The Tuesday news briefing An ataglance survey of some top stories

first_imgHighlights from the news file for Tuesday, July 11———COMMISSIONER QUITS INDIGENOUS WOMEN INQUIRY: A commissioner on the inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women has announced she will resign at the end of this week — a departure that raises new questions among advocates about how much faith they can put in the much-anticipated process. Marilyn Poitras, one of five commissioners named by the Liberal government last summer to examine the root causes of violence against Indigenous women and girls, explained her decision in a letter to Indigenous Affairs Minister Carolyn Bennett and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. “It is clear to me that I am unable to perform my duties as a commissioner with the process designed in its current structure,” the letter said, noting she will step aside as of July 15. Poitras’ resignation comes shortly after the departure of the commission’s executive director, Michele Moreau, and is further evidence “the whole inquiry is in jeopardy,” said Sheila North Wilson, a grand chief of an organization representing First Nations in northern Manitoba.———TRUMP JR. TOLD IN EMAIL OF RUSSIAN EFFORT TO AID CAMPAIGN: Donald Trump Jr. eagerly accepted help from what was described to him as a Russian government effort to aid his father’s campaign with damaging information about Hillary Clinton, emails he released publicly Tuesday say. The email exchange posted to Twitter by Donald Trump’s eldest son represents the clearest sign to date that members of the president’s inner circle were willing to meet during the campaign with Russians who wanted Trump to prevail. U.S. intelligence agencies have said the Russian government meddled in the election through hacking to aid Trump. The emails show Trump Jr. conversing with a music publicist who wanted him to meet with a lawyer from Moscow. The publicist describes the lawyer as a “Russian government attorney” who has dirt on Clinton as “part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump.” In one response, Trump Jr. says, “I love it.” The messages were the latest disclosure to roil the ongoing investigation into Russia’s interference in the election and potential collusion with Trump’s campaign.———EX-GITMO DETAINEE PRAISES CANADA’S KHADR DEAL: A British man compensated by the U.K. government for his torture and years of detention at Guantanamo Bay expressed dismay Tuesday at the public and political furor in Canada over Ottawa’s settlement with Omar Khadr. Speaking from his home in Birmingham in the U.K., Moazzam Begg said Canadians instead should be proud of the federal government for the payment and apology to Khadr for breaching his rights. “The nation shouldn’t be upset about issuing an apology for something that’s right,” Begg told The Canadian Press. “If people are getting upset about that, I think they need to revisit what their morals and values are about.” Begg is one of 16 former Guantanamo detainees who settled lawsuits against the British government in 2010. The deal, while decried by some, aroused little of the anger seen in Canada over the Khadr settlement, announced last week, which sources said was worth $10.5 million. Now 49, Begg was kidnapped in Pakistan where he was living in early 2002, and turned over to American forces. They imprisoned him at Bagram in Afghanistan, where a horribly wounded 15-year-old Khadr was taken after U.S. soldiers captured him in July of that year.———WILDFIRE SITUATION DETERIORATING, B.C. OFFICIAL SAYS: British Columbia officials are bracing for a lengthy wildfire season as hundreds of blazes burn across the province with no reprieve in sight. About 14,000 people have been displaced by more than 200 wildfires and Bob Turner of Emergency Management B.C. said the situation is still deteriorating. The Cariboo Regional District expanded an evacuation order on Monday night to cover the Alexis Creek and West Fraser areas in addition to the Kleena Kleene region. An evacuation alert — which puts residents on notice that they may have to leave with little warning — was issued for the more than 10,000 residents of Williams Lake Monday night. Municipal officials warned that wind and lightning forecast for Wednesday could push fires toward the city at a “rapid pace.” The Tsilhqot’in Nation, which encompasses six communities near Williams Lake, said four of its communities are threatened. The fires, which have scorched about 400 square kilometres of land, are being fought by some 1,000 B.C. firefighters, with about 300 colleagues and support staff arriving from Alberta, Saskatchewan, Ontario and New Brunswick.———FISHERMAN DIES AFTER FREEING ENTANGLED WHALE: A lobster fisherman with a passion for freeing whales from deadly fishing line was killed soon after he cut the last piece of rope from a massive whale in the waters off eastern New Brunswick, friends and colleagues confirmed Tuesday. They say Joe Howlett had helped rescue about two dozen whales over the last 15 years. Mackie Green of the Campobello Whale Rescue Team said Howlett had boarded a federal Fisheries Department vessel off Shippagan on Monday to help a North Atlantic right whale that had become entangled in a heavy snarl of rope. Green was not on the boat, but said he was told the 59-year-old veteran fisherman was hit by the whale just after it was cut free and started swimming away. “They got the whale totally disentangled and then some kind of freak thing happened and the whale made a big flip,” said Green, who started the rescue team with Howlett in 2002 and had worked closely with him ever since.———BIBEAU TO PRESS U.S. TO PRESERVE AID BUDGET: International Development Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau says she will try to persuade her counterpart in the Trump administration not to slash billions in foreign aid as the president has proposed. Bibeau she will make the case for continued spending, including for family planning and abortion, when the new head of the U.S. Agency for International Development is finally hired. The USAID chief is one of many vacant Trump administration positions, but former Tanzanian ambassador Mark Green has been nominated. U.S. President Donald Trump has said he will cut the State Department and USAID budgets by 31 per cent in 2018. Trump has also reinstated a ban on funding abortion-related activities by foreign aid that was first started by the Reagan Republicans in 1984. Bibeau says the government is steadfastly committed to funding family planning as she announced how $241 million of a previous $650 million commitment would be spent.———FIRST FEMALE JAG SAYS ARRIVAL SENDS A MESSAGE: The new head of Canada’s military justice system says her appointment shows the Forces are serious about accepting and valuing women in uniform. Commodore Genevieve Bernatchez is the Canadian Armed Forces’ first female judge advocate general, or JAG. She takes over as senior leaders have been pushing for the military to add more women in uniform and within the senior ranks. The military justice system is also in the midst of its first full review in decades, in part due to complaints about how the system has handled sexual misconduct in the ranks. Bernatchez says there’s no denying she will bring a different perspective and approach to military justice than her male predecessors. But she says she’s reserving judgment on exactly what needs to change until the review is completed later this summer.———CLOSE CALL FOR AIR CANADA PLANE IN SAN FRANCISCO: Investigators looking into what caused an apparent close call involving an Air Canada flight at San Francisco International Airport are expected to examine whether human error or controller procedures played a role in the incident, an aviation expert said Tuesday. The state of the aircraft’s and controller’s equipment, and the design of the air space will also be under review as officials try to determine how a flight from Toronto came to line up with a taxiway rather than the runway as it prepared to land, said Barry Wiszniowski, president of Aviation Safety Management Experts. An Air Canada Airbus A320 was cleared to land on one of the runways at the San Francisco airport just before midnight on Friday when the pilot “inadvertently” lined up with the taxiway, which runs parallel to the runway, the U.S. Federal Aviation Authority said. There were four aircraft lined up on the taxiway waiting for departure when the incident occurred, the FAA said in a statement. The Air Canada plane eventually made another approach and landed without incident, it said. Air Canada said 135 passengers and five crew members were aboard its plane, but gave little other information, citing its own ongoing investigation.———HALIFAX MAYOR URGES CALM ON CORNWALLIS STATUE: The mayor of Halifax is speaking out against a plan circulating on social media to forcibly remove a statue of Edward Cornwallis from a downtown park that bears the name of the city’s contentious founder. Mike Savage issued a statement Tuesday saying any action to remove the statue is not condoned by the Nova Scotia Assembly of Mi’kmaq Chiefs. The mayor says he understand that many Indigenous people and others disagree with the continued presence of Cornwallis on a pedestal in a public park. Cornwallis and his military council issued an infamous scalping proclamation in 1749 promising a bounty for the scalp of every Mi’kmaq. Savage says he is committed to a resolution of the polarizing situation and notes that city council has asked a panel to make recommendations, including potentially removing the statue and renaming the park. A Facebook event called “Removing Cornwallis” invites people to a protest Saturday, and to “peacefully remove” the statue.———RESCUE DOG FOUND AFTER ESCAPE AT AIRPORT: The new owner of a rescue dog that went missing after being let out of a crate at Canada’s busiest airport said he’s relieved his pet was found before any harm came to the animal. Jordan Wong said he and his family were anxious throughout the hours-long hunt for Emily, a 4.5-kilogram dog that had been brought to Canada from Greece as part of a rescue effort. Emily had been on Canadian soil for barely an hour when customs officials allegedly opened her crate to give her a walk on Monday. At that point, Emily bolted and raced across the highway near Toronto’s Pearson International Airport, according to Stray Paws from Greece, the rescue group that co-ordinated her adoption. Wong said he and his family waited at the airport for eight hours while searchers scoured the area for Emily, but eventually had to go home without the pet they’d been eagerly awaiting for the past three weeks. On Tuesday morning, however, a Toronto woman found the dog and brought her to a local veterinary clinic where the pup was eventually identified. Stray Paws could not immediately be reached for comment but alleged in a Facebook post that Emily was lost while being processed through customs in Toronto.last_img read more

11th Annual Firemans Charity Ball

first_imgTickets for the event are $100 and are available at the FSJ Firehall or call 250.264.2857Fire Fighters Charitable Society; CLICK HERE FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – This weekend is the 11th Annual Fireman’s Charity Ball being held at the Pomeroy Hotel and Conference Centre.The Ball being held on Saturday, May 4th is an event to raise funds to support local people through the Fire Fighters Charitable Societies Medical Travel Program and burn survivors in BC and the Yukon.The Montney Coulees will be featured performers for the night as the evening will host a Dinner and Dance as well as a live and silent auction and raffles.last_img read more

AAP to contest three seats each in UP, Bihar

first_imgNew Delhi: The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Sunday announced that it will contest three seats each in Uttar Pardesh and Bihar, and also introduced its candidates. In a series of tweets, AAP leader Sanjay Singh said that in Uttar Pradesh, the party will contest in Saharanpur, Gautam Buddh Nagar and Aligarh. “The Political Affairs Committee (PAC) of AAP has given its approval for three names in Uttar Pradesh. Yogesh Dahia from Saharanpur, Prof Shweta Sharma from Gautam Buddh Nagar and Satish Chand Sharma from Aligarh will be AAP’s candidates,” Singh said. Also Read – After eight years, businessman arrested for kidnap & murder While Saharanpur and Gautam Buddh Nagar will vote on April 11 in the first of the seven-phase general elections, Aligarh will go to the polls on April 18. Singh also said that in Bihar the party will contest three seats — Kishanganj, Sitamarhi and Bhagalpur. AAP will field Alimuddin Ansari from Kishanganj, Raghunath Kumar from Sitamarhi and E. Satyendar Kumar from Bhagalpur, Singh said. While Kishanganj and Bhagalpur will vote in the second phase on April 18, Sitamarhi vote in the fifth phase on May 6. The AAP is contesting in all the seats in Delhi, Goa, Haryana and Punjab. The party has named all seven candidates for the seats in Delhi, and for two seats in Goa.last_img read more

MR hails Thatchers fight against terror

While remembering the late prime minister’s visit to Sri Lanka, President Rajapaksa, in the letter addressed to British Prime Minister David Cameron, called Prime Minister Thatcher “a friend of Sri Lanka” and convey the condolences of the Sri Lankan government and people. (Colombo Gazette) Prime Minister Thatcher visited Sri Lanka in 1985 for the ceremonial commissioning of the Victoria Dam Hydroelectric Scheme. During a press conference at that event, responding to a question about terrorism and a political solution to Sri Lanka’s ethnic conflict, the late Prime Minister had said the following: “With regard to my own view about terrorism, it has not varied and will not vary. Terrorism must never be seen to win. If it does, it is the end of democracy. There is a democracy in Sri Lanka and I believe that, as in Britain, the problems must be solved through democracy—at any rate by all who believe in democracy.” President Mahinda Rajapaksa has sent a message of condolence on the death of the former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in which he commends the late prime minister for her commitment to fighting terrorism.“While the late Prime Minister stamped her impress on the political and economic spheres of her country bringing it back on the economic landscape of Europe, she also stood steadfastly against the scourge of terrorism both in the United Kingdom and around the world, undaunted by an assassination attempt on her life” President Rajapaksa said. read more

WatchMoosehead Breweries and Sproutly team up to develop cannabisinfused drinks

VANCOUVER — Moosehead Breweries Ltd. is the latest beverage company to form a joint venture to enter the cannabis-infused beverage market in Canada once it is legalized.An affiliate of the independent brewer, OCC Holdings Inc., is partnering with Sproutly Canada Inc. to develop, produce and market non-alcoholic beverages using Sproutly’s naturally-produced water soluble cannabinoids.The companies say their beverages would be able to deliver the effects of cannabis in as little as five minutes and could last up to 90 minutes, providing an experience similar to smoking the drug. Why business is booming for cannabis extraction companies, despite the supply shortages Ottawa’s latest rules risk ruining cannabis-infused beverages before they’re even legal Scientists are racing to make pot like booze so you can drink it Moosehead is Canada’s oldest and largest independent brewery with 152 years of experience and infrastructure that the companies say will allow the joint venture to more quickly get its cannabis-infused beverages to market.The companies add that Sproutly’s cultivation facility and processing licence will advance formulation work that’s already been completed to date.Health Canada has said the final rules about edibles must be brought into force no later than Oct. 17, a year after recreational cannabis use was legalized.“After careful analysis of the cannabis industry and the cannabis beverage opportunity in Canada, we believe that Moosehead and Sproutly together are well positioned to become a significant player in the category,” stated Matthew Oland, a Moosehead senior executive, who will head the 50-50 joint venture as chief executive officer. read more

Monitoring Group reports progress in followup to peace pledges in Côte dIvoire

The submission by the tripartite Monitoring Group, made up of representatives of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the African Union (AU) and the UN Operation in Côte d’Ivoire (ONUCI), are forwarded to the Security Council by Mr. Annan.Under the Accra III agreement signed by Côte d’Ivoire’s political leaders in late July, President Laurent Gbagbo pledged to turn over multi-faceted responsibilities to Prime Minister Seydou Diarra, who is from the North and viewed as a consensus figure, until the next election.The Government of Mr. Gbagbo, who was formerly jailed and exiled during a long fight against one-party rule, controls the south, while his opponents control the north. French forces known as Licorne and UN peacekeepers are stationed in between.On 9 August, Mr. Gbagbo issued a decree to the effect that the Prime Minister shall “initiate and coordinate” government policy, receiving “some of the authority” vested in the President, including the authority to define national reconciliation policy with respect to the 2003 Linas-Marcoussis Agreement.Among many other duties, Mr. Diarra would translate government policy into a national reconstruction programme, coordinate relations with development and financing agencies, and ensure implementation of the Government’s policy on the cantonment, demobilization, disarmament and reintegration of combatants. In addition, he would prepare schedules for credible and transparent elections.Other decrees issued earlier this month restored three opposition leaders to their ministerial duties. They were the Minister of Technical Education and Professional Training, Youssouf Soumahoro, Minister of State in the Ministry of Communications, Guillaume Kigbafori Soro, and the Minister of State in the Ministry of Economic Infrastructure, Patrick Achi. read more

Twitter coFounder Biz Stone working on book about creative thinking

NEW YORK, N.Y. – The co-founder of Twitter has a story to tell, and he’ll need more than 140 characters.Biz Stone has a deal with Grand Central Publishing for “Things a Little Bird Told Me,” a book about creative thinking that will include personal anecdotes.Grand Central, a division of Hachette Book Group, announced Monday that Stone’s book is scheduled for April 2014.Stone, 38, has written two books about blogging: “Blogging: Genius Strategies for Instant Web Content” and “Who Let The Blogs Out?” by News Staff Posted Jun 4, 2012 2:53 pm MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email Twitter co-Founder Biz Stone working on book about creative thinking read more

Another Ride On The Red Sox Roller Coaster

61997Giants90-22+8+2+25-3117.6 131992Dodgers63+30-7-8+17-2216.6 141989Cardinals86-10+19-16+22-1716.6 12016Red Sox90-12-7+26-28+2118.8 SEASONTEAMWINS12345AVG. ABSOLUTE Δ 171985Reds90-20+4-13+36-816.0 192002Astros84+9-21+25+5-1815.6 151972Indians75-15+16-14+24-1216.0 2016 win totals based on rest-of-season projections. Seasons under 162 games were regressed to 162 games. Results were filtered so that duplicate stretches including the same team-season twice were discarded.Source: FanGraphs, Lahman DB 42002Cubs67+21-23+2+22-2118.0 81983Athletics74-6+25-10-29+1517.1 32004Mariners63+300+23-25-1218.0 101999Padres74+24-22+15-12-1217.1 182000Marlins79-15-10+38-12-415.9 52007Diamondbacks90-14+1-26+33+1417.6 MLB’s biggest roller-coaster rides (1962-2016) Last April, we previewed the Boston Red Sox’s 2015 season by focusing on the franchise’s wild ups and downs in recent years. Although they posted only 71 wins in 2014, advanced-stats outlets such as FanGraphs projected Boston to win 90 games, which would have been a 19-win increase — and would have come on the heels of a 26-win decrease, after a 28-win increase, after a 21-win decrease. Boston was shaping up to be on MLB’s craziest roller-coaster ride ever.It didn’t quite work out that way. The Red Sox spent most of 2015 playing just as poorly as they had in 2014, finishing with 78 wins only thanks to a strong push in the season’s final two months, and the fallout was a total front-office shake-up. But more than one-third of the way into the 2016 season, the Red Sox appear to have made the leap that was expected of them a year ago: They have a 34-25 record, are only two games out of first in the American League East, and have a full-season FanGraphs projection of 90 wins. If that last number holds up, Boston’s past five years will once again represent the most up-and-down stretch in modern MLB history: 162003Angels77+22-24+7-12+1516.0 WIN DIFF. IN NO. OF SEASONS EARLIER 121984Angels81-11+23-17-10+2216.7 111988Indians78-17+23-24+15-516.8 What has changed for Boston since the past two disappointing seasons? Mainly, they’re getting better performances from the lineup. The Red Sox were pretty much a dead-average hitting and fielding team a year ago, which added up to a mediocre record when combined with an unspectacular pitching staff. But this year, no team in the majors — not even the vaunted Chicago Cubs — has gotten more wins above replacement from its position players than Boston, a development headlined by drastic improvements from Xander Bogaerts, Jackie Bradley Jr. and Mookie Betts, a bounce-back season from Dustin Pedroia and the general agelessness of David Ortiz.The Red Sox will probably still spend the summer in a division dogfight with the Baltimore Orioles and Toronto Blue Jays; our power ratings say they’re basically a coin flip (48 percent) to win the East. But even that represents an improvement over the past two seasons and could provide more twists in the roller-coaster track the franchise has been riding. Things are never dull when it comes to baseball in Boston. 201970Mets83+17-27-12+5-1615.6 91994Reds92-19+17-16+17-1617.1 71992Orioles89-22+9+11-33+1317.4 22010Mariners61+24-24+27-10-918.8 read more

Medical team pulled a stone from the back of Natasha McShanes throat

first_imgTRAUMA SURGEON DR Marius Katilius has told the Cook County Criminal Court in Chicago that the medical team treating Natasha McShane “pulled out a stone from the back of the throat”.Natasha McShane, from Silverbridge, has been left with extensive brain injures and speech problems as a result of the 2010 attack.AttackerHeriberto Viramontes, 34, is charged with two counts of attempted murder and 23 other charges linked to his alleged involvement in the attack on 23 April 2010.The BBC reports that yesterday the court heard evidence from the trauma surgeon on duty in the emergency room of Illinois Masonic Hospital when McShane and her friend Stacey Jurich were first admitted.Dr Katilius said there was a lot of blood and said that following a scan “an opaque structure in the back of the throat” was identified and a stone was pulled out.Brain injuryHe said she suffered a traumatic brain injury, with blood discovered both inside and outside the skull.Her friend Stacey Jurich who was also called as a witness said in court, said:“I heard my head being hit and I felt excruciating pain. And I lost my equilibrium.”Jurich said she also saw her friend hit on the head. “She was not moving on the ground. The blood started coming out of her head. I took my jacket and supported her head as much as I could. And I ran for help.”MotherIrish Central reports that Natasha’s mother, Sheila, said her daughter can barely speak following the attack:Sheila told the court that her daughter, a former student at the University College Dublin, was left unable to walk or speak more than a few words. She said her daughter was once a good sketch artist but now only scribbles. She is unable to hold a conversation and suffered from infections and seizures.Read:Friend of Irish student tells Chicago court of savage attack>Read: Father speaks about Natasha McShane’s struggles a year on from brutal attack>last_img read more

Robots Deployed To Help Black Friday Shoppers Deal With The Insanity

first_img Review: ‘Daemon X Machina’ Has Big Robots, Small Fun on Nintendo SwitchThis Robot Is Equal Parts Lawnmower and Snow Blower Stay on target No, not by helping you shoplift mass quantities of goods the way Bender might if you took him to the mall. These robots are all about providing the more traditional (and legal) kind of customer service.Two Bay-area malls, San Francisco Centre and San Jose’s Valley Fair, will be deploying the diminutive, cheery robot called Pepper this holiday season. They’ll roll around greeting customers, seeking survey participants, and, from the looks of the photos posted by SFGate, dispensing holiday hugs.Pepper has been developed by the robotics division of Japanese telecom giant Softbank. Last year, they offered up 1,000 Peppers for sale, and they were gone in about a minute. Clearly, there was a lot of pent-up demand for cutesy humanoid bots.If you’d planned on heading down to either of those malls, don’t cancel your plans over visions of being swarmed by a robot army. There will only be two or three rolling around, and Pepper definitely looks like the kind of robot you can trust. I mean, hey, if this guy is comfortable giving Pepper a hug it must be safe.Other places you might find a robot that’s willing to lend you a helping hand with Cousin Eddie’s shopping list? Lowes stores. Their LoweBot (not to be confused with  Lando Calrissian’s buddy Lobot), is already roaming around their stores in the Bay Area.It’s not a humanoid bot like Pepper. LoweBot looks more like a mobile self-checkout terminal or a high-tech floor polisher. They’re being deployed to take care of the simpler questions Lowe’s  customers might have — where to find deck screws, whether an item in the flyer is in stock — so that staff can spend more time answering more complex questions that require (for now, anyways) an experienced human’s insight.last_img read more

Ridgefield School District seeks committee members

first_imgRidgefield School District is looking for volunteers to sit on its inaugural Equity & Engagement Committee. The committee will be made up of parents and guardians, staff members, students, community members, administrators and law enforcement. The committee will meet at least three times during the 2018-2019 school year.The district also set up a survey to seek input regarding equity and engagement in the district, with feedback intended to help guide the committee.Application information for those interested in serving as a member of the Equity & Engagement Committee is available upon completion of the district survey. Survey answers and committee applications are due by 4 p.m. Dec. 14.The survey can be found on the district’s website at www.ridgefieldsd.org.last_img read more

NewPage Q1 Revenues Skyrocket 150 Percent

first_imgCoated magazine paper manufacturer NewPage Corporation has announced that its first quarter revenues were $1.2 billion, a 150 percent increase from $476 million in the first quarter in 2007, and net income was $7 million, up from a $20 million loss during the same period last year.NewPage’s sharp spike in revenue comes a little more than four months after the Miamisburg, Ohio-based company acquired Stora Enso North America. As a result of the acquisition, NewPage incurred $9 million in pretax charges, including $6 million in accelerated depreciation and inventory write-offs. NewPage’s coated paper volume jumped 104 percent in the first quarter over the same period in 2007.EBITDA was $158 million for the quarter, compared to $46 million in the first quarter of 2007. NewPage had more than $4.7 billion in year-end pro forma net revenue for 2007.In a statement, chairman and CEO Mark A. Suwyn indicated that while much of the first quarter increase in volume was because of the Stora Enso acquisition, a planned increase in the average price of paper caused customers to buy more before the spike. “Demand for our products was strong as a result of rationalized industry supply from reduced imports and capacity closures, as well as some inventory builds by customers in advance of a price increase.” In January, NewPage announced a major restructuring as a way to integrate the Stora Enso facilities. As part of the plan, NewPage said it would close certain operations in Maine, Ohio and Wisconsin, affecting about 600 employees,Going PublicEarlier this month, NewPage announced a proposed initial offering of common stock. Goldman, Sachs & Co. is representing NewPage in the process. According to its filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, NewPage hopes to raise $805 million.In December, fellow paper company Verso Paper also filed for an IPO. The company was reportedly looking to raise about $300 million. Verso is expected to report its first quarter earnings Thursday.last_img read more

Out of the ashes a downtown eyesore is transformed

first_imgIn 2004, an awning patch-job went bad and led to a fire that razed a historic commercial building in the heart of downtown Juneau, where the grand opening of Sealaska Heritage Institute’s Walter Soboleff Building will happen Friday.Listen now:Haida artist Robert Davidson’s metal panel “Greatest Echo” adorns the front of the Walter Soboleff building in Juneau. Photo: Elizabeth Jenkins/KTOOIn its 108-year history, the two-story, wood-framed building at the corner of Front and Seward streets had gone by many names: The C.W. Young Building, Rusher’s Hardware, the Skinner Building, the Endicott Building and the Town Center Mall.Opening ceremonies for the Walter Soboleff Building begin Friday at 8:30 a.m. The grand opening ceremony will be broadcast live on 360 North.Oke and Robert Rodman were keeping shop at Percy’s Liquor across the street that Sunday afternoon in August 2004. They saw a couple of guys on top of the awning working with tar and a torch.“I knew it’s bad idea.”“Well, once they started running around looking for a fire extinguisher, it seemed like a bad day,” recalls Rich Etheridge, who was Juneau’s acting fire chief  at the time.When he arrived, he saw smoke rising from one corner of the building, but no open flames. The fire was burning inside the walls.We sent crews in with chainsaws and axes to cut through walls to get to the fire. But they’d cut through one wall, then they’d find another wall, then layers of plywood to another wall, and so they couldn’t get to the spots where things were burning.Because of the old construction, and things that had been added on, what happens is the smoke travels through all those void spaces, and the smoke actually ignites.With a firefighting crew inside, the building filled with smoke floor to ceiling.“And smoke explodes also. We had a smoke explosion. It was like a low volume explosion. It was more like a big ‘woof.’”Fortunately, he says there were no serious injuries.“It was a big, big wave of relief after they called back in on the radio, said they were fine.”Etheridge put a crew on the roof, hoping to cut a hole in it to let the heat and smoke escape instead of spreading through the building. But that plan was foiled by multiple roofs, layered on over the years.Meanwhile, the windless, dry weather kept much of the smoke at street level.He says downtown Juneau reminded him that day of eerie scenes in New York City on 9/11… “…with just that real thick haze in the air and nobody in the streets? That’s kind of what it looked like.”He shut down and evacuated several downtown blocks, and the cruise ships left early.Hand tools weren’t cutting it. And it still wasn’t clear where the fire was in the building.“There wasn’t a lot of active, open flame that you could see, it was just lots and lots of smoke, and all the flames were concealed where it was real difficult.”So Etheridge brought in an excavator to peel the walls down and keep the fire from spreading to other buildings.By the next morning, just about every firefighter in town had worked the blaze. When the smoke cleared, the second story was gone. Rubble from the 18 businesses that occupied the building was all over the streets.By December that year, the site had been cleared, debris with asbestos in it had been scooped out to below street level, and a new eyesore was taking shape.“Town hole: Prime lot sits idle since 2004 fire,” was the headline in the Juneau Empire 18 months later. Another two years passed. The headlines in 2008 were “The hole in the heart of downtown” and “Juneau’s biggest ashtray.”Candice Bressler moved to Juneau in 2009.“So when I arrived, it was already ‘the pit,’” she remembers. “It was filled with anything from beer cans to cigarette butts to old newspapers. A lot of things.”In early 2010, Bressler and other United Way volunteers started a public advocacy campaign for a solution. They started a Facebook page called “Fix the Pit.” Almost overnight, it drew hundreds of fans.About that same time, city officials threatened the lot’s owners with a six-figure lawsuit, not because of the eyesore, but because the pit was literally undermining the city’s surrounding sidewalks, curbs and streets.Before it went to court, Sealaska Corp. stepped in paid $800,000 for the 9,500 square-foot lot, which is across the street from its headquarters. Sealaska filled the pit and addressed the city’s issues. When temporary landscaping went in, Bressler declared the pit fixed.It’s been more than 10 years since the fire, and Sealaska Heritage Institute’s new cultural center is just opening at the corner of Front and Seward streets.“I think it’s sad that such an eyesore existed for so long. And I think it’s sad that millions of tourists got to walk past it over the years and see, basically, what people called the ground zero of Juneau.”But… she adds: “Just looking at this magnificent building. Just, it’s so spectacular to look at. And just to see that it’s filled! With beauty and with development and with culture. So exciting.”Just down the street in another prime downtown spot, the husk of the Gastineau Apartments still stands since a 2012 fire. If the recovery timelines parallel, it’ll be about 2023 before something new opens its doors there.last_img read more

Awareness on menstrual health and hygiene created

first_imgHyderabad: Sahara, a voluntary organiaation organised an awareness camp for adolescent girls and young women from marginalized sections on menstrual health management. Speaking on the occasion, Founder of Shakti Within and Ecofemme brand ambassador Urvashi Sareen informed the group on myths related to menstruation, menstruation cycle, health and hygiene during menstruation, various products available in the market and their effect on both health and environment. Also Read – Dumping of garbage irks colony residents in Musheerabad Advertise With Us A demonstration was organised to show the process of making a homemade sanitary napkin with easily available materials. Apart from that, the safe disposal was also explained. Dr Radhika Rohini informed the girls and women about importance of hygiene during the menstrual period and how maintenance of the same is needed for the reproductive health. Also Read – Hyderabad: L&T bags IT awards Advertise With Us Girls were informed on pros and cons of different kinds of sanitary napkin and further information was shared on safe disposal including composting of biodegradable napkins. The reusable eco-friendly napkins were also distributed on the occasion. Volunteer Jaya Reddy, Sahara staff and volunteers K. Rama, Ch. Maheswari, Shivani, Vanaja, and others extended their cooperation in organizing the camp and distribution.last_img read more

UPDATE Family Of Houston Immigrant Says They Are Hurting After He Was

first_img Share Photo courtesy of the Andrés familyThese montage of photos show Carlos Andrés, who is originally from Guatemala, with his family.The family of a Guatemalan man recently arrested by Immigration Customs and Enforcement (ICE) agents in Houston said Friday they are hurting because he is the bread-winner, and contended they deem his detention unfair because, according to them, he doesn’t have a criminal record.The wife and children of Carlos Andres-Elias, 30, spoke at a press conference organized by the pro-immigration reform group Immigrant Families and Students in the Struggle (FIEL, by its Spanish acronym).According to César Espinosa, FIEL’s executive director, Andres-Elias works in the construction sector.Andres-Elias is married to Marcela Rivera, 31 years-old and originally from Mexico, with whom he has fathered five children. All of Andres-Elias children were born in the United States and one of them has a learning disability, according to Rivera.FIEL’s Espinosa, who cited Rivera and Jorge Cantú –Andres-Elias’ immigration lawyer– as his sources explained that Andres-Elias had been previously deported in December 2005, even though he had been granted a hearing with an immigration judge. He re-entered the U.S. without the proper immigration documents in February 2006 and the fact that he had not attended his immigration hearing in 2005 is what triggered an “order of removal,” Espinosa claims.Leticia Zamarripa, an ICE spokeswoman, confirmed in an email sent to Houston Public Media that Andres-Elias “illegally entered the country Dec. 10, 2005, and was deported on Dec. 30, 2005.”Zamarripa added that Andres-Elias illegally re-entered in the U.S. in 2006 and that constitutes a felony.Rivera, Andres-Elias’ wife, said ICE agents detained her husband  on January 19th this year at an apartment complex located in southwest Houston, where they live, as he was getting ready to leave for work.Rivera told Houston Public Media that her husband told her by phone –after he had been detained– that the ICE agents were not specifically looking for him, but for other people. However, according to the wife, after asking Andres-Elias and a co-worker some questions, the agents decided to detain them.ICE’s Zamarripa noted in her email that the apartment complex where Andres-Elias lives “was identified as part of a targeted enforcement operation.”No work permitAccording to Rivera, Andres-Elias showed the ICE agents a consular ID issued by Guatemala, his country of origin, but he then admitted he did not have a work permit.“It is unjust what they are doing to my husband, migration (authorities), because my husband is not a criminal, he is not a delinquent, he was simply going to work,” Rivera stressed at the press conference.Asked about what she plans to do in the immediate future, Rivera said that she is facing a “complicated” situation because her husband “was the one that worked, he was the one that covered the expenses at our household.”According to Rivera, Andres-Elias is currently at a detention facility for undocumented immigrants located in Conroe, about 40 miles north of Houston. He was denied a bail bond during a hearing that took place this week.last_img read more

Advanced Robotic Arm Controlled by Monkeys Thoughts w Video

first_img(PhysOrg.com) — Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh have demonstrated a monkey controlling an advanced robotic arm by using its thoughts. The experiments were led by Dr. Andrew Schwartz, a professor of neurobiology and involved a high degree of complexity in the robotic arm, the level of control, and the intricacy of the manipulations. © 2010 PhysOrg.com This is not the first time that Dr. Schwartz implanted sensors in a monkey’s brain to control a robotic arm. Back in May of 2008 experiments were conducted by Dr. Schwartz, using a simpler mechanical arm, to teach a monkey to feed itself. This was a four-degrees-of-freedom arm with shoulder joints, elbow, and a simple gripper. In this demonstration researchers at the University of Pittsburgh have taught a monkey to use its thoughts to control an advanced robotic arm and perform elaborate maneuvers with it. Credit: University of Pittsburgh In the video above the monkey (right side of video) uses its right arm to tap a button which triggers the robotic manipulator to position a black knob to an arbitrary position. The monkey is then seen controlling its articulated robotic arm to grasp the knob.After touching the knob the monkey places its mouth on a straw to be rewarded with a drink. By constant repetition the monkey eventually starts placing its mouth on the straw before touching the knob knowing that a drink is coming.This advanced robotic arm has seven-degrees-of-freedom as compared to the four-degrees-of-freedom arm back in 2008. The added three more degrees of freedom adds an articulated wrist which can perform pitch, roll and yaw movements. These movements enable the monkey to precisely turn the knob by rotating the mechanical wrist.By putting the brain in direct communications with machines, researchers will one day be able to engineer and operate advanced prosthetics in a natural way to help paralyzed people live a close to normal life.As of this writing Dr. Schwartz and his colleagues have not published the detailed results of their latest experiments.You can now listen to all PhysOrg.com podcasts at www.physorg.com/podcasts-news/ Citation: Advanced Robotic Arm Controlled by Monkey’s Thoughts (w/ Video) (2010, June 3) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2010-06-advanced-robotic-arm-monkeys-thoughts.htmlcenter_img Woman outfitted with robotic arm Explore further 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. In the video above monkeys in the Dr. Schwartz’s lab are able to move a robotic arm to feed themselves marshmallows and chunks of fruit while their own arms are restrained.In the experiments conducted this year two sensors were implanted into the monkey’s brain. One was implanted in the hand area and the second in the arm area of its motor cortex. The sensors monitor the firing of motor neurons and send data to the computer that translates the patterns into commands that control the robotic arm.last_img read more

SpaceXs Starhopper Test Vehicle Takes a Short RaptorPowered Trip

first_imgApril 4, 2019 This story originally appeared on Engadget 1 min read This hands-on workshop will give you the tools to authentically connect with an increasingly skeptical online audience. Free Workshop | August 28: Get Better Engagement and Build Trust With Customers Now As SpaceX proceeds with development of its Starship vehicle, its first testing out the spacecraft’s Raptor engines. Today a stubby Starhopper test vehicle mounted with a single engine — as opposed to the more advanced Phase 2 version shown above — completed its first tethered hop of just a few inches at the Texas launch site, as spotted by nearby observers. Elon Musk tweeted “All systems green” after the test, which may not have gone far but recalls the early days of Grasshopper rocket tests before we got used to the sight of Falcon 9 rocket engines returning to Earth after successful launches.Musk previously said that suborbital test flights would require three of the engines — the final version of Starship f.k.a BFR will have more — and we’ll be waiting to see when that happens.Starhopper completed tethered hop. All systems green. https://t.co/0m5Bm5slD2— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 4, 2019 Enroll Now for Freelast_img read more

Regional drug summit draws tepid support

first_imgFrom the print editionANTIGUA, Guatemala – In the backdrop of the centuries-old ruins of Antigua, Guatemalan President Otto Pérez Molina proudly announced four proposals for a Central American strategy against drug trafficking to close the New Paths Against Drug Trafficking Summit, March 24. Unfortunately, other nations’ officials had left before he made the announcement.  Despite his bold claims for a new regional strategy, other heads of state seem hesitant to overtly support Pérez Molina’s new direction. Only two other presidents, Costa Rica’s Laura Chinchilla and Panama’s Ricardo Martinelli, were present at the summit, hosted by the Central American Integration System. The summit included delegations from from eight countries, including the Dominican Republic.Support for Pérez Molina’s policy shift has been sporadic. Just one day after backing a debate for decriminalization of illicit drugs in February, Salvadoran President Mauricio Funes reversed his position, saying that drug legalization would make Central America a “paradise” for drug traffickers. Funes did not attend the summit, sending his defense minister, David Munguía, instead.Honduran leaders, currently under U.S. congressional scrutiny for alleged human rights abuses, have staunchly opposed the proposal. Honduran President Porfirio Lobo cited “God’s will” when he first rejected the idea on Feb. 18. Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega said he wouldn’t decriminalize illicit drugs in Nicaragua because the army and police are already winning the war on organized crime.This regional lack of support for decriminalization did not prevent Pérez Molina from suggesting even more potential strategies to “deepen the fight against drug trafficking.”His first proposal suggested compensation for Central American countries for every kilogram of drugs seized or destroyed. Guatemalan authorities recently destroyed the equivalent of $838 million of poppy plants. If the proposal were implemented, the United States would be asked to pay Guatemala $838 million. Being able to determine the destination of such drugs and accurately value them could be contentious, and concurrence with such a policy on the part of the U.S. seems unlikely.Another proposal would establish a temporary Central American drug trafficking court. Any crime – from murder to money laundering – associated with drug trafficking would be tried in the court. Pérez Molina said that such a body would alleviate the strain on justice systems in the region, especially those in Guatemala and Honduras, where impunity is rampant.Another proposal suggested legalization of the transport of illicit drugs in the region, a policy that would allow traffickers to move freely within the countries. Pérez Molina described the region as “sandwiched between producer and consumer countries” and suffering unjustly for their location.While leaders agreed a new policy is needed and declared their support for Pérez Molina, their absence during the presentation of the new proposals was notable. The Guatemalan president cited “travel urgency” as the seven delegations left before his 20-minute press conference.  Nevertheless, Guatemalan Foreign Minister Harold Caballeros said, “Chinchilla and Martinelli’s responses to the proposals were magnificent.”If the decriminalization proposal was used simply to get the attention of the U.S. and other countries – as many analysts have suggested – it seems to be working. U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano visited the region in late February. U.S. Vice President Joe Biden met with regional leaders soon after. And William Brownfield, U.S. assistant secretary of state for the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, toured Guatemala and Honduras this week. On Friday, Costa Rica’s Chinchilla traveled to New York to meet with U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon also to discuss drug trafficking and violence in Central America.The region’s leaders do agree with Pérez Molina that “the fight against drug trafficking in the last 40 years has failed.” While they have not reached a consensus on the specific policies yet, Central Americans can expect their leaders to announce changes in the fight against drug trafficking soon. Regional heads of state will meet again April 11-12, two days before the Summit of the Americas in Cartagena, Colombia. Facebook Comments No related posts.last_img read more

Nairobi flights cancelled due to airport fire

first_imgPassengers flying in and out of Nairobi can expect delays and re-scheduling after a fire broke out at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport.In the early hours of 7 August, Kenyan authorities stopped all flight operations to and from the airport, as the fire caused disruption and damage to the airport.South African Airways (SAA) have cancelled all flights to and from the airport until further notice.Meanwhile, Kenya Airways was also forced to cancel flights but expects the first flight out of Nairobi to Mombasa to depart at 7:00pm local time today.A statement from the Kenya Tourist Board confirmed a contingency plan is in place to “stabilise the situation and to return the airport to normal operations”.“There is no loss of life,” the statement read.“We want to guarantee the safety and security of all passengers, and that is our most important consideration at this time.”In the meantime, for passengers wishing to cancel or reschedule their flights, SAA advises to note the following:· Affected customers will be offered the following assistance either via SAA call centres, ticket offices or through their travel agent:· Rebooking on the next available flight (same cabin/booking class) is subject to space;· All date and flight change fees will be waived;· This will applies to SAA tickets only;· The offer must be taken up and tickets re-issued through an SAA office by 12 August 2013;· If moving travel to a later date, all travel must commence on/before 21 August 2013.Source = ETB News; LB Flights in and out of Nairobi disrupted due to closure of Jomo Kenyatta International Airport. Image: commons.wikimedia.orglast_img read more

Scoot will take over a number of SilkAirs routes

first_imgScoot will take over a number of SilkAir’s routes over the next two years, ahead of SilkAir’s merger into Singapore Airlines (SIA). Scoot will also be transferring some of its services to existing destinations served by SIA and SilkAir.The changes are expected to take place between April 2019 and the second half of 2020. They are the result of a detailed review to identify which airlines in the SIA Group portfolio are best suited to meet evolving customer demand. The changes, which are subject to regulatory approvals, are planned as follows:From SilkAir to Scoot:Luang Prabang and Vientiane in Laos, in April 2019Coimbatore, Trivandrum and Visakhapatnam in India, between May 2019 and October 2019Changsha, Fuzhou, Kunming and Wuhan in China, between May 2019 and June 2019Chiang Mai[1] in Thailand, in October 2019Kota Kinabalu in Malaysia, in December 2019Balikpapan, Lombok, Makassar, Manado, Semarang and Yogyakarta in Indonesia, between May 2020 and July 2020From Scoot to SIA (Both are existing SIA destinations):Bengaluru and Chennai in India, in May 2019 and May 2020From Scoot to SilkAir (Both are existing SilkAir destinations):Shenzhen in China, from June 2019Kochi in India, from October 2019In addition, SilkAir will be converting its Mandalay route to a seasonal service. Existing services will end in March 2019 and will resume in November 2019, continuing until January 2020. Scoot will meanwhile be suspending services to Honolulu with effect from June 2019 as a result of weak demand.Dates are indicative as a result of required regulatory approvals. Customers with existing bookings will be provided the option to switch to the new Scoot, SIA or SilkAir flights where possible, or be provided refunds.“We are now at the half-way mark in our three-year Transformation Programme, and today’s announcement represents another significant development. The route review will strengthen the SIA Group for the long term, with the right vehicles in our portfolio of airlines deployed to the right markets,” said SIA CEO, Mr Goh Choon Phong.SIA announced in May that its regional wing SilkAir is to undergo a significant investment programme to upgrade its cabin products ahead of its eventual merger into SIA. The programme will see SilkAir’s cabins fitted with new lie-flat seats in Business Class, and the installation of seat-back in-flight entertainment systems in both Business Class and Economy Class.The investments will ensure closer product and service consistency across the SIA Group’s full-service network. Low-cost subsidiary Scoot’s fleet will meanwhile be expanded with the transfer of 14 Boeing 737-800s from SilkAir, while SilkAir will continue growing its operations in the years ahead as it takes delivery of new Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft. ScootSIASilkairSingapore Airlineslast_img read more