Quebec town hopeful dismantling of rusting cargo ship will go smoothly after

first_imgMONTREAL – A southwestern Quebec town is counting down the days until an unwelcome piece of marine history disappears from its shores.Officials say they hope the dismantling of the Kathryn Spirit proceeds smoothly after a fire a few weeks ago aboard the rusting cargo vessel parked off its shores.“You know how badly we want this to be behind us,” said Beauharnois Mayor Bruno Tremblay, the latest elected official to take up the cause.“We would like for Beauharnois to be known for something other than the Kathryn Spirit.”Fire broke out earlier this month in the engine room of the corroding ship, which has been moored about 60 kilometres south of Montreal since 2011.The fire caused some concern among local firefighters, who said they were unaware there was still dangerous materials on board. Anne Minh-Thu Quach, the New Democrat MP for the local riding of Salaberry-Suroit, raised the issue in the Commons.In a statement Wednesday, the Canadian Coast Guard said the machine room contained only petroleum residue and lead paint and that the blaze was triggered during work that involved cutting through the ship’s steel.The coast guard says loose paint and asbestos had been previously removed and that any other hazardous materials aboard the vessel, including PCBs and mercury-filled items, were all taken out then.Authorities have previously said the “vast majority” of hazardous or flammable materials were removed in 2013.The recent fire broke out due to sparks from a torch used to cut through the steel, igniting residual substances absorbed by other materials over time.“They are using pneumatic-powered tools to avoid another catastrophe like this from happening,” said Tremblay, adding sprinklers are also in place.Barring delays, Tremblay said, the hull is expected to be dismantled by late June or early July. The cofferdam — an enclosure built around the ship to remove the water around it — will need to be taken down carefully after spawning season has ended for local marine life.“It’s a delicate job because they can’t move the sediments at the bottom, so it’s an operation that should begin about September,” Tremblay said, with work to be wrapped up by December.Built in 1967, the 150-metre-long Kathryn Spirit was used to haul cargo. In 2011, local company Groupe St-Pierre bought it with the idea of stripping it for scrap. Those plans were scuppered by the province and local residents.A Mexican company subsequently bought the ship and intended to bring it back to Mexico but the tugboat hired to tow it was impounded in Halifax and the company eventually went bankrupt.The federal government announced last year that a joint venture between Groupe St-Pierre and Englobe Corp. would oversee the dismantling for just over $11 million.Tremblay said the town will be happy to see the ship vanish from the local landscape.“We don’t mind being on the map, but could we please find a different subject?,” the mayor quipped.last_img read more

High food prices could hit agricultural growth in Central Asia and Europe

26 June 2008Soaring food prices could reverse the significant growth in agricultural production seen in some of the poorest countries in Europe and Central Asia over the past 10 years, the Director-General of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said today. Soaring food prices could reverse the significant growth in agricultural production seen in some of the poorest countries in Europe and Central Asia over the past 10 years, the Director-General of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said today. “In the past ten years, some of the poorest countries have posted the largest gains in per capita national income, notably the countries of the Transcaucasus and Central Asia, while growth has been slower in the countries of Western and Eastern Europe,” Jacques Diouf said, noting that per capita agricultural production had also grown fastest in those countries.Addressing the opening of the FAO Regional Conference for Europe in Innsbruck, Mr. Diouf added that this positive ten-year trend might be coming to a halt without bold policy steps to contain price increases.The Director-General also stressed that governments in the region had not always responded to higher prices by supporting agricultural productivity, instead turning to export restrictions which have led to cancelled export contracts and lower incomes for farmers.“As in most parts of the world affected by food insecurity, hunger in Europe and Central Asia derives from rural poverty and from natural and man-made disasters, rather than from a total lack of food at macroeconomic level,” he said.Mr. Diouf said that there was strong potential for an increase in agricultural production in some parts of the region and cited Kazakhstan, Russia and Ukraine: “With a supportive policy environment and investment in infrastructure, at least 13 million hectares could be returned to production, without major cost to the environment.”He noted that crop yields in those three countries are three times lower than in Central, Eastern and Western Europe, where modern inputs are employed and contract farming is used to reduce market risks.“What is lacking for agricultural and rural growth are development policies that favour commercial agriculture and institutions of governance and support for the development of family farms and the private sector,” he said. read more

October 2014 Senate meeting agenda

The October 2014 meeting of the Senate will take place on Wednesday, Oct. 8 at 3 p.m. in the Sankey Chamber. The following is a brief summary of the agenda.The president’s report to Senate contains an attachment.The attachment, Jack Lightstone explains, is the “mandate letter” from Premier Kathleen Wynne to Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities, Reza Moridi. Making these mandate letters public is a new practice in Ontario.The president cautions senate to be vigilant about not only what the letter says, but also its tone because it suggests the possibility of a new direction in Ontario.The second alert contained in the report concerns enrollment trends. Lightstone says “For the first year since the early 1990s, domestic enrollment from Grade 12 graduates at Ontario’s universities has declined.”The full text of the president’s report is available here.The Vice President Academic’s report to Senate highlights activities in our various Faculties. Neil McCartney is attending the National Vice-Presidents’ Academic Council annual conference in Waterloo.Memos from the Registrar’s Office figure prominently on this agenda. In these memos, Senate is:1. Asked to approve the list of graduands2. Asked for feedback on the proposed schedule of academic dates for 2015-2016.The Governance Committee is recommending appointments to various Senate committees. In an in-camera session Senate will receive a recommended list of nominees for a Brock University Chancellor to succeed Ned Goodman.The Graduate Studies Committee is recommending a change to the faculty handbook 14.9.2 to include:Graduate students who conduct human participant studies strictly based on secondary analysis of a) human tissue or bodily fluids or b) data from non-public sources (provided there is no involvement or interaction with human participants) are encouraged to complete the entire CORE tutorial. However, at minimum, these students must complete modules 1 (core principles), 2 (defining research), and 5 (privacy and confidentiality) before submitting a research ethics application.The Information, Technology and Infrastructure Committee are dealing with the following topics particularly as they relate to budget items:1. Classroom modernization2. Campus plan3. Five-year long term capital plan4. Clicker technologyThe full Senate agenda and notes can be found here.Senate reminds the Brock community that fall convocation is Oct. 18. There are two ceremonies – one each in the morning and afternoon. read more

As oil falls gas prices expected to stay high

(Courtesy: Thinkstock) New warnings this morning that oil prices could plunge a lot further, but gasoline prices may not follow.A number of U.S. refineries will have to do maintenance shut downs soon, after running at full tilt because of increased gas demand there.There will be an impact here in Canada, because we are dependent on a lot of those facilities.Dan McTeague of tells 660 NEWS, it raises serious questions about this country’s energy security.“Canada’s gone from 44 refineries in the late 60s, early 70s, all the way down to about 12 or 13. We’ve had two close in the past two years,” he said.McTeague says he’s surprised this hasn’t become more of an issue on the federal election trail because he’s hearing from a lot of people frustrated that Canada’s oil is selling at cut rates, but they’re not seeing the payoff at the pump.Well known American Analyst David Kotok told CNN he could see oil drop as low as $15 to $20 a barrel.McTeague predicts, gasoline prices on the other hand, will stay around the $1.10 to $1.15 range, but could go higher this fall and winter. AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email As oil falls, gas prices expected to stay high by Cindy White Posted Aug 19, 2015 9:58 am MDT read more

Parliaments opening debate sees sparks fly between Liberals Conservatives

OTTAWA – Canada’s 42nd Parliament got down to business Monday, with the often-promised new era of civility sounding a lot like a brittle rehash of the federal election campaign.Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, interim Conservative leader Rona Ambrose and NDP Leader Tom Mulcair used debate on last week’s throne speech to refight some of the same election battles, with sparks flying between Liberals and Tories in particular.Ambrose issued a scathing critique of the new Liberal government’s throne speech, which was itself a recap of Trudeau’s election promises.Echoing the same criticisms levelled throughout the campaign, she called the Liberal plan a recipe for intrusive government that thinks it knows best how to spend Canadians’ money.“What we did hear was a recipe for big government and big spending. So the question that every taxpayer wants us to ask this government is: where will the money come from to pay for all of this?” Ambrose told the House of Commons.“It only comes from one place and that’s out of the pockets of Canadians.”Treasury Board President Scott Brison questioned how Ambrose could make such an accusation when she had been a minister in what he termed “one of the biggest spending governments and the most wasteful governments in Canadian history.” The previous Conservative government added $150 billion to the national debt, he added.The exchange prompted Ambrose to observe: “I think it’s been 25 minutes and the sunny ways are over.”But Ambrose was no slouch when it came to partisan shots.She took aim at Trudeau’s vow to withdraw Canadian fighter jets from the allied bombing campaign against Islamic radicals in Syria and Iraq. While the Americans, French, British and Germans are all ramping up their efforts, Ambrose accused Trudeau of believing that “posing for selfies at international conferences is a better use of his time.”“Canada isn’t back. Canada is backing away,” she charged.Mulcair struck a more conciliatory tone, promising to work with the government “when our values and our policies coincide.” But he took the opportunity to recycle a number of planks from the NDP platform, urging Trudeau to hike taxes on large corporations and introduce a $15-an-hour federal minimum wage and continuing to tout universal, affordable child care and abolition of the Senate.As he did during the campaign, Mulcair criticized the centrepiece of the Liberal platform — the plan to cut taxes for Canadians earning between $45,282 and $90,563 while raising taxes on the wealthiest one per cent — as smoke and mirrors.The plan will actually benefit wealthy Canadians the most and do nothing for 70 per cent of taxpayers, he said, urging Trudeau to expand the tax cut to those in the lowest income tax bracket.After question period was over, Finance Minister Bill Morneau admitted in a news conference that the tax changes, originally touted as revenue neutral, will actually cost Canadians about $1.2 billion a year, starting in fiscal 2016-17.“This is going to cost a bit more for the government, and we want to explain to Canadians exactly what the shortfall is,” Morneau said.For his part, Trudeau essentially repeated the throne speech, in slightly greater detail. But he took a veiled shot at the previous Conservative regime, which campaigned on hot button identity issues, including a proposed ban on Muslim women wearing the face-covering niqab during citizenship ceremonies.Extolling the virtues of diversity, Trudeau said some Canadians have, at times, “been the target of hateful words and deeds, simply because they look different, speak a different language, choose to wear different clothes or practice a different faith.”But he argued that “intolerance stands little chance” in Canada and pointed to the recent election as proof that Canadians reject attempts to pit one group against another.While there were some sparks, the tenor of Monday’s sitting was still far more civil than the toxic partisanship that became the hallmark of Commons debate in the months leading up to the election.“Canadians want a government that acts honourably and that treats all others with respect. both inside and outside this House,” Trudeau said. “We will be that government.”During the first question period of the parliamentary session later Monday, Trudeau maintained a respectful demeanour as Ambrose grilled him on the planned withdrawal from the bombing mission in Syria and Mulcair challenged him to reveal his plans for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.However, in keeping with past practice, the daily jousting match did not produce much in the way of detailed answers.“I am disappointed to find out that question period is still question period and not so much answer period,” Ambrose said later.“I did think that questions were tough, but respectful.”Mulcair said the tone of question period was “refreshing” but the content of the answers amounted to “baffle gab” “avoidance” and “obfuscation” — as usual. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks in regards to his party’s throne speech, in the House of Commons in Ottawa, on Monday, Dec. 7, 2015. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld by Joan Bryden, The Canadian Press Posted Dec 7, 2015 9:45 am MDT Last Updated Dec 7, 2015 at 4:20 pm MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email Parliament’s opening debate sees sparks fly between Liberals, Conservatives read more

Cal Baptist makes 18 3s beats Mississippi Valley St 10771

RIVERSIDE, Calif. — Milan Acquaah made six 3-pointers and scored 30 points to lead Cal Baptist to a 107-71 victory over Mississippi Valley State on Saturday night.Cal Baptist (4-4) has won back-to-back games since snapping a four-game skid. The Lancers shot 54 per cent from the floor, and were 18 of 36 from long range as eight players made at least one shot from distance.Acquaah was 10 of 15 from the floor, made all four of his free-throw attempts, and had five assists and two steals. Mikey Henn added 12 points and seven rebounds for the Lancers. Bul Kuol and Zach Pirog had 11 points apiece, and De’jon Davis chipped in with 10.Dante Scott scored 16 points and Tereke Eckwood added 13 for Mississippi Valley State (2-7).Acquaah and Henn made consecutive 3-pointers and Cal Baptist led 30-15 about eight minutes into the game. The Lancers led 57-37 at halftime.The Associated Press read more

Laker Coach Mike Brown Gets Jim Buss Endorsement

Jim Buss, Los Angeles Lakers executive vice president, hardly content with his team’s 1-4 start, but he has “no problem” with coach Mike Brown, Buss said.“You don’t start 0-3 for the first time since we’ve owned the franchise without being on top of it,” Buss told “No matter what, you have to be aware. That doesn’t mean change is coming. That just means you have to be aware.”Much of the blame from observers has been toward Brown and the offense he has installed that is failing miserably despite the addition of all-star center Dwight Howard and now-injured point guard Steve Nash to go with future Hall of Famer Kobe Bryant..“I have no problems with Mike Brown at all,” Buss said. “He just works too hard and he’s too knowledgeable for this to be happening.“So either the system is flawed or something’s going on. Or, like the Triangle, it’s very hard to pick up and understand. I’m not a basketball mind like he is or the players are, and the players are fine with it, so I just have to be patient.”Buss said he has been gauging player reaction to the Lakers’ new Princeton offense, Brown and how they’re dealing with the slow start by reading their public comments and talking to them directly. On Tuesday afternoon, he went down from his office to the court during practice to take their temperature, and he said he found things to be rather calm.“Kobe and I have a relationship where he can just look at me and say, ‘Everything’s cool,’ ” Buss said. “So yesterday during practice, I gave Kobe a quick glance, and everything was cool.”Bryant has continued to preach patience as the Lakers have struggled. Last week he said, “Everybody shut up. Let us work,” when asked about fan reaction to the Lakers’ slow adjustment to the system. But in Wednesday’s loss to the Jazz, even Bryant’s frustration seemed to elevate and he was caught on camera starting down Brown during a timeout in the waning moments of the fourth.When asked about his frustration level after the game, Bryant deadpanned it was, “Just a little bit.” read more

Cantines scolaires enfin des menus diététiques

first_imgCantines scolaires : enfin des menus diététiques France – Loi de modernisation de l’agriculture oblige, Le Parisien révèle dans son édition du 18 août que les cantines scolaires doivent désormais veiller à équilibrer leurs menus.Le Sénat a adopté en juillet dernier une loi sur la modernisation de l’agriculture. Celle-ci prévoit notamment l’obligation pour les cantines scolaires, les restaurants universitaires et les crèches de modifier leurs menus avant la fin de l’année 2010.À lire aussiAmygdalite : chronique, caséeuse, cryptique, de quoi s’agit-il ?Ces établissements devront proposer du “vrai” poisson au moins quatre fois en vingt jours, et des fruits, des légumes cuits et des crudités au moins un jour sur deux. Ils ne seront d’autre part plus autorisés à servir plus de quatre fois en vingt jours des aliments frits, de la charcuterie et des desserts industriels trop sucrés. Ces aménagements sont effectués afin de répondre aux recommandations en matière de santé publique, comme les cinq fruits et légumes par jour. Un bienfait pour nos enfants, qui seront pourtant sûrement nombreux à regretter les bonnes vieilles frites de la cantine.Le 19 août 2010 à 10:04 • Emmanuel Perrinlast_img read more


first_img Is The Hitman’s Bodyguard good?No.What’s it about?Samuel L. Jackson is an infamous assassin who agrees to testify as a witness at the trial of a brutal Eastern European warlord. When his transport detail from the UK to The Hague is compromised, Interpol turns to outside help in the form of Ryan Reynolds as a former world-class bodyguard who’s fallen on hard times to protect him the rest of the way. So, it’s a guy who kills people for a living teamed up with a guy who keeps people from GETTING killed for a living. And yes, they have history together they don’t like each other. One of them is a neat-freak who likes meticulous planning and fancy gadgets; the other is a messy old-fashioned scrapper who likes to improvise. They have conflicting views on which one of their vocations makes which the “real” good or bad guy and you’d best believe there’s a supposedly shocking surprise connection between the two that you will guess about into the movie.So it’s a buddy action comedy?That’s what it’s ended up as, yeah. The screenplay was supposedly a very well-regarded long-unproduced item as far back as 2011 with an apparently more dramatic bent, but was rewritten very late in the game to take advantage of Jackson and Reynolds being best known presently for motor mouth verbal humor. So, it’s “Not Deadpool” on a violent road trip with “that performance” that Jackson defaults to whenever he doesn’t have an actual character to play.Who else is in it?Gary Oldman is the bad guy (he’s completely wasted, don’t get excited). Elodie Yung is an Interpol agent who’s also Reynolds’ estranged ex, and her performance here (after also being awful in Daredevil, G.I. Joe: Retaliation and Gods of Egypt) indicates that she might be in the running for one of the worst actresses currently working in (sort of) A-list projects. The scene-stealer is Salma Hayek as Jackson’s wife, who’s potential pardon is the motivation for his actions, and whose flashbacks to their relationship are consistently more interesting than the actual plot of the movie – not that that’s saying much.Who directed?Patrick Hughes, late of The Expendables 3. He does a mostly competent job with the action beats, but there’s nothing especially original going on to really test his muscles. The most interesting bit is a pseudo-single-take fight scene in a hardware store that’s mostly novel because it’s notably more brutal than Hollywood movies usually get these days.Is there anything worth recommending?Not really. It’s briefly amusing, in an absurd sense, to see standard American action-movie pyrotechnics playing out on the streets of Holland, but the film doesn’t seem aware enough that this is it’s best gag (as opposed to endless scenes of the two leads trying to annoy each other in cars. It’s not “horrible,” but it’s completely disposable and in some ways that’s worse.Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey. MovieBob Reviews: ‘Shadow’MovieBob Reviews: ‘The Curse of La Llorona’ Stay on targetlast_img read more

Emery on why he subbed Ozil

first_imgUnai Emery claimed the reason Mesut Ozil was taken off in their 1-1 draw at Brighton was purely down to tactical reasons.Ozil started his second successive Premier League for the Gunners but was subbed afterward to what can be described as a disappointing display.“It was tactical,” he told the Daily Star. “It’s the same every match. Sometimes I change it tactically when I need something to change.”The decision to withdraw Ozil appeared to backfire as Emery’s men failed to gain a foothold on the second half.Emery said: “I’m a little disappointed.kanu, arsenal'Report: Kanu makes bold claim about Pepe George Patchias – September 13, 2019 Former Arsenal superstar Kanu claims the Premier League teams fear Nicolas Pepe.The Ivory Coast international Pepe, made an 80 million Euro move to Arsenal…“I think the first half was key in the match. We started winning and had another two chances, and they saved from Aubameyang.“We didn’t concede chances for them but they drew level. Second half we could not impose our game plan. We did not make more clear chances to win the match.“It’s our process, we are leaving one process with the team. We can continue in our way with this point. It would be better if we won but I think the team worked well.“If we scored our chances in the first half we could have won. In the second half we couldn’t impose our game.”last_img read more

Teslas Elon Musk pushed an employee in a workplace incident report alleges

first_img Car Industry Tesla pulls the wraps off its Model Y crossover SUV Tesla Comment 2019 Nissan Leaf Plus review: A better EV, but maybe not the best Share your voice More From Roadshow 9 Photoscenter_img 1 Enlarge ImageTesla’s Elon Musk is at the center of an accusation by an ex-employee saying that the CEO pushed him in an incident at the Tesla delivery center. Drew Angerer/Getty Images We’re not sure if Tesla’s Elon Musk loves trouble, or if trouble just loves Elon but either way, it seems he narrowly avoided some more of it recently.A Bloomberg report published on Friday alleges that the embattled CEO pushed a former Tesla employee who resigned and was attempting to say goodbye to co-workers. The report also states that Musk swore at the employee and ordered him to leave the premises immediately.”Elon did exit an employee at our Fremont delivery center last year due to concerns about his performance, however there was no physical altercation whatsoever,” said a Tesla representative in a statement to Roadshow. “Those reports are simply untrue as confirmed by numerous people that observed the incident first-hand.”The alleged incident was bad enough that Tesla’s board launched an inquiry into the behavior of its former chairperson and found that there was no evidence of a physical altercation. This contradicts the statements of several employees who claimed to witness the event but who spoke to Bloomberg anonymously, fearing retribution.”It is the board’s responsibility to take seriously any potential issues that come to our attention involving senior executives, no matter how small or how large,” said the board in a statement to Bloomberg. “In this instance, we conducted a thorough review, which proved that there was never a physical altercation, a fact confirmed by multiple people who were present at the time.”Typically, if we heard this about someone, we’d probably suggest that they stop hanging out with Joe Rogan and lay off the dope, but this isn’t the first time that Elon has totally lost it and fired someone, or worse. It’s indicative of his often controversial management style which has gotten both the company and himself in trouble on more than one occasion.Currently, Musk is under orders to sort out his differences with the securities and exchange commission after that regulatory body requested that a US Federal court judge hold him in contempt. Tags 2020 BMW M340i review: A dash of M makes everything better Elon Musk Tesla Tesla Model 3 Review: Performance trimlast_img read more

One killed 3 hurt in road accident

first_imgToopran: One person was killed and three others were severely injured when the car they were travelling in was hit by DCM van near Imampur stage on Wednesday. The incident occurred while they were on their way from Mettupalli to Hyderabad. Police registered a case and are investigating.last_img

Siddiqur to be sent abroad if necessary Quader

first_imgAL general secretary Obaidul Quader. File PhotoRuling Bangladesh Awami League (AL) general secretary Obaidul Quader has said college student Siddiqur Rahman would be sent abroad for his eye treatment if necessary.Titumir College student Siddiqur sustained injuries in his eyes during a demonstration on 20 July when the police charged tear shells on demonstrating students of seven government colleges, affiliated with the University of Dhaka, gathered at Shahbagh in the city.Physicians said Siddiqur, whose eyes were hit by police’s teargas shells, might have lost eyesight in his right eye. The other eye is also injured.Quader, also the road transport and bridges minister, on Monday visited injured college student undergoing treatment at the National Institute of Ophthalmology and Hospital in the capital.Talking to reporters after his visit, he said prime minister Sheikh Hasina voiced her concern over Siddiq’s treatment in Monday’s cabinet meeting.Quader claimed that the prime minister sent him to visit Siddiqur. “Siddiqur is getting best possible treatment. If necessary, he will be sent abroad for better treatment.”When his attention was drawn to the fact that Siddiqur’s eyes were damaged by the police’s teargas shells, Quader quipped, “It’s an allegation. A probe team has been formed by the police to investigate the matter.”The students of Dhaka College, Eden Women’s College, Begum Badrunnessa College, Titumir College, Kazi Nazrul College, Shaheed Suhrawardy College and Government Bangla College staged the demonstrations demanding that their exam dates and routine be announced in time.The police fired tear gas to disperse the students.Siddiqur Rahman was injured by a tear gas shell and is now at the National Institute of Ophthalmology and Hospital.A case was filed with Shahbagh police station on Thursday against some 1,200 unidentified students.Concerning the injury to Siddiqur, 23, the police alleged that his eyes were injured when he was hit with a flowerpot hurled by the agitating students.However, video footage shows the students had taken position with a banner at the road facing Katabon, when the police came up and snatched their banner.One of the policemen came closer and shot a tear gas shell at the students, immediately after which Siddiqur fell on the road.The student demonstrators gave a 72-hour ultimatum to the authorities to meet their seven-point demand, including Siddiqur’s treatment.last_img read more

40000 evacuated from Bali volcano

first_imgA villager walks as Mount Agung volcano erupts in the background in Kubu. Photo: ReutersIndonesia’s disaster mitigation agency said 40,000 people had been evacuated from near Bali’s erupting Mount Agung volcano, but tens of thousands still needed to move with an imminent large eruption warning issued on Monday.“We really ask people in the danger zone to evacuate immediately because there’s a potential for a bigger eruption,” said Sutopo, a spokesman for Indonesia’s disaster mitigation agency (BNPB).He told a briefing that 40,000 people had evacuated out of around 90,000-100,000 residents estimated in the 8-10 km (5-6 miles) exclusion zone around Agung.“Not all residents have evacuated yet. There are those (who haven’t evacuated) because their farm animals haven’t been evacuated yet. There are those who feel they are safe,” he said, adding that security personnel were trying to persuade people to leave but they could be evacuated by force.last_img read more

HPD To Deploy More Officers To This Years LGBT Pride Parade

first_img Listen 00:00 /01:30 X flickrIn the wake of the Orlando mass shooting, there will be increased security at the LGBT pride parade, which will take place in downtown Houston on Saturday, June 25th.Besides the Orlando massacre, local authorities are also alert because of a threat published last week on Twitter that said there would be a mass shooting during the parade.The Houston Police Department, or HPD, is investigating the threat.The increased surveillance will be two-fold.The parade’s organizers have announced there will be private security and HPD will deploy more officers than in previous years.George Buenik, executive assistant chief with HPD, outlined the department’s plan in a press conference held last week and explained the department “will also have officers in and around the event that you won’t see, in other words, people behind the scenes, officers in plain clothes monitoring the events.”After the weekly meeting of the Houston City Council, Mayor Sylvester Turner also addressed the issue and asked Houstonians not to be afraid of attending the event.“I’m encouraging people to participate in it and I’m encouraging people to come out and view it. I intend to be there, I know the Mayor Pro Tem is going to be there and I have every ounce of confidence in HPD and the other law enforcement,” Turner said.The parade’s organizers have announced this year’s Honorary Grand Marshall will be Imran Yousuf, who works as a bouncer at the Pulse night club, where the Orlando mass shooting took place on June 12th.The participants will march with a rainbow flag bearing the names of the 49 victims and the organizers are encouraging the public to sign it.The parade is scheduled to begin at 8:30 p.m. this Saturday at Lamar Street. To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code: Sharelast_img read more

Detained Migrant Parents Have To Pay To Call Their Family Members Some

first_imgU.S. Dept. of Health and Human ServicesChildren at the tent city erected in Tornillo make phone calls while supervised by a staff member. The faces are blurred in the government-issued photograph.After fleeing crime and extortion abroad, some migrant parents separated from their children in the U.S. have found themselves facing what critics call another shakedown, this time inside American detention centers: usurious phone rates and bureaucratic hassles to contact their family members.Though government officials say migrant children in federal custody are offered twice-weekly phone calls with their parents, lawyers and advocates say many detainees remain cut off from family and friends and have yet to hear from children taken from them weeks ago.They are stymied by long wait times, confusing instructions, dropped calls and, for cash-poor migrants, the cost – which can top 20 cents per minute and has been criticized as exorbitant.One Guatemalan mother, now suing the government for taking her children away from her, wrote in a June 22 court filing that she had heard from her 2-, 6- and 13-year-old sons a handful of times since they’d been separated in May, and that “the calls are very expensive, so I am only able to call when I have money.”Likewise, a 24-year-old Honduran man detained at the IAH Secure Adult Detention facility in Livingston said he wasn’t able to speak to his 6-year-old daughter by phone for three weeks after the pair were separated at the border in late May. His wife said in a telephone interview from Honduras that she had never been able to initiate or receive a phone call from him.Carl Rusnok, a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokesman, said in a statement that “calls between adults in ICE custody and their children in HHS [Department of Health and Human Services] custody are facilitated at no charge to detainees. Because children in HHS custody do not have 24-hour access to phones, these calls must be coordinated by ICE and HHS officials.”“Moreover, phone calls to a directory of consulates, select non-governmental organizations, and pro-bono legal counsel are available to all ICE detainees free of charge,” Rusnok said. He did not respond to additional questions about rates and access to phones.Detainees’ ability to make calls has taken on new urgency as separated migrant families see phone numbers as the crucial lifeline by which they can be reconnected or find out if children, sometimes held hundreds of miles away, are safe.Government officials tasked with enforcing rapidly changing and chaotic immigration directives — and now under court order to quickly reunify families and bolster communications — still appear to lack a clear roadmap on what federal policy will look like going forward and how to coordinate between the different arms of the nation’s sprawling and disjointed bureaucracy.“We have had reports of parents having a hard time getting through, having to wait a long time to talk, and then only being allowed to talk for a few minutes with their children,” said Efrén Olivares, a director at the Texas Civil Rights Project, a legal advocacy group. The hotlines set up and promoted by the government sometimes don’t work, and detained parents have complained to Olivares’ organization about “busy signals, waiting times longer than an hour and calls dropping.”“Perhaps the most troubling,” Olivares said, “when we called one of the ICE detention facilities to inquire about that, and to see how a father could talk to his son, we were told that he didn’t have money in his account to be able to call.”A big businessThough detained immigrants are afforded free phone calls to certain lawyers and government lines, paying to call family members is a function — not a fluke — of the U.S. detention system.Migrants held in the facilities can be “essentially held incommunicado,” said Angélica Salceda, staff attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California, which settled a lawsuit with ICE in 2016 related to telephone rates in California facilities that reached as high as $9.50 for 10 minutes long-distance. “Somebody who doesn’t have money in their account just can’t make a phone call at all.”The private subcontractors that outfit immigration detention facilities with phone lines are among a handful of corporate interests that stand to profit from President Donald Trump’s crackdown on people who cross the border illegally. Reversing the Obama administration’s attempt to rein in reliance on private prisons, corrections and immigration detention facilities have seen their fortunes rise under Trump, starting shortly after the November 2016 election, when the stock prices of some of the largest private prison contractors skyrocketed.Though there are several small, privately owned providers that offer telecommunication services in detention and correctional facilities, the market is largely dominated by giants like Securus Technologies, Global Tel Link and Talton Communications, which services all ICE-operated facilities.A five-year contract between Talton and ICE that expired in 2014 says most facilities that hold immigrant detainees must have at least one working phone for every 25 detainees, and often only allow for outgoing calls.“Generally, detainees or the persons they call are responsible for the costs of telephone calls,” the contract reads, but phone services should be “reasonably priced,” with rates and surcharges comparable to what the “general public” pays. Indigent detainees – normally those with $15 or less in their commissary account – can “request a call to immediate family or others in personal or family emergencies or for a compelling need (to be interpreted liberally).”The Talton contract is posted on a federal government website, but information on the company’s phone rates appears to be whited out. A Talton spokesperson referred questions to ICE.Lawyers and advocates working with immigrants detained since the “zero tolerance” policy went into effect say costs and procedures vary from facility to facility, but they have heard that charges range from 10 to 25 cents per minute for domestic calls. For detainees who earn $1 to $3 per day in exchange for participating in “voluntary work programs,” a 15-minute phone call could easily exceed a day’s paycheck.The companies are generating revenue on the backs of “people who are incarcerated or detained, largely people with very few resources,” said Bianca Tylek, founder of the New York-based Corrections Accountability Project, which seeks to eliminate financial interests in prisons and jails and is part of the Urban Justice Center. “At the same time, they are charging exorbitant rates.”ICE houses detained immigrants in local jails, federal prisons or privately operated facilities, like the IAH Secure Adult Detention Center outside Houston, which is run by Management and Training Corporation. Though the agency cannot accept commissions on services it pays for, state and local facilities ICE contracts with to house immigrant detainees can. The payment structure of some publicly available contracts – for facilities not operated by ICE – contain provisions guaranteeing hefty commission rates that critics like Tylek liken to kickbacks.CenturyLink Public Communications, a communications company that does not service federal detention or correctional facilities, charged inmates held in Texas Department of Criminal Justice facilities 26 cents per minute for calls as of last year, and pays a 40 percent commission of their profits to the state of Texas. In Harris County, where a Securus subsidiary serves local jails and other government facilities, the company gives 70 percent of their profits from calls back to the county. When it bid to service Harris County in 2010, Securus also added a $1-million enticement — a “signing bonus” it said it would deposit in county coffers if awarded the contract.“They can pay million-dollar signing bonuses, give away 70 percent of their phone revenue, and still make immense profit margins,” Tylek said. “If nothing else, it tells you that the high cost of calls is not related to providing the service, but rather to paying the government and padding their bottom line.”A spokesperson for CenturyLink said the 40 percent rate paid to the Texas Criminal Justice department is “dictated by state statute as a means to provide funding for the State of Texas Victims of Crime Fund.”A Securus spokesperson said: “Our services allow incarcerated individuals to communicate with loved ones while providing multiple layers of technology that help corrections officials investigate and solve crimes, prevent criminal activity and protect public safety.” The spokesperson said the company, which does not hold contracts with ICE, has an average call rate of 17 cents per minute that “covers the cost of hardware, equipment and servicing, while also contributing to inmate welfare funds and local budgets that provide critical public services. We’re proud to receive consistently high ratings from users of our services.”Harris County officials did not respond to requests for comment and could not be reached.Complicating reunificationAdvocates worry the cost and complexity of using detention facility phones could hamper family reunification efforts that have already been plagued by chaos and confusion.After a federal “zero tolerance” policy towards people who illegally crossed the border left more than 2,300 migrant children separated from their parents and stranded in shelters across the country, Trump signed an executive order on June 20 reversing course on the separations, and federal officials said they would put ruptured families back together. Five hundred and twenty-two of the separated children had been reunited as of June 23, according to a government fact sheet.A federal judge put a timer on that promise June 26, calling for separated migrant families to be reunited within 30 days and afforded a phone call within 10. It remains unclear how parents and children scattered in facilities across the country – and tracked by different arms of the nation’s sprawling immigration bureaucracy – can find each other, especially with limited phone access and government-sponsored hotlines that have reportedly been unhelpful.In his order, the judge wrote the onus is on parents to find their children and that there is a “lack of any effective procedures or protocols for notifying the parents about their childrens’ whereabouts or ensuring communication between the parents and children.”Andrea Guttin, a lawyer with the Houston Immigration Legal Services Collaborative, questioned whether detention centers and shelters can quickly come into compliance with the judge’s order. She said she’s spoken to numerous migrant parents who have not been able to contact children they’d been separated from more than a month ago. On a recent tour of the Joe Corley Detention Facility in Conroe, she heard detainees could use tablets – offered by companies like Talton – to get news, send texts and emails or make phone calls. She didn’t see any using them.“I don’t know what’s going to change in the next 10 days for them [the government] to be able to comply with the order and let them speak with their children,” Guttin said. “There’s a lot of questions.”Jay Root contributed to this story. Sharelast_img read more

Mental Health Diversion Center Opens Harvey Roofing Scammer Sentenced And More

first_imgMosque destroyed in intentional fire reopensVictoria Islamic CenterVictoria Islamic Center.A mosque in Victoria that was destroyed in an intentional fire early last year has reopened thanks to support from around the world and more than $1 million in donations.The Victoria Islamic Center held an open house over the weekend with ceremonies and tours of the rebuilt structure.Hundreds of people attended the gathering to celebrate.This summer, a federal jury convicted a man of arson, explosives and hate crimes in a case that could lead to a 40-year prison term.Officials say more than 20,000 donors contributed about 1.1 million dollars through an online campaign to rebuild the mosque.Worshippers were allowed back into portions of the complex in August. Can polls be trusted?A recent poll suggested many Americans are still trying to decide what they think about the allegations against Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh.The NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll found a plurality of Americans haven’t made up their minds on who’s telling the truth – about a third (32 percent) believe Kavanaugh’s accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, about a quarter (26 percent) believe Kavanaugh, and some 42 percent are unsure who to believe. The poll was conducted before Ford and Kavanaugh testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee.It’s just one of many examples of a poll attempting to correctly gauge how Americans think. With the mid-term election approaching, we’ve also seen plenty of polls trying to gauge how Americans might act – aka vote.That subject is at the heart of a new book by Anthony Salvanto called Where Did You Get This Number? A Pollster’s Guide to Making Sense of the World. He’s the director of elections and surveys for CBS News. Tuesday, October 2, 2018Diversion center offers mental health treatment instead of jail timeElizabeth Trovall/Houston Public MediaThe new Judge Ed Emmett Mental Health Diversion Center was dedicated on October 1st.A new mental health center in Midtown will take in and treat non-violent offenders in Harris County.People with mental illness who commit crimes, like trespassing, will now be diverted to the Judge Ed Emmett Mental Health Diversion Center on 1215 Dennis Street.The center will keep people from going to jail and provide a range of services, according to program director Thomas Mitchell. Report: Pearland one of the fastest growing U.S. citiesPearland is the third fastest growing economy in the United States, according to a new report.The city trails behind Midland, Texas and Fort Meyers, Florida, according to the personal finance website WalletHub. The site looked at economic indicators alongside population growth, comparing 515 U.S. cities.When looking only at population growth, working-age population growth, and college-educated population growth, Pearland ranks number one in the country.Source: WalletHubcenter_img Man sentenced for Harvey roofing scamA man officials said was involved with a roofing scam after Hurricane Harvey was sentenced to five years in prison on Monday.The Harris County District Attorney’s office said Aaron Dean Oaks pleaded guilty to stealing more than $30,000 dollars from Harvey victims.According to court documents, after getting paid, Oaks did not perform promised repairs for three homes in Harris, Brazoria, and Galveston Counties.“We aren’t going to tolerate anyone preying on our community, especially in a time of crisis,” Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg said, in a statement. “We will continue to seek justice on behalf of victims who faced the indignity of being targeted by criminals using the storm’s wrath to unleash their scams.” Sharelast_img read more

New Evidence Reveals Bronze Age Humans Domesticated Foxes

first_imgHumans have garnered a symbiotic relationship with animals since always. However, our efforts to find early evidence of who we have exactly bonded with from the animal kingdom has often resulted in some predictable answers, such as cats and dogs. But this seems to no longer be the case. A new study, issued in the journal Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences, on February 21, 2019, says humans also befriended red foxes, i.e. Vulpes vulpes.Comparative illustration of skulls of red fox (left) and Rüppell’s fox (right)The evidence resurfaced in the northeast part of the Iberian peninsula (Spain), where a funerary practice between the 3rd and 2nd millennia B.C., revealed that humans were laid to rest alongside animals they had domesticated.Experts believe the animals were chosen due to the diet they consumed–very similar to what humans had for dinner. While plenty of dogs indeed showed up among the examined samples, some tombs attested to the presence of foxes, too.Red Fox – Vulpes vulpes. Laying down in the colorful fall vegetation. Making eye contact.In total, dog remains, domestic ungulates (hoofed mammals), foxes and humans were scrutinized for the research, which included studying the stable carbon and nitrogen isotopes in bone collagen. That is exactly what helped the study team compare what both the humans and animals nourished their bodies with.Juvenile red foxes are known as kits. Photo by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Headquarters – CC BY 2.0“We discovered that in some cases the dogs received a special kind of food. We believe this is linked to their function as working dogs. Besides, one of the foxes shows signs of having already been a domestic animal in those times,” said in a statement Aurora Grandal-D’Anglade from the Spanish-based University A Coruña, and one of the co-authors of the study, reports Science Daily.Among the foxes, the diet varied, the research team also revealed. For example, at Minferri, one of the two most intriguing sites with burials screened for the study, some foxes were indeed nourished with similar supplements as the dogs. Though, in other cases, it looked like foxes retained a diet more suitable to them outside the properties of people and dogs.Red foxEven greater attention was given to one fox case from Can Roqueta near Barcelona, which is the other intriguing site with burials from the region. “The case of the Can Roqueta fox is very special, because it is an old animal, with a broken leg,“ said Grandal-D’Anglade.Related Video: Mummified Cats, Scarab Beetles Discovered In Ancient Tombs Near Cairo“The fracture is still in its healing process, and shows signs of having been immobilized (cured) by humans. The feeding of this animal is very unusual, as it is more akin to a puppy dog’s. We interpret it as a domestic animal that lived for a long time with humans,” she explained.Portrait of curious red fox hiding in the bush.In specific cases from the Can Roqueta site, the study group found out that the larger dogs, as well as at least one fox buried there, were provided with foods such as cereal.This type of food would have provided the needed energy for the animal to perform more demanding tasks like helping humans with carrying goods and resources around.Some of the animals developed disorders related to the spine–a consequence of carrying heavy loads–the research further said. Canines would have fulfilled such tasks before horses were first harnessed in the region.Bronze age menMore findings indicated that Bronze Age men ate more meat than women, and that dogs probably relied on leftover human food and that they also shared a more similar diet with women and children than with men. Regardless of the details, this means the animals were likely bound to a more domestic environment with very close contact with humans.Funerary practices observed at the different burial sites also seem to have differed. The research additionally led to the discovery of a few tombs that contained animal offerings.Two such tombs revealed that “the remains of three individuals were found together with animal offerings,” according to Ariadna Nieto Espinet, an archaeologist from the University of Lleida and another of the study’s co-authors.A tame fox in Talysarn, WalesIn one of the tombs “there was the body of an old man with the remains of a whole cow and the legs of up to seven goats,” she said. “The remains of a young woman with the offering of a whole goat, two foxes and a bovine horn were also found.”Read another story from us: Ram-Headed Sphinx Unearthed in 3,000-yr-old Egyptian Carving WorkshopExperts remain uncertain why some people were privileged to be given burials that contained offerings of this type, but since animals were valued assets in these ancient societies, they were perhaps seen as a symbol of status and prestige.last_img read more

From Grand Theft Auto to Halo Hot Video Games to Shine This

first_img Hear from business owners and CEOs who went through a crippling business problem and came out the other side bigger and stronger. November 15, 2014 Listen Now Problem Solvers with Jason Feifer While there’s an understandable excitement that surrounds the launch of new video game hardware, the real fun usually doesn’t start until a year or so after the systems hit store shelves.Last year’s launch of the Xbox One and PlayStation 4, if we’re being honest with ourselves, didn’t have an especially stellar lineup of games. But the story’s much different as 2014’s holiday season gets underway—and that’s good news for players.Whether it’s good news for game publishers, though, is a different question.While sales of new video game hardware from Microsoft and Sony are outpacing those of their predecessors, game software sales haven’t been keeping up. In the first three quarters of the year, software sales were almost 20 percent off of the 2013 totals in that same time frame.And there’s some concern about whether the industry’s go-to big guns will be able to make up that ground.”Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare,” for example, is a perennial best-seller in the industry, but some analysts are slightly bearing on this year’s installment—called “Advanced Warfare.”Colin Sebastian of R.W. Baird & Co predicts the game will sell between 18-20 million units—saying he expects it to ultimately be flat to down 10 percent compared with last year’s “Call of Duty: Ghosts.”Sterne Agee analyst Arvind Bhatia says he expects fourth quarter shipments of the game to be down 15 percent versus 2013.Activision, for its part, says its own tracking shows purchase intent well above what it saw last year.Part of the reason for that is as players save up to purchase new consoles, they hold back on buying games for their Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 (which is part of the reason game sales are down this year). “Console transitions are hard to manage for companies like ours,” says Eric Hirshberg, CEO of Activision Publishing. “But if you have to have a set of problems, I’d rather have those problems be that adoption is going faster than expected and (older) software is dropping faster than expected, because that points to the future.”While both the Xbox One and PS4 are selling well compared with their predecessors, Sony’s console has pulled ahead. Microsoft, though, has slashed the price on the Xbox One this holiday season to $350, a $150 drop since the system’s launch last November—and one that undercuts the PS4 by $50.To further increase interest in the system, Microsoft is offering “Halo: The Master Chief Collection,” a compilation of four “Halo” games, including versions of “Halo: Combat Evolved” and “Halo 2″ with updated graphics and remastered interstitial cut scenes.”Halo” isn’t the only classic game getting a facelift for the next generation. Sony remastered 2013’s “Tomb Raider” and “The Last of Us” earlier this year. And Take-Two Interactive Software will release an updated version of “Grand Theft Auto V” for both systems on Nov. 18.Other titles to look for this holiday include Ubisoft’s “Assassin’s Creed: Unity” and “Far Cry 4,” “Super Smash Bros. Wii U” from Nintendo and Electronic Arts’ “Dragon Age Inquistion”. And previously released games, like “Destiny,” from the creators of “Halo,” are also expected to be hot sellers.It’s a rich lineup—and it’s one that has publishing executives excited about the months to come.”It looks very sound so far,” says Strauss Zelnick, CEO of Take-Two Interactive. “So far everything is performing in line or better than expectations. I think the market is in a good place. … I think the wind is at our back as an industry. We, and a couple key competitors, are positioned very, very well.” 4 min read This story originally appeared on CNBClast_img read more

Philips Debuts IntelliSpace Radiology Analytics Business Intelligence Solution at SIIM 2017

first_imgNews | Information Technology | June 05, 2017 Philips Debuts IntelliSpace Radiology Analytics Business Intelligence Solution at SIIM 2017 This new solution drives workflow improvements through actionable data to enhance quality, and efficiency in radiology departments Philips announced the introduction of IntelliSpace Radiology Analytics 1.2, the latest innovative solution for driving operational, financial and clinical insights within radiology departments. Making its debut at the 2017 Society for Imaging Informatics in Medicine Annual Meeting (SIIM), the new business intelligence tool, now offered with Philips IntelliSpace PACS, provides a comprehensive picture of departmental performance to drive and maintain continuous improvements for enhanced efficiency and quality of care.Intended to help departmental leaders clarify, measure and meet key performance metrics, Philips’ latest solution helps users answer questions within radiology data by compiling and analyzing data for the user. IntelliSpace Radiology Analytics 1.2 aggregates and filters multiple data types for an integrated, holistic view of workflows by combining three major sources of data: DICOM, HL7 and PACS audit logs. Philips data transformation engine then processes and presents normalized metrics in an understandable and easily accessible dashboard. The solution also provides access to historical data without requiring the additional effort of exporting and normalizing data.The robust data in IntelliSpace Radiology Analytics can be coupled with a front-end assessment through Philips PerformanceBridge Practice offering to identify opportunities and gaps within a health system. Following this assessment, Philips acts as a partner in on-going continuous improvement, providing detailed benchmarking and insights to help achieve productivity gains.“As we focus on delivering the best possible care for our patients, it is important that we are maximizing our existing resources and ensuring our team is working efficiently and effectively without being overburdened by the amount of data being captured,” said Samantha Sizemore, Senior Director of Operations from Holston Medical Group. “IntelliSpace Radiology Analytics will help us gain a comprehensive view of how our radiology department is performing in one easy to review dashboard.”Department administrators who need to understand various aspects of their radiology department will benefit from clear metrics when it comes to trends, variability and patient care, as well as support in driving impactful change within their departments. The solution offers easy to understand dashboards that give a snapshot of the department function at-a-glance. Easy access to data from disparate sources delivers operational insights and improvements through the following capabilities: Evaluate Radiologist Productivity – IntelliSpace Radiology Analytics 1.2 monitors data with respect to how work is moving through the radiology department to allow departmental leadership to identify individuals who may be overburdened or have additional bandwidth to enhance efficiency.Understand Referral Pattern Trends – The solution enables customers to review referral patterns to gain insight into the types of studies being referred to the department and by whom, and how referral patterns have changed over time to enable consistent delivery of service.Analyze Resources with Utilization Analytics – The tool helps radiology leadership examine how department resources are being managed to identify areas of downtime and modalities that are being over- or under-used to empower informed decisions when load balancing imaging devices.“Radiology departments process a great deal of data and need a tool that can provide measurement clarity, especially when it comes to modality and staff utilization,” said Yair Briman, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Healthcare IT for Philips. “We’ve made significant investments in solutions that help our customers implement performance improvement strategies, including the launch of PerformanceBridge solutions late last year. IntelliSpace Radiology Analytics 1.2 complements these efforts by providing our IntelliSpace PACS customers insights from day one, which gives healthcare leaders clear decision support from the start.”IntelliSpace Radiology Analytics 1.2 – part of the Philips IntelliSpace integrated portfolio of healthcare informatics solutions –  leverages Philips HealthSuite, a cloud-enabled connected health ecosystem of devices, apps and digital tools that work seamlessly together to enable personalized integrated health and continuous care.For more information: FacebookTwitterLinkedInPrint分享 Related Content The top piece of content in July was a video interview explaining how Princess Margaret Cancer Center is using machine learning to create automated treatment plans. 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