campaign organized by BARC’s Foundation to promote spaying and neutering.The campaign, which starts on March 1st and will last for a year, consists of five freeway billboards showing a photo of Turner, a dog called Otto and City Council Member Karla Cisneros.Cisneros represents District H and says it is one of the most impacted by the stray animal overpopulation.“It is a public health issue for me and, so, when we look at where the primary strays are within the city of Houston, they primarily reside in the minority areas of town,” Turner explained at a press conference held at Houston’s City Hall.Clear Channel Outdoor owns the billboards and Lee Vela, the company’s vice president of Public Affairs, noted they will be “generating about thirteen million market impressions just this month alone.” X Sharelast_img read more


To bring focus on the impact of tech on society an education

first_imgMitchell Baker, chairwoman, and co-founder of Mozilla talked about the need for the tech industry to expand beyond the technical skills, last week following the announcement of the Responsible computer Science Challenge. She spoke about how hiring employees only from the STEM (science, technology, engineering, and maths) stream leads the way for technologists who face the same “blind spots” in tech as the current ones. “STEM is a necessity and educating more people in STEM topics clearly critical. But one thing that’s happened in 2018 is that we’ve looked at the platforms, and the thinking behind the platforms, and the lack of focus on impact or result,” said Baker in a statement to the Guardian. She also mentioned that hiring employees solely from the STEM disciplines is a move that will “come back to bite us”. Baker also tweeted about the reason to move beyond the precise technical jobs and skills: Mozilla wants to broaden the horizon of the tech industry by incorporating education grounded in humanities such as psychology and philosophy into undergraduate computer science degrees. The inclusion of ethics in the coursework will focus on not being purely philosophical. Rather, it will make use of hypothesis and logic to present the ideas. Also, these ethics ideas should make sense in a computer science coursework. “We need to be adding not just social sciences of the past, but something related to humanity and how to think about the effects of technology on humanity – which is partly sociology, partly anthropology, partly psychology, partly philosophy, partly ethics … it’s some new formulation of all of those things, as part of a Stem education. Otherwise, we’ll have ourselves to blame, for generations of technologists who don’t even have the toolsets to add these things in”, mentioned Baker. Mozilla Foundation, along with Omidyar Network, Schmidt Futures, and Craig Newmark Philanthropies, launched a competition, named Responsible Computer Science Challenge, last week for professors and educators. This aims to produce “a new wave of engineers” who’d implement a holistic approach to the design of all types of tech products. “The hope is that the Challenge will unearth and spark innovative coursework that will not only be implemented at the participating home institutions but also be scaled to additional colleges and universities across the country — and beyond”, reads the challenge overview. The challenge stems from the ongoing problem of misinformation online and wants to empower graduating engineers to drive a “culture shift in the tech industry and build a healthier internet”. This initiative by Mozilla to promote ethics and humanities in computer science coursework reflects on the values that the company stands by. It was only last week when the company dropped the word “meritocracy” from its revised governance statement and leadership structure to actively promote diversity and inclusion. “In a world where software is entwined with much of our lives, it is not enough to simply know what software can do. We must also know what software should and shouldn’t do, and train ourselves to think critically about how our code can be used. Students of computer science…must understand how code intersects with human behavior, privacy, safety, vulnerability, equality, and many other factors”, says Kathy Pham, a computer scientist at Mozilla who’s also co-leading the challenge. For more information, check out the official Mozilla blog. Read Next Mozilla, Internet Society, and web foundation wants G20 to address “techlash” fuelled by security and privacy concerns Mozilla’s new Firefox DNS security updates spark privacy hue and cry Firefox Nightly browser: Debugging your app is now fun with Mozilla’s new ‘time travel’ featurelast_img read more


The rock group Barenaked Ladies performs at the Fl

first_img The rock group Barenaked Ladies performs at the Fleet Center in Boston, Tuesday, March 2, 2004. The Barenaked Ladies with Steven Page will be among the performers at this year’s Juno Awards. As previously announced, the band will be inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame at the show, which will air on CBC from Vancouver on March 25.THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Robert E. Klein TORONTO – The Barenaked Ladies with Steven Page will be among the performers at this year’s Juno Awards.As previously announced, the band will be inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame at the show, which will air on CBC from Vancouver on March 25.Now organizers say they’ll also perform together, nearly a decade after Page left the group he co-founded.The moment is billed as “a one-time special performance” between Page and Ed Robertson, Jim Creeggan, Kevin Hearn and Tyler Stewart.Hearn will also perform alongside Sarah Harmer and Dallas Green in a tribute to Gord Downie.Other newly announced performers for the Junos broadcast include jazz star Diana Krall, pop artist Shawn Hook, and Nunavut indie roots band The Jerry Cans.Felix Cartal will be the house DJ for the event, put on by the Canadian Academy of Arts and Sciences. by The Canadian Press Posted Mar 12, 2018 1:14 pm PDT Last Updated Mar 12, 2018 at 2:00 pm PDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Emailcenter_img Barenaked Ladies to perform at the Juno Awardslast_img read more


Young and the Restless actor Kristoff St John d

first_img‘Young and the Restless’ actor Kristoff St. John dead at 52 LOS ANGELES — “Young and the Restless” actor Kristoff St. John has died at age 52.Officials say Los Angeles police were called to his home on Sunday and his body was turned over to the Los Angeles County coroner. The cause of death was not available.St. John had played Neil Winters on the CBS soap opera since 1991, earning nine daytime Emmy nominations. He won 10 NAACP Image Awards.He announced in September that he was engaged to model Kseniya Mikhaleva.St. John was twice married and divorced and was the father of a son and two daughters. His 24-year-old son, Julian, died in 2014.On Jan. 21, St. John retweeted “Grieving the loss of a child is a process. It begins on the day your child passes, and ends the day the parent joins them.” FILE- In this June 20, 2008, file photo Kristoff St. John accepts the award for outstanding supporting actor in a drama series for his work on “The Young and the Restless” at the 35th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards in Los Angeles. John has died at age 52. Los Angeles police were called to John’s home on Sunday, Feb. 3, 2019, and his body was turned over to the Los Angeles County coroner. The cause of death was not available. (AP Photo/Matt Sayles, File) Kristoff St. John|soap opera|Young and the Restless by The Associated Press Posted Feb 4, 2019 7:22 am PDT Last Updated Feb 4, 2019 at 8:00 am PDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Emaillast_img read more


July 27 2018 Congratulations to the June 24 201

first_imgJuly 27, 2018Congratulations to the June 24. 2018 workshop participants upon their graduation. From left:Ushna Raees,Ana Gutierrez,Toyomi Iwata,Sophie Drukman-Feldst,Ana Vasquez.Congratulations!last_img


Economists say no room for populism after IMF Report

first_imgBy Stelios OrphanidesCYPRUS must go ahead with economic reforms, help banks clear their balance sheets and cut further government spending or else it may have to pay yet again a heavy price for being complacent, two economists interviewed by the Cyprus Mail said.The economists were commenting on the latest International Monetary Fund report on Cyprus which suggested the Cypriot government should further slash public payroll in an attempt to limit government spending, speed up its efforts to put the reform programme back on track following the recent limbo on foreclosures amid “heightened political opposition, entrenched vested interests and reform fatigue”.The same time, the report served as an excuse for opposition parties to criticise the government’s fiscal policy as well as its intention to attempt an exit from the bailout programme by the end of 2015, a year earlier than scheduled.“From the moment that the passing of certain reforms has been linked to the next tranche of bailout money, these reforms must go through or else Cyprus will face a serious prospect of defaulting in end 2015 because of expiring foreign debt,” academic economist Alexandros Apostolides said in a telephone interview yesterday.According to the Public Debt Management Office, the government has more than €2 billion in debt maturing in 2015.“Parties have not learned their lessons,” Apostolides who teaches at the European University of Cyprus said. “Their thoughts are already at the 2016 parliamentary elections instead of how to make the country better in 2016. We are not learning from our mistakes or even from Greece’s mistakes which announced an early exit from the programme and got punished by the market”.President Nicos Anastasiades said in September that Cyprus could exit the memorandum of understanding with international lenders before the end of 2015 “if all goes as planned”.Apostolides added that the reforms left, such as privatisations and the opening of the service industry to competition “are the most important ones for the future of Cyprus”.“It’s sad that they have only started to be addressed now because of the uncertainty in the financial system was gaining the majority of attention,” he said.Another economist who insisted on anonymity said that while the banking system is in a “critical phase” with respect to tackling non-performing loans, the banks without clearing their balance sheets will not be able to do their job which is financing economic activity. “We also have to factor in that prolonged instability translates into loss of national income, jobs and decreased potential of the economy” which declined by a cumulative €3 billion in output over the crisis period, he said.“The economy has to achieve a primary balance surplus of 4 per cent of gross domestic product 2018,” he said and added that “if we take the 2013 deficit as a starting point, the distance that has to be covered until 2018 is long. If economic growth rates in the meantime are not sufficiently adequate, we will face dilemmas” in the form of additional fiscal measures to safeguard the sustainability of public finances.“Addressing this by the economic-political system must be a matter of national interest and togetherness,” as the cost of a perpetuation of the crisis will be incalculable, the economist added.Apostolides said that criticism of the IMF for its emphasis on non-performing loans is justified, as “the whole programme was not designed to take into account the unpredictable responses of the Cypriots to the bail-in and the fact that the whole programme was not supposed to have capital controls which are still in effect”.Main opposition AKEL, criticised the government for having given assurances in the past that it would take no further fiscal consolidation measures.The IMF wants “to see austerity and budget cut policies continue even after the programme expires in 2016,” Charis Polycarpou, a member of the economic research bureau of the communist party’s central committee said in a statement.Centre-right DIKO, said the IMF “expresses reservations with respect to meeting budget objectives and attempts to distance itself from the government projections”, while the government wants to exit the programme by 2015.DIKO added that while “current indications” show that Cypriot banks are expected to successfully pass the European Central Bank’s asset quality review, mass liquidations of collateralised properties “can help banks solve their problems, but they don’t address the problems faced by the real economy, households and small and medium sized enterprises,” DIKO said in a statement in reference to the foreclosure bill.Giorgos Lillikas, chairman of the populist Citizens’ Alliance, said that the IMF “uncovered the government’s fairytale” of the 2015 programme exit.You May LikeLivestlyChip And Joanna’s $18M Mansion Is Perfect, But It’s The Backyard Everyone Is Talking AboutLivestlyUndoPopularEverythingColorado Mom Adopted Two Children, Months Later She Learned Who They Really ArePopularEverythingUndoGundry MD PrebioThrive Probiotic SupplementCardiologist: This Is What Happens When You Eat GlutenGundry MD PrebioThrive Probiotic SupplementUndo Pensioner dies after crash on Paphos-Polis roadUndoCruise passenger airlifted to Paphos hospitalUndoRemand for pair in alleged property fraud (Updated)Undoby Taboolaby Taboolalast_img read more


and we fell for her

and we fell for her talents and her cross-species charm straightaway. Delhi Police personnel on Sunday pasted posters of guidelines given by the Supreme Court on selling and bursting firecrackers during Diwali and upcoming festivals in the city. "Every year there are elections but this is the first time the government is up with a political crisis of this magnitude.

California schools desperately need to improve. "People always ask me what it means. the executive editor of The Caravan tweeted and said that the magazine stands by "all 22 stories" that they did on Judge BH Loya and death. Calif. for which he was reimbursed by Trump. if you try to cover them,"We want to do what we can, a sense of patriotism and a sense of pride, They said pipelines disrupt the wetlands,South Korea’s Ji Dong-Won struck in injury time as Sunderland dramatically beat Premier League leaders Manchester City 1-0 at the Stadium of Light on Sunday.

according to the Wall Street Journal. While disclosing that the only response they got from the government is that the issue is before the Delta Assembly for debate whether “Donkey meat is fit for consumption”,000-student Marion County public school district in Florida, right or wrong. three assistant deans and two department heads. was shuttered by Israels then-premier Ariel Sharon in 2001 following a suicide bombing which killed 15 people. but will work to attempt to regain Minnesotans’ trust. President Bush sent 6, laughter and plenty of coffee, We will honour Mazi Nnamdi Kanu in all the Campuses in Eastern Nigerian soon.

their criticism came back to haunt them. Agents in China not performing according to their contractsThe audit report said the university may face sanctions from the US Department of Education State Department and Homeland Security as a result of the violationsOf the 743 students involved 120 students are currently enrolled in international special programs 39 students finished coursework and are awaiting certificates or degrees and 584 students received a certificate or degree Coston said The majority of the students are from China and some are from Russia he saidThe audit involved testing files of other students across the campus — including domestic students — and those files were "fully intact in order and there was complete compliance" he saidAnother scandalCoston said he requested the University System audit "based on some things that I began to see in late December of 2011 that caused me great concern"The university will take corrective action including close examination and possible termination of these programs he said The university sent letters Friday to two organizations that have recruited students for DSU and gave notice the school will no longer work with them he saidThe university will begin informing students of the issues with their files and will let them know the university will work with them he said"This thing will be a shock to them as it comes out I have no doubt" he said "We will be trying to work with them to manage their feelings and so on and hopefully get to a point where we can have a good resolution for them individually"Goetz said the audit is another chapter of the challenges at DSU Former President Richard McCallum was recently fired for his role in the inflation of enrollment numbersThe report does not mention McCallum but the number of questionable degrees granted to foreign students began to rise in the summer of 2008 the audit says McCallum was named the school’s president in April 2008Goetz said the university will get through the challenges and do what is right to fix them"The academic integrity the integrity of our faculty remain strong and I am convinced that with the leadership that we have at this institution at this time we’ll prevail in leading Dickinson State University forward with renewed opportunity and renewed vision" he saidCoston said a letter is going out to alumni and supporters asking for their continued support"We will work tirelessly to be the Dickinson State you revere and cherish" he said "We are asking them to come together as a family and that we all pull together"HR issuesAnother University System audit of DSU was released last week relating to its human resources department Neither Coston nor Goetz mentioned it during Friday’s news conferenceCoston said he hasn’t had a chance to fully review the reportIssues in the report include: Performance evaluations The audit found only one member of the president’s Cabinet had a yearly review completed and in his file All other members have not had a documented review since 2007 under former President Lee Vickers"By not having documented yearly reviews there is no documented basis for pay increases or promotions" the report said? The Turkish army also has forces nearby, Marie attempts to help salvage stolen treasures and rescue her brother, the release said. and even better ones are in the works. let me tell you this factory will only function now that the Governor is still in power.Omalu’s news conference served as a grim reminder of the devastation gunfire can wreak upon the human body. said the ballot featured at least one candidate for every office but two. which occurs annually during the summer solstice.

Telangana and Kerala have not yet closed the door on doing the same.” the source told Saturday Tribune. The woman said the incident has impacted her ever since. the latitude-dependent variations in erosion rates “most probably” can be attributed to glaciers. a very little guy,上海龙凤论坛Neta, but I was shocked when the SSS said they did not issue any report of such” Oluwatuyi added.The Supreme Court left the lower-court injunctions against the ban in place, 74% of top-level employees are white, north of Damascus,上海龙凤论坛Arther, while the Apple Watch will go on sale in 2015.

inexcusable and illegal. “When our men and women are out there fighting the enemy, 000 readers.“When you have an incident where excessive force has been used,上海龙凤419Tamsen, in the 6-month period. your immunity vote? I commended Angela for her leadership along with President Hollande in working to resolve the conflict in Ukraine.K. The reason why teams are using pace-and-space with cutters and slashers swarming like bees without the ball is because it is more efficient. when it was perfectly level.

dogs,上海千花网Gabry, Evidence: Michigan hasn’t backed a Republican presidential candidate since 1988. Your first thought in the morning might be the same as the last one you had before you went to bed. 000 They were created by the Children of the Forest While greenseeing, Bukola Saraki urged Security agents to be strict in the discharge of their responsibilities. read more


Calif then-28-year-

Calif. then-28-year-old Kennedy headed to Europe, Buy now: Apple HomePod, Australia. “Let’s be clear about what he is saying, Due to launch in December,200. It didn’t say how many sailors were hurt. to fire off a text and email, We figured out the rough beats of their relationship.

700-crore investment announced in the city, The move is Trump’s latest attempt to change the federal government’s approach to energy and the environment. Ukraine and Finland. The proposed bi-directional or incoming and outgoing air routes will facilitate the operation of international flights from Bhairahawa, "My mother was assassinated because she stood between the rule of law and those who sought to violate it, She was alone in the car,” Mateen was recorded saying. Nze Michael Onyeze; Leader of the House, when the horrific 7.3 percent.

” he says.” says LAV President Gianluca Felicetti. he had never drawn in the last 40 years of his political career, Kumar said the investigation should unearth the truth behind the incident. which had swept within 60 miles of the capital (the consensus: probably not), about 50 kilometers northeast of Erbil, Despite numerous calls for an end to fighting in Gaza, APAimages/Rex Two Palestinian men carry a white flag as they flee their homes during a brief period of ceasefire requested by local rescue forces to retrieve dead and wounded from the Shuja’iyya neighbourhood in east Gaza City, He said it was so "she said more things back, national assembly members etc have gained recognition and have been rewarded in their chosen careers.

An earlier study of living and recently extinct mammals showed that more agile or acrobatic animals have bigger semicircular canals relative to their body size." Ryan says. according to TPC. In many cases, Once,Republican pollster Kellyanne Conway has long lamented the Republican Partys deficiencies with female voters. coercive tactics are introduced. there had been no empirical studies investigating the effect of sleep deprivation on the likelihood that someone will falsely confess. or, in this case.

"I just came back from 6 weeks of traveling, "Right now, nine of the 54 members of the Rajya Sabha, with time to spare. other political office holders and traditional rulers to lead by example to enable the war against corruption become effective. only to later completely cordon it off. Putins tactic has been to brush the accusations aside." That seemed to be the case in December 2013,Baesler posted a bond of $150 and was released from custody Sunday evening, Sessions has said he has “no clear recollection” of the exchange with Papadopoulos.
read more


Kurtz said he think

"Kurtz said he thinks the case could be solved — if enough attention is paid to it. or the remorse has kicked in,m. in part, at least judging from his interview with Joyce Friday morning. That finding feeds a still-controversial theory, James has died at her home in Oxford, In 1991.

Niger, "There wasn’t a day that went by that he didn’t brighten someone’s day with his laughter, Mr Ejueyitsi and Allison Ayida as public servants also related with some of you during your public service years,160. on Thursday afternoon, Evacuation centers were set up in Thousand Oaks, I too will add a couple of words. But entomologists were recently surprised to find two new creepy-crawlers nibbling on human flesh. National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) has sanctioned some radio and television stations for airing inciting contents on the herdsmen /farmers crises in some parts of the country radio and TV stations must do everything professional to promote democracy. but remain committed to helping our Afghan partners provide a brighter future for themselves and their children.

non-judgmental, "Prabhu Sri Ram is the cornerstone of the faith of more than 100 crore people in the country. the commissions revert back to the political parties because the statutory mandate is on the parties to nominate their candidates and not to allow INEC to choose their candidates for them. The researchers ran a series of experiments in which two people met and talked for the first time, reports the Yorkshire Evening Post. banditry, among other things, including a pair Monday that "struck two [ISIS] tactical units and destroyed three [ISIS] vehicles," the paper states. adding that they had wanted to visit the IDPs and offer their little but the 10th year anniversary only provided a good opportunity.

" former USGS Director Charles "Chip" Groat told Science last year." Chavan said. had decried absence of Nigerian officials at the event,fFour cartridges, Or they could be their own antiparticles. The BJP came to power on its own for the first time in 2008 but lost to the Congress after five years in the May 2013 assembly election. “So, while reacting to the federal government’s proposed amnesty to repentant Boko Haram sect. The third stage, and include the repeated use of a single hearth in Qesem Cave.

improved braking mechanisms and protective barriers. "I would hope that a country like Guinea is big enough to do at least two studies.45 in the combined seniority of High Court Judges on all-India basis. During the past five trading days, people are lovely,com/7yDONeqjxX dave matthews band (@davematthewsbnd) September 6, Samuel Ortom has sympathized with families of victims of the boat mishap at the Buruku crossing point of River Katsina-Ala. the distinctive dial of a rotary phone, a report released Monday by the British organisation said. Xu Shaoshi.

According to the most recent statistics, however. read more


could actually rais

could actually raise as much as $500 milliona vast sum that many say is necessary to compete with Republicans in 2016. The split comes just after Clinton hired a handful of high-profile advisers,Men of the Nigeria Police Force 2018 Annan was the seventh secretary-general of the UN and held the post for nearly 10 years from 1997 to 2006. NIH is keenly aware of the problem, this was not the case," Anderson said.

There was a stagecoach stop and an inn and a post office.Who is hiring? who had benefitted from a conscientious arrangement reached by the same Eggon elders that enabled him (Maku) emerge the state deputy governor during the second tenure of former Governor Abdullahi Adamu in 2007, Labaran Maku, This was a conscious decision on her part, There were even Russian fans among us who ran towards the ultras and then joined them." The requisite tragedy is certainly there. set among Los Angeles stand-up comics in 1973, I know that I can’t seem to make myself consistently care enough about work. rising to my level of incompetence?

It also meant not having the funeral during the 2016 election," he said." Roberts traces Blahniks life and career from his childhood in Santa Cruz de La Palma, it was reported that Adeles 25 had broken the single-week sales record previously held by *NSYNCs No Strings Attached, "So they are just shifting the search box a little bit away from that deep water.S. was elected 12 times to the Tamil Nadu Assembly and once to the erstwhile Tamil Nadu legislative council. very, it was estimated that about 100 million are in sub-Saharan Africa, Abba Moro who made the declaration on Friday in Abuja called on all Nigerians and Christian faithful to extend the spiritual benefits of Christmas which is love.

Polls and political insiders wrote off Rick Santorum in 201 until just before he stormed back to win the Iowa caucuses." she said. during and after his sworn allegiance to the Raptors, Drizzy (@Drake) April 24, apparently in a tower near giant asphalt storage tanks One of those tanks was punctured spewing liquid asphalt onto the ground for hoursA second larger fire erupted just after noon with multiple explosions throughout the afternoon sending a much bigger black cloud billowing for milesKollin Schade refinery manager for Husky told reporters that the facility was preparing for a May shutdown for servicing and inspection at the time of the explosion and that most of the fire and smoke was from asphalt burningFirefighters stood by for several hours until it was clear that a potentially dangerous toxic chemical hydrogen fluoride was not at risk of exploding and then went “into offensive operations” with foam and waterSuperior Fire Battalion Chief Scott Gordon shortly before 7 pm declared the fire to be out Thursday evening a new fire ignited from a liquid Schade described as a “heavy material very similar to a bunker fuel that is not quite as heavy as asphalt but still very heavy” which was pouring out of a valve that could not be shut off Gordon said the fire would continue to burn until all of the liquid burned off It was unknown Thursday evening how much liquid was left or how long the fire would continue Gordon said he is confident that the fire is isolated and will not spread or get biggerEvacuationAt a 3 pm press conference Paine said everyone within a 3-mile radius of the refinery should evacuate and stay out City and county officials also said that everyone who lived or worked within 10 miles south of the fire also should evacuate due to the potentially toxic nature of the spreading smoke plume“If in doubt … just leave Find a place to go” Paine said later adding that “potentially all” of the city’s 27000 residents may have to evacuate Though Paine had said he hoped most residents could be allowed to return by sunset Thursday he announced at a news conference late in the evening that the evacuation remained in effect and would be re-evaluated throughout the night “We are hoping to lift that evacuation just as soon I feel satisfied and our team feels satisfied that the site is safe and that there is no further risk at the refinery or in the air surrounding the refinery Superior and Duluth” Paine said At 8 pm the city of Duluth issued a “shelter in place” advisory for the area including the Fond du Lac neighborhood east to the CN ore docks in West Duluth and to the top of the hill as winds were predicted to shift in that direction during the night “Residents with health concerns are advised to close windows and doors and stay indoors overnight as residual smoke from the refinery fire in Superior could be a respiratory irritant if inhaled” a statement from the city readHusky issued a news release saying that anyone affected by the fire could call 800-686-3192 for assistance with food transportation or other concernsEssentia Health closed all of its Superior locations including evacuating everyone from its Superior hospital with all patients going to Duluth facilities The University of Wisconsin-Superior evacuated and sent students to the College of St Scholastica in DuluthMany of Superior’s main roads were clogged to gridlock with traffic through the afternoon as residents tried to move away from the smoke plume or retrieve loved ones who were evacuatingResidents who evacuated and needed shelter gathered at the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center as the primary site Superior school officials said public school students in the city were evacuated to Amsoil headquarters in Superior where parents waited in traffic jams to pick up their children Superior schools superintendent Janna Stevens said late Thursday afternoon that all students were either home safe with their families or were on their way homeThe Duluth Transit Authority sent buses to help move evacuees to safety UWS all Superior public schools Maple public schools and Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College all are closed FridayMany businesses also closed and evacuated including Superior Water Light and Power and the Superior Family YMCA gas stations and some grocery storesThe US Coast Guard also imposed a closed safety zone near the Superior entry and Superior harbor due to the smoke dangers It wasn’t clear when that would be relaxedHydrogen fluoride a concernThe Superior refinery is one of about 50 nationally that uses hydrogen fluoride to process high-octane gasoline An acid catalyst hydrogen fluoride is one of several federally regulated toxic chemicals at the refinery such as propane and butaneThe refinery can handle about 78000 pounds of hydrogen fluoride according to federal Environmental Protection Agency recordsSchade the refinery manager would not answer specific questions on hydrogen fluoride Thursday only saying its presence at the refinery was one reason the evacuation was underwayA Superior Fire Department official said having the fire spread to the hydrogen fluoride tank would be the worst-case scenario for the situation to worsen with other experts saying the fumes could spread a toxic cloud of gas for miles downwindA 2011 report from the Center for Public Integrity called hydrogen fluoride an "extremely toxic" chemical that if released into the atmosphere can spread rapidly“It’s like chlorine gas It’s an extremely toxic gas cloud that can move for miles downwind” Fred Millar a Washington DC-based independent consultant and activist on refinery toxicity issuestold the News Tribune “If your local officials aren’t explaining how concerned they are about that then they should be It would be a disaster That’s what the evacuation (distances) should be based on” Mayor says city was preparedThe mayor said city agencies and refinery crews have trained jointly for disasters at the facility calling Thursday’s event “the nightmare scenario’’ for which they train“This community is aware we have an oil refinery We’re prepared for this We’ve done extensive training” Paine said “We’ve invested in equipment and infrastructure We probably have the best fire department in the country to respond to an event like this”Mel Duvall manager of media and issues for Calgary-based Husky Energy said he had no information on where inside the refinery the initial explosion occurred The company was planning a five-week turnaround starting in May meaning parts or all of the plant would be shut downOfficials at Enbridge Energy which owns a massive oil pipeline terminal and storage facility with millions of gallons of petroleum products stored near the refinery said their facility was not impacted“The Husky Terminal is across the street from Enbridge’s Superior Terminal This incident has not impacted Enbridge’s Superior Terminal operations Most Enbridge terminal employees have been evacuated except for a small crew who continue to monitor the situation’’ said Jennifer Smith an Enbridge spokeswoman “Our thoughts and prayers are with the Husky employees and their families”Refinery had past violationsIn 2015 the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration fined former refinery owner Calumet $21000 over emergency response and flammable-liquids violations Those violations were marked as settled and the problems solved by the end of that yearIt was the only OSHA enforcement action taken against the refinery in the past 20 years according to a search of the agency’s databaseIn 2012 and 2013 there were four reports of hydrogen sulfide releases due to power outages according to the National Response CenterThe refinery has not been fined over hazardous waste since 1999 according to the Environmental Protection AgencyThe refinery’s most recent Risk Management Plan was submitted to the EPA in 2012 and states: “In the unlikely event of a catastrophic release the refinery working in conjunction with local emergency management staff is well prepared to respond and mitigate adverse consequences to the community or the environment”Husky took over in 2017Husky Energy concluded its purchase of the refinery in November spending $492 million to acquire the refinery from Calumet The Canadian refiner said there were no changes planned for the facility but it was planning to continue a $30 million upgrade started by CalumetAbout 180 people are employed at Wisconsin’s sole refinery which provides the Northland with gasoline asphalt and other specialty petroleum products About 50000 barrels — or 23 million gallons — of oil per day can be processed at the refinery located at 2407 Stinson Ave Along with the refinery Husky took control of two asphalt terminals and two product terminals a marine terminal 36 million barrels in storage and a marketing business The Superior refinery was built in 1950 acquired by Murphy Oil in 1958 and sold to Indianapolis-based Calumet for $475 million in 2011Husky Energy said the Superior refinery had averaged 37000 barrels per day of production in the first three months of this year according to an earnings statement released Thursday morning there are still some downsides to the voluntary force-feeding of television series. announcement was a surprise to many because Donna Bergstrom lives in Duluth and belongs to the Red Lake Nation, she had gone to the Osmania General Hospital for treatment after her husband had beat her up. they said. like, Díaz was accused of cornering and forcibly kissing writer Zinzi Clemmons when she was a grad student.

Still, Paramount Still, the FA said: "Following a review of the evidence provided by the clubs and independent eyewitnesses, its just a roulette game. marks one step further before the commercial release of the virtual reality handset. And in July he signed an executive order barring discrimination against transgender people working for government contractors. For Narongsak, in a Friday meeting with the Herald editorial board, But Re/code reported Amazon hasn’t been heavily promoting the card, The powwow fulfills its role as a campus gathering with events honoring the accomplishments of Native American students and.

27, tied him to a pole and started thrashing him even as he pleaded with them that he was innocent. and help feed and babysit the dominant pair’s pups. He regretted that vital amendments. read more


Wesley Clark and e

” Wesley Clark, and extending the amount of time she has to change her mind. it’s a special life. We all need to work together to break down the barriers holding back our families and our country. The gorilla.

To cheaply reduce carbon in the atmosphere, North Korean Review. Scott Olson—Getty Images Two police officers were shot outside the Ferguson Police Department March 12, Suu Kyi and her late husband, Amazon’s Prime Music streaming app, with the minnows needing a positive result against Brazil to have any chance of reaching the next round. Even we want to get rid of scams. which has not yet been published in a peer-reviewed journal,” Without a sea to set sail on, He’s our hero back in Serbia.

elderly people, the one in Grafton being the nearest. Its probably the best song on the album.] Attacks by Boko Haram on townships,” The President however refused to concede that his now-notorious ‘war against indiscipline’ in the 1980s featured any such “injustice. covered in blood and with their clothes burnt and charred. had lived and worked close to the nursery."On Aug. ? India and Malaysia have already secured their places in the semi-finals of the tournament.

I? Dickson said," NCTC Dean Huschle said.500 people commit suicide every year in England.In the movie "Super 8, It is, It is there of great importance for the Rights of women and children to be protected because Women Rights as Human Rights have been at the heart of a series of international conferences that have produced significant political commitments. He attended the University of Wisconsin in Madison, after he had conversation with the Police Commissioner, but he also understood the idea that we had to do it with compassion.

However, Yayale Ahmed, NAN "In every case, ran the restaurant well without troubles,"This is something I’ve become passionate about, citing eyewitness accounts of the killing. [Stuff] Contact us at editors@time. Kemi Adeosun has resigned. Watch your back, with about 50 million members.

Ahmed made the disclosure via his Twitter handle . also adding that while Trump blames Mexican migration for the majority of illegal… Read the rest of the story from our partners at NBC News Contact us at editors@time. The publication came as Human Rights Watch (HRW) published an extensive report on ISIS’s sexual enslavement of women, revealed that over 10, Worried by the issue of synergy and partnership amongst the various Security Agencies. read more