On tinted glass issue, Meghalaya MLA seeks action against police officer

first_imgRights groups in Meghalaya have slammed an MLA for misusing his power to take a traffic officer to task for asking him to remove tinted films from the glasses on his vehicle.On August 7, a team led by Deputy Superintendent of Police (Traffic) Walsall Momin stopped the vehicle of Kimfa Sidney Marbañiang, a Congress legislator representing the Rambrai-Jyrngam Assembly constituency, in Malki area of State capital Shillong for using tinted glasses without proper authority.VIPs are allowed to use tinted glasses if they possess exemption certification from the State Security Commission. The MLA did not have one but lodged a complaint with the Deputy Speaker of the 60-member State Assembly against Mr. Momin for “embarrassing a public representative”.Mr. Marbañiang also said every government official should know who the elected members of the Assemby are.Last week, the Assembly’s Committee of Privileges to be chaired by Nationalist Congress Party legislator Saleng A. Sangma summoned Mr. Momin on September 5.The traffic officer attributed his summoning to lack of knowledge about the procedures. “The recommendation for using tinted glass even for vehicles used by VIPs enjoying Z+ or Z-category security has to be given by the Security Commission. What can we do when we try to correct people and they feel offended?” Mr. Momin told The Hindu, adding “such things happen”.Agnes Kharshiing of the Civil Society Women’s Organisation stated that overbearing MLAs were setting a bad example for people. “The Assembly Privileges Committee cannot drag in an officer or any other government officer working within the law,” she noted.Officials said the MLA in question had 100% tinted glass on his vehicle. According to the Central Motor Vehicle Rules, 1989, the visual transmission of light through the windscreen and rear window of every vehicle should not be less than 70% and that for the side windows not less than 50%.“Besides, the Supreme Court has categorically banned the use of tinted glass on vehicles and advised issuance of certificates only for official cars of VIPs and VVIPs depending upon the category of security such persons have been awarded by the competent authority,” said Angela Rangad of rights group Thma U Rangli-Juki.“Equality before law is paramount and should prevail at all times and for everyone. This culture of privilege and impunity needs to end,” she added.The Meghalaya police had a few weeks ago sought a written clarification from the government to know how many VIPs have been allowed to use tinted glass on their vehicles.last_img read more

Traditional betting game Tir of Khasi-Jaintia tribals to be taxed

first_imgThe archers prepare to shoot: Big moneyKhreh lai minnat!” (three minutes from now), shouts Nongbri and concentrates on his wrist-watch. Thirty-six arrows shoot forth: leaving bamboo cane bows they converge from a semi-circle on to a straw target, cylindrical and vaguely resembling the Buddhist prayer-wheel.More volleys follow as Nongbri goes,The archers prepare to shoot: Big moneyKhreh lai minnat!” (three minutes from now), shouts Nongbri and concentrates on his wrist-watch. Thirty-six arrows shoot forth: leaving bamboo cane bows they converge from a semi-circle on to a straw target, cylindrical and vaguely resembling the Buddhist prayer-wheel.More volleys follow as Nongbri goes on shouting commands in Khasi, announcing completion of every 25 seconds. Three minutes, and each archer has shot 32 arrows. Hundreds of onlookers and archers, all high on kakiat (the local brew), rush for the target, now a huge hedgehog with hundreds of arrows stuck all over. The count begins.The scene is enacted twice every evening in a narrow, bowl-shaped valley 10 km down the Shillong-Gauhati highway and also at Khanapara, Jawai and Mawphlang and other places in the countryside. And as the 12 teams of three archers each from various localities of Shillong take aim in a drunken stupor, the fates of over 20,000 bettors and the disposal of over Rs 2 lakh is also decided. In Shillong alone the annual stake is about Rs 5 crore, the figure being Rs 12-15 crore per year for the whole of Meghalaya.The target riddled with arrows: Prickly issueBetting: The busiest booths in Shillong markets in the morning are the ones selling innocent little slips of paper bearing vague figures. As the sun sets – which it does early in the Khasi Hills – these booths are again the most crowded with people awaiting word from the shooting ground.The betting is on precisely how many arrows, out of 1,152 shot by the 36 archers, would hit the target. The winner takes a thousand for every rupee bet. The most ordinary odds offered to a bettor are 80 to 1.advertisementThe person who can forecast correctly the number of hits in both rounds in a day stands to win the bumper prize of Rs 16,000 for his one rupee bet. (The prize money varies with individual bookies).Tir is the traditional betting game of the Khasi-Jaintia tribals. It is Meghalaya’s own matka and the state Government has now decided not only to legalise it but also to tax it. In its session ending last month, the Meghalaya Assembly adopted a bill amending the Meghalaya Amusements And Betting Tax Act.It regularised arrow betting, slapping a 5 per cent tax on the daily collections (Rs 2 lakh to Rs 2.5 lakh) and laid down its own rules for the game. While the bill awaits sanction of the Governor – who is likely to say yes – the powerful tir lobby has made it clear to the Government that it will accept taxes and other conditions but not the proposed changes in the rules and procedure.John Roberts Fancon, president, is clearer in his thinking: “The Government asks us to use a circular target with concentric circles and a bull’s eye. There will be varying points for hitting each circle. What happens if you hit the line? We do not want complications. We are meeting the deputy chief minister to make it clear.”Arrow betting in the Khasi Hills dates back to 1895, says Fancon who works in the day at Saint Anthony’s College in Shillong. In the evenings he takes charge of the Jaiaw archery team.Ill-effects: The game has been going on at the present site since 1962 under a regular bookies’ association. In 1970 the Meghalaya Prevention Of Gambling Act was passed to stop it as tir was being increasingly criticised: obsessive betting had driven small householders to bankruptcy and starvation.Not only did the Act fail to serve its purpose, it spawned a mafia of toughs and bookies controlling the business and running it openly with the complicity of the police. The mafia soon diversified its activities taking over petty, and then major, crime in and around Shillong and other places like Mawphlang and Jowai (Jaintia Hills). The new bill is a belated effort to break their hold.The economics of the business is interesting. Of the average of Rs 2 lakh collected daily, Rs 12,000 are distributed among the participating clubs. Each archer takes home Rs 35 per day.Clubs pay a token contribution for the upkeep of the shooting arena which is, in any case, full of wild grass and mud. More than a lakh of rupees are distributed among the winners and the rest is gobbled up by bookies and the mafia controlling the business.Control: Among the things government seeks to regulate is the frequency of the competition, reducing it to three days a week. But “Sunday off” is the most the trade is prepared to concede. Says Fancon: “The Government wants taxes but will not let others earn. What can you earn in three days a week?”advertisementMost archers – men given to drink and with no other means of livelihood – welcome the Act. Said Decent Lyngdoh, another pawnam: “At least now the Government can buy us fibreglass bows out of the tax. They should also fix our wages. Some of our boys went to the national archery competition last year and saw fibreglass equipment with which you can shoot five times faster.”At the moment, most archers depend on Khasi craftsmen in far-flung villages, particularly Nonkynrieh, 50 km from Shillong.But chances are that, given the strength of the tir syndicate, the Act will ultimately be reduced to some sort of a contract between the Government and the bookies, with the other participants left out, just playing the game in the middle.last_img read more

India A beat France A 2-0 in 3rd women’s hockey match, lead 4-game series 2-1

first_imgThe India ‘A’ women’s hockey team defeated France ‘A’ 2-0 in the third match to take a 2-1 lead in the four-match series at the Padma Shri Mohammad Shahid Synthetic Hockey Stadium here Tuesday.Local girl Mumtaz Khan (42nd minute) and Sharmila Devi (60th) scored for the home team.The match saw the visitors dominate in the opening minutes, but the Indian defense made sure they did not allow their opponents to draw the first blood.After going through two goal-less quarters, India finally managed to break the deadlock in the 42nd minute through young striker Mumtaz.The French had several chances in the match, but could not get past Indian goalkeeper Bichu Devi Kharibam.Some reflex saves from the Indian custodian meant that the hosts took their lead into the last quarter.An eventful last quarter saw both teams vie for the next goal of the match, but eventually it was India ‘A’ who were successful in their pursuit as they scored another field goal in the last minute to come out winners.The India ‘A’ women’s team will play their fourth and last match against France here on Wednesday.Also Read | India bids to host men’s or women’s hockey World Cup in 2023Also Read | India A beat France A 3-2 in second women’s hockey matchlast_img read more

Tua Tagovailoa Injury Update: Heisman Favorite Took Big Hit vs. LSU

first_imgTua Tagovailoa points directions to a teammate.TUSCALOOSA, AL – SEPTEMBER 08: Tua Tagovailoa #13 of the Alabama Crimson Tide runs the offense against the Arkansas State Red Wolves at Bryant-Denny Stadium on September 8, 2018 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)Tua Tagovailoa injury update: the Alabama superstar took a huge shot from an LSU defender, where no man wants to be hit.A screenshot of the hit, via SB Nation:NOPE pic.twitter.com/uL97FkFmSJ— SB Nation (@SBNation) November 4, 2018The timing isn’t good for Alabama either.The Crimson Tide are in Baton Rouge facing No. 3 LSU, one of the best defenses in the country, and Jalen Hurts is on the mend after ankle surgery.Mac Jones entered the game after the Tua Tagovialoa injury.Alabama immediately got called for a false start, and luckily, Tagovailoa was set to return. However, because Alabama didn’t run a play in his absence, Jones had to run a 3rd-and-28 play, and pitched it to Damien Harris on a simple option for a loss.It isn’t the first time that Tua has had to leave a game. He’s been nursing a knee issue, which cause him to leave the game against Missouri.With Hurts on the team, he hasn’t had to play in any garbage time, and is yet to throw a pass in the fourth quarter, but this LSU game is not the time to have both star quarterbacks out.Luckily, it seems like he’s okay to go, but either way, its a good start for the LSU defense.last_img read more

Gov’t Moves to Improve Efficiency in Contract Awards

first_imgThe Government of Jamaica is moving to speed up the contract award process.Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Finance and Planning, Hon. Horace Dalley, said Cabinet has embarked on a programme through the infrastructure subcommittee of Parliament. The aim, he said, is to improve efficiency so as to facilitate completion within 120 days.The Minister, who was speaking in his contribution to the 2013/14 Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives on July 2, said that public procurement is critical to boosting local, national and regional business activities, as it accounts for 30 per cent of Jamaica’s gross domestic product (GDP).“It is generally agreed that the procurement process is too protracted and contributes to significant delays in the implementation of Government projects. We have found that from announcement of Request for Proposals (RFP) to the award of a contract, the time period can be as much as two years,” he lamented.The Minister in the meantime, informed that Cabinet has issued drafting instructions for the development of a comprehensive Public Procurement Law and Regulations, which will guide public procurement, and bind public institutions to specific standards.“The present system is managed under the Contractor Generals Act and the Financial Administration and Audit Act (FAA), neither of which offers complete coverage of the multiplicity of issues impacting procurement,” he pointed out.The Minister also reiterated plans for the separation of the National Contracts Commission (NCC) from the Office of the Contractor General (OCG).He said that the sharing of financial and human resources between the NCC and the OCG has compromised the independence of both institutions and makes it difficult to distinguish between the two.He said that the NCC will have its own staff, secretariat and offices, and will function with five specialised sector committees instead of the seven general committees that now obtain.These sector committees will be: Works; Consulting and General Services; Goods; Information Communication Technology (ICT); and Insurance Placement.Mr. Dalley informed that the NCC will continue to safeguard fairness and transparency in the contract award process, while the OCG will carry on its monitoring and investigation tasks in the award and implementation of contracts.Contact: Chris Pattersonlast_img read more

Case against man for posting objectionable remarks against HM Shah on social

first_imgSambhal (UP): A case has been filed against a man for allegedly posting objectionable remarks against Home Minister Amit Shah on Facebook, police said on Wednesday. Sambhal Kotwali in-charge, Dharampal Singh, said the case has been filed against Zarif Ahmed on the complaint of district unit secretary of Hindu Yuva Vahini, Anuj Kumar Sharma. Sharma had alleged that Ahmed posted a picture of Shah with objectionable remarks on Facebook. The case has been filed under the IT Act and 501 (printing or engraving matter known to be defamatory) of the IPC.last_img read more

Indigenous fashion week in Vancouver to celebrate cultural appreciation

first_imgOrganizers of Vancouver’s first indigenous-focused fashion week say the event will celebrate “cultural appreciation” for designers and creators who are used to seeing their work appropriated by others.Vancouver-born producer Joleen Mitton says the four-day showcase will feature collections from about 32 designers, most of whom are indigenous.The models are also mostly indigenous, and will include former and current foster care kids — a vulnerable group that often struggles with identity and self-acceptance, says Mitton, whose heritage is a mix of Plains Cree, French and Scottish.“A lot of these kids don’t feel that they’re visible because they’ve been discarded by their family a lot of times and obviously you don’t see indigenous people in media,” says the 33-year-old, who began modelling at age 15 and now works with disenfranchised youth in Vancouver.The July exhibit will feature emerging and established designers including Sho Sho Esquiro, Pam Baker and Jeneen Frei Njootli.And it comes as debate over cultural appropriation is especially fractious thanks to recent controversies in the art and literary worlds.An outcry over a white Toronto painter who embraced an Anishinaabe painting style forced the cancellation of her art show and sparked debate over the line between inspiration and theft.More debate followed with an editorial in the Writers’ Union of Canada magazine that dismissed the notion of cultural appropriation and encouraged writers to explore cultures and traditions that were different from their own.That also raised immediate protest, prompting the author and magazine editor Hal Niedzviecki to apologize and resign from his post as debate erupted in various media.Most notably, former National Post editor Ken Whyte branded the matter an assault on free speech and solicited donors on Twitter to establish an “appropriation prize.”Model and fellow fashion week organizer Ellena Neel says the issue is “complicated” for many outside of the indigenous community to grasp. And she finds herself constantly defending efforts to preserve indigenous culture.She says the Neel family has been especially entrenched in the debate since her great-grandmother, celebrated carver Ellen Neel, began making and selling Vancouver’s iconic totem poles in Stanley Park in the 1950s and 1960s.“With the introduction of mass production, cheaper totem poles and mass-produced totem poles started coming in from China and that started to affect her business,” notes Neel, a photographer and video artist.Indigenous creations — including clothing — are more than just crafts or hobbies, she adds. Clothes are often handmade and infused with meaning, identifying who you are, where you’re from and the First Nation you belong to.“From the West Coast, at least, we take great pride in wearing the crest from your clan and your family. For my sake, me and my brothers always take pride in wearing our thunderbird crest,” says Neel.Mitton’s modelling career took her through Taiwan, Hong Kong, Thailand and Korea during her impressionable teenage years, when she was asked to promote products that blatantly incorporated indigenous iconography.“I look at the photos now as a person who’s been through the fashion world…. it’s very infuriating. Those things have cultural attachment to them, spiritual attachment to them.”Mitton’s mixed heritage allowed her to pass as half-Asian, and when she returned to Canada in 2008, she struggled to reclaim her identity.“I wasn’t really happy. The fashion world itself is pretty shallow and oppressive,” says Mitton, whose career included campaigns for Kenzo, Vivienne Westwood, Lancome and Clinique.“I’ve partied with Mick Jagger, Jamie Foxx, Bradley Cooper (but) I wasn’t really proud of being a model. People would come up to me before, they would be kind of stoked: ‘Oh, you’re on this magazine,’ or ‘You’re on this shampoo bottle,’ or ‘You’re in this commercial in Asia.’ I was never super-comfortable about it.”Mitton began working with children in foster care as well as older girls aging out of foster care. She started mounting fashion shows to engage the older girls and teach them “to walk with pride and beauty”.Mitton now sees the positive influence fashion can have on a young person, and hopes she can inspire Canadians to know that high-quality, unique designs exist here at home.“You don’t have to buy that stuff from Urban Outfitters or Dsquared2 or any of that stuff, we’ve got that stuff already,” says Mitton.“If you like indigenous esthetic, buy it from those who create it and live it”The Vancouver Indigenous Fashion Week runs July 26 till July 29.———Online:http://www.ifwvancouver.com/last_img read more

Canadian divers hold out hope as Thai soccer team awaits rescue from

first_imgAn Alberta-based explorer who was trapped in a partly flooded cave for days says her heart goes out to the members of a boys’ soccer team as they await rescue from an underground cavern in Thailand.Kathleen Graham, president of the Alberta Speleological Society, said she remembers “pure relief” washing over her as she emerged from the darkness of Mexico’s Sistema Huautla in April.Unlike the group of a dozen boys and their soccer coach who went missing on June 23 when flooding trapped them in a cave in northern Thailand, Graham said her team had supplies on hand. It helped sustain them through the four days they were stranded after torrential rains blocked their exit route.“We were planning to camp, so we had food, we had sleeping bags. These kids don’t,” she said in a phone interview from Calgary on Tuesday.“Still, it really weighs on you, because you don’t know. You’re just waiting. You don’t have any communication to the surface.”As her colleagues fretted over fears they would never again see the light of day, Graham said she focused her energies on survival.She said she had to stave off panic to keep water levels steady in the one-inch pocket of air that allowed her and her team to swim out of the cave.It was only then, she said, that the gravity of the situation hit her.“You’re trying to trick your own mind into being in a positive place,” she said, “but then when you get to the other side, it’s just pure relief.”She imagines that the boys, aged 11 to 16, and their coach have found some hope after being located by rescuers Monday. But even as the group of 13 receives medical attention and nourishment, she said, their path to safety remains uncertain.Floodwaters as murky as “chocolate milk” and narrow passageways could make it difficult for the young men to dive out of the cave, said Graham.But a Thai official said Tuesday that an underwater exit plan may be the only option if heavy rains forecast in the coming days worsen flooding in the mountain cave.Christian Stenner of the Alberta/BC Cave Rescue Service said coaching the young men to swim out of the cave could prove to be risky under conditions that would challenge even an experienced diver.Stenner said the perhaps safer option would be to wait for water levels to recede — but spending an extended period of time underground could take a psychological toll on the group.“To be able to keep them occupied would be helpful, but that group has shown great resilience,” he said Tuesday. “They seem to be in good spirits … so hopefully they can sustain that for an even longer period if they have to.”Stenner said there have only been about five flooding-related cave incidents in Canada in the past 25 years, but Graham said she is keeping an eye on the rescue in Thailand for lessons that could be useful back home.Before heading into a cave, she said, Canadians should ensure at least one member of their group is familiar with the underground layout. She also advised that explorers check weather forecasts ahead of venturing into one of the few caverns in the Rockies that are prone to flooding.— With files from the Associated Presslast_img read more

BC legislation targets Trans Mountain say proponent and Alberta government

first_imgTina HouseAPTN NewsA case is being heard this week in the B.C. Court of Appeal that could have a big impact on the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project.That’s because the B.C. government wants to be able to refuse a pipeline coming through the province if it finds it could hurt the environment, human health or communities.Environmental legislation proposed by the government is specifically targeting the pipeline expansion and would significantly impact it, the project’s proponent and the Alberta government argued Thursday.The court is hearing a reference case that asks whether the government can amend its Environmental Management Act to create a permitting system for companies that increase the amount of heavy oil they’re transporting through the province.B.C. has argued the amendments are not intended to block the project. They are being made to protect the environment from spills and require companies to pay for damages.But a lawyer for Trans Mountain ULC said B.C.’s motive is to obstruct the expansion.“Trans Mountain will be directly and significantly impacted by the proposed legislation. Indeed, we say it is the target of the proposed legislation,” Maureen Killoran told a panel of five judges.Killoran said Trans Mountain, which has operated since 1953 and runs from the Edmonton area to Metro Vancouver, is the only pipeline that transports liquid petroleum to the West Coast and the only pipeline to which the legislation would apply.The proposed law presented more risk than private-sector proponent Kinder Morgan was willing to accept, prompting it to sell the pipeline to Canada for $4.5 billion last year, she said.Since the plan to triple the pipeline’s capacity was first proposed in 2013, it has been through the largest review in the National Energy Board’s history, a number of court challenges and faced protesters and blockades, Killoran said.The energy board ruled the expansion is in the public interest because the country cannot get all its available energy resources to Pacific markets, she said.First Nations, the cities of Vancouver and Burnaby, and environmental group Ecojustice have delivered arguments in support of B.C.’s proposed rules.The government of Canada opposes B.C.’s proposed permitting system because it says Ottawa _ not provinces _ has exclusive jurisdiction over inter-provincial infrastructure.The new rules would allow a provincial public servant with expertise in pollution management to apply conditions to permits, which B.C. says would be intended to address concerns posed by a company’s proposed activities.Peter Gall, representing the government of Alberta, said the permitting scheme is a “vague, amorphous” process that gives wide-ranging discretionary powers to a government official to do whatever he or she thinks is necessary to protect the environment.“We accept that the province genuinely wants to protect the environment,” he said. “The problem is … the province believes that the best, indeed the only, way to protect the environment is to stop the project.”Justice Harvey Groberman questioned why Gall would raise the motives of the legislation, given the argument that it interferes with federal jurisdiction should suffice.Gall said the court should not ignore the “reality of the situation” _ the B.C. government is committed to stopping the project.Premier John Horgan said while in opposition that he would use “every tool in the toolbox” to stop the expansion. The court has heard that after his minority NDP government took power in 2017, it received legal advice that it could not block the project.Gall quoted Environment Minister George Heyman as saying that the government could not delay or obstruct the project through “anything other than even-handed consideration of permit applications.”-with files from the Canadian Pressnews@aptn.calast_img read more

NAFTA survives key round US grumbles but says it wants talks to

first_imgMONTREAL – The NAFTA renegotiation has survived a key round of talks, with the United States expressing some annoyance but hailing modest progress, promising future rounds, describing the trade pact as important and toning down the imminent withdrawal threats.The week-long round concluded Monday with the U.S. trade czar sharing the widespread assessment of others that the latest talks marked the first concrete examples of constructive dialogue on hot-button issues.The talks are now scheduled to continue for at least two more months, with rounds scheduled for Mexico City and Washington, before policy-makers confront a major dilemma: what to do during the spring, summer and fall as Mexico and the U.S. hold national elections.Robert Lighthizer expressed myriad frustrations Monday. The U.S. trade representative said he was unsatisfied with Canadian proposals on autos, calling the progress too slow, dismissing another Canadian idea as a “poison pill” and bemoaning a Canadian complaint to the World Trade Organization, a tactic he characterized as a “massive attack” against the U.S. trading system.On balance, however, he sounded like a man willing to give NAFTA a chance.“Some real headway was made here,” Lighthizer said.“The United States views NAFTA as a very important agreement. We’re committed to moving forward. I am hopeful progress will accelerate soon. We’ll work very hard between now and the beginning of the next round — and we hope for major breakthroughs in that period. We will engage both Mexico and Canada urgently, and we will go where these negotiations take us.”With just eight weeks left in the current schedule of talks, unfolding under President Donald Trump’s persistent threats to blow up the deal, the U.S. administration has important decisions to make about NAFTA’s future.The Montreal round represented a new phase for the negotiations. It included a first significant back-and-forth dialogue on autos and other major sticking points. Sources say there were three hours of talks over two days about the autos proposal.Lighthizer’s long-awaited verdict on the latest talks came at a public event alongside Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland and Ildefonso Guajardo of Mexico. The three held a series of face-to-face bilateral meetings before their final closed-door, three-way huddle.It was the first such group appearance since the trio’s memorably tense encounter in the fall.Numerous participants in the Montreal round were sounding cautiously optimistic in the lead-up to Monday’s closing statements, calling the latest talks less negative and more constructive than initial ones, with the first true dialogue on serious sticking points — autos, dispute resolution and a five-year review clause in particular.And there was the political dynamic: Freeland and Lighthizer went to great lengths to dispel the notion that the two don’t actually like each other — an impression created by frosty body language and rhetoric the last time the two shared the NAFTA stage last fall.Lighthizer described his counterparts as friends. He also shared fond memories of vacationing in the Montreal area with his family. Freeland was asked whether her relations with her U.S. counterpart might derail the talks and offered a one-word reply: “No.”“Without being overly optimistic, I am heartened by the progress,” Freeland said, citing the closing of an anti-corruption chapter and other constructive conversations.The U.S. statement was being closely parsed.Lighthizer rejected the newest proposals as presented, and even disparaged some of them. He was especially scathing in an aside apparently referring to trade in services, where Canada suggested a protectionist measure in response to a protectionist U.S. proposal.“If the United States had made (this proposal),” he said, “(it) would be dubbed a ‘poison pill.’”But one prominent stakeholder expressed little concern over the grumpier snippets from Lighthizer’s appearance. Flavio Volpe of the Canadian Auto Parts Manufacturers Association cast the U.S. representative’s reaction as purely tactical.“I think he’s a good negotiator,” Volpe said.“I don’t really take a lot of the stuff at face value. But it’s important for us to understand the sentiment. And the sentiment is, ‘We’re not satisfied, we’re not going to put our guard down, and we’ll see you in four weeks.’”The Canadian Chamber of Commerce also offered a mostly optimistic take on Monday’s events. President Perrin Beatty said he was encouraged by the progress reported, but tempered that by saying: “The work is far from over … and there is still no guarantee of success.”last_img read more

Imperial Oil reports 853M Q4 profit boosted by downstream operations

first_imgImperial says its upstream operations lost $310 million in the fourth quarter, compared to a loss of $481 million in the same period of 2017.Meanwhile, the company’s downstream operations earned $1.14 billion in the quarter, up from $290 million in the fourth quarter of 2017, boosted by stronger margins the absence of turnaround activities in the quarter.For the full year, Imperial says it earned $2.31 billion or $2.86 per diluted share in 2018, up from $490 million or 58 cents per share in 2017. CALGARY, A.B. – Imperial Oil Ltd. reported a profit of $853 million in the fourth quarter compared with a loss of $137 million in the same quarter a year earlier.Imperial says the profit amounted to $1.08 per diluted share for the last three months of 2018 compared with a loss of 16 cents per diluted share in the fourth quarter of 2017, which included $566 million of upstream asset impairments.Revenue and other income for the quarter totalled $7.89 billion, down from $8.08 billion in the last three months of 2017.last_img read more

Swiss Region Imposes 9813 Fine on Women Wearing Burqa in Public

Rabat – The Swiss region of Tacino on Monday has approved a ban on wearing burqa or full face-veils, becoming the first part of the country to do so.A report by The Local said the region’s parliament decided that wearing burqa in all public places will be an offence punishable by a fine of up to 10,000 francs ($9,813USD).The new rules went into effect on November 24, after over 65 per cent of voters in the Italian-speaking region of Ticino voted in favor of banning the veil. ATS news agency reported that the ban was also supposed to be applied to people who cover their faces with, for example, masks and balaclavas during protests.However, lawmakers restricted the ban only to the Islamic veils to avoid comparing people who wear these garments to masked protesters and hooligans, according to the same source.No exceptions will be made for tourists, said the agency. But visitors coming into the region will be informed at airports and by customs officers.The ban on burqa echoes similar law passed by France against concealing one’s face in public spaces in 2010. Under this law, women who get caught wearing a burqa or niqab risk a €150 ($205) fine and can be ordered to take a class on the country’s republican values. read more

Two best friends survival story

Two best friends, two separate events that nearly took their lives. We learned about the bond that kept Joey Hackett and Brandon Clark fighting to survive.In April of 2016, a man armed with a shotgun opened fire on Brandon Clark and his friends during a get-together. Brandon was shot in the back before he could escape.Joe Hackett, Brandon’s best friend since grade school, was supposed to be out with him that night but opted to stay home with his then pregnant wife. But when he got the call, he sprung into action. “I drove right to the building where it happened, I was still in my pajamas, you heard someone was killed. You don’t know who it was and you can’t find two of your friends, it’s one of the worst feelings” says, Hackett.Brandon suffered serious internal injuries, his spleen was removed and his abdominal wall had to be rebuilt. He was hospitalized for five weeks, but he wasn’t alone.Just 16 months later, the friends switched spots. Hackett, now a father of a baby boy was caught in a freak accident when an 18-tonne road grater crushed him.Found without a pulse, Joey was rushed to the operating room and immediately put into a medically-induced coma.Three days later, “When my eyes first opened, Brandon was in front of me. Brandon called my parents, called my wife and told everyone ‘he’s waking up come to the hospital.’While Joey’s injuries and recovery were more extensive than his best friend, Brandon’s own brush with death and subsequent bounce back encouraged him.Both credit the regional trauma centres’ team for giving each of them a second chance at life.Two years after Joey’s accident, both men are living fuller lives and now share a friendship that near tragedy couldn’t break.Both men will be taking part in next month’s ‘Strides for the General’ to raise money for treatments not normally covered by OHIP. The run is in it’s 8th year and looks to raise $1-million this year. read more

UN agency calls for new approaches to fighting AIDS as infection rate

The “2004 Report on the Global AIDS Epidemic” from the Joint UN Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) says it is time “to embark boldly upon the ‘Next Agenda’ – an agenda for future action that adopts the essential, radical and innovative approaches needed for countries to reverse the course of the epidemic.”If the world continues responding to the epidemic in “its well-meaning, but haphazard and ineffectual fashion, then the global epidemic will continue to outpace the response,” it says.In 2003, an estimated 4.8 million people – within a range of 4.2 million to 6.3 million – became newly infected with HIV. “This is more than any one year before,” it says.Some 37.8 million people are now living with AIDS and 20 million have died since the first cases of AIDS were identified in 1981, it says.The world was spending an estimated $4.7 billion on combating the epidemic in 2003, but that figure was less than half what would be needed by 2005 and only a quarter of what would be needed by 2007 to mount a comprehensive response to AIDS in low- and middle-income countries, the report says.”An unprecedented level of financial resources is now available to tackle the disease, but it is still half of what is really needed,” and the money appropriated is not being used in an effective, coordinated manner, it says.Efforts to prevent the spread of HIV need to focus on both risky individual behaviour and on broad underlying structural factors in society, it says.Part of the problem is that, in some instances, AIDS funding is blocked in government bank accounts, or is stalled under rules put in place by international donors, UNAIDS says.Meanwhile, whereas those affected by the epidemic were once predominantly male, at least half are now women worldwide. Among southern Africans infected women outnumber infected males by as much as two to one in some age groups.In other ways, women are affected by being the ones burdened with taking care of the sick and are the most likely to have to sacrifice jobs and schooling, a situation which the report highlights by including gender sections in each chapter.Noting the factors that make women more vulnerable, it says adolescent girls must have access to information and services, violence against women must not be tolerated, women must have property rights and access to prevention options, including an eventual microbicide.”Addressing vulnerability at the structural level includes reforming discriminatory laws and policies, monitoring practices and providing legal protections for people living with HIV,” the UNAIDS report says.Half of all new HIV infections are now found in the 15- to 24-year-old age group, with more than 6,000 contracting the virus every day, the report says. People in the same age group will be responsible for fighting the epidemic in future, so they should now play an integral part in responding to the epidemic. read more

UN envoy for Iraq condemns attacks on mosques in Babylon Province

“These attacks are an attempt to stoke sectarian tensions in Iraq and the region,” the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Iraq, Mr. Ján Kubiš, said in a statement.”Those behind the attacks attempt to exploit the current regional circumstances and weaken the unity of Iraq and its people. They serve ultimately the interests of the terrorist ISIL,” he added.Mr. Kubiš recalled the recent appeal of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon for calm and restraint in reaction to the execution of Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr last Saturday by Saudi Arabian authorities. Mr. Ban also appealed to all regional leaders to work to avoid the exacerbation of sectarian tensions, voicing deep dismay over the recent executions by Saudi Arabia of 47 people, including the Sheikh.“I urge all Iraqis, all Iraqi political forces and representatives and the media to demonstrate their commitment to the unity and solidarity of Iraq and its people and to show restraint including in their statements,” the UN envoy further added, calling on the Iraqi authorities and the Security Forces to prevent and counter attempts to incite violence and divisions. read more

Stevenson sparks Wichita State to 9061 win over Rice

WICHITA, Kan. — Freshman Erik Stevenson came off the bench to score a career-high 21 points and Wichita State rolled to a 90-61 victory over Rice on Sunday.Stevenson sank 4 of 8 3-pointers and added five rebounds for the Shockers (3-3). Markis McDuffie had 14 points, five rebounds and five assists and Jaime Echenique scored 14. McDuffie came in averaging 21.6 points per game and needs 25 points to become the 47th Shocker to top 1,000 career points. Dexter Dennis scored 11 with six boards.Wichita State shot 53 per cent from the floor (18 of 34) to take a 49-24 halftime lead. The Owls (3-4) got no closer than 17 points after intermission.Jack Williams and reserve Chris Mullins scored 12 points apiece to pace Rice. Mullins had 10 points in the first half, hitting both of his 3-point attempts while his teammates missed all 13-shot attempts from distance.It was the second meeting between the schools and the first in 70 years. Rice beat the Shockers 72-66 in 1949. At the time it was the most points Wichita State had scored in a game.The Associated Press read more

300 DAYS WITHOUT HANDBALL Mariusz Jurkiewicz is back

Mariusz Jurkiewicz is back! After 10 months of recovering, one of the best Polish players, but also one of the most complete players in the world of handball, has played his first match for his new team – Vive Tauron Kielce. The 35-years old left back, who can be more than useful in defensive tasks, entered the court in home win of his team over SLASK Wroclaw 37:20 (19:9).Jurkiewicz netted six goals from seven shots. More important, Talant Dujshebaev can count on him in the most important part of the season, battle for domestic titles against Wisla Plock and race for the VELUX EHF Final4 in Cologne.Jurkiewicz played for Wisla Plock in the last two years since bankrupt of BM Atletico Madrid.Poland missed him very much at Men’s EHF EURO 2016 in Krakow…PHOTO: VTK FB ← Previous Story “New Blaugrana” to be ready for 2019/2020 season Next Story → Danish Aalborg mad at Norwegian Federation because of Sagosen’s case Mariusz Jurkiewicz read more

Shady Facebook app devs are selling your details for pennies

first_imgBy now, you’ve probably accepted the fact that if you’re on Facebook you’re unwittingly giving up at least some information about yourself to people you’d rather not — even if you’ve done your level best to batten down the privacy hatches. But the badness extends way beyond advertisers hoovering up data so they can target you with their latest campaigns. It’s abundantly clear that some Facebook app developers have no qualms about passing your information on to just about anyone.And by “just about anyone,” I mean people who have five bucks and want a spreadsheet with 1.2 million names, emails, and profile URLs. That’s precisely the deal that was presented to online marketer Bogomil Shopov, and he lept at the opportunity — because, hey, he likes a good bargain. To put it into perspective, that’s $0.000004 — about 1/300th what some spammers marketers will pay for a haul of email addresses.As an added bonus, the app maintainer who was selling this particular list guaranteed that the details were current, active, and belonged to English speaking users primarily from the U.S., Canada, the UK, and Europe.Now, presumably Facebook isn’t all that keen on people who offer apps to its users doing this kind of thing. Using that data to bombard users while they’re on Facebook is one thing, but providing ammunition that could lead to direct email campaigns targeting those same users? That’s a step too far, surely.The biggest offence, of course, isn’t really that the information is trickling out beyond Facebook’s perimeter. It’s that someone else has the nerve to do exactly what Facebook is trying to do to turn a profit.More at Bogo  Photo by Valerie Everettlast_img read more

Mise en examen de Jacques Servier et de cinq sociétés de son

first_imgMise en examen de Jacques Servier et de cinq sociétés de son groupeMercredi, le patron des laboratoires Servier, Jacques Servier, et cinq sociétés du groupe ont été mis en examen et placés sous contrôle judiciaire avec des cautions exceptionnellement élevées. La décision a été accueillie comme une première victoire par les victimes. Le patron et fondateur des Laboratoires Servier, Jacques Servier, ainsi que cinq sociétés du groupe ont été mis en examen et placés sous contrôle judiciaire mercredi. Une décision que la justice a assorti de cautions exceptionnellement élevée, suite à l’audition du patron du laboratoire pharmaceutique.  Ainsi, Jacques Servier a été mis en examen pour obtention indue d’autorisation, tromperie sur la qualité substantielle, tromperie sur la qualité substantielle avec mise en danger pour l’homme et escroquerie, a précisé une source judiciaire citée par l’AFP. Les cinq personnes morales, les Laboratoires Servier, Laboratoire Servier industries, Biopharma, Oril industrie et SAS Servier ont quant à elles été mises en examen pour obtention indue d’autorisation et escroquerie, selon cette même source. En outre, deux autres sociétés, Servier Monde et Art et technique du progrès, ont été placées sous statut de témoin assisté. Toutefois, dans un communiqué, Jacques Servier et les sociétés du groupe ont insisté sur le fait “que ces mises en examen, qui leur donnent un statut dans la procédure, ne préjugent en rien de leur culpabilité et leur permettront enfin de se défendre dans un cadre judiciaire”. Placé sous contrôle judiciaire, le patron du laboratoire doit payer une caution de 4 millions d’euros et fournir des garanties à hauteur de 6 millions d’euros avant le 15 décembre 2011, a précisé Me Temime, l’avocat de Servier. Les cinq personnes morales, également placées sous contrôle judiciaire, ont reçu obligation de verser une caution d’un total de 65 millions d’euros. “A ma connaissance, c’est l’un des montants les plus élevés de caution demandée en France”, s’est réjoui auprès de l’AFP Me Dominique Inchauspé, avocat d’une des victimes.Le scandale du MédiatorÀ lire aussiAntihistaminique : qu’est-ce que c’est ? A quoi ça sert ?”Les victimes sont contentes, ça les conforte dans leur démarche”, a aussitôt réagi Me Charles Joseph-Oudin, avocat de plusieurs autres victimes. Il ajoute également : “il va falloir continuer et mettre en place des expertises pour que le lien de causalité soit conforté” entre la prise du Mediator et les dégâts qu’il est soupçonné d’avoir provoqués. Pour Me Temime, “c’est maintenant à nous de nous expliquer et de nous défendre”.De 1976 à 2009, date de l’interdiction du médicament, près de cinq millions de personnes ont pris du Mediator. Entre 500 et 2.000 en sont mortes, selon plusieurs études. Mais le Mediator, largement prescrit comme coupe-faim, est soupçonné d’avoir provoqué de graves lésions cardiaques chez des milliers d’autres. En décembre 2010, la justice a ouvert deux enquêtes, dont l’une pour tromperie aggravée élargie ensuite à l’escroquerie laquelle était au cœur de l’audition de Jacques Servier ce mercredi. Alors que de nouveaux témoignages sont récemment venus étayer les soupçons de tromperie pesant sur Servier, l’autre enquête, pour homicide et blessures involontaires, devrait durer beaucoup plus longtemps du fait de la nécessité d’établir un lien entre la prise du médicament et les dommages infligés aux malades. Le 22 septembre 2011 à 09:45 • Maxime Lambertlast_img read more