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October 12, 2019
Rabat – In his King and People’s Revolution’s Day speech on Sunday night, King Mohammed VI made it clear that the conflict in Western Sahara is not the main drive behind Morocco’s African policy. At the same time, he affirmed that this strategy is having an impact favorable to the kingdom as far as the issue is concerned. Such a change could not have been possible without a “firm” diplomacy.“Our African policy has had a direct, positive impact on the question of our territorial integrity, be it with regard to states’ positions or the resolutions adopted by the African Union”, said the monarch. While the King did not detail the positive impacts, going back a few weeks and months can provide us with the answers.In early July, the African Union headquarters saw a first confrontation between Morocco, backed by a number of friendly African states, and the Polisario Front, shouldered by its sponsor Algeria and its staunch supporter South Africa.Morocco objected the wording of a report by the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR) referring to Western Sahara as “occupied territories,” using the name Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR) for Polisario, and calling for an AU mission to evaluate respect of human rights in the region.The text was going to be adopted by the AU’s Executive Council, but pressure from Morocco and its allies compelled the council to modify its version.The final text stated that the proposal to send a mission to the territories known by the United Nations as Western Sahara, and the AU as SADR, was supported by some member states and rejected by others.“The Executive Council clearly notes that there was a debate over the issue, and that some countries were for and other against [the proposal],” said Moroccan Minister of Foreign Affairs Nasser Bourita, explaining that Morocco’s position has now been “taken into consideration” inside the AU, which was not the case before.When King Mohammed VI mounted the AU tribune to deliver a historical speech on January 31, 39 African heads of states out of 54 attending the AU summit, had already back Morocco’s reintegration to the organization.The strong support African member states showed to Morocco’s readmission to the AU was a confirmation that the kingdom’s African policy was on the right track.As the King noted in his Sunday speech, the continental success of the Moroccan diplomacy in regard to the issue of Western Sahara is echoed by the positive results it has achieved internationally in defending the Morocco’s rights in the region and countering the maneuvers of its foes.The King said that the positive impact of the country’s African policy “has given fresh momentum to the examination of this question at the United Nations.”According to the King, 2016 was “the year of resolve and intransigence, during which we matched action with words to thwart the schemes designed to impinge on our rights,” likely in reference to the former UN Secretary General, Ban Ki Moon’s “bias” towards Polisario Front when he visited Tindouf Camps in 2016 and referred to the Western Sahara as “occupied territories.”In contrast, “2017 has been the year of clarity and of a return to the standards and principles for the settlement of the artificial dispute over the Moroccanness of the Sahara.”The King praised Morocco’s “firm” and “proactive” policy in countering the schemes of its rivals, as was the case in the crisis of Guerguerat, which helped “put the process back on the right track.”This was confirmed by the new UN Secretary General’s report and UN Security Council resolution, both in April.Antonio Guterres’ report differed from his predecessor’s report the year before. Unlike Ban Ki Moon, he did not recommend expanding the prerogatives of the MINURSO to include human rights monitoring in the Western Sahara and the Tindouf camps, and he did not mention the alleged exploitation of human resources. Instead, the report praised Morocco’s decision to unilaterally withdraw from Guerguerat in February following the Secretary-General’s request.The UNSC Resolution 2351 welcomed Morocco’s efforts to find a solution to the Western Sahara dispute and called them “credible.”
October 12, 2019
Rabat – On Monday, Moroccan authorities arrested suspected members linked to the so-called Islamic State (ISIS), seven of whom were arrested in the city of Fez and neighboring regions, while four others were apprehended in the Souss provinces.In its December 26 edition, Moroccan daily Assabah reported that the three individuals arrested in Fez were suspected for their links to the ISIS members apprehended last month in the city. The four other suspects were arrested in neighboring regions. One of them was arrested in Moulay Yacoub, a town located 21 kilometers northwest of Fez. Another one was arrested in Taounate, a city in the north of the country in the Rif mountains, while another suspect was arrested in the city of Taza. The seventh was arrested in Sefrou, a city in central Morocco in the Fez-Meknes region. Most of the suspects are craftspersons, wrote Assabah. The arrests were made by law enforcement of the General Directorate for National Security (DGSN) in collaboration with Directorate of Surveillance of the National Territory (DST).Moroccan media reported on Monday, December 25 that police element of the Central Bureau of Judicial Investigations (BCIJ) arrested on Monday in the provinces of Ait Melloul and Chtouka-Ait Baha in the Souss region, four other individuals suspected of their links with terrorist groups.A young suspect living in the Azrou district of Inezgane was arrested as well as another suspect in the Chtouka Ait Baha province.The four suspects were moved to Casablanca for further investigation to determine other possible suspects linked with ISIS and other terrorist groups.Back in November, BCIJ made two arrests in connection with a Fez-based terror cell that was dismantled in October. The four-person cell was spread through different parts of the city of Fez.
October 6, 2019
Noting that the latest report on the Middle East referred to continuing tensions, the Security Council today unanimously renewed the mandate of United Nations observers in the Golan Heights monitoring the ceasefire between Israel and Syria for another six months, until the end of next June.As it has done in other renewals during the past 30 years of the UN Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF), the Council called on the two parties to implement its resolution of 22 October 1973, which urges them to negotiate “a just and durable peace in the Middle East.”“Under the prevailing circumstances I consider the continued presence of UNDOF in the area to be essential,” UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan said in his report earlier this month.UNDOF was established in May 1974. Last month it had 1,039 troops from Austria, Canada, Japan, Nepal, Poland and Slovakia and was assisted by 77 military observers from the UN Troop Supervision Organization (UNTSO). In addition to its mandated monitoring functions, it has helped pilgrims and students cross the region.The new mandate would expire next 30 June, by which time the Secretary-General would have submitted an updated report on developments.
October 6, 2019
Speaking at the opening of a meeting in Russia for the heads of intelligence and law enforcement agencies, Javier Rupérez, head of the Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (CTED), underscored the crucial role of such services in that they represented the first line of defence in fighting terrorism, which he described as a “common enemy” that can only be defeated by working in harmony.This is all the more so as “intelligence services have the capacity to observe the evolution of the terrorist phenomenon, to prevent its actions and to alert governments to its threat and new modalities,” he added, according to excerpts of his remarks released beforehand.The meeting in the western Siberian city of Novosibirsk is the first time officials of the Security Council’s Counter-Terrorism Committee (CTC) and CTED are attending the gathering of heads of special services, state security and law-enforcement agencies that are foreign partners of Russia’s Federal Security Service. Andrey I. Denisov, Russian Ambassador to the United Nations, is attending in his capacity as current CTC Chairman.In addition to focusing on strengthening cooperation and information sharing among participating agencies, the meeting is also looking at preventing the use of weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) for terrorist purposes as well as cutting the channels of financing for terrorist activities, including the funds from illegal drug trafficking, with a special focus on Afghanistan.The agenda also covers the practical difficulties in identifying and countering suicide bombers, and maintaining a database on organizations and personalities involved in terrorist activities.The two-day meeting – the fourth of its kind – is being attended by 75 delegations from 50 countries, including those of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). Other participants include representatives from the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), the European Union, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, as well as officials from the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in the United States and the Israeli intelligence service Mossad.The CTC was established by the Security Council in the aftermath of the 11 September 2001 attacks in the United States to help countries strengthen their legal and institutional abilities to fight terrorism.Both the CTC and CTED work with a wide variety of partner organizations, regional bodies and other institutions – including intelligence services – to build cooperation and promote assistance for nations needing help to meet their obligations under Security Council resolutions concerning terrorism.
September 22, 2019
A COMPLAINT BY the Galway One World Centre alleging that racist comments went unchallenged on an edition of the The David Harvey Show on 4FM has been upheld by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland.The complaint related to the 16 January episode of the show this year which included a discussion on a report by the ESRI about whether Africans people living in Ireland are subject to discrimination when seeking employment.The BAI committee concluded that as the programme developed, statements that it considered racist and prejudicial were permitted to be aired by callers to the programme.The BAI said that these included the following statements made during the programme:‘Blacks’ are “very lazy.’‘Black Africans’ always “get up on their high horse” if challenged.‘Blacks’ have a certain DNA related to their work ethic and practices.Filipinos in Ireland are “scammers.”The committee decided that in this case the broadcaster had failed to moderate the programme in accordance with its obligations:In this context, the committee noted that these remarks and others like them went largely unchallenged by the presenter and that the programme facilitated the airing of such remarks. The BAI also noted it its judgement that callers to the programme of African ethnicity were treated differently to other callers.“While these callers went on air to discuss discrimination in the workplace, each of them was questioned by the presenter or a caller about his or her legal status as a resident in Ireland,” according to the BAI.ComplaintThe complaint was made to the BAI by Sharon Murphy on behalf of One World Centre and alleged that ”it is the view of many people that Classic Hits 4FM is becoming a platform for people to articulate their racist views towards African People and members of the Traveller Community”.Harvey had strongly rejected the allegations made by the Murphy in respect of negative disinformation about Africans and Traveller behaviour. He stated that the programme is specifically targeted at RTÉ’s Liveline audience and is generally based on the issues of the day.The BAI did not agree with the complainant that the programme constituted evidence of systematic failures by 4FM. The committee also concluded that the moderation and and contributions by Harvey did not constitute racism.The David Harvey Show was dropped in May but then re-instated in August due in response to what the 4FM said “listener demand”.Read: Presenter’s ‘medical cards for Africans’ monologue “lacking in impartiality or objectivity” – BAIRead: How the rules have changed for broadcasters when it comes to referendum coverage >
September 21, 2019
Excited for Tron: Legacy to come out? Or maybe you just enjoy the rhythmic stylings of Daft Punk? Either way, you can score a sweet deal on the soundtrack today. Four dollars will get you the entire soundtrack in DRM-free MP3 files as well as a digital booklet (basically a PDF file of what would be in the CD case). The album is 23 tracks long and includes one Amazon.com-exclusive.The album is ten bucks at iTunes, so this will save you a nice hunk of cash.Amazon.com, via dealnews
September 21, 2019
Share53 Tweet Email Trump’s plan to slash corporate rates to 15% could pose ‘competitive challenge to Ireland’ The plan could face stiff opposition in Congress. Image: Niall Carson 22,096 Views By AFP Updated at 9.55pmTHE GROUP THAT represents Irish business said that plans by the US to slash corporate rates to 15% could pose a “competitive challenge to Ireland”.Ibec said that the announcement was just one in “a long line of challenges that Ireland’s economic model has faced in recent years”.“We have come through previous challenges stronger than ever and we must use every opportunity to champion internationally the depth, diversity and development of the Irish business model,” said Ibec’s director of policy and public affairs, Fergal O’Brien.O’Brien said there would be a “plenty of obstacles to overcome” for the proposed US tax rate cut to come into force.He said that plans that were previously mentioned around the mooted Border Adjustment Tax (BAT) would have been the most worrying aspect of any potential US tax reform plan for Ireland.But it “now looks likely that this proposal will not proceed”.The Trump administration earlier pledged to slash corporate rates to 15% as it prepared to unveil a long-awaited reform it touts as the “biggest tax cut” in US history.But the plan could face stiff opposition in Congress, including from some Republicans, with lawmakers sharply divided over the prospect of fueling already-rising deficits.“This is going to be the biggest tax cut and the largest tax reform in the history of our country,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said at a discussion about the proposal.Ireland’s corporate tax rate is 12.5% on trading income and 25% on non-trading income (eg rental income or investment income).Slashing taxes on income and business was a key part of Donald Trump’s election platform, and the Republican billionaire is seeking to deliver on that pledge as his presidency nears the symbolic 100-day mark this weekend.Mnuchin will outline details of the plan at the White House later Wednesday, but confirmed press reports that “the business tax is going to be 15%.”He said the administration hopes to push the reform through the Republican-controlled Congress as quickly as possible, but declined to set a deadline.Trump had initially hoped to drive through tax reform before the summer, but that ambition evaporated amid a failed push to repeal Barack Obama’s signature health care law.“We’re working hard to get it done quickly,” Mnuchin said. “This is part of his big impact for the first 100 days.”“We have fundamental agreement on what we’re trying to do and the details of tax reform are still to be worked out.”The tax plan’s impact on the deficit and debt will be key to winning backing on Capitol Hill.House Speaker Paul Ryan hailed the reform, even though Mnuchin signalled it would not include a tax on imports, something Ryan had lobbied for among fellow Republicans.The party had been drafting plans for the so-called border adjustment tax for months.Nevertheless Ryan praised the new plan as “progress.”“It’s basically along exactly the same lines that we want to go,” he told reporters.‘Explode the deficit’ Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, right, and National Economic Director Gary Cohn, arrive in the briefing room of the White House in Washington today. Source: Carolyn KasterThe overhaul is likely to face stiff opposition from Democrats.“I can tell you this: If the president’s plan is to give a massive tax break to the very wealthy in this country, a plan that will mostly benefit people and businesses like President Trump’s, that won’t pass muster with we Democrats,” Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said on the Senate floor.He also warned that a plan that dramatically shrinks tax revenues would “explode the deficit.”Analysts have said cutting the top marginal corporate tax rate by 20 percentage points could add a whopping $2 trillion or more to the deficit over a decade.The administration has said its tax cuts will spur growth — its goal is 3%– thus bringing in tax revenues to make up the difference, a calculation known as “dynamic scoring” which the Trump administration supports.“The difference between 1.6% , 1.8% GDP and 3% is staggering,” Mnuchin said. “It’s trillions of dollars of revenues. It’s tons of jobs.”Economists say this growth effect is not supported by evidence from prior tax cut efforts.Wishful thinking? Douglas Holtz-Eakin, an economist and former head of the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office who served in previous Republican administrations, said dynamic scoring is wishful thinking.“There has never been any single credible analysis of dynamic scoring that suggests that taxes pay for themselves,” Holtz-Eakin told AFP.The tax cuts could be limited to a 10-year period, but Mnuchin said that would be less than ideal.“If we have them for 10 years, that is better than nothing,” he said. “But we’d like to have permanency to it.”Mnuchin said the lower corporate rate is aimed at helping small businesses, not the wealthy.“What this is not going to be is a loophole to let rich people who should be paying higher rates pay 15%,” he said at today’s event, hosted by The Hill newspaper.Mnuchin also said the administration plans to simplify the highly complex process by which Americans declare their income and pay taxes.“For most Americans, we think they should be able to do their taxes on a large postcard.”With reporting from Cormac Fitzgerald- © AFP, 2017Poll: Do you think it’s acceptable that Ivanka Trump was booed at?> Wednesday 26 Apr 2017, 9:56 PM Image: Niall Carson Apr 26th 2017, 9:56 PM Short URL http://jrnl.ie/3360147 89 Comments Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article
September 19, 2019
Cheryll McAtee lives in an old farmhouse on a rural stretch of Northeast Fourth Plain Road just outside the Vancouver city limits, which she bought more than 20 years ago. It was a pretty quiet street when she first moved in. She recalls her neighbors riding their horses in the center of the road. Today the road is busier than ever, and it seems like drivers rarely observe the speed limit. But worse than the traffic for McAtee is the trash that endlessly accumulates along the road — tossed out by seemingly indifferent passers-by. You just about name it, and McAtee said she’s found it along her road. “Oh, my God, needles, the top skull of an animal, fruit, apples —I don’t know why they take one or two bites then toss it — half of a banana with the peel … lot of bags, fast-food stuff,” she said.One time, someone even left a box full of kittens at her neighbor’s mailbox along the busy road. The trash embeds in the ditch along her road, gets caught in property owners’ fences and blows into their yards. McAtee said she and her neighbors are caught in a never-ending cycle of cleaning up after the careless.
September 17, 2019
English footballer Jerome Sinclair spent a six-month loan with Football League One club Sunderland AFC.Jerome Sinclair has been with Watford since 2016.The English forward was loaned twice, first to Birmingham City and then to Sunderland.And his Football League One loan is over, and he has returned to the English Premier League club.What to expect from Watford V Arsenal? Taimoor Khan – September 8, 2019 Arsenal are set to take on Watford this weekend and the game is definitely going to be quite a peculiar contest between two sides…“Jerome has been a credit to himself and his club Watford in his time here,” Sunderland manager Jack Ross said according to the Watford official website.“I cannot speak highly enough of him and how he has applied himself during his loan spell and as a club, we have conveyed this to Watford.”“Everyone at Sunderland AFC wishes Jerome the very best in the next stage of his career,” he concluded.
September 16, 2019
The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced today the finalization of its proposed Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) volume requirements for 2013 for conventional biofuels, cellulosic biofuels, and the total amount of Advanced Biofuels. EPA had previously finalized the 2013 volume requirements for biomass-based diesel at 1.28 billion gallons.Today’s announcement finalizes the requirement for total Advanced Biofuel at 2.75 billion gallons. The Advanced Biofuel requirement is important to the biodiesel industry because biodiesel – as an EPA-designated Advanced Biofuel under the RFS – can fill not just the Biomass-based Diesel requirement of the program but also part, or all, of the overall Advanced Biofuel requirement. The decision to maintain the Advanced requirement at 2.75 billion gallons offers an additional market opportunity for biodiesel above and beyond the minimum 1.28 billion gallon Biomass-based Diesel requirement for 2013.“As producers of the feedstock that accounts for more than half of all domestic biodiesel production, we are very pleased with today’s announcement,” said ASA President Danny Murphy, a soybean farmer from Canton, Miss. “The updated volumes for 2013 will allow the promising growth of the biodiesel industry to continue unhindered, and we appreciate Administrator McCarthy and the EPA’s work to see that through.”EPA also announced it has denied two petitions for reconsideration of the 2013 biomass-based diesel standard of 1.28 billion gallons. These appeals were submitted by petroleum groups in late November 2012, raising a number of issues, including the impact of the 2012 drought and concerns about fraudulent RINs. The EPA determined that the petitions failed to meet the requirements for reconsideration under the Clean Air Act.“During the confirmation process, Administrator McCarthy repeatedly expressed her commitment to building bridges between the agricultural community and the EPA, and this announcement, which recognizes the strengths and benefits of the RFS and takes into account both the current and potential capabilities of the industries that produce these biofuels is a pragmatic and constructive step toward doing just that,” Murphy said.In addition to confirming the 1.28 billion gallon requirement for biomass-based diesel and the 2.75 billion gallon requirement for total Advanced Biofuels, the EPA’s announcement imposes the following requirements for 2013:Cellulosic biofuel: 6 million gallonsThis is a reduction from the 14 million gallons previously proposed by EPA for 2013 and the 1 billion gallons called for under the statute. EPA’s action to reduce the cellulosic biofuel requirement recognizes that significant quantities of cellulosic biofuels are not yet available in the marketplace.Conventional biofuel (mostly corn ethanol): 13.8 billion gallonsThis quantity maintains the volumes required under the statute for 2013.Total renewable fuel: 16.55 billion gallons.Also of significance in today’s announcement, EPA indicated it likely will reduce below statutorily-set levels the total conventional biofuels and total Advanced Biofuels requirements for 2014 in a forthcoming proposal. In making these indications, EPA appears to be responding to concerns about the increasing volumes of conventional, cellulosic, and Advanced biofuels called for in 2014 under the RFS statute versus the quantity of such fuels available in the marketplace and the impacts of the impending ethanol blend wall.“EPA’s actions to reduce the cellulosic biofuel requirement for 2013, and to indicate that it will likely reduce the total Conventional and Advanced Biofuel requirements from those set in the statute,” added Murphy, “can be seen as proof that EPA has the flexibility it needs to adjust volume requirements under the RFS based on marketplace realities and that no legislation is needed to revise or repeal the RFS.”
September 11, 2019
WILMINGTON, MA — During a recent review of the proposed High School and Middle School Parent/Student Handbooks for the 2018-2019 school years, several School Committee members expressed concern with a “Special Statement On Fighting” that appeared in both handbooks.The statement, which addresses self defense, reads as follows:“Defending one’s self” is not considered an acceptable excuse for fighting. A fight starts well before the first physical contact is made. Many times the preliminary actions involve a verbal exchange. A person who considers himself in need of defending should see a teacher, administrator, or other adult first. Throwing punches in retaliation is not recognized as defending oneself. An acceptable defensive posture involves only blocking blows.“I’m not comfortable with the idea that my child would face repercussions because he or she defended his or herself by using strikes,” said School Committee member Steve Bjork. “I’m not sure how practical it is to expect a child to defend his or herself simply by blocking punches and kicks until the assailant runs out of energy.”Bjork also disagreed with the notion that all fights start before the first physical contact is made, noting some kids can get physical without much warning, or – in the case of a sucker punch – no warning at all.“I support Steve in this,” agreed School Committee member MJ Byrnes. “I would caution anything be written that minimizes a potential victim’s rights and ability to defend themselves. Punishing the victim only adds to the emotional abuse already received. I will put my faith in the administration, that they will take things on a case-by-case basis and investigate thoroughly before handing out punishments.”“I, too, am increasingly uncomfortable with this section,” added School Committee member David Ragsdale. “Discretion and common sense have to rule the day when these fights are reported. If you’re being physically attacked, [the statement reads] that it’s your responsibility to not defend yourself, but to go find a teacher. I find that to be problematic if you’re laying on the ground getting pummeled.”“We want a no-hitting climate,” explained Middle School Assistant Principal Jeannette Quirk.“We don’t want to kids to use ‘self defense’ as an excuse to react over-the-top,” added Middle School Assistant Principal Daniel Faircloth. “We don’t want someone to use ‘self defense’ as an excuse for beating someone up,” noted Interim Superintendent Paul Ruggiero, in trying to explain the rationale behind the language.Bjork and Byrnes suggested using some sort of qualifying language and allowing students to use self defense within reason without fear of being reprimanded by school officials.The Middle School administration agreed to bring the statement back to the Middle School’s School Advisory Council to rework the language. The School Committee later asked Wilmington High School Principal Linda Peters to do the same.The section was being added to the Middle School handbook. The same section already existed in the High School handbook.Like Wilmington Apple on Facebook. Follow Wilmington Apple on Twitter. Follow Wilmington Apple on Instagram. Subscribe to Wilmington Apple’s daily email newsletter HERE. Got a comment, question, photo, press release, or news tip? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… RelatedSCHOOL COMMITTEE NOTEBOOK: 5 Things That Happened At Recent School Committee MeetingIn “Education”Wilmington Middle School Students Welcomed Back To School With Homeroom Changes, New ‘Launch Pad’In “Education”School Committee Tackles Vaping Issues At Wilmington High School & Middle SchoolIn “Education”
September 9, 2019
Stories are posted on the APRN news page. You can subscribe to APRN’s newsfeeds via email, podcast and RSS. Follow us on Facebook at alaskapublic.org and on Twitter @aprnListen nowConsultant: Alaska LNG project not feasible without major changesRachel Waldholz, Alaska’s Energy Desk – AnchorageAlaska’s natural gas pipeline project — as currently envisioned — is not competitive and likely cannot succeed in the current market. That’s the conclusion of a report from the outside consulting firm Wood Mackenzie.Three votes separate candidates in Arctic House raceRashah McChesney, Alaska’s Energy Desk – JuneauOnly three votes now separate two northern Alaska House candidates.Municipal sales tax could dive due to Walker’s PFD vetoAndrew Kitchenman, KTOO – JuneauLocal governments in Alaska that charge a sales tax could have millions of dollars less in revenue this year.Crews begin efforts to protect Butte, Old Glenn HighwayJosh Edge, Alaska Public Media – AnchorageCrews are beginning work to quell the rapid advance of the Matanuska River in the community of Butte.Paratroopers dot the skies over Fort RichardsonWesley Early, Alaska Public Media – AnchorageHundreds of parachutes dotted the sky near Anchorage Tuesday afternoon, as more than 450 Airborne Army paratroopers participated in a Joint Forcible Entry Exercise at Fort RichardsonSeveral new species of snailfish discovered on Bering seafloorZoe Sobel, Alaska’s Energy Desk – UnalaskaWhile trawling the floor of the Bering sea and the Aleutian region, scientists have discovered several new species of fish – snailfish. Some were only named last year. Researchers were not looking for them, the trawl was a part of a yearly stock assessment by the federal government that help set quotas for fisheries.Tribal leader optimistic after State Department, EPA meetingEd Schoenfeld, CoastAlaska – JuneauSoutheast Alaska’s largest tribal organization said this month’s meetings with the U.S. State Department and Environmental Protection Agency were productive.Kenai marijuana operations in hands of the assemblyDaysha Eaton, KBBI – HomerA citizen petition to ask voters whether commercial marijuana operations should be banned outside city limits in the Kenai Peninsula Borough is now in the hands of the Borough Assembly. The petition has received sufficient signatures to be certified.Weather balloons help solve climate puzzle in AlaskaAnnie Feidt, Alaska’s Energy Desk – AnchorageAround the world, twice a day, everyday, more than 700 weather balloons launch into the air. 14 of those balloons are released across Alaska, tracking things like temperature, humidity and wind speed.Barry Zevan: My Life Among the GiantsLori Townsend, Alaska Public Media – AnchorageThere’s a lot of former Midwesterners in Alaska, and if you lived in Minnesota or Wisconsin in the 1970s and got your news from KSTP in Minneapolis, then Barry ZeVan the weatherman was a celebrity you knew.
September 6, 2019
Hyderabad: Following Telangana Vaidya Vidhana Parishad’s action serving notices to 134 specialist doctors for unauthorised absence from work for the last several months continuously, nearly 40 doctors sent their responses while three tendered resignation to the job. The remaining 90-odd doctors chose not to respond to the notices of the government. Also Read – Solve farmers problems, demands Congress in Kamareddy Advertise With Us It may be mentioned here that notices were served, in first week of June, to absentee doctors belonging to different specialities including OBG (Obstetrics and Gynaecology), Paediatric, General Surgery, Ophthalmology, Pulmonology, Anaesthesia, Radiology, General Medicine etc. They got postings in different Area and District Hospitals and CHCs (Community Health Centres) across the State. Also Read – Woman found dead, relatives stage dharna in Kamareddy Advertise With Us According to senior officials, paper notification will be issued on Monday or Tuesday giving one more chance to those who did not respond until now to give their explanation and those ignoring government’s communication again would be terminated from service. Coming to doctors who responded to notices, majority doctors stated that the place of posting was not convenient for them on family grounds (parents health, wife’s job in city, small children etc). Advertise With Us If we look at the unauthorised absence doctors list, nine doctors have skipped duties in Asifabad District Hospital (upgraded from CHC), eight in Sangareddy, three in Sirpur CHC, four in Utnoor, three in Sircilla District Hospital, six in Bodhan Area Hospital, another four in Zaheerabad, six in Tandur, three in Bhongir and another nine doctors have stopped reporting to work in Bhadrachalam Area Hospital. Officials stated that those who responded to notices would be served memos seeking explanation why action cannot be taken against them. “We also have to examine the explanation and reasons given for skipping duty. Those who give satisfactory responses would be given reposting orders, but at the same location,” said an official. Department officials stated that doctors would be given reposting orders in the same place where they were doing duty earlier. However, they can opt transfer to move to other hospital in a different place, but after completing two years of service in the present posting. Meanwhile, majority of the doctors who did not respond to government’s show cause notices have no second thoughts of joining again. They settled for jobs in corporate and private hospitals and have no intention to come back to government service. These doctors alleged that irregularities took place at the time of web counselling and postings were given selectively to candidates in the State capital, city peripheral areas and those who did not yield to them were given postings in far-off places.
September 5, 2019
Reliance Capital, a part of the Anil Ambani-led group, on Wednesday said it is acquiring Goldman Sachs Asset Management’s onshore business in India like mutual funds and exchange-traded funds for Rs.243 crore ($37.5 million) in an all-cash deal.Goldman Sachs’ India onshore arm currently manages 12 mutual fund schemes, including some 10 exchange-traded funds. More than $1 billion worth of assets are under its management in the country, including $335 million of exchange-traded funds of state-run companies.In a joint statement, the two firms said Goldman Sachs’ India onshore arm is not only the largest exchange-traded funds provider in India, but also currently the exclusive fund manager of such funds for state-run enterprises.”This acquisition is an important first step in our strategy to strengthen our businesses through selective inorganic growth,” said Sam Ghosh, executive director of Reliance Capital, adding that the group will leverage both the acquired firms strong bouquet of schemes and talented team.”The transaction will add over half a percentage to our market share. We will ensure we maintain seamless continuity for all the Goldman Sachs Asset Management India fund investors across all schemes,” added Sundeep Sikka, chief executive of Reliance Capital Asset Management.Globally, Goldman Sachs Asset Management, the asset management arm of the Investment Management Division of The Goldman Sachs Group, was overseeing $1.19 trillion in assets under supervision, as of September 30.”Goldman Sachs Asset Management will continue to deliver global asset management services to the Indian clients and will remain a significant investor in Indian securities through regional and global managed GSAM funds,” said Sonjoy Chatterjee, chairman of Goldman Sachs India.”In the meantime, we remain committed to growing our investment banking and securities franchise in India and we continue to feel extremely positive about India as an important and growing market for Goldman Sachs overall.”The boards of both companies have approved the transaction and are expected to conclude it by the end of this fiscal year, subject to necessary regulatory approvals, the joint statement said.Reliance Capital Asset Management is the largest in the business in India in terms of assets under management, with a portfolio worth Rs.254,517 crore ($39.1 billion) as on September 30 — across mutual funds, pension funds, managed accounts and offshore funds.
September 1, 2019
Anki was invited on stage at Apple’s WWDC event in June to show how its upcoming miniature racecars would tie in with iOS 7. The demo was not without its issues, but the technology seemed impressive. Now that the Anki Drive cars have arrived, there is the temptation to see what makes them tick. So of course, the folks at iFixit have poked around inside an Anki and snapped some pictures.There are no special electronics in the track itself, but there is a pattern of subtle ridges like the grooves on an old vinyl record. The car scans these grooves with an embedded image sensor to track its location. To get at the optical sensor and other components, all you need is a phillips screwdriver. Yes, no weird proprietary screws and no glue.The circuit board inside the Anki car is fairly simple, consisting of a microcontroller, a Bluetooth chip, and the imaging sensor. There is also a small 3.7V li-ion battery on the underside of the board. All the processing that allows the cars to calculate routes and interact with each other is offloaded to your iDevice.With a little prying, the bottom assembly comes off revealing two motors driving the rear wheels. These motors provide propulsion, but also steering by varying the power to each of the wheels. The Anki car knows which way to steer thanks to the lens on the underside of the circuit board. This contraption shines an infrared LED downward onto the track, which illuminates the pattern of ridges so the image sensor behind it can read them. Below the circuit board, the Anki car also packs 7.1g of weights that keep it stable while maneuvering around the track.Two Akni cars come with the $200 starter kit, but additional ones can be bought for $70 each. Should you ever need to repair these pricey miniature automobiles, iFixit has given the Anki car a repairability score of 8 out of 10. That’s pretty good.
August 30, 2019
Sir Michael Caine is one of Hollywood’s best-loved actors, and during his decades-long career, he has given life to some of the most iconic roles on the big screen. Such is his longevity, it’s hard to imagine a time when Caine was a relative newcomer in Hollywood.However, a new autobiography, Blowing the Bloody Doors Off, has much to say about his early years as an actor attempting to break into the movie industry.Michael CaineIn particular, Caine reports a memorable incident when he first met Academy Award winner and Hollywood legend, John Wayne.According to the new book, Caine had arrived in Hollywood shortly after completing the 1996 film Alfie.This romantic comedy-drama was Caine’s big break, and he was in Hollywood hoping to build on his recent successes within the British film industry.Michael Caine in the trailer for Get Carter (1971).Although he had already appeared in high profile British films such as Zulu (1964) and The Ipcress File (1965), Alfie earned Caine international critical acclaim, and he was even nominated for an Oscar.Following this, he made the move to Hollywood, and in the book, describes how an early encounter with John Wayne made a dramatic impression on him as a young man.John Wayne.Shortly after arriving in Hollywood, Caine was staying in the Beverley Hills Hotel, frequented by many notable movie stars.One day, as he was sitting in the lobby, a helicopter landed right outside the entrance to the hotel and out stepped John Wayne dressed as a cowboy.Caine writes that he was astonished by the appearance of this Hollywood legend and came out of the lobby to watch the spectacle.John Wayne visited Australia during World War II to entertain the troops in forward areas. December 1943.Noticing Caine standing at the entrance to the hotel, Wayne approached him and asked him if he was, in fact, the young actor that had starred in Alfie. Caine nodded, and Wayne leaned in to give him a piece of advice.According to the account in the book, Wayne said, “You’re gonna be a star, kid. But if you want to stay one, remember this: talk low, talk slow, and don’t say too much.”Writing in Blowing the Bloody Doors Off, Caine comments that although he appreciated the great actor’s kindness, this was not great advice.A wax sculpture of Caine in his Harry Palmer character from The Ipcress File, at Madame Tussauds, London. Photo by mwanasimba Mme Tussaud museum CC BY-SA 2.0Caine was a character actor, and one of the great strengths of his career has been his ability to cope with demanding and varied dialogue.Wayne’s advice was ideal for someone who hoped to break into Westerns but less useful for the young Michael Caine.Reflecting on this moment in the book, Caine also outlines the way in which his own approach to passing down shared wisdom has changed over the years.American actor John Wayne cutting the cake of its 40th anniversary of a movie career in Hollywood, California in 1969, with from left to right: Lee Marvin, Clint Eastwood, Rock Hudson, Fred MacMurray, James Stewart, Ernest Borgnine, Michael Caine and Laurence Harvey. Photo by Keystone-France/Gamma-Keystone via Getty ImagesFor many years he was extremely skeptical of the value of asking older actors for advice, as in his experience, they often told him to give up on his dream of becoming a great actor.More recently his attitude has somewhat mellowed, and he now thinks back to some of the incredibly useful guidance offered to him by Hollywood greats such as Marlene Dietrich and Laurence Olivier.Michael Caine, guest at the Vienna International Film Festival 2012, Gartenbaukino. Photo by Manfred Werner / Tsui CC BY-SA 3.0John Wayne’s counsel outside the Beverley Hills Hotel, however, only served to remind him that just because something worked well for one actor, doesn’t mean that it will necessarily work for everyone.In subsequent interviews, Caine expanded further on the advice given to him that day by Wayne. In addition to cautioning the young actor against saying too much, he also recommended that he never, under any circumstances, wear suede shoes.Speaking on NPR, Caine said that he was confused by this remark. Wayne went on, saying, “Never wear suede shoes, because one day, Michael, you’ll be taking a pee, and the guy next to you will recognize you, and he’ll turn toward you and say ‘Michael Caine!’ and pee all over your shoes.”Read another story from us: John Wayne used to Fetch Wyatt Earp’s CoffeeAlthough Caine maintains a healthy skepticism about the value of advice doled out to young actors by their older peers, perhaps this was one tip worth sharing.
August 26, 2019
Google has launched Dataset Search, a search engine for finding datasets on the internet. This search engine will be a companion of sorts to Google Scholar, the company’s popular search engine for academic studies and reports. Google Dataset Search will allow users to search through datasets across thousands of repositories on the Web whether it be on a publisher’s site, a digital library, or an author’s personal web page. Google’s Dataset Search scrapes government databases, public sources, digital libraries, and personal websites to track down the datasets. It also supports multiple languages and will add support for even more soon. The initial release of Dataset Search will cover the environmental and social sciences, government data, and datasets from news organizations like ProPublica. It may soon expand to include more sources. Google has developed certain guidelines for dataset providers to describe their data in a way that Google can better understand the content of their pages. Anybody who publishes data structured using schema.org markup or similar equivalents described by the W3C, will be traversed by this search engine. Google also mentioned that Data Search will improve as long as data publishers are willing to provide good metadata. If publishers use the open standards to describe their data, more users will find the data that they are looking for. Natasha Noy, a research scientist at Google AI who helped create Dataset Search, says that “the aim is to unify the tens of thousands of different repositories for datasets online. We want to make that data discoverable, but keep it where it is.” Ed Kearns, Chief Data Officer at NOAA, is a strong supporter of this project and helped NOAA make many of their datasets searchable in this tool. “This type of search has long been the dream for many researchers in the open data and science communities” he said. Try out Google’s new Dataset Search here. Read Next 25 Datasets for Deep Learning in IoT. Datasets and deep learning methodologies to extend image-based applications to videos. Google-Landmarks, a novel dataset for instance-level image recognition.
August 17, 2019
Source = AccorHotels AccorHotels showcase drives excitement as Travel Manager wins new Peugeot 208AccorHotels showcase drives excitement as Travel Manager wins new Peugeot 208One of AccorHotels’ key client’s Celeste Burk, Travel Manager from Corporate Traveller in North Sydney claimed the keys to a new Peugeot 208 worth over $30,000, at last night’s AccorHotels Showcase extravaganza.In its 13th year, the AccorHotels annual showcase invites over 800 travel industry attendees to partake in the event business card draw, with five lucky finalists called on stage by Channel Seven celebrity emcees Melissa Doyle and Larry Emdur to select a key at random and try their luck to unlock the Peugeot.Fifth in line with key in hand, Celeste stepped towards the shiny red Peugeot and with one twist the car unlocked, lights flickered and horn sounded. Celeste’s face filled with disbelief and glee as it finally dawned on her that she would be driving the car out of Sofitel Sydney Wentworth’s Grand Ballroom.The Peugeot was one of a whole series of accommodation and travel prizes drawn during the evening with Erin O’Shannessy from American Express Meeting and Events walking away with a trip to Hong Kong staying at The Pullman Park Lane and Novotel Nathan Road Kowloon hotels including business class flights thanks to Qantas.Over 100 AccorHotels’ sales and marketing executives were in attendance, as well as AccorHotels Asia Pacific Chairman & CEO Michael Issenberg and AccorHotels Chief Operating Officer Pacific Simon McGrath who were quizzed by host of ABC’s Insiders TV program Barrie Cassidy, offering insight into the group’s FRHI acquisition, new developments, products and key industry topics.For the first time, the event showcased the group’s newest acquisition brands Fairmont, Raffles, Swissotel and One Fine Stay to industry clients and partners.Attendees were richly entertained throughout the evening, with music from one of Australia’s favourite house DJs Kate Monroe, while Robert Oatley wines ensured that guests were fully hydrated.
August 15, 2019
July 23, 2018 701 Views While Home Sales Lag, Demand Grows builders Contractors Existing-Home Sales Genworth Mortgage Insurance Corp. Home Sales Homebuyers homeowners homes HOUSING NAR New Homes Realtor.com Sellers 2018-07-23 Radhika Ojha in Daily Dose, Data, Featured, News Despite a growing demand among homebuyers, the sales of existing homes lagged for the third straight month in June, according to the latest existing home sales data released by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) on Monday.According to the report, total existing-home sales, decreased 0.6 percent to 5.38 million in June. On a year-over-year basis, existing home sales were down 2.2 percent over the same period a year ago, NAR said.The deceleration was led by declines in the South and West, which exceeded the sales gains in the Northeast and Midwest regions, the report indicated. While the report found that the median existing-home price for all housing types was $276,900, total housing inventory at the end of June climbed 4.3 percent to 1.95 million existing homes for sale—0.5 percent above the same period a year ago. Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist at NAR, attributed the falling sales numbers to the severe housing shortage especially in this market segment, despite growing demand.“There continues to be a mismatch since the spring between the growing level of homebuyer demand in most of the country about the actual pace of home sales which are declining,” he said.The falling figures of existing home sales provide an opportunity for homebuilders constructing new homes, according to Tian Liu, Chief Economist at Genworth Mortgage Insurance. “The impact of inventory shortage is not just a challenge for potential buyers and real estate agents, but also for mortgage lenders, contractors, and suppliers in the home improvement industry,” he said. “On the positive side, we believe that it offers a tremendous opportunity for homebuilders by addressing the largely unmet demand for new homes.”According to NAR, unsold inventory was at a 4.3-month supply at the current sales pace, with properties staying on the market for an average of 26 days during the month.“What is for sale in most areas is going under contract very fast and in many cases, has multiple offers,” Yun said. This dynamic is keeping home price growth elevated, pricing out would-be buyers and ultimately slowing sales.”Pricing out would-be buyers is a challenge that Danielle Hale, Chief Economist at Realtor.com also foresees. “The shortage forces buyers to compete for the few available homes by bidding up prices or making other concessions to stand out to sellers. As a result, home prices hit $276,900—a new all-time high. This means increased buying power for owners considering a sale or remodel, but could ultimately price out some would-be buyers and potentially lock them out of homeownership,” said Hale.Learn more about existing home sales in June:What’s Causing Existing Home Sales to Decrease? Share