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15 November 2011Displaced civilians in northern Central African Republic (CAR) are facing acute hardship, including a high incidence of child or teenage marriage and widespread use of children as labour, the United Nations refugee agency reported today. The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the Danish Refugee Council surveyed 300 families from a population of 17,000 people near the town of Ndélé between May and September. “One in five families reported having lost at least one family member during the first half of 2011 to insecurity, a lack of health services, or shortages of food,” UNHCR spokesperson Andrej Mahecic told reporters in Geneva. The survey also found that 32.5 per cent of children between the ages of six and 15 were being used as child labour, while 30 per cent of girls between 12 and 17 had been sold into marriage. Displaced families said they married their underage daughters to members of the host communities and sent children to farm and fish for these communities in exchange for housing, food or money, said Mr. Mahecic. UN staff also received reports of gang rape by armed groups. Displaced people in the area had almost no access to humanitarian help before June this year when a ceasefire was signed between one of the main rebel groups and the CAR Government, said UNHCR. Before the agreement, the only civilians able to benefit from humanitarian assistance were those who managed to reach Ndélé town. The agency said it hopes that the improved security will allow for a strengthened UNHCR presence in this part of the CAR to respond to the protection and assistance needs of the displaced populations. Ndélé, located around 700 kilometres from the capital, Bangui, was once considered the country’s breadbasket, noted UNHCR. However, because of the various rebel groups and armed banditry since 2005, many of its residents have been reduced to living in the bush, unable to do farming. UNHCR assists more than 176,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) and some 20,000 refugees in CAR. They are mainly from Sudan’s Darfur region and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). read more

GATINEAU, Que. — The federal government is asking Canada’s broadcast regulator to review the licence renewals for several TV providers following outcry over their potential impact on Canadian content on screen.In mid-May, the CRTC renewed the licenses for multiple broadcasters and set the amount they must spend on programs of national interest to five per cent of their total revenue — a drop for some broadcasters.At the end of June, groups representing Canada’s independent producers, professional performers and other media workers submitted a petition to the Canadian Heritage minister to set aside the renewals or refer them back to the CRTC, saying the lowered investment could hurt the industry.The government said in a statement it is referring the decision back for the CRTC to reconsider following numerous appeals from the cultural sector.It said it wants the CRTC to ensure Canada achieves the right balance of investment in content and ability to compete.CRTC spokeswoman Patricia Valladao said in an email that the regulator will reconsider its decision and announce the next steps at a later date.The government move was applauded by the Canadian Media Producers Association, Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists and the Directors Guild of Canada.This action requires the CRTC to re-evaluate its decisions, which would decrease the amount that Bell Media, Rogers Media and Corus Entertainment are required to spend on Canadian Programs of National Interest, the groups said in a statement.The coalition said it was “deeply concerned with the potentially devastating impacts of the CRTC decisions.”“This is a real victory for the thousands of Canadians who stepped up and spoke out to defend Canadian storytelling,” said Stephen Waddell, national executive director of ACTRA. read more

The UK Ministry of Defence said that Typhoon jets had intercepted the aircraft, which had been en route to London´s Heathrow Airport, and escorted it to Stansted. However, the identity of the suspect has now been confirmed as Khalid Baqa, who was apprehended along with his accomplices in 2012 on charges of terrorism.In 2013, Baqa was sentenced to two years in prison in the UK. He was charged with having over 300 CDs in his possession, which had extremist material. A man arrested from PIA flight PK757 with a Sri Lankan crew, after it was diverted to Stansted Airport in London on Tuesday over security concerns, has been identified as Khalid Baqa, Geo News has learnt.A Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) plane flying to Heathrow airport was forced to land at London’s Stansted Airport on Tuesday evening over security threats. Reports surfaced that a suspect was taken into custody by the British authorities and shifted to a police station. Stansted airport spokesman had said: “The aircraft is likely to continue its journey onwards to Heathrow today pending inquiries that the police are making into the individual on the aircraft.” The CDs seized from him had sermons of Anwar al-Awlaki and beheading scenes. Apart from that, the disks had bomb-making procedures, will of one of the convicts of London blasts and his confessional statement. The CDs also had recorded scenes of the 9/11 attacks.British police said the plane was diverted over a bomb threat. The PIA, however, said the response by British authorities was excessive. (Colombo Gazette) read more

After a receiving a briefing by the Chair of the Council Sanctions Committee, Adamantios Vassilakis of Greece, the Council “expressed its desire to move forward expeditiously on targeted sanctions, which I expect we’ll do shortly,” John Bolton of the United States, the current Council President, told the press this morning.“The purpose of the targeted sanctions mechanism of resolution 1591 is to apply pressure – and I don’t think we should be ashamed to say that – to people who are violating the arms embargo, not contributing to our effort to establish an effective peace process in Darfur and restore the deteriorating security situation there,” Mr. Bolton said.Since fighting flared a week ago in North Darfur, a large number of villages have been attacked and burned, markets have been looted and people displaced, the UN Mission in Sudan (UNMIS) said today, with clashes between the Sudan Armed Forces and rebel Sudan Liberation Army (SLA) continuing.Meanwhile, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative (SRSG) for Sudan, Jan Pronk, travelled to South Darfur over the weekend, urging the parties there to exercise restraint and protect civilians, according to a UN Spokesman.UNMIS was deployed to support the peace agreement for the long-running civil conflict in southern Sudan signed about a year ago. It also has a mandate from the UN Security Council to provide some support to the African Union (AU) peacekeeping mission in Darfur.On 3 March, SRSG Pronk is expected to attend a ministerial meeting of the African Union (AU) Peace and Security Council on the shift to a proposed Darfur peacekeeping force supervised by the UN. read more

Commercial investments fall in Calgary Summary AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email Realnet Canada finds there were only 82 transactions, valued at more than $1-million, in the second quarter of 2015.Value down 60 per cent from the first quarter, and 42 per cent of same period in 2014. There seems to be a big drop in commercial investment in the Calgary area this year.A new report by Realnet Canada finds there were only 82 transactions, valued at more than $1-million, in the second quarter of 2015. All told, the investments totalled $344-million.That’s down 60 per cent from the first quarter, and represents a decline of 42 per cent compared to the same period, last year.Realnet says there was a significant slump in the office, industrial, and residential land sectors.The company’s research director says the impact of external market conditions has begun to influence investment activity in the Calgary area, which has resulted in a lack of high dollar transactions and a slowing of deal velocity. by audreywhelan Posted Aug 27, 2015 7:33 am MDT read more

Through the San Jose Action Statement, the governments of Belize, Canada, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Panama and the United States vowed to work together to strengthen protection of refugees fleeing Central America, according to the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).“It is vital and immensely gratifying to see the countries of the Americas coming together in a regional approach to devise humane, collaborative solutions for people in desperate need of life-saving help,” said UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi in a press release.“This is the path to helping the most vulnerable among us regain lives of dignity,” he added.The undertaking comes ahead of the UN Summit on Addressing Large Movements of Refugees and Migrants, on 19 September at UN Headquarters, in New York, as well as a summit on the global refugee crisis, hosted by US President Barack Obama during the high-level segment of the 71st session of the UN General Assembly on 20 September.According to UNHCR, the countries said that they are confronted with a growing number of asylum-seekers and refugees and that they recognize the need for asylum systems to identify and respond to those in need of international protection.Most asylum applications are from people who have fled widespread violence by heavily-armed, transnational gangs in El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala that have made these countries – known collectively as the Northern Triangle of Central America – one of the most dangerous places on earth.The UN refugee agency added that the ‘San Jose Action Statement’ also “stressed the importance of ‘timely identification and documentation’ of people in need of protection, of ‘unhindered access to fair and efficient procedures for protection,’ of finding alternatives to detention for asylum seekers and of ensuring their access to legal aid.” In individual declarations accompanying the Action Statement, Costa Rica, Mexico, US and Honduras said that they would undertake efforts to address the challenges confronting refugees and to protect vulnerable people fleeing violence.The joint statement is the outcome of an unprecedented gathering of concerned governments organized by UNHCR and the Organization of American States (OAS) in Costa Rica last month. It was also attended by four countries of South America and other interested States.“[The Action Statement] is a visible and significant demonstration of the willingness of countries from the region to work together to address the plight of refugees, internally displaced persons and others in need of protection, in a spirit of solidarity and within a collaborative responsibility sharing framework,” said UNHCR’s Assistant High Commissioner for Protection, Volker Türk, who co-chaired the meeting with Luis Almagro, Secretary General of the OAS. read more

Game 7 Stats vs Ducks

In the month since I prematurely buried the Los Angeles Kings, the’ve battled back from a 3-0 deficit against the San Jose Sharks and staved off elimination Wednesday night to pull even with the Anaheim Ducks. Now we have a winner-take-all Game 7 Friday night, for the right to face the Chicago Blackhawks in the Western Conference finals.According to the most commonly cited advanced stat, the Kings shouldn’t have had things so hard. As I’ve previously written, they finished first in the NHL during the regular season in score-close Fenwick percentage, a measurement of how much a team controls possession of the puck. The consensus of hockey analysts is that dominating possession is the most predictive single component of a team’s performance, since the rate at which the puck finds the net once a shot is taken can be subject to wild fluctuations due to random chance.In the Kings’ defense, their first-round opponents, the Sharks, ranked third in the NHL in Fenwick close during the regular season, making it more likely the two teams would have to battle deep into a series. (The Sharks also had home-ice advantage in the series) But Los Angeles’ matchup with the Ducks is another case entirely. During the regular season, Anaheim ranked just 16th out of the 30 NHL teams in Fenwick close, relying more on high shooting and save percentages — metrics that statisticians traditionally attribute more to luck, even over the sample of an entire season — than to constant puck-possession.So far in this clash of hockey cultures, things have largely played out according to form. During 5-on-5 situations with the score close (the same conditions measured by Fenwick close), the Kings have dominated possession. But Fenwick close by itself ignores other aspects of the game, such as special teams (where the Ducks have had a slight advantage) and, even more important, shooting percentage. In the series so far, Anaheim is converting shots into goals at a rate 1.1 percentage points higher than LA.Looking at possession metrics alone would have suggested a mismatch before the series, but the betting lines had the Kings as only a slim favorite after taking into account the Ducks’ home-ice advantage. This implies that the market was building in some expectation that the teams’ differences in shooting percentage during the regular season (Anaheim ranked first in the NHL; Los Angeles ranked 28th) could be counted upon to continue in a head-to-head matchup.There’s a good amount of evidence that, across the NHL as a whole, team shooting and save percentages have a strong tendency to regress toward the overall league average. But in the case of outliers like the Ducks and Kings, there’s probably something real going on that makes looking at Fenwick close by itself an insufficient gauge of relative team strength.Anything can happen on the ice in a Game 7, and Friday night’s outcome is hardly a referendum on either playing style, but the Kings-Ducks finale will be the culmination of an interesting contrast in hockey philosophies that proves the game is still more complicated than we’d sometimes like to believe. read more

first_imgMelvyn Akins, 30, who was brought up in the area, said there was “frustration, anger and confusion” in the meeting and people were left with “a lot more questions”.He said: “It is going to be an uphill struggle. People feel abandoned. Now you have got somebody coming in [Sir Martin] and saying ‘I am going to look into it all thoroughly’ and it is not good enough.“People firmly believe that arrests should be made as a result of the outcome of all of this. If arrests are not made, people are going to feel justice may not be being done.”On Friday night a Newsnight investigation revealed an aerial ladder did not arrive until more than half an hour after the first fire engines were dispatched at 00.55.Firefighters say they experienced low water pressure, radio problems and critical equipment was either lacking or didn’t arrive on scene before the fire got out of control.An independent fire expert said having the high ladder available earlier would have given firefighters a better chance of stopping the blaze when it jumped from a fourth floor flat and began to race up the side of the building.The London Fire Brigade said that following the Grenfell fire it had changed its procedures and an “aerial” will now automatically be sent to a fire in a tower. The mayor said: “Notting Hill Carnival is a firm London tradition and incredibly important to the local community. It should not be moved.”His spokesman added: “Any attempt to impose a move to another location on the carnival, particularly at a time when the community has little trust in those in positions of authority, would be a mistake.” The request for the Greater London Authority to take control of the carnival, which takes place over the August Bank Holiday weekend and typically attracts two million visitors, was rejected out of hand by Mr Khan. The Government has stoked further anger among Grenfell Tower residents and neighbours by calling for the world-famous Notting Hill carnival to be moved.Greg Hands, the minister in charge of London, made public a letter yesterday in which he said it would be ‘inappropriate’ for the carnival to take place in the shadow of the burnt-out tower block.Mr Hands wrote to London’s mayor Sadiq Khan suggesting the location of the event be changed and that the mayor’s office take over the running of the carnival ‘in conjunction’ with the organisers. “That’s my job, that’s my training and that’s what I intend to do. Now if I can’t satisfy you because you have some preconception about me as a person that’s up to you.” In his letter to Mr Khan, Mr Hands, who is Conservative MP for neighbouring Chelsea and Fulham, wrote: “Clearly it [the carnival] must go ahead.“However, we have to ask ourselves if it is appropriate to stage a Carnival in the near proximity of a major national disaster. I would like you to consider moving the location, and/or the Greater London Authority, with its experience of running major events, taking over the Carnival, in conjunction with the current organisers.”The anger in the community was felt at a meeting on Thursday night with local residents and the retired court of appeal judge chairing the public inquiry.Sir Martin Moore-Bick was heckled by some residents some of whom have called for him to resign as inquiry chairman. Sir Martin, who has cancelled his summer holidays to work on the inquiry, told the meeting: “I’ve been a judge for 20 years and I give you my word that I will look into this matter to the very best of my ability, and find the facts as I see them from the evidence. Notting Hill Carnival is a firm London tradition & incredibly important to the local community. It should not be moved.— Mayor of London (@MayorofLondon) July 7, 2017center_img Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. The suggestion infuriated residents already deeply suspicious of the Government and its handling of the crisis in the aftermath of the inferno in which at least 80 people have died.Stormzy, a London rapper who helped Jeremy Corbyn secure the youth vote, branded Mr hands “a scumbag” for making the suggestion and claimed the minister was “using the Grenfell tragedy for their ‘get rid of carnival’ agenda”. Charlene White, who presents ITV News in London, tweeted: “A community that once a year gets to celebrate their varied and wonderful cultures. And you want that MOVED? And you wonder why trust is low.” My letter to Sadiq Khan calling on him to take over charge of the Notting Hill Carnival & move it from around a major disaster site. pic.twitter.com/ii3FqXdqb9— Greg Hands (@GregHands) July 7, 2017 This week law firm Leigh Day, which was cleared of wrongdoing over lawyers’ pursuit of torture and murder claims against British troops in the Iraq War, suspended two paralegals  after a poster was put up offering legal support to those affected by the fire.The firm said it had no knowledge of the poster and has launched an internal investigation. A community that once a year gets to celebrate their varied and wonderful cultures. And you want that MOVED? And you wonder why trust is low— Charlene White (@CharleneWhite) July 7, 2017last_img read more

first_imgMINISTER JOAN BURTON remains confident about the Youth Guarantee scheme, despite concerns that it may not be able to offer employment to young adults within four months of them becoming unemployed.Speaking today with RTÉ’s News at One, she said that the level of unemployment in Ireland has already fallen from above 3o per cent to 28 per cent.When asked about the concerns that young people would not be offered jobs within four months of becoming unemployed, she said:We will have 20,000 extra places next year that will be specifically ring-fenced for young people under 26 years of age in addition to another 59,000 places which are for people of all ages which young people will be able to apply for as well.She said that due to a number of factors, she is “very confident that we will have a range of very fulfilling interesting training places, education places, work experience places and employment available to young people during 2014″.However, she added that the government needs to sign off with the EU on this first.She pointed out that the Youth Guarantee will be phased in over 2014 and that on 1 January any young person who is more than six months unemployed will be eligible to be taken on by an employer in Jobs Plus.She added that they are working at the moment with departments right across government on the issue.Burton said she has been talking with the European Investment Bank, which is targeting additional funding to Ireland to help young people starting up their own business and other initiatives in relation to education and training.Meanwhile, Taoiseach Enda Kenny queried if any country is in a position to make an offer to an unemployed young person within four months.Speaking on his way into the Cabinet meeting today, he said: “I suppose the challenge really is this:  Is any country in a position to actually make an offer to a young person under 26 who becomes unemployed within four months, and if so if it is a meaningful offer of an internship, an apprenticeship or or a job.”Read: Logistics of youth guarantee scheme come before funding, says Taoiseach>last_img read more

first_imgIt’s not often a person can claim he or she has seen something no other person in the world has ever witnessed, but 50 years ago today, Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin saw the Earth from a view unlike any other. On April 12, 1961, Gagarin became the first human to orbit the Earth, paving the way for space exploration from then on out.Famous for yelling “Poyekhali!,” or “let’s go!,” in English, at takeoff, the 27-year-old took off alone in the 98-foot-high Vostok 1 spacecraft making him the first man in space. Gagarin didn’t even have to fly the spacecraft himself. Because effects of weightlessness had only been tested on dogs in 1961, Gagarin wasn’t put in control of the ship for obvious reasons. Instead, the craft was controlled by the ground crew. All Gagarin had to do was have the guts to try something no man in the world had ever done.The trip was a success, and Gagarin returned safely. Little did Gagarin know, but the 108-minute-long flight was the only space time the cosmonaut would actually get. When Gagarin returned as a national hero, the Russian government treated him like a glass egg. They didn’t want anything to happen to such a positive symbol of nationality in the case of an accident in another space flight. So, Gagarin was only allowed to train and fly jet fighters. Ironically, he died in 1968 when his MiG-15 jet fighter crashed during a flight in bad weather. Gagarin was only 34 years old.There are many ways of honoring the pioneer’s space flight. A monument was erected in Star City, Russia where the world’s oldest space-flight training center still lives. A statue of Gagarin is also going to be placed in London across the statue of British explorer Captain Cook.In addition to statues, today also marks the 10th anniversary of Yuri’s Night, an annual celebration honoring Gagarin’s flight. More and more Yuri’s Night events have been popping up around the world over the past 10 years. There are 451 official Yuri’s Nights scheduled for tonight around the globe.Today is also the 30th anniversary of the first-ever shuttle mission. NASA is retiring the shuttle program later this year, which means some of the retired shuttles will be looking for homes. The shuttles Discovery, Endeavor, and Atlantis will end up in museums and space centers across the country. NASA has been searching for homes for the shuttles since 2008. According to Space.com, NASA Administrator Charles Bolden is said to announce his choices today.There are about 21 museums in the running, however, the Discovery shuttle is said to be promised to the Smithsonian Institute. Not just any location can house a shuttle, though. There are a few strict requirements, including a climate-controlled indoor display, the ability to accommodate a shuttle delivery on the back of a Boeing 747 jet by December 2011, and the ability to afford the estimated $28.8 million needed to prepare a safe display for the orbiter.Unfortunately, there were no cameras aboard the Vostok 1 50 years ago. But, in early 2010 director Christopher Riley decided to recreate Gagarin’s orbit around the Earth with the use of digital film and the new cupola window on the International Space Station. He used a transcript of the original communications between Gagarin and mission control and built a story board around it. The tricky part was finding the original audio, which took Riley almost a year to track down. The result is a film released today called “First Orbit.” You can see the trailer below.Read more at Space.com, the Guardian.co.uk, and PCMag (Image via NASA)last_img read more

first_imgMicrosoft doesn’t just want us to regularly purchase games once we own an Xbox 360 Best Price at Amazon , they want money for a yearly subscription to Xbox Live Gold, too. In order to push us to sign up, many Xbox games and services come with restrictions on what you are allowed to play/watch/do. In particular, multiplayer gaming usually requires access to Xbox Live Gold.A Gold subscription is required to access Halo 4 multiplayer, so if you intend on playing online that $60 game purchase turns into a $110 outlay when factoring in the $50 12-month Gold subscription charge.Not one to miss an opportunity, Microsoft is offering Halo 4 owners the chance to try online multiplayer before you buy. In what is thought to be a first, Microsoft has included 2 weeks of free access to Xbox Live Gold with every copy of the game.The inclusion of free Gold-level access has been confirmed via Twitter by David Ellis, the Spartan Ops designer on Halo 4. It’s a move that’s sure to be welcomed by anyone picking up the game who has yet to subscribe, and with the high scores reviewers are awarding the game, I’m pretty sure it’s going to turn into a lot of new Xbox Live Gold subscriptions being purchased in the coming weeks.It’s not clear, but I assume that using the code to get the two free weeks will just extend your existing Gold account for 14 days if you have one. So, everyone wins. But remember, in order to play Halo 4 multiplayer you need at least 8GB of free storage to install it, which means 4GB Xbox 360 owners require a hard drive or USB stick.via Polygonlast_img read more

first_img Thursday 9 Mar 2017, 10:39 PM New US environment chief questions carbon link to global warming Scientists quickly lashed out at Pruitt for his comments. Mar 9th 2017, 10:39 PM Short URL 13,215 Views By AFP THE INCOMING HEAD of the US Environmental Protection Agency said that carbon dioxide is not the main driver of global warming, a position starkly at odds with the scientific consensus on climate change.A known ally of the fossil fuel industry, Scott Pruitt’s appointment to head the EPA, a department he repeatedly sued as a state attorney general, was deeply contentious.“I think that measuring with precision human activity on the climate is something very challenging to do and there’s tremendous disagreement about the degree of impact, so no, I would not agree that it’s a primary contributor to the global warming that we see,” Pruitt told CNBC.“We need to continue the debate and continue the review and the analysis,” he added.Pruitt’s stance runs counter to the scientific consensus that underpins last year’s landmark Paris Agreement, which saw more than 190 world leaders agree to lower emissions that lead to global warming.It also clashes with the positions of agencies like NASA and the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), which have concluded that global warming is driven largely by increased carbon dioxide and other manmade emissions.Some 97% of scientists worldwide agree that human activity, primarily the burning of fossils fuels like oil, gas and coal, has largely contributed to the sharp rise in the planet’s temperature in recent decades.The past three years in a row have broken modern records for global heat, a trend scientists say is due to global warming in combination with a strong El Nino weather pattern.Scientists strike backScientists quickly lashed out at Pruitt for his comments, describing his stance as dangerous and flat-out wrong, and calling on him to resign.“Pruitt has demonstrated that he is unqualified to run the EPA or any agency,” said Kevin Trenberth, Distinguished Senior Scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research.“There is no doubt whatsoever that the planet is warming and it is primarily due to increased carbon dioxide in the atmosphere from burning of fossil fuels.”The UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has found that increased carbon dioxide has been the dominant source of global warming, said Kerry Emanuel, professor of atmospheric science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).This is followed by methane, halogenated gases, and nitrous oxide, “all of whose concentrations have increased primarily from human activity,” Emanuel said.John Abraham, a professor in the school of engineering at the University of St Thomas, said “scientists have known since the mid-1800s that carbon dioxide was a major greenhouse gas.“This means Mr. Pruitt’s knowledge is close to 200 years out of date.”Eric Holthaus, a meteorologist who regularly writes about climate change, wrote on Twitter that Pruitt “should step down” because his position “directly endangers our safety.”Carbon dioxide arises from natural causes, like exhaling and decomposition. But it also comes from the burning of fuels and deforestation.A greenhouse gas that traps heat around the Earth, CO2 has spiked in the atmosphere since pre-industrial times, and more than half of that increase has occurred since 1980.“Our burning of coal, oil and gas is the dominant cause of the 45 percent increase in CO2 since the industrial revolution,” said Richard Somerville, research professor at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California, San Diego.“The biggest unknown about future climate is human behaviour. Everything depends on what people and their governments do,” he added.Paris accordPresident Donald Trump’s team is reportedly divided over whether the United States should withdraw from the Paris climate accord, negotiated under Barack Obama.Trump’s secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, indicated during his confirmation hearing that it would be worthwhile to stay at the table when it comes to enforcing the deal.In the CNBC interview, Pruitt, whose agency is tasked with implementing US commitments to lower emissions, described the Paris accord as a “bad deal.”“I happen to think the Paris accord, the Paris treaty, or the Paris agreement, if you will, should have been treated as a treaty, should have gone through Senate confirmation. That’s a concern,” he said.As attorney general for the state of Oklahoma, the 48-year-old Republican filed or joined in more than a dozen law suits to block key EPA rules, siding with industry executives and activists seeking to roll back various regulations on pollution, clean air and clean water.During his confirmation hearings in January, Pruitt said he did not believe climate change was a “hoax,” as Trump has previously alleged, but said “the ability to measure with precision the degree of human activity’s impact on the climate is subject to more debate.”- © AFP 2017Read: Trump targets critic by name on Twitter after Republican backlash to his health planRead: New round of bomb threats to Jewish community centres across the US Share Tweet Email 175 Comments Image: Susan Walsh Image: Susan Walsh http://jrnl.ie/3279954 Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this articlelast_img read more

first_img ON MARCH 15 thousands of school children took to the streets in a magnificent expression of environmental solidarity.Inspired by the example of Swedish school girl, Greta Thunberg, they organised demonstrations around the country to protest against the government’s inaction on climate change.Leo Varadkar claimed to support the protests, but he was busy meeting the world’s biggest climate denier as they were taking place.Donald Trump’s administration has pulled the United States out of the Paris Climate Agreement and consistently proclaims the virtues of coal.Fine Gael are better at covering their tracks than Trump but they are almost as reckless in terms of the environment. That is because most people simply can’t afford an expensive, new electric vehicle. The government are so certain of the revenue from petrol, that they lump it in with cigarettes and alcohol as ‘old reliables’ come budget time.The major oil and gas companies are equally sure that these taxes don’t work.A leaked report from Exxon Mobile estimated that an effective carbon tax would have to increase the cost of petrol by 300%, equivalent to €4.60 a litre.The ESRI has calculated that an effective tax would add €1,500 to every person in the country or up to €2,350 if agricultural emissions are not tackled.It is for this reason that companies like Exxon publicly support carbon taxes, while back in 2014 they privately reassured their shareholders that “world climate policies are highly unlikely to stop it from producing and selling fossil fuels in the near future”.International evidenceThe academic evidence also suggests that carbon taxes are not hugely effective. Norway is often held up as a pioneer in carbon taxes, but a study by Bruvoll and Larsen showed that in the decade after they were introduced, carbon taxes were responsible for a 1.5% reduction for onshore emissions and 2.3% overall – nowhere near enough.British Columbia is another example put forward by carbon tax enthusiasts, but according to Food and Water Watch, overall reductions were between 1-2% with most of this down to the impact of the recession.Other studies have been more positive, but even then the reductions are estimated to be in the range of between 5% – 9%. That is nowhere near enough.Besides their relative ineffectiveness, the other key factor in the adoption of carbon taxes is the fact that they shift responsibility away from the major corporate polluters and onto consumers.The problem with this is that just 100 global corporations are responsible for 71% of all emissions through the products they place onto the market.Consumers can only choose what these corporations produce – and if big business continues to find it profitable to use oil and plastics then consumers will be stuck buying them.Here at home, according to the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland households’ account for 15% of all emissions while agriculture is responsible for 32%. The SEAI found that using renewable energy for heat, electricity and transport reduced emissions by 4.2 million tonnes of CO2. That is the equivalent to the CO2 emissions of 1.4 million cars. But it is also equivalent to just one-fifth of agricultural emissions of greenhouse gases.Despite this, the government are committed to increasing the dairy herd by 22% over the next decade and have resisted calls for major investment in public transport.Fine Gael has also blocked a People Before Profit bill, to leave remaining fossil fuels in the ground. They have cut subventions to public transport, allowed the dairy herd to increase by 400,000 and issued new licences for oil and gas exploration.This has made Ireland one of the worst emitters in Europe, as judged by the Climate Change Performance Index.Now the government want to move the cost of climate change onto ordinary people – using cover from the Citizens Assembly.Last year, the Citizens Assembly met with the aim of making Ireland a leader in tackling climate change. Their report contained 13 proposals, including more extensive cycling lanes, increasing forestry cover and expanding organic farming.The Assembly also recommended increasing taxes on carbon, although this proposal won the least support from members who wanted the poorest 400,000 families exempted from the tax and all monies ring-fenced for climate initiatives.On foot of this report, the government set up a Dail Committee on Climate Action which is due to report in the coming weeks.All the indications are that a carbon tax will be their central recommendation, in what will be a regressive step in the fight against climate change.The Case Against Carbon TaxesThe primary case against carbon taxes is that they don’t deliver anything like the reductions in Co2 emissions that we need.Recent research by the International Panel on Climate Change estimated that to avoid the dangerous tipping point of anything beyond a 1.5% increase in global temperatures, we need to reduce Co2 emissions by 45% in the next decade and to zero by 2050.This is an enormous task that requires a lead by the world’s governments in setting legally enforceable limits on corporations responsible for most of the emissions.It also needs the government to tax corporate profits to fund a major investment in renewable technology.In contrast, carbon taxes are socially regressive measures that target the consumption of individuals.If people continue to burn fossil fuels as prices increase, emissions won’t fall even as governments take more money from people.To make matters worse, petroleum products are defined as inelastic by economists, meaning that individuals tend to stick with them regardless of their prices.This is because they are essential for everyday living and hard to replace with alternatives.Hard pressed families are no less worried about climate change than anyone else, but it is very expensive to buy an electric car or to retrofit a house meaning that for many peoples these ‘options’ are really not options at all. Motorists currently pay 90 cent tax on a €1.50 litre of petrol. So fossil fuels are already very highly taxed but so far that hasn’t encouraged many people to switch their cars. By Brian O’Boyle Carbon taxes won’t stop climate change – we need more radical action Fossil fuels are already taxed to the hilt and people haven’t moved to electric vehicles for one simple reason – they cannot afford to, writes Brian O’Boyle. 93 Comments At the same time as they issued licences for exploration in places like the Porcupine Basin off the west coast.This shows the hypocrisy behind the government’s imposition of carbon taxes.They have no interest in taking on their friends in the corporate sector but want to use the carbon tax as a way to cover their tracks.Recent riots in France shows that carbon taxes risk alienating working people at a time when we need them on board.To really tackle climate change, while protecting the poorest and most vulnerable in society, we need: Major investment in renewable energyMassive investment in public transport to make all journey’s free.Investment to shift agriculture away from dairy towards forestry.Public housing to reduce commuter times in private transport.A government scheme to retrofit houses.No more licenses issued for fossil fuel exploration.Move to a carbon neutral economy by 2035 through legally binding emission limits. Brian O’ Boyle is an economist with People Before Profit. He holds a PhD in economics from the National University of Ireland, Galway and is currently working on a book about how Ireland is a tax haven.  Mar 26th 2019, 7:01 AM Brian O’Boyle Share508 Tweet Email4 https://jrnl.ie/4551934 Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article Tuesday 26 Mar 2019, 7:00 AM 14,031 Views Short URLlast_img read more

first_imgL’ours noir sait-il compter ?Publiant leurs travaux dans la revue Animal Behaviour, des chercheurs américains ont montré expérimentalement que les ours noirs sont capables de différencier des motifs visuels abstraits, avec peut-être même une certaine aptitude au dénombrement.  Des psychologues de l’Université d’Oakland (Michigan) ont soumis 3 ours noirs américains élevés en captivité à des tests cognitifs. Le premier plantigrade devait reconnaître et toucher, sur un écran tactile, une tache composée de nombreux points, tandis que ses deux congénères devaient sélectionner, eux, une tache formée d’un nombre plus restreint de points. Tout cela avec récompense alimentaire à la clé, naturellement.À lire aussiMaladie de Charcot : symptômes, causes, traitement, où en est on ?Et, pour voir si les ours se contentaient d’estimer la taille globale du motif ou bien s’ils ‘comptaient’, dans une certaine mesure, les points à l’intérieur du motif à sélectionner, les chercheurs ont compliqué le test en affichant des taches plus grandes mais comptant moins de points, ou l’inverse, en changeant la forme des points ou en les faisant bouger à l’intérieur du motif, etc. Si les animaux ont affiché de meilleurs scores lorsque la taille du motif était corrélée au nombre de points qui le composaient, il s’est avéré qu’ils parvenaient parfois à déjouer le piège.”Ce qui est important, c’est que nous avons montré qu’ils pouvaient palier cela dans certains tests. Je crois qu’on ne peut pas vraiment dire, à ce stade, qu’ils comptent les points, mais on dirait bien qu’ils sont attentifs au nombre de points et non uniquement au motif. (…) C’est vraiment le premier test de différenciation fait sur une espèce qui n’a pas évolué pour être sociale”, conclut Jennifer Vonk, directrice de l’étude citée par la BBC.Le 24 juin 2012 à 17:28 • Maxime Lambertlast_img read more

first_imgStay on target Finally, Ash Ketchum Is A Pokemon MasterMint-Condition Set of Pokemon Cards Sold For $107K Magnemites are weird, but the official Pokémon YouTube channel has upped the ante on this bizarre Pokémon with its very own theme song. The new Magnemite anthem features miniature versions of the Pokémon hidden about and is somehow adorable and creepy at the same time.Magnemite is a strange Pokémon. Even though it looks like a floating eye with magnets slapped on the side, in the anime at least it’s shown to reproduce and require sustenance like a biological organize. It’s evolution, Magneton, is basically three Magnemites stuck together, which probably sucks. Even weirder is that if no other Magnemites are around, a single Magnemite can still evolve into a Magneton, sprouting two duplicates out of nowhere. Also, under rare circumstances, a Magneton can evolve into a Magnezone, in which one of the Magnemites turns into a big central eye, and the other two get stuck being the shoulders.In Japan Magnemite’s name is Coil, and apparently, you can find them everywhere. In phones, in boxes, on telephone poles, and amongst everyday detritus. This isn’t the first weird anthem the Pokémon YouTube channel has put out. The Slowpoke anthem, while less frantic than Magnemite’s theme has its own sense of weirdness about it.last_img read more

first_imgFirefighters discovered a homicide scene after responding to an early morning fire Tuesday at a Woodland home.Crews with Clark County Fire & Rescue responded to a reported fire at 2145 Dahlia St. at 4:35 a.m. and arrived to find flames coming from the house, fire agency spokesman Tim Dawdy said.Crews quickly extinguished the blaze and found the body of a deceased man inside, authorities said.Firefighters withdrew from the building and turned it over to the Woodland Police Department, who said that they are investigating the death as a homicide. The department added the fire appeared to have been set intentionally.Authorities found propane tanks at the property and the bomb squad from the Portland Police Bureau responded, ensuring that the scene was safe.Woodland police officers are assisting the Cowlitz County Sheriff’s Office in investigating the incident, though the agencies shared few details regarding the circumstances of the suspicious death.“There was something that the officers and firefighters saw when they got in there that gave us reason to label it that way,”  Cowlitz County Sheriff’s Office Chief Criminal Deputy Charlie Rosenzweig said.last_img read more

Political organizations host panel on future of SDSU West Plan

first_img 00:00 00:00 spaceplay / pause qunload | stop ffullscreenshift + ←→slower / faster ↑↓volume mmute ←→seek  . seek to previous 12… 6 seek to 10%, 20% … 60% XColor SettingsAaAaAaAaTextBackgroundOpacity SettingsTextOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundSemi-TransparentOpaqueTransparentFont SettingsSize||TypeSerif MonospaceSerifSans Serif MonospaceSans SerifCasualCursiveSmallCapsResetSave SettingsSAN DIEGO (KUSI) – Citizens Coordinate for Century 3 and the League of Women Voters of San Diego hosted a panel discussion Thursday about planned renovations to the current SDCCU Stadium site and surrounding area.San Diego voters approved Measure G, the SDSU West initiative, by a 54.5-45.5 margin during the Nov. 6 election. San Diego State University is expected to begin negotiations some time in 2019 to purchase the land from the city of San Diego. Until then, the plan for a 35,000-seat football stadium, an SDSU campus extension, commercial and residential space and a public river park remains only conceptual.San Diego City Council members Barbara Bry and Scott Sherman and SDSU Assistant Vice President of Divisional Communications & Strategy Gina Jacobs were expected to participate in the discussion.Sherman represents City Council District 7, where the aging stadium currently sits, and endorsed SDSU West’s election competitor, the SoccerCity plan. Bry, meanwhile, endorsed SDSU West in January, well before most of her colleagues on the council. KUSI Newsroom, Categories: Local San Diego News, Politics FacebookTwitter Posted: December 14, 2018 December 14, 2018 Political organizations host panel on future of SDSU West Plan KUSI Newsroom last_img read more

first_img Tags Video Games Respawn Entertainment Apex Legends, the wildly popular battle royale game from Respawn Entertainment, has only been out for a month, but has already surpassed 50 million players. All of those players will soon have some new additions to play with, as Respawn has already announced that its first season is coming this month: 2:42 Post a comment The 17 most anticipated video games of 2019 Is Apex Legends getting a vehicle? It’s hard to say if this one is real, but Twitter user @ApexGameInfo says we might get a hoverbike, based on a few lines of uncovered code: As a reminder: Season One of #ApexLegends begins in March!- Battle Pass- New Legend- New Weapons- New Loot https://t.co/7Y4e1ZmHD1 pic.twitter.com/bWq30SLVTW— Apex Legends News (@TitanfallBlog) February 13, 2019 We should be seeing an “Raid” mode and an “Free For All” mode! Also there is stuff like “Capture The Flag” and stuff but I don’t find that necessary.(#Apex #ApexLegends) pic.twitter.com/7kYM64e9y1— Apex – Info & Leaks (@ApexGameInfo) February 18, 2019 0 How is Apex Legends different from Fortnite and PUBG? LEAK:It seems like an “Hoverbike” is in the making and is only available to developers at the moment!(@Dexerto @TitanfallBlog)(#Apex #ApexLegends) pic.twitter.com/GZYzEebHv3— Apex – Info & Leaks (@ApexGameInfo) February 13, 2019 Share your voice Despite data miners pointing to March 12 as a release date, a community manager from Respawn Entertainment has quashed those rumors in a recent post to Reddit (below). So what will we be getting and when? That’s anyone’s guess, but the company recently released an Apex Legends balance update suggesting we’re in for some bigger changes sooner rather than later.  There have also been various leaks on Twitter and Reddit that offer more specifics than Respawn has given us. Here’s what we’ve heard so far about what’s coming to the game when the Battle Pass drops, and beyond.  Obviously, with the message we got Tuesday on Reddit, you should take these with a big grain of salt. When does season 1 start? There’s no official date as of yet, but one anonymous leaker who claimed to have a Respawn-connected roommate told DailyESports it would drop on Tuesday, March 12. There was no way to verify his claims, but I agreed — when I originally wrote this post — it would benefit Respawn to launch the Battle Pass sooner rather than later.  On March 12 Respawn’s community manager posted an update on Reddit: So, unfortunately, we still don’t know the date of its release, but we do know it’s coming sometime this month. The Battle Pass will likely be a lot like Fortnite’s The way Respawn describes the Battle Pass on the Apex Legends site lays it out: “Compete every season to unlock new Legends, fresh weapons, themed loot and more.”  Basically, you’ll need to play to unlock items, so the Battle Pass could use a tiered system similar to Fortnite. It also says both weapons and new Legends will be unlockable using the same system, so that means the Havok (released Feb. 20) may be the last weapon to be randomly released in the game. It also means you may not have to fork over real money or in-game currency for every new Legend (like we did with Caustic and Mirage) — you’ll be able to unlock at least some of them.  Which Legend(s) will we see first? We know from Respawn’s road map that we’ll at least see one new playable Legend once the Battle Pass drops, but whether they’re included outright or will need to be purchased or earned remains a mystery. There’s been no official word on who we might get, but over on Reddit, there have been rampant rumors about a Legend named Octane: 17 Photos What other possible Legends could we see? Just like how Fortnite challenges often leak early, there are people combing through the code of Apex Legends to see what might be coming in the future. One Redditor managed to get a list of Legends that includes the ones we already have, Octane and a bunch of other possible Legends: The waiting game continues Obviously, there are some pretty interesting rumors floating around, but we won’t know for sure about any of them until Apex Legends season 1 officially starts. Watch this page for updates and get all the info here once we know more details. Originally published March 8. Update, March 12, 1:36 p.m. PT: Adds a quote from Respawn Entertainment’s community manager regarding data mining and season 1.   Now playing: Watch this: What about solo and duo game modes? One thing that set Apex Legends apart from the rest of the battle royale games was the requirement to play in three-person squads. Since launch, many players have been clamoring for more game modes. The same Twitter user, @ApexGameInfo, found some code that related to that as well: Rumorslast_img read more

TRS may abstain during voting on triple talaq Bill

first_imgHyderabad: The Telangana Rashtra Samiti may abstain during voting on the triple Bill in the Lok Sabha, a senior party leader said on Wednesday. The TRS, led by Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao, had adopted the same strategy in December last year. “Last year, we participated (in the debate) and skipped (voting), this time also we may do the same,” the leader said, on condition of anonymity. “I think, opposing it (the Bill) will create some problems, supporting it will also create some problems,” he said. The Central government introduced the fresh triple talaq Bill in the Lok Sabha last on Friday.last_img read more

Black Leadership is Celebrated at CBC Swearing In

first_imgBy George Kevin Jordan, AFRO Staff WriterThe who’s who of Black politics and – well – politics in general – were in attendance at the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) Swearing In Ceremony, and bolstered by a rallying cry of course correction by it’s new chair-elect.There was plenty to celebrate on the morning of Jan. 3 at the Warner Theatre, 513 13th St. N.W., as the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation held their event to welcome old and new members into the class of the CBC of the 11th Congress.Rep. Marcia L. Fudge (D-OH), along with her fellow Congressional Black Caucus members, were sworn in on Jan. 3. (Courtesy Photo)“It’s a moment in history,” U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas) said. “A significant moment. For this class now stands at 55 members of the Congressional Black Caucus, some 22 percent of the Congress.”The CBCF is a nonprofit, nonpartisan public policy, research and educational institue that seeks to advance the global Black community, according to the website. The first CBC was established in 1971. Five years later the first Annual Legislative Conference was held. In 1976 the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation (CBCF) was officially founded as a non profit.  Since that time the CBCF has been at the forefront of many legislative efforts to push equity and growth of the Black community.“We are excited about the four decades of labor of the CBC of whose shoulders we stand,” Jackson Lee said, adding. “This foundation continues to be the conscience of the Congress.”Angela Rye, political commentator and analyst, served as master of ceremony during the event.Nancy Pelosi, the new Speaker of the House, highlighted some agenda items both the CBC and the Congress will be engaging in the future.“We will be introducing and passing the Voting Rights Act in this Congress,” Pelosi said to applause, adding that “we will be passing and having legislation to get voting rights for the people of the District of Columbia.”“We have important work to do in this Congress,” Pelosi said. “We have to address the disparity of income in this country. We have to address climate crisis and what that means in terms of environmental justice in our country. We have to recognize that one in five children lives in poverty and that is intolerable to us.“We have to do so in a way that treats everyone with dignity whether we agree with them or not on issues. And we want every member of Congress to respect the truth.”Pelosi took time to honor the 9 new members of the CBC joining Congress. They include Jahana Hayes (CT), Lauren Underwood (IL), Steven Horsford (NV), Joseph D. Neguse (CO), Colin Allred (TX), Ilhan Omar (MN), Lucy McBath (GA), Ayanna Pressley (MA) and Antonio Delgado (NY).Pelosi also recognized some of the CBC members who will be holding committee chair positions in this Congress including: Eddie Bernice Johnson, who will chair “Science, Space and Technology,” Bobby Scott who will chair “Education and The Workforce Committee,” Elijah Cummings who will chair “Government Oversight Committee,” Bennie Thompson who will chair “Homeland Security” and Maxine Waters who will chair the “House Financial Services Committee.”Karen Bass, the California representative who replaces Cedric L. Richmond (LA) in this session, brought the Caucus’ mission into sharp focus.“Today is a glorious day,” Bass said during her address. “Not just for the CBC, but today is a glorious day for our country. Today marks the beginning of a course correction.”“Correcting the trauma we have all experienced on a daily basis for the last two years.”Bass broke down the Black diaspora and its place in the nation’s capital’s history as well as the county at large.“The year marks the 400th anniversary of when our ancestors arrived on this land. Some came here as free men and women, most were enslaved and many of those that were free were later captured and placed into slavery. Our ancestors built the US Capitol, they built the White House and many of the historic buildings in D.C.“The wealth and advancement of our nation is because of over 200 years of free labor from our ancestors.”Bass pointed to the resilience of Black folks nodding to gubernatorial nominations of Stacey Abrams and Andrew Gillum in southern states, and other key successes like the election of President Barack Obama.She pushed the crowd to come to grips with the shape shifting of a nation reimaging itself with a broader more diverse palette.“America is becoming more diverse, and that diversity is leading to the browning of our nation,” Bass said. “Instead of a celebration the reaction has essentially unleashed a dragon.“A dragon that is gasping his last breath, so he is dangerous as he lashes out. The dragon is hate,  the dragon is White supremacy – and they have a leader,” Bass said, jabbing at President Trump.After the ceremony, the CBC members went on to be sworn in with the other members of Congress.last_img read more