Former Newfoundland cab driver sentenced to 22 months for sex assaults

first_imgST. JOHN’S, N.L. – A former Newfoundland cab driver has been sentenced to 22 months in jail for sexually assaulting two young female passengers in March 2016.Lulzim Jakupaj was sentenced Wednesday to two months for forcibly kissing two women, and another 20 months for groping one of them as he put his arm across her throat. His name was also added to the national sex offender registry.Justice Rosalie McGrath of the Supreme Court of Newfoundland and Labrador said the offences were on the lower end of the spectrum for sexual assaults.“The fact that the offender taxi driver was in a position of trust towards young, female passengers is a significant aggravating factor,” said McGrath. “While sexual assault is a violent crime, I must also recognize that sexual assault encompasses a wide range of conduct.”Both passengers were young women under 25, who had been out drinking in St. John’s when they got in Jakupaj’s cab, court heard.McGrath said she also considered the rehabilitation programs Jakupaj participated in while incarcerated, and his expressions of remorse.Jakupaj’s is already serving a four-year sentence at Her Majesty’s Penitentiary in St. John’s for a break-and-enter incident in May 2016, when he followed another female passenger into her home.McGrath said the break-and-enter conviction did not factor strongly in her sentencing decision as the incident took place after the assaults.The 34-year-old’s sentence is in line with recommendations from his lawyer, Amanda Summers.During a sentencing hearing in late March, she argued that her client should serve less time than the Crown’s recommendation of two to three years in prison.She also argued that Jakupaj’s “horrible” upbringing as a child soldier during the war Kosovo should be taken into consideration.Crown lawyer Dana Sullivan told the court in March that “all sexual assaults are violent,” arguing for a longer sentence and a lifetime on the sex offender registry.In court Wednesday, Jakupaj remained silent with his hands clasped. He chose not to comment before he was escorted out of the courtroom.Crown and defence lawyers also declined to comment.McGrath said she considered other cases dealing with crimes of similar severity, as well as Jakupaj’s personal statements and a letter she received regarding his conduct in prison. However, she said these shed little light on the motivation behind the assaults.“At this point, I cannot see that Mr. Jakupaj has demonstrated any significant degree of insight into his actions,” McGrath said.last_img read more

Australian Rapper Iggy Azalea Takes a Stroll in Rabat’s Old Medina

Rabat – Australian rapper Amethyst Amelia Kelly, known professionally as Iggy Azalea, was caught on tape visiting the artisanal and antique shops in the old medina of Rabat ahead of her performance in the Mawazine Festival, scheduled on Saturday, May 21 at 8:45 P.M.In a short video posted on Friday on the festival’s official Facebook page, the Australian rapper was filmed looking at the traditional sandals presented at the entrance of the shops.Dressed in a casual black T-shirt, sunglasses, and a black cap that covers part of her face, the 26-year-old Australian rapper wandered through the streets of the old medina nearly unnoticed. Given her high profile as one of the most talented rappers in the world, and her first performance in Morocco, Azalea will make a striking mark on the stage of the OLM Souissi.Released in 2014, Azalea’s first album “The New Classic” is at the top of major rankings. Her single “Fancy” was at the top of the Billboard Hot 100 and allowed Azalea to become the fourth solo rapper to reach this place.A Maroc Cultures Association initiative created on October 23 is part of an approach promoting openness to cultures by offering the public a musical journey to the four corners of the planet.Every year since 2001, the Mawazine Festival-Rhythms of the World has been organized by Maroc Cultures Association, inviting many artists, Moroccans, and the biggest international celebrities to entertain a big number of fans.With over 2 million festivalgoers for each past edition, it is ranked the second greatest cultural event in the world. read more

Journalists injured in accident

Meanwhile the driver of the truck had fled the scene soon after the accident but he was later arrested and is to be produced in court. Among those injured was a presenter of Sirasa TV and journalists attached to the News First website, the official said. A group of journalists attached to the Maharajah organization were injured when a container truck collided with the van they were travelling in late last night.The accident had occurred opposite the Sugadathasa Stadium, an official of the media organization said adding that seven people were in the van at the time of the accident. The seven employees were admitted to hospital following the accident and three are reported to have suffered serious injuries while one of them was critical. read more

India denies claims talks on to take over Trinco port

Surbana Jurong was the master planner, engineering consultant and project manager for Jurong port in Singapore. Jurong Port serves over 7,000 vessels of up to 150,000 deadweight tones every year, with 23 berths that can accommodate vessels with drafts of up to 16 meters and is equipped with super post-panamax quay cranes and gantry cranes to handle containerized cargo.Surbana Jurong is also preparing a concept paper on Mumbai’s development. (Colombo Gazette) Indian official sources denied Regional Development Minister Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka’s contention that Sri Lanka and India are in talks for developing the Trincomalee harbor, the New Indian Express reported.Fonseka had made the claim on the sidelines of a conference in New Delhi earlier this week, touching off adverse comments in Sri Lanka on the dangers of trying to balance China and India and making Sri Lanka an arena of big power politics. In fact, India had earlier rejected an invitation to build the Hambantota port for the same reason.Even now, Hambantota port is being maintained and its liabilities are being met with earnings from the country’s only profit making port – the Colombo port. The Colombo port will be further weakened financially, if Trincomalee and Kankesanthurai ports are added to the list of dependent non-performing ports. Speaking in Singapore on July 18, 2016, Wickremesinghe said that Trincomalee harbor will be turned into a modern one by the Singapore-based company, Surbana Jurong.With 40 years’ experience in infrastructure development, Surbana Jurong will prepare a Master Plan for Trincomalee harbor and its environs, which will include shipping, manufacturing, and tourism, he said.“An area of 175 sq km  south of Trincomalee will be developed as a high end tourist resort area ,” he added. Opposition propaganda is that the present Sri Lankan government is eager to give Trincomalee harbor to India to balance the grant of 80 per cent stake in Hambantota harbor to a Chinese state-owned company for 99 years. As regards development plans for the Trincomalee harbor, Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has already given the basic contours and India is not in the picture. Indian sources clarified that India is not at all interested in such balancing deals and that it is not interested in Trincomalee port as it is not going to yield an income for a long time. India’s only interest is in seeing that any foreign presence in Sri Lanka is not a security threat to India, sources said. It does have a fear that the current deal with the Chinese company on Hambatota port could at some point be a security threat to India as the port will be in de-facto if not de-jure control of the Chinese government for the next 99 years.This was the fear behind the Indian opposition to the Rajapaksa government’s decision to give land to China in the Colombo Port City on a freehold basis. Alarm bells rang in New Delhi when a Chinese nuclear submarine docked in Colombo harbor without letting India know in advance.The Indian source however made it clear that India is not against Chinese development projects in Sri Lanka, no matter what they are, so long as they are not a security threat to India. read more

Outbreak in British Columbia Canada is not linked to SARS WHO

“Clinically, the disease itself was strikingly different from the SARS outbreak in the spring,” WHO said in a press release. “The features of the current outbreak included a low case fatality, runny nose, lack of fever in most patients, and no SARS-like changes in the lung seen on X-ray.”On 14 August, Canadian public health officials reported to WHO that an unidentified respiratory disease in a Surrey, British Columbia health care facility had infected 143 residents and staff. Some initial testing suggested the SARS coronavirus might have played a role.WHO said it has now gathered, together with Canadian health authorities, enough evidence to conclude that the outbreak is not SARS. Analysis from laboratories in Canada and the United States did not confirm the initial concern that SARS had mutated into a milder disease.”This outbreak has no international public health implications,” WHO stated, adding that sequencing of a portion of the virus causing the outbreak has led to the finding that it was not the SARS coronavirus but another human coronavirus known as OC43. This virus, which is also one of the causes of the common cold, has been associated with respiratory outbreaks in aged care facilities in other countries.Canada continues to be a safe destination for travel and travellers from the country pose no exceptional SARS risk, WHO said. read more

Former Italian prime minister to lead UN response to crisis in Africas

“The Secretary-General looks forward to Mr. Prodi’s leadership in shaping and mobilizing an effective United Nations and international response to the complex crisis plaguing the countries and people of this region,” said Mr. Ban’s spokesperson. The Sahel region, which stretches from the Atlantic Ocean to the Red Sea, and includes Chad, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, and parts of Sudan, Cameroon and Nigeria, is currently facing a swathe of problems, which are not only political but also involve security, humanitarian resilience and human rights. In addition to political instability in Mali, the region suffers from extreme poverty, with human development levels among the lowest in the world, porous borders that present significant security challenges, as well as human rights problems. Added to all of that is the humanitarian crisis affecting the region this year, in which over 18 million people are estimated to be at risk of food insecurity and over one million children risk severe acute malnutrition. Mr. Prodi, who served as Prime Minister from 1996-98 and then again from 2006-08, will work closely with the UN family, both at Headquarters and in the field, to coordinate system-wide efforts to finalize and implement the UN Integrated Regional Strategy for the Sahel. He will also conduct wide-ranging consultations with countries in the region, as well as regional and sub-regional bodies and other international partners, on the finalization and implementation of the Strategy. As Special Envoy, Mr. Prodi will help generate, sustain and coordinate international engagement in support of national efforts of Sahelian countries to address the multifaceted crisis, with an initial focus on Mali. He will also undertake good offices on behalf of Mr. Ban, particularly in support of national, regional and international mediation efforts in the sub-region, and especially regarding cross-border and transnational issues. During a press conference in Paris today, Mr. Ban said Mali is undergoing multiple crises that are putting human rights at risk. While the Security Council is discussing the situation, he stressed that more clarification on how the international community can help are needed as soon as possible. read more

UN envoy welcomes lifting of house arrest of Yemeni leaders

“This step could help normalize the security and political situation in Yemen if complemented by the implementation of the remaining demands of the Security Council, and a genuine commitment to reaching a political solution to the current crisis,” Mr. Benomar said in a statement issued yesterday in the Yemeni capital, Sana’a.Mr. Benomar expressed relief that the continuous outreach efforts eventually yielded positive results and ended one aspect of the “exceptional situation” in Yemen, namely placing the Prime Minister Khaled Bahah, Minister of Foreign Affairs Abdullah Alsaidi and other Cabinet members under house arrest. “He considered the move a good gesture that may restore the missing confidence in the current political negotiations,” the statement said.The envoy expressed hope that the released government ministers would actively resume their contribution to Yemen’s political life and to the success of the negotiations aimed at bringing the transitional process back on track and ending the serious crisis that threatens Yemen’s unity, stability and security.He renewed his call to Yemenis to adhere to resolving their differences peacefully through dialogue and reject all acts of violence to achieve political goals and “reaffirmed that the UN-brokered negotiations represent a genuine opportunity to reach consensus on the issues that have derailed the transition, considering them a lifeline that may spare Yemen the scenario of civil unrest and disintegration.”The Special Adviser also reaffirmed that he will spare no efforts with all Yemeni parties, especially the Houthis, so that they implement Security Council’s resolution 2201. That resolution calls for, among other things, the parties to engage in good faith in the UN-brokered negotiations, and for the Houthis to withdraw their forces from government institutions and normalize the security situation in the capital Sana’a and other provinces, and relinquish government and security institutions and state-owned media outlets.The resolution also calls for the release of all individuals under house arrest or arbitrarily detained, for allowing all Yemenis to assemble peacefully without fear and refraining from all unilateral actions to undermine the political transition. read more

Magnesium great future potential

first_imgRoskill has released its new magnesium metals market report with forecasts out to 2020. It is an excellent read for anyone needing a comprehensive overview of this rapidly evolving industry. Magnesium Metal: Global Industry, Markets & Outlook, 12th Edition, 2016 is now available from Roskill Information Services.Global growth in the magnesium market is expected to average 3.4%/y reaching almost 1.2 Mt/y by 2020. Globally aluminium alloys and die casting are predicted to be the fastest growing markets at about 4%/y each.  The main factor affecting magnesium demand will probably be its use in automobiles, both because of greater unit consumption and increased vehicle production.The development of dense uniform dispersion of silicon carbide nanoparticles (14% by volume) in magnesium through nanoparticle self-stabilization in molten metal could have a significant long term impact on the demand for magnesium alloys. The material is said to provide an enhancement of strength, stiffness, plasticity and high-temperature stability, which delivers a higher specific yield strength and specific modulus than nearly all structural metals.Another potentially significant new use in the long term is in magnesium-ion rechargeable batteries that have twice the capacity and energy density of lithium ion batteries. The identification by Toyota of a compatible electrolyte was being hailed as a major breakthrough in mid-2016.In the first quarter of 2016 a six-year decline in magnesium prices appeared to have found a floor at $2,000/t, underpinned by production costs in China where almost 80% of global magnesium is produced.  As prices moved below this level at the end of 2015, resistance from producers coupled with firming coal prices and better than expected performance in the Chinese economy pushed the price of magnesium up by 11% in April 2016.The fob export price for Chinese magnesium is likely to stay in the $2,000 to $2,500/t range for the remainder of 2016. Looking further ahead, magnesium prices will probably remain in the $2,000 to $3,000/t range, assuming continuation of stable supply from China. Magnesium supply and the inputs required for its production are overwhelmingly under Chinese control. Demand from Chinese consumers is therefore unlikely to outstrip supply.The exceptions to Chinese control are the USA, where the market is protected by punitive anti-dumping duties and is supplied by domestic primary and secondary production and some small imports mainly from Israel; and the FSU where there is domestic output primarily for the in-house production of titanium sponge.World production of primary magnesium, reflecting that in China, rose by an average of 6%/y from 500,000 t in 2002 to 940,000 t in 2014; preliminary data indicates that production in 2015 fell by 4% to about 900,000 t in 2015.In 2015, just seven countries reported production of primary magnesium metal. China’s output was 702,000 t and accounted for 78% of the global total; Russia and the USA with production of 69,000 t and 59,000 t respectively accounted for a further 14%. Secondary magnesium is an important component in global magnesium supply, with production estimated to be between 200,000 t and 250,000 t/y, 125,000 t/y of which is in the USA.There are more than 50 magnesium smelting operations in China, most of them in the provinces of Shaanxi and Shanxi, which accounted for 61% and 28% of production respectively in 2015.  On a company basis, the largest productive capacity is held by Shanxi Yinguang Huasheng with 80,000 t/y.  This is followed by Ningxia Hui-Ye Magnesium with 60,000 t/y.US Magnesium in Rowley, Utah, USA, with capacity for 76,500 t/y and plans to increase to 90,000 t/y, is probably the largest magnesium producer in the world. VSMPO-Avisma in Russia with capacity for 60,000 t/y ranks third or fourth. Dead Sea Magnesium in Israel is a high cost producer with capacity for 35,000 t/y; it has announced plans to terminate operations in 2017.There are four new projects aiming for production before 2020:Qinghai Salt Lake in China, which will probably be confined to its first phase of 100,000 t/y (due on stream in 2017)Alliance Magnesium at Magnola, Canada with 50,000 t/y planned by 2018Latrobe in Australia with 40,000 t/y by mid-2019SilMag in Norway with 65,000 t/y in 2018In addition Century Sunshine announced plans to expand its Baishan plant by 50,000 t/y by the end of 2016; Posco in South Korea plans to expand its Gangneung plant to 20,000 t/y (from 10,000 t/y) in 2016 and to 100,000 t/y in 2018; and Esan Eczacibasi’s plant at Ekisehir in Turkey was being ramped up to 15,000 t/y in 2016, with plans to double capacity by 2018.Global consumption of magnesium is estimated to have grown at an average annual rate of 1.6% from 2008 to 2015.  This was after falling 7% in 2008 and 19% in 2009 and then recovering by 18% and 9% in the following two years.  Growth was low in 2012 and 2013 but rose to 8% in 2014 to a peak of almost 1Mt.  It then fell by 2% in 2015.Aluminium alloys containing on average about 0.8% of magnesium are used in a wide range of industries, but packaging (35% of magnesium use in aluminium alloys), transport (25%) and construction (21%) are the three most important.  About 350,000 t of magnesium were used in 2015.Magnesium castings are used chiefly by the automobile industry, but also in aerospace components, defence applications and consumer goods (laptop, tablet and mobile phone cases in particular).  The most widely used magnesium castings contain more than 90%Mg alloyed most commonly with aluminium.  Some castings are alloyed with rare earth elements to give creep and corrosion resistance.  Globally about 315,000 t of magnesium were used in 2015.Magnesium is a reductant used in the production of titanium sponge, using about 130,000 t in 2015 or 14% of total demand. Much of the magnesium used, however, is produced in-house in Russia, Ukraine and Kazakhstan from the recycling of magnesium dichloride generated in the production of titanium.  Actual new magnesium used is probably closer to 80,000 t/y.The fourth major use of magnesium is in desulphurisation of steel; about 95,000 t were used in 2015. Sulphur causes brittleness in steel and low sulphur facilitates modern production processes.  Other significant uses of magnesium are as a nodulariser in cast iron and in cathodic protection of metal structures.last_img read more

North Korea marches on towards nuclear reactor despite international fears

first_img(AP Photo/KRT via AP Video)Glyn Davies, the US pointman on North Korea who is currently touring the region to discuss the next diplomatic move vis-a-vis Pyongyang, indicated Tuesday that Washington would stand firm.“We need to see some signs that they are sincere about what is the central issue of the six-party process which is the peaceful denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula,” Davies said after talks with his South Korean counterpart in Seoul.The problem for Washington and Seoul is that the further North Korea is perceived to be advancing its nuclear programme, the larger the question mark over the effectiveness of non-engagement.“Restarting the Yongbyon reactor will raise international concerns and that raises the pressure on the US and its allies to do something about it,” said Kim Yong-Hyun, a North Korea specialist at Seoul’s Dongguk University, adding:Needless to say, North Korea is very well aware of this.TimelineAn ISIS analysis report noted there was still time to negotiate a shutdown of the reactor, given that it would take 2-3 years before it discharges irradiated fuel containing plutonium.And Paul Carroll of the Ploughshares Fund, a global security foundation, doubted that Washington would allow itself to be rushed back to the dialogue table.“The reactor isn’t really a surprise and its restart was probably factored in by the US administration some time ago,” Carroll said, adding:With its focus on Syria, the US will be willing to let South Korea take the lead on this for a while, especially given the recent signs of progress in cross-border ties.The two Koreas have just set a date for reopening a joint industrial zone shut down five months ago and are also set to resume family reunions for those separated by the 1950-53 Korean War.- © AFP, 2013Read: Kim Jong-un’s ex-lover executed by firing squad > Read: North and South Korea confirm talks on family reunions to go ahead > (AP Photo/Wong May-E)In recent weeks, North Korea has indicated its willingness to resume six-party talks on its nuclear programme, involving the United States, Russia, China, Japan and South Korea.But both the United States and South Korea have wagered significant political capital on a policy that insists meaningful talks can only begin after North Korea demonstrates a tangible commitment to denuclearisation.By taking the opposite route and restarting its reactor, Pyongyang is following a tried and trusted policy that sees belligerence rather than compromise as the best tactic for bringing the US and its allies to the dialogue table where it can extract concessions.Non-engagement“It’s unclear whether the North has genuinely resumed operating the plutonium reactor or is just making it look like it has done so,” said Yang Moo-Jin, a professor at the University of North Korean Studies in Pyongyang.“But the strategy is the same either way — put pressure on Washington to start a dialogue,” Yang said. EVIDENCE THAT NORTH Korea has restarted a plutonium reactor is a fresh slap in the face for international efforts to encourage or coerce Pyongyang into abandoning its nuclear weapons programme, analysts say.Satellite imagery showing white steam exiting a building next to the five-megawatt reactor at Yongbyon suggests North Korea has made good on its threat in April to reopen the facility, the US-Korea Institute at Johns Hopkins University said.The development is a stark reminder of North Korea’s nuclear ambitions at a time when Pyongyang is otherwise engaged in something of a charm offensive, striking a series of recent deals with South Korea on thorny cross-border issues.The Yongbyon reactor, shut down in 2007 under an aid-for-disarmament accord, is capable of producing six kilogrammes (13 pounds) of plutonium a year — enough for one nuclear bomb.(AP Photo/Jon Chol Jin)“They really are putting themselves in a position to increase the amount of material they have for nuclear weapons,” said Jeffrey Lewis, who analysed the images for the institute.“This gives them a little bit of leverage in negotiations, and adds a sense of urgency on our part,” Lewis told the BBC.UnderminedPyongyang is currently believed to have enough plutonium for about six bombs, after using part of its stock for at least two of its three atomic tests.The restart of the plutonium reactor would be the latest in a series of steps undermining years of effort by the international community to stall and roll back North Korea’s pursuit of an advanced nuclear deterrent.center_img (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)Last month, the Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS) said satellite images suggested the North may have doubled its uranium enrichment capacity at Yongbyon.The US think-tank, which tracks the North’s nuclear weapons programme, said the expansion would allow the facility to produce as much as 68 kilograms of weapons-grade uranium a year — enough for three nuclear bombs with a little left over.Separate satellite images in May showed that construction of an experimental light-water reactor at Yongbyon was also nearing completion.Last month, the International Atomic Energy Agency described these various moves — if confirmed — as “deeply regrettable” and “clear violations” of relevant UN Security Council resolutions.last_img read more

Maladies négligées lOMS vise une meilleure prise en charge pour 2015

first_imgMaladies négligées : l’OMS vise une meilleure prise en charge pour 2015L’Organisation mondiale de la santé (OMS) a déclaré faire des maladies “délaissées” une priorité. Elle souhaite les maîtriser d’ici à 2015.L’AFP explique que sont considérées comme maladies “délaissées” celles qui n’attirent pas l’attention des géants pharmaceutiques, ce qui entraîne un manque de traitements efficaces. Chaque année, plus d’un milliard d’individus seraient touchés par ces maladies et plus d’un sur deux en mourraient. Aujourd’hui, l’OMS veut que cette situation change et a déclaré par le biais de sa directrice générale, Margaret Chan : “Les besoins en termes de prévention et de traitement sont énormes, mais les personnes touchées sont pauvres et n’ont donc que peu accès aux interventions et aux services nécessaires pour en bénéficier”.Et de préciser : “Ajoutons que l’industrie est donc peu encline à investir dans la mise au point de produits nouveaux ou meilleurs contre des maladies liées à la pauvreté, sachant que les patients n’auront pas les moyens de payer”. Parmi ces maladies, on retrouve l’ulcère de Buruli ou encore la maladie du sommeil, et la plupart sont parasitaires comme la rage ou encore l’éléphantiasis. Ainsi, Margaret Chan a appelé les laboratoires pharmaceutiques à effectuer des dons, et les chercheurs à mettre au point des techniques de dépistages rapides et efficaces.Le 15 octobre 2010 à 10:15 • Emmanuel Perrinlast_img read more

Legislature Considers 150m to Help Refineries

first_imgThe Flint Hills refinery in North Pole plans to cease operation this spring, and the Parnell Administration warns Petro Star’s refinery in North Pole might be next. A bill crafted by the Administration would prop up Alaska’s three remaining oil refineries with $150 million in state funds. Even some legislators who are helping advance the bill say they’re uncomfortable with it.Download AudioBut Fairbanks Republican Representative Steve Thompson says he worries it’s not enough money. He says Fairbanks needs Petro Star’s Interior refinery, especially if it hopes to attract the new F-35 fighter units to Eielson Air Force Base.“No jet fuel? Goodbye. F16s (will) move. That means Eielson is going to close. 1500 civilian jobs. We’re going to have empty houses in Fairbanks. The economy is going to tank further,” he said at a House Finance hearing Monday.State Natural Resources Commissioner Joe Balash says the high price of North Slope crude makes it hard for in-state refineries to compete with fuel imported from Outside. The Administration originally proposed $300 million in refinery assistance, primarily to help Petro Star, which faces higher costs for crude delivery now that its neighbor, Flint Hills, won’t be contributing.Anchorage Democratic Representative Les Gara says he wants the refinery to stay open, too, but he calls the bill pending in the House now “insane policy.”“It’s a bailout, it’s a giveaway, it’s poorly crafted,” Gara says. “It costs the state $150 million over five years, and it gives $50 million to Tesoro who doesn’t even want the money. At a time when we can’t afford our schools we need to come up with smarter solutions than just giving money to companies.”The bill would allow an Alaska refinery to collect $10 million a year from the state for five years. That would mean $20 million a year for Petro Star, which has refineries in North Pole and Valdez, and $10 million a year for Tesoro’s operation in Kenai. The companies would get the money in the form of tax credits, or in cash if the company doesn’t owe state taxes. The refineries would have to do is show they spent $25 million a year on infrastructure. Gara says the definition is wide open, to include buying or altering any tangible property. And, says Gara, there are no limits on what the refinery can do with its state money. Companies can “keep the money in profits, give the money to their executives, give the money to their share holders,” Gara says “There are no sideboards.”He proposed offering the refineries low-interest loans instead, but his amendment failed 8-3 in the House Finance Committee Monday. Rep. Tammie Wilson, a North Pole Republican, says Petro Star is too close to the edge for loans.“Where they’re at right now, they may not be here in five years,” she said. “They’re not going to get a loan for something in which the company might not be able to make it. We have to do something now to make them healthy.”Petro Star is owned by Arctic Slope Regional Corporation. ASRC Senior Vice President Tara Sweeney, at the Capitol to press for the bill, says she’s doing what she can not to close the refinery.“The refining industry in Alaska is not healthy. We’re down here working to ensure that it is, and the tools are there that are necessary to keep us afloat,” she says.“If it does close, the state says it would lose millions of dollars a year in revenues.  But lawmakers who question the refinery assistance bill point out Petro Star hasn’t opened its books for them. Republican Rep Alan Austerman of Kodiak says he’s troubled by the lack of information they’ve received from the state, too.“We’re just going based upon, a company come(s) to the state of Alaska saying that ‘we’re going to go out of business if you don’t give us some money,’” Austerman says.Fairbanks Democrat David Guttenberg says the bill was dropped on them in the last days of the session with no meaningful analysis. He’d like not to vote for it but he says they’re in a bind.“Here we are faced with this, you know, this is what we have. Is it the best thing? I don’t think so. Is it the only thing? Yeah,” Guttenberg says.The bill cleared the House Finance Committee Tuesday. Sponsors hope to get it through both the House and Senate before the Legislature adjourns this weekend.last_img read more

Stranger author Omair Tarique says passion is contagious

first_imgOmair TariquePR HandoutThe age of Internet dawned on us with the promise of liberation, connecting millions together and providing a platform for each. Artists all around the world found a place to showcase their work thus every hidden dairy found a safe space, and Omair Tarique was not hesitant to join this sudden salvation of a generation.The twenty-two-year-old writer, who hails from the city of Kolkata, is currently pursuing English Honours from Calcutta University, found the love for written word in his early teens. Not only did Tarique believe in the power of language and the various repercussions it can have on people, but for him writing is a doorway to another world, a break from reality. He made his publication debut on May 10 2017 with Stranger a collection of short stories. Right now, he is working on his next book.It was not a surprise when Tarique co-founded The Scribbled Stories with Mohit Kumar on July 2, 2015. Today, India’s largest storytelling platform has become a hideaway for most of the millennials, with the following of almost 2 million on Facebook and Instagram. In the writing community, having a FanPost with your name on The Scribbled Stories is akin to a pilgrimage completed.If Omair found a haven in writing, he found peace in reading. The young author is widely known for his fondness of books: from organizing monthly Readathons, having his own online book club to reviewing books and just encouraging people to start reading, this man is full of passion.Some people know him as a ‘Book Fairy’ — if he adores a book, he will leave a copy of the same in cafés for others to find. On most days, Tarique survives on coffee, good movies and music whilst drowning in work. However, now on weekends he hosts an AMA for his readers, largely trying to help teenagers in angst and every person who thinks they are alone.He manages a team of twenty-seven writers at The Scribbled Stories, who come from different countries and walks of life. Tarique also curates stories submitted at the organisation’s submission portal. With his team, he has conducted various workshops in colleges across the country — from IITs to Liberal Arts Colleges.They say if the people you work with respect you, you cannot ask for anything else, and Tarique’s team carries nothing but admiration for him. Ansab Amir, Curator at The Scribbled Stories considers Omair as his supportive mentor and a well-balanced team member while Harshpreet, the Community Manager said, “Omair is more empathetic than you would ever imagine, the kind where he has observed you enough to know what will make you feel better when you are not okay. I doubt I will find a better colleague.”During his TEDx Talk at KL University, Tarique said, “Passion is contagious. I am passionate about reading, about writing, about stories. If you are passionate about something, like music, go back home after this event, pick up your instrument and record yourself playing something. Upload it even if it is bad. The way I see it, you either improve with criticism or get more confident with support… Each of you sitting in this room is an idea. And ideas can change the world.”He encourages every person to unabashedly just be themselves, the only way one can live their truth. Despite having marked numerous milestones just at the age of twenty-two, Omair Tarique is extremely grounded and keeps striving for more. Perhaps the reason behind his accumulating pile of successes. His journey stands as epitome of inspiration to many every day saying you do not need to speak in order to leave a mark.last_img read more

Two Dallas Police Officers Shot Critically Wounded In North Dallas

first_imgDALLAS HABITAT PHOTOS VIA FLICKRTwo Dallas police officers were shot and critically wounded late Tuesday afternoon in North Dallas, the police department has confirmed. A civilian was also shot, but that person’s condition is unknown.The incident happened outside a Home Depot store along Forest Central Drive — near the intersection of Forest Lane and U.S. Highway 75.We can confirm that two @DallasPD officers have been shot and critically wounded. We will provide updates as we get them. Please pray for our officers and their families.— Dallas Police Dept (@DallasPD) April 24, 2018 Here’s what I’m seeing at the scene, near the Home Depot on Forest Central Drive— Dana Branham (@danabranham) April 24, 2018Aerial video around 5 p.m. showed police using a helicopter and trained dogs to search for a suspect in a wooded area next to the store parking lot.The situation is developing and we’ll have updates throughout the evening.The Associated Press contributed to this report. Sharecenter_img A civilian was also shot in this incident. The condition of the civilian is unknown at this time.— Dallas Police Dept (@DallasPD) April 24, 2018last_img read more

Moon Rock Turns Out to be Fake

first_img The Rijksmuseum is famous for its fine art collections, especially paintings by Rembrandt and other masters. One of its lesser known objects, the “moon rock”, was first unveiled in October 2006 as the centerpiece of a “Fly me to the moon” exhibition. At that time, the museum said the rock symbolized the “exploration of the unknown, colonization of far-away places and bringing back of treasures…” A reading about the “moon rock” was even held on October 7 because it was a full moon!The rock was given as a private gift to former prime minister Willem Drees Jr in 1969 by the U.S. ambassador to The Netherlands, J. William Middendorf II, during a visit by the Apollo 11 astronauts, Armstrong, Collins and Aldrin, soon after the first moon landing. Drees had been out of office for 11 years, but was considered an elder statesman.When Drees died in 1988, the rock was donated to the Rijksmuseum, where it has remained ever since. According to a museum spokeswoman, Ms Van Gelder, no one doubted the authenticity of the rock because it was in the prime minister’s own collection, and they had vetted the acquisition by a phone call to NASA. According to an article published by the Rijksmuseum, at one time the rock was insured for approximately half a million dollars, but its actual value is probably no more than around $70.Former U.S. ambassador, Mr Middendorf was unable to recall the exact details of how the rock came to be in the U.S. State Department’s possession. It is known that NASA gave lunar rocks to over 100 countries in the 1970s, but when the rock was displayed in 2006 a space expert told the museum he doubted any material would have been given away so soon after the manned lunar landing.Researchers from the Free University of Amsterdam immediately doubted the rock was from the moon, and began extensive testing. The tests concluded the rock was petrified wood. U.S. embassy officials were unable to explain the findings, but are investigating.Even though the tests found the piece is not of lunar origin, the Rijksmuseum curators say they will keep it anyway as a curiosity.© 2009 Citation: Moon Rock Turns Out to be Fake (2009, September 1) retrieved 18 August 2019 from Explore further ( — The Dutch national Rijksmuseum made an embarrassing announcement last week that one of its most loved possessions, a moon rock, is a fake — just an old piece of petrified wood that’s never been anywhere near the moon. Astronauts who landed on the Moon collected 2,415 samples of Moon rocks weighing a total of 842 pounds (382 kilograms). Most of these rocks were collected during the Apollo 15, 16, and 17 missions. Image Credit: NASA Purdue University to display moon rock This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

Ultrashort period brown dwarf discovered

first_img More information: James A. G. Jackman, et al. NGTS-7Ab: An ultra-short period brown dwarf transiting a tidally-locked and active M dwarf. arXiv:1906.08219v1 [astro-ph.SR]: © 2019 Science X Network Brown dwarfs are intermediate objects between planets and stars, occupying the mass range between 13 and 80 Jupiter masses. Although many brown dwarfs have been detected to date, such objects orbiting other stars are a rare find.Now, a group of astronomers led by James A.G. Jackman of University of Warwick, UK, reports the finding of new rare brown dwarf in the binary system NGTS-7AB. The system, located about 500 light years away, consists of two M-dwarf stars. The newly detected brown dwarf orbits the primary star known as NGTS-7A and therefore received designation NGTS-7Ab.The discovery occurred during the Next Generation Transit Survey (NGTS), a ground-based robotic search for exoplanets. The brown dwarf nature of the new object was confirmed by follow-up observations.”We have reported the discovery of NGTS-7Ab, a high mass transiting brown dwarf orbiting an M-star with an orbital period of 16.2 hours,” the astronomers wrote in the paper.According to the study, the discovery is significant due to the very short orbital period of the newly found object and its relatively high mass. NGTS-7Ab represents the so-called “brown dwarf desert,” describing the paucity of massive brown dwarfs (with masses greater than 35 Jupiter masses) orbiting their hosts at a relatively close distance (less than 3.0 AU).NGTS-7Ab was found to orbit its parent star at a separation of around 0.014 AU, and its mass is assumed to be around 75.5 Jupiter masses, which makes it one of the most massive objects of this type detected to date. The radius of this object is estimated at approximately 1.38 Jupiter radii.Moreover, NGTS-7Ab is the shortest period transiting brown dwarf around a pre-main or main sequence star so far discovered, and only the fifth brown dwarf transiting an M-star host. Summing up the results, the researchers also try to explain the ultra-short orbital period of NGTS-7Ab, noting that the M-dwarf companion could be responsible for this.”We believe NGTS-7Ab is part of a hierarchical triple system and the presence of NGTS-7B may have had a role in moving the brown dwarf into its close orbit via the Kozai-Lidov mechanism and tidal circularisation,” the authors of the paper concluded.They added that the orbit of NGTS-7Ab will most likely decay within about 5 to 10 million years due to a combination of tidal synchronisation and magnetic braking. Citation: Ultra-short period brown dwarf discovered (2019, June 27) retrieved 18 August 2019 from Transit lightcurves of NGTS-7Ab. Top: phase folded NGTS lightcurve with the best fitting model overlaid in red. Middle: Primary transit lightcurve from SAAO in I band, with the best fitting model in green. Bottom: Primary transit lightcurve from EulerCam in V band, with the best fitting model in magenta. Residuals for each fit are shown underneath each respective plot. Credit: Jackman et al., 2019. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Explore further An international team of astronomers has detected a new brown dwarf with an ultra-short orbital period that transits an active M-dwarf star. The newfound object, designated NGTS-7Ab, turns out to be the shortest period transiting brown dwarf around a main or pre-main sequence star discovered to date. The finding is detailed in a paper published June 19 on the arXiv pre-print server. Massive brown dwarf detected by astronomerslast_img read more

Canadas Group Germain hits benchmark early 20 hotels by 2020

first_img Travelweek Group OTTAWA — Canadian hotelier Group Germain Hotels has announced the construction of the $40 million Alt Hotel Ottawa Airport.The 180-room new-build hotel will have about 3,000 square feet of meeting rooms and a restaurant located on the top floor, providing 360-degree views of the airport’s operations. An indoor skywalk will connect the hotel to the airport terminal. The hotel is scheduled to open late 2020.“This announcement marks an important milestone for Group Germain Hotels. It means that we have reached our goal of 20 hotels by 2020, and we are extremely proud of this achievement,” says Jean-Yves Germain co-president Group Germain Hotels.“Since we set out this ambitious goal, our teams have been working relentlessly to find the best locations to establish our three hotel brands across Canada, this was a tremendous collaborative effort,” added Christiane Germain co-president Group Germain Hotels. “We are well on our way to reaching our ultimate goal which is to become the first Canadian independent hotelier group to be present all across Canada.”More news:  Windstar celebrates record-breaking bookings in JulyThe Alt Hotel Ottawa Airport will be Group Germain Hotels’ third property in Canada’s Capital Region. The first Alt Hotel, located in the business district, opened in 2016 and in spring 2018 Le Germain Hotel welcomed its first guests. YOW will be the third Alt Hotel to open in a terminal airport location confirming the growing demand for airport stays.“After more than a year of due diligence, we found the ideal site and partner to develop a YOW terminal-connected hotel,” said Mark Laroche, President and CEO of the Ottawa International Airport Authority. “This development, plus LRT connectivity, plus our pre-board screening and concession revitalization plans underline YOW’s commitment to serving the growing demands of Canada’s Capital Region’s residents and visitors.” Share Posted by Canada’s Group Germain hits benchmark early: 20 hotels by 2020 << Previous PostNext Post >> Monday, January 28, 2019 last_img read more

Wyndham Hotel Group set to open tallest hotel in Danang

first_imgWyndham Hotel Group set to open tallest hotel in DanangWyndham Hotel Group set to open tallest hotel in DanangWyndham Hotel Group unveiled plans at a recent signing ceremony for a five-star Wyndham Hotels and Resorts® location in Danang’s Son Tra district, set to become the city’s tallest building at 199 metres.The 779-room, 57-storey hotel tower will be part of a four-tower hotel and condotel complex currently under construction, which will consist of 3,200 apartments, studios and hotel rooms; extensive conference facilities; a retail and dining precinct; and recreation parks.The US$446 million project, expected to open in September 2018, is being developed by PPC An Thinh Danang. Wyndham Hotel Asia Pacific Co. Limited will manage the hotel.The upscale Wyndham Hotels and Resorts® brand connects with guests by delivering comfort that exceeds expectations with the tailored services and amenities expected at a world-class hotel. Currently, there are nearly 100 Wyndham Hotels and Resorts® branded hotels located around the world in major urban and resort destinations.Wyndham Soleil Danang, located just 100 metres from the white sands of My Khe Beach, will be the brand’s second location in Vietnam following the opening of Wyndham Legend Halong Bay in July of this year.Wyndham Soleil Danang will feature a coral-inspired façade and a mix of studio, one, two and three-bedroom guest rooms, each featuring breathtaking views of the sea and the mountains surrounding Danang. Additional offerings will include a restaurant and bar, swimming pools, a gym, a spa, and a health and wellness centre.“With airport improvements underway, as well as its proximity to scenic beaches and UNESCO World Heritage sites, Danang is a market poised for great growth within a country popular with world travellers,” said Barry Robinson, President and Managing Director, Wyndham Hotel Group South East Asia and Pacific Rim.“Vietnam is a destination sought after for memorable experiences, attracting more than 5.5 million visitors so far this year – an increase of more than 20 per cent over last year. We will continue to focus efforts to develop our Wyndham Hotels and Resorts® brand in emerging destinations throughout the country to make travel extraordinary for millions of potential guests.”Wyndham Hotel Group currently has nearly 8,000 hotels worldwide with almost 100 open and operating across South East Asia and the Pacific Rim under its Ramada®, Wyndham Hotels and Resorts®, Days Inn®, TRYP by Wyndham® and Microtel Inn & Suites by Wyndham® brands.About Wyndham Hotels and ResortsPart of Wyndham Hotel Group, Wyndham Hotels and Resorts, LLC, offers upscale hotel and resort accommodations at nearly 100 properties throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico, Central and South America, the Caribbean, Europe, the Middle East and China. Most Wyndham® hotels are franchised by Wyndham Hotels and Resorts, LLC or its affiliates. Certain Wyndham hotels are owned or managed by an affiliate of Wyndham Hotel Group, LLC. Additional information and reservations for all Wyndham hotels are available by visiting Travelers have the opportunity to earn and redeem points through Wyndham Rewards®, the brand’s guest loyalty program, which can be joined for free at For more information about hotel franchising opportunities visit Wyndham Hotel GroupWyndham Hotel Group is the world’s largest hotel company based on number of hotels and is one of three hospitality business units of Wyndham Worldwide (NYSE: WYN). As both a leading hotel brand franchisor and hotel management services provider, the company’s global portfolio consists of nearly 8,000 hotels and approximately 683,300 rooms in 73 countries under the following brands: Dolce Hotels and Resorts®, Wyndham Grand®, Wyndham Hotels and Resorts®, Wyndham Garden® Hotels, TRYP by Wyndham®, Wingate by Wyndham®, Hawthorn Suites by Wyndham®, Microtel Inn & Suites by Wyndham®, Ramada®, Baymont Inn & Suites®, Days Inn®, Super 8®, Howard Johnson®, Travelodge® and Knights Inn®. Wyndham Rewards, the company’s guest loyalty program, offers more than 46 million members the opportunity to earn and redeem points at thousands of hotels across the world.Source = Wyndham Hotel Grouplast_img read more

NEW YORK — Kesha wants you to bring as much glitte

first_img NEW YORK — Kesha wants you to bring as much glitter as possible and sport the brightest rainbow colours when she visits Utah in June to headline the LOVELOUD Festival, the LGBTQ+ event founded by Imagine Dragons’ frontman Dan Reynolds.If you’re “skeptical or don’t understand the LGBTQ community,” Kesha invites you to attend to help change your perception.Says Kesha: “Please come and let me know if you don’t have the best time ever at this show because it’s going to be such a celebration of love.”Martin Garrix, Tegan & Sara, Laura Jane Grace, Daya and K. Flay will perform at the June 29 event in West Valley City.Reynolds launched LOVELOUD as a safe space for LGBTQ+ youth and to have an open dialogue about teen suicides in the LGBTQ+ community.Mesfin Fekadu, The Associated Press Kesha to headline Dan Reynolds’ LGBTQ festival LOVELOUD This combination photo shows musicians Kesha, left, and Dan Reynolds of Imagine Dragons. Kesha will headline the LOVELOUD Festival, the LGBTQ+ event founded by Reynolds. The festival will be held on June 29, 2019, at the USANA Amphitheatre in West Valley City, Utah. (AP Photo) by Mesfin Fekadu, The Associated Press Posted Mar 13, 2019 6:06 am PDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Emaillast_img read more

Eighteen suspected landmine areas identified for clearing UN says

first_imgEighteen suspected hazardous areas, which may be contaminated with mines, have been identified in Cyprus for clearing as part of confidence-building measure on demining agreed in February between the two leaders in Cyprus.Nine are situated in the government-controlled areas of the island and nine in the north.A UN source told the Cyprus News Agency that the 18 areas were identified last week by Unficyp and the United Nations Mine Action Service (Unmas – which is an integral component of the force – in cooperation with the National Guard and with military forces in the north.The identified areas follow the ceasefire line, and are really close to the edges of the buffer zone, the sources said.According to the same sources, a survey is going to start soon at the sites to see how big these areas are, what the terrain is like, whether there are people living nearby, how many military officers, what equipment and how much time would be needed for the work to be completed.“All of this will be figured out, it will all be written down, discussed with two sides and once they agree with the scope of work and the start and stop date of this project we will organise  a demining team to come to Cyprus and conduct this work,” the sources said, noting that the actual demining work would require a team of deminers to come in.A team of Cambodian deminers conducted demining activities in the past in Cyprus. “We will have to have specialised trained troops to come in and actually conduct that work,” the sources added.“This is an ongoing process. The important thing is that progress is being made and both sides are cooperating. This is something that is good for both Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots. Nobody wants to see anybody die because of the landmines,” the UN sources added.According to Unficyp data, there are 47 suspected hazardous areas in Cyprus that may be contaminated with mines or explosive remnants of war, amounting to approximately 1.7 million square metres of land.You May LikePopularEverythingColorado Mom Adopted Two Children, Months Later She Learned Who They Really ArePopularEverythingUndoLivestlyChip And Joanna’s $18M Mansion Is Perfect, But It’s The Backyard Everyone Is Talking AboutLivestlyUndoModernizeIf Your Home Has Old Roofing, Read ThisModernizeUndo Concern over falling tourism numbersUndoPensioner dies after crash on Paphos-Polis roadUndoCypriot tycoon launches ‘Bank of Cannabis’Undoby Taboolaby Taboolalast_img read more

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