Man charged after concrete blocks dropped from overpass onto Toronto highway

first_imgTORONTO – A man accused of hurling concrete blocks from overpasses onto a major Toronto highway is facing multiple charges in connection with the alleged incidents.Ontario Provincial Police Sgt. Kerry Schmidt says in one of the incidents a piece of cinder block went through the roof of a vehicle on Highway 401 and landed in the passenger seat.Schmidt says the cinder block could have easily killed someone.He says there were no injuries in the incidents — one on Sunday and two on Wednesday — but another vehicle also was damaged.Schmidt says a tip from the public led to the arrest.A 32-year-old Pickering, Ont., man is charged with three counts of mischief-endangering life.“This is incredibly dangerous,” Schmidt said Thursday. “When people are throwing, not just bricks, but full cinder block pieces of cement off of an overpass onto traffic below, the results can be absolutely deadly.”last_img read more

In the news today May 9

first_imgFive stories in the news for Thursday, May 9———‘YOU ARE FREE TO LEAVE’: INSIDE THE NORMAN COURTROOMVice-Admiral Mark Norman had walked up to the entrance of the Ottawa courthouse dozens of previous times over the past year, yet this time was different: This would be the last time. Like on all those other occasions, the military’s former second-in-command was dressed in full uniform as he approached the courthouse’s heavy glass doors with his wife Beverly and lawyers Marie Henein and Christine Mainville. Just outside the doors, he was greeted by an unexpected supporter: outgoing Liberal MP and former lieutenant-general Andrew Leslie, who was revealed just last week as a potential defence witness.———AASIA BIBI ARRIVES IN CANADA: LAWYERConservatives in Canada want the federal government and the international community to push Pakistan to address its “abhorrent misuse of blasphemy laws” after the safe arrival in Canada of a Christian woman who spent eight years on Pakistan’s death row. Aasia Bibi’s lawyer told The Canadian Press she arrived in Canada Tuesday morning, though he had not spoken to her before she left. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said last November that Canada was in talks with the Pakistani government about Bibi but would not comment on the case Wednesday, citing “sensitive privacy issues and security issues.”———HUAWEI’S MENG TO SEEK STAY OF EXTRADITIONThe defence team for Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou says it plans to argue that she shouldn’t be extradited to the United States because she hasn’t violated sanctions under Canadian laws and her arrest at Vancouver’s airport was unlawful. The defence summarized arguments it plans to pursue during a hearing Wednesday at B.C. Supreme Court where key court dates were to be set for the extradition case, which has not yet begun. Her lawyers allege Meng was the victim of two “abuses of power,” first by Canadian arresting authorities and then by U.S. President Donald Trump, and they plan to make an argument based on “double criminality,” related to different sanction and fraud laws in the United States and Canada.———TORONTO MAN WHO KILLED WIFE TO BE SENTENCEDA Toronto man who brutally murdered his wife and stuffed her body in a suitcase in an effort to hide his crime is scheduled to be sentenced today. Neurosurgeon Mohammed Shamji, 43, pleaded guilty last month to second-degree murder in the death of 40-year-old Elana Fric Shamji, a well-respected family doctor. Court heard Fric Shamji served her husband with divorce papers two days before he attacked her, broke her neck and ribs, and choked her to death as their three children slept nearby. Her mother told court at Wednesday’s sentencing hearing that Shamji destroyed their entire family, leaving them heartbroken and filled with rage.———B.C.’S ARCHIE WINDSOR LAUGHS ABOUT ROYAL BABY LINKAt first, Archie Windsor of Duncan, B.C., says he was shocked to learn he had the same last name as the newest royal, but then he saw the humour. He says his father worked in the woods all his life and his nickname was Duke. Windsor, who’s 71, first heard about the connection in a conversation with his daughter in Edmonton on Wednesday. Prince Harry and Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, named their son Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor.———ALSO IN THE NEWS:— The Commons justice committee hears from groups for a study about online hate. Among the groups and individuals: Canadian Anti-Hate Network, Centre culturel islamique de Quebec, National Council of Canadian Muslims, and Andrew Bennett, former head of federal office of religious freedom.— Seidu Mohammed, who lost his fingers to frostbite crossing by foot into Canada to file a refugee claim, appears before the Commons finance committee on Bill C-97, an Act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on March 19, 2019, and other measures. Also appearing is economist Kevin Milligan, Universities Canada and the Canadian Alliance of Student Associations.— The Canada Border Services Agency, the Canadian Snowbird Association and officials from the Finance and Transport departments appear before Commons transport committee about temporary use in Canada, by Canadians, of American-plated vehicles.— Google Canada’s head of public policy, Colin McKay, and counsel, Jason J. Kee, appear before the Commons information, privacy and ethics committee to discuss election advertising on YouTube.———The Canadian Presslast_img read more

Montrealborn Erdem among winners at Canadian Arts Fashion Awards

first_imgThe acclaimed Montreal-born, London-based talent behind the Erdem label was awarded the prize for international Canadian designer of the year at a gala in Toronto on Friday night. Celebrated American fashion and interior designer Iris Apfel was honoured with the inaugural international style icon award. Facebook It’s the second win in the category for the red-carpet favourite, whose creations have been worn by the likes of the Duchess of Cambridge and a long list of Hollywood A-listers. He also won the award in 2015. Advertisement Advertisement LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Photographer Caitlin Cronenberg was named image maker of the year, while Juliana Schiavinatto was awarded stylist of the year. Jewelry designer Jenny Bird got accessory designer of the year honours. Two prizes were given to emerging talents: womenswear label Maram was honoured in the fashion design category, while 3D printed jewelry creators Daniel Christian Tang got the nod in the accessory category. The winners of the emerging talent awards will each take home $10,000 and receive professional mentorship from industry veterans. TORONTO — Celebrated designer Erdem Moralioglu has scored another big win at the Canadian Arts & Fashion Awards. Twittercenter_img The vanguard award went to Imran Amed, founder and CEO of The Business of Fashion. Montreal-based retail technology platform Salesfloor received the fashion innovation award. Twin sisters Caillianne and Samantha Beckerman of Beckerman Blog were honoured in the digital fashion influencer category, while Xiaoyi Li received the fashion design student award. Advertisement Edmonton-born Meghan Collison was named model of the year, while Oakville, Ont., native Emm Arruda received the fresh face of the year award. Login/Register With: Veteran womenswear designer David Dixon was honoured with the fashion impact award which recognizes a Canadian designer or brand that has made a significant social or philanthropic impact. Chloe and Parris Gordon, the sister duo behind the womenswear and accessory label Beaufille, took home the womenswear award. The award recognizes a designer who has achieved success abroad and brought attention to Canadian talent on the world stage. The Feral by Zakariah Milana received the prize for menswear designer of the year.last_img read more

SecretaryGeneral calls for unity against climate change better access to resources

Addressing the Security Council’s open debate on energy, security and climate, Mr. Ban pointed to recent UN evidence showing not only that the planet’s warming is unequivocal but also that its impact is clearly noticeable, and “beyond doubt that human activities have been contributing considerably to it.”“I firmly believe that today, all countries recognize that climate change, in particular, requires a long-term global response, in line with the latest scientific findings, and compatible with economic and social development,” he said.“Adverse effects are already felt in many areas, including agriculture and food security; oceans and coastal areas; biodiversity and ecosystems; water resources; human health; human settlements; energy, transport and industry; and extreme weather events,” he said.He warned that that projected changes in the earth’s climate are more than an environmental concern. “They can also have serious social and economic implications.”Mr. Ban illustrated his remarks with six possible scenarios showing the danger to world security caused by increasing climate change, coupled with States’ lack of access to scarce resources, including limited or threatened access to energy.He pointed out that human relations are easier at times of plenty but when resources are scarce the earth’s fragile ecosystems become strained, along with “the coping mechanisms of groups and individuals,” and this can lead to a “breakdown of established codes of conduct, and even outright conflict.” Calling for the involvement of civil society and the private sector, he said the Security Council “has a role to play in working with other competent intergovernmental bodies to address the possible root causes of conflict discussed today.”Mr. Ban pledged the UN’s readiness to assist in this effort. “I personally look forward to engaging with Member States on these issues, and hope that through discussions in various fora, we can develop a broad consensus on the way forward,” he concluded.Representatives from over 50 Member States spoke during the day-long debate, expressing a wide range of viewpoints.German Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development Heidemarie Wieczorek-Zeul, also speaking for the European Union, said the world was expecting “new and determined measures from governments and the UN” on climate change. “The EU is prepared to play its part in efforts to address these challenges at the global level and is calling upon others to do the same,” he said.Qatar’s Ambassador, Abdulaziz Al-Nasser, said international efforts to address climate change had failed so far because the problem had become completely separated from the issue of development. “We firmly believe that any successful solution to the climate change problem must emerge as part of an integrated approach to sustainable development,” he said.Speaking on behalf of Pacific Small Island States, Papua New Guinea’s Ambassador Robert Aisi reminded the Council that the islands were already feeling the effects of climate change, through more intense cyclones, a rising number of “king tides,” and increasing incidence of vector-borne diseases such as malaria and dengue fever. “Climate change, climate variability, and sea-level rise are therefore not just environmental concerns, but also economic, social and political issues for Pacific Island countries. They strike the very heart of our existence,” he said.Several African countries supported the Council’s discussion of climate change, in contrast to the representative of the Group of 77 (G-77), a coalition of developing countries, who said it was best dealt with by the 192-member General Assembly and other bodies rather than by the 15-member Security Council.Ghanaian representative Leslie K. Christian said: “It is our fervent hope that the repeated alarm about the grave threats posed by climate change, especially to regions that are already struggling with chronic instability, shall lead to action that is timely, concerted and sustainable, in order to alleviate the negative consequences of the phenomenon.”However, Pakistani Representative Farukh Amil, speaking for the G-77, said the issue of climate change did not belong in the Security Council, but rather in the General Assembly, the Economic and Social Council, the Commission on Sustainable Development, and in the Climate Change Convention.“We hope that the decision by the Council to hold this debate does not create a precedent or undermine the authority or mandate of the relevant bodies, process and instrument, which are already addressing these issues,” said Mr. Amil. 17 April 2007Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today called for a “long-term global response” to deal with climate change, along with unified efforts involving the Security Council, Member States and other international bodies to deal with the problem of scare resources, warning that countries’ lack of access to water, energy and other essentials can lead to conflict. read more

Indian housing project nears completion in North and East

The Indian Housing Project, under which 46,000 houses are to be constructed or repaired in the Northern and Eastern Provinces and 4,000 houses constructed in the Central and Uva Provinces, is nearing completion in the Northern and Eastern Provinces, the Indian High Commission in Colombo said today.As on 31 December 2015, a total of 43,800 houses have been completed, the High Commission said. During 2015, the High Commission says, 13,827 new houses were constructed in the Northern Province, and 2,051 in the Eastern Province. In addition, 502 damaged houses were repaired in the Northern Province. Only 2,200 houses remain to be constructed or repaired in the Northern and Eastern Provinces, which is expected to be completed during the next few months. Under the pilot phase of the Project, which was completed in July 2012, the Government of India entrusted an agency to construct 1,000 houses in the Northern Province. An innovative owner-driven model is being pursued to implement the second phase to construct 45,000 houses in the Northern and Eastern Provinces, wherein the Government of India arranges technical support and financial assistance for the owner-beneficiaries to undertake the construction / repair of their houses themselves. In June 2010, the Government of India announced that it would construct 50,000 houses in Sri Lanka as part of post-conflict rehabilitation efforts. The Project is being implemented as full grant assistance amounting to USD 270 million (approximately SLR 30 billion) from the Government of India, making it one of the largest grant assistance projects ever undertaken by India overseas. Financial assistance of SLR 550,000 per beneficiary (SLR 250,000 in case of repair cases) is released in stages, and transferred directly into the bank accounts of the beneficiaries by the High Commission of India. The project is being implemented in close consultation with the Government of Sri Lanka and other stakeholders, and the highest standards of objectivity and transparency are being followed, both for beneficiary selection and payment mechanism.The third phase, to construct 4,000 houses in the Central and Uva Provinces through an innovative community-driven approach, will be launched very shortly. read more

Could we be any more excited Friends fans nuts for merch

NEW YORK — See your “Friends” on the big screen. Deck out your place with “Friends” furniture. Wear your “Friends” as jewelry. Heck, buy the “Friends” Lego set and pretend it’s for your kid.If you’re a “Friends” superfan, there are lots of ways to celebrate the show’s 25th anniversary on Sept. 22.“It transcends generations,” Maryellen Zarakas, a Warner Bros. senior vice-president, said of the show that ended after 10 seasons in 2004. “Everybody still goes through growing up into your 20s when you get your first job, your first heartbreak, your first time your friends really become your family.”The studio has partnered with a range of companies to celebrate the quarter-century mark. Here’s a look at some of the fun:___THE FATHOM EVENTFans broke Fathom Events’ website, for about 15 minutes anyway, when tickets went on sale for three days of movie house screenings of popular episodes. A dozen episodes are hitting movie theatres Sept. 23, 28 and Oct. 2. Each night includes four “Friends” episodes that have been newly remastered in 4K from the original 35mm camera negatives. There will also be never-before-seen extras.“It’s those really iconic moments that people want to see over and over again,” Zarakas said. “That’s how the Fathom Event came about.”Tom Lucas, a Fathom vice-president, said the idea was to “allow a group of friends, for lack of a better word, to go together and enjoy it on the big screen.”Fathom has more than 1,400 theatres on board. That amounts to well over 200,000 seats available each night, making it the largest Fathom Event ever, Lucas said.___THE LEGOSIs your brick building stuck in second gear? Maybe a Central Perk set will help. It goes on sale Sept. 1 for $59.99 at Lego stores and on collectible set recreates the gang’s coffee shop and comes with figures of the six buddies, plus Gunther. There’s a seating area, including — YES — the couch, an armchair and two other chairs.Builders can construct the stage where Phoebe performed “Smelly Cat.” There’s a brick-built coffee machine, walls, a window with the Central Perk logo, TV studio light rigs, coffee mugs, flowers and the familiar low table.The set came together with the help of Lego fans who are asked each year what sets they’d like to see.“It’s the fans who really wanted to do a ‘Friends’ set,” Zarakas said. “When we heard about that we were, of course, all in.”___THE POP-UPSIn New York, tickets sold out in two hours for “The One with the Pop-Up” immersive experience in Manhattan. The monthlong pop-up opens Sept. 7 and runs through Oct. 6. It includes Central Perk, props for photos, and some of the iconic looks for Ross, Rachel, Joey, Monica, Chandler and Phoebe.“It’s for the ultimate ‘Friends’ fan,” Zarakas said. “You can peek through Rachel and Monica’s very famous purple door. You can relax on Chandler and Joey’s recliner.”Lines have been around the corner for the Central Perk pop-up in Santa Monica, California. The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf created a ‘gram-worthy “Friends” experience, orange couch included. There’s memorabilia from the sitcom and specialty drinks named for its cast: The Rachel Matcha Latte, The Joey Mango Cold Brew Tea and The Phoebe Cookies & Cream Ice Blend among them.The Coffee Bean did the same pop-up in West Hollywood. Both end Friday.___THE BLINGThe moments, the one-liners, the memories. You can have them all in accessories from the eco-conscious Alex and Ani. The brand has created a seven-piece “Friends” capsule line of mostly charm bracelets to mark the anniversary.Choose from a “pivot, pivot, pivot” theme, one with a lobster and “you’re my lobster” charms or Joey’s “how you doin?” line, among others. The Central Perk logo, the famous picture frame and the “Friends” logo bar are available for the wrist and neck.Prices range from $39 to $49, available at“This married really nicely with the show,” Zarakas said. “It’s a wink and a nod.”___THE DECORCould we be any more excited?Pottery Barn takes a turn at “Friends’” merch with everything from mugs to tea towels and a reissue of the famous apothecary coffee table that Rachel tried to pass off as flea market to roommate Phoebe, who was not a Pottery Barn fan.The Season Six episode was aptly named “The One with the Apothecary Table.” The assortment also includes throw pillows with Monica’s purple apartment door, the tufted Central Perch couch and classic quotes like “Joey Doesn’t Share Food.”They even threw in wall art memorializing the show’s theme song and a doormat with the series’ logo.Shop online at but beware, some items have already sold out.Leanne Italie, The Associated Press read more

Marking World Population Day UN urges support for reproductive health services

United Nations officials observed World Population Day today by calling for greater support for reproductive health strategies as one of the key tools in the wider battle against poverty.In a message to mark the occasion, Secretary-General Kofi Annan recalled that eight years ago at the International Conference on Population and Development in Cairo, countries committed themselves to the goal of providing universal access to reproductive health services by the year 2015. That target was part of a larger package aimed at empowering women, promoting gender equality, slowing and eventually stabilizing population growth, and fostering sustainable development.Since then, improved levels of schooling, higher survival rates of children, and better access to reproductive health services, including voluntary family planning, have helped to advance the Cairo agenda, Mr. Annan noted.“This virtuous circle in turn makes further progress possible,” the Secretary-General said. “When individuals and couples are given a real choice, many decide to have smaller, healthier families and invest more in each child’s future. And because there are fewer dependents to support, the downturn in fertility translates into potential economic growth within a generation.”Echoing that theme, the Executive Director of the UN Population Fund (UNFPA), Thoraya Obaid, said in a message that the men and women stuck in extreme poverty lacked opportunities and basic services to improve their situations, and urged greater efforts to support family planning.The Executive Director also pointed out that perhaps nowhere was the need for reproductive health services more urgent than in the fight against HIV/AIDS. “Of all groups, women and youth are the most vulnerable,” she said. “Reproductive health services that empower women and young people with HIV/AIDS life-saving messages and skills will help stop HIV/AIDS from spreading and reduce further suffering and social and economic disruption.”Ms. Obaid said that the war on poverty would not be won unless more resources were directed to women and reproductive health. “Developing countries that have invested in health and education, enabling women to make their own fertility choices, have registered faster economic growth than those that have not,” she noted. “When couples can choose the number, timing and spacing of their children, they are better able to ensure there are enough resources for each family member to prosper and thrive.” read more

Florida St women beat No 12 Iowa for Junkanoo Jam title

BIMINI, Bahamas — Nausia Woolfolk scored 15 of her career-high 25 points in the second half to help Florida State beat No. 12 Iowa 71-67 on Saturday night in the championship game of the Junkanoo Jam.Kiah Gillespie had 13 points and nine rebounds, Valencia Myers added 10 and nine and Nicki Ekhomu also scored 10 for Florida State.Tania Davis was fouled as she hit a 3-pointer that trimmed Iowa’s deficit to 69-67 with 5.7 seconds left but she missed the free throw. Myers grabbed the rebound, was fouled and hit both free throws to cap the scoring.Davis led the Hawkeyes (4-1) with 22 points, including 17 in the second half, and six assists. Megan Gustafson had 16 points, on 8-of-8 shooting, and eight rebounds and Hannah Stewart added 14 points and nine rebounds.Alexis Sevillian scored four points as the Hawkeyes jumped to an 8-0 lead and Makenzie Meyer’s layup gave them an 18-10 lead early in the second quarter. Woolfolk answered with a 3-pointer and then made two free throws as FSU scored the first nine points during a 20-6 run that gave the Seminoles the lead for good when Sayawni Lassiter hit a 3-pointer with 3:51 left that made it 30-24 in the first half. Iowa committed seven of its 19 turnovers in the second quarter.Woolfolk made 8 of 11 from the free-throw line, where Florida State (6-1) outscored Iowa 14-3. The Hawkeyes, who came in averaging 20.5 free-throw attempts per game, shot just four free throws Saturday.The Associated Press read more

Twentyone migrants including children as young as 12 found inside lorry in

Twenty-one migrants including children as young as 12 were found inside a refrigerated lorry in Sussex, it is understood. The 11 children and 10 adults are thought to be from Vietnam, and the group were found concealed in a shipment of sparkling water at the port of Newhaven on Thursday.Although the children were cold, they are said to have not needed medical treatment and have been taken into the care of social services.The lorry was stopped on its arrival from the French port of Dieppe.A Romanian man, believed to be the driver, was arrested and charged with assisting unlawful entry into the UK.Andrut Mihai Duma, 29, is being held in custody until a hearing at Lewes Crown Court on November 26.A man aged 18 and a woman aged 27 have been removed from the UK, while the remaining four – a woman and three men – are at immigration detention centres. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. read more

Government asks experts for advice on Irelands underexplored oil and gas

first_imgTHE GOVERNMENT IS seeking advice from experts on how best to capitalise on Ireland’s natural resources.The Department for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources has sought tenders for the provision of expert advice on how best to maximise the benefits of Ireland’s offshore oil and gas resources.The terms of reference for potential applicants note that Ireland’s indigenous oil and gas resources belong to the people of the country.“Ireland’s offshore whilst holding great promise is relatively underexplored with only four commercial gas finds to date,” Minister Rabbitte said. “In setting our fiscal terms we need to strike the necessary balance between attracting the high-risk exploration investment needed to prove that promise whilst maximising the return to the State and its citizens from our natural resources.”Experts hired following a procurement procedure will be asked to focus on what monetary gain can be achieved – and how that could be done.The government says it wants to be competitive in order to attract investment in exploration.“The Government’s strategy for the exploitation of the State’s natural oil and gas resources aims to maximise the level of exploration activity and increase the level of production activity, while ensuring a fair return to the people from these activities,” added junior minister Fergus O’Dowd.Ireland competes for mobile exploration investment in the same way it competes for other forms of foreign direct investment.Tenderers will be asked to examine the petroleum prospectivity of the Irish offshore and Ireland’s “relative attractiveness as a location for mobile international exploration investment”.Taoiseach: “This is the Haddington Road Agreement, it will not be renegotiated”Related: Just four commercial gas discoveries since the 70s but minister remains positiveMore: Rise in Bord Gáis Energy Index for second consecutive month blamed on Syrialast_img read more

Explainer Could the USRussia standoff in Syria end in violent conflict

first_img 14,774 Views Russian ammunition ready to be loaded onto a warplane in Syria. Source: Vadim Savitsky/PAIn response to Russia’s threat, Australia also temporarily suspended air operations in Syria during the week.Why now? The conflict in Syria is entering a vital phase in which the Islamic State’s areas of control are dwindling and Assad’s forces are retaking cities that had been held by the opposition.It means that both Russia and the US may be looking to assert their influence in the region should the conflict be moving towards a messy conclusion.The likelihood of such an outcome was further underlined on Thursday when French President Emmanuel Macron stated that the departure of Assad was no longer seen as a priority.Macron said the international community had made a “collective error” in thinking the conflict could be solved “only with military force”, adding:My deep conviction is that we need a political and diplomatic roadmap.What next?The next round of UN-led peace talks on Syria start on 10 July in Geneva.The aim will be to create such a roadmap on ending the six-year war but UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres urged people to be realistic.Guterres said that given the “complexity of the situation… I don’t want to create false expectations about immediate results” from the upcoming round of negotiations.Instead, Guterres expressed concerns about the increased tensions between the US and Russia.“Indeed I am concerned and I hope that this will not lead to any escalation of the conflict that is already as dramatic as it is,” Guterres told a news conference at UN headquarters. United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres. Source: Bebeto Matthews/PA Images“I strongly hope that there will be a de-escalation of the situation because these kinds of incidents can be very dangerous in a conflict situation in which there are so many actors and in which the situation is so complex on the ground,” said Guterres.The United Nations is preparing to host in Geneva a new round of talks on ending the six-year war.Guterres said that given the “complexity of the situation… I don’t want to create false expectations about immediate results” from the upcoming round of negotiations.- With reporting by © – AFP 2017Read: Russia warns it will ‘treat US planes as targets’ after jet shot down >Read: A childhood shattered by ‘grown-up stuff’ – the diary of an eight-year-old girl who survived Aleppo > By Rónán Duffy Source: Al Jazeera English/YouTubeTENSIONS BETWEEN US and Russian forces operating in Syria have increased in the past week leading to concerns over a serious escalation in the six-year-old conflict.The UN has called recent events “very dangerous” and has restated the importance of peace talks taking place next month.What’s more, the increased tensions are coming at a time when the so-called Islamic State is on the run in the country and its stronghold of Raqqa looks set to fall.What has happened?Last Sunday, a US jet shot down a warplane of Bashar al-Assad’s Syrian government. The US says the warplane was bombing US-backed local Syrian forces.Russia, who backs the Syrian government, condemned the action and threatened that any US or coalition aircraft flying west of the Euphrates river risked being shot down.“Any flying objects, including planes and drones of the international coalition, discovered west of the Euphrates River will be tracked as aerial targets by Russia’s air defences on and above ground,” Russia’s defence ministry said. A missile is fired from Iran towards Syria. Source: AP/PA ImagesIn response, the Pentagon said the US had taken “prudent measures to reposition aircraft over Syria” to ensure the safety of pilots.Two days later, Russia said it was suspending a special hotline to communicate with the US-led coalition about operations in Syria, raising the risk of a military mishap.The line was established in October 2015 after Russia entered Syria’s civil war to prop up President Bashar al-Assad.Both sides agreed to open a regular communications channel after several instances in which Russian and US planes or drones had come close to each other, raising the nightmare prospect of a mid-air collision or some other dangerous encounter.It’s feared such an encounter could escalate into a dangerous confrontation between Russia and the US. Short URL 19 Comments center_img Share48 Tweet Email Explainer: Could the US-Russia standoff in Syria end in violent conflict? Syria’s war is entering a vital phase. Jun 24th 2017, 4:00 PM Saturday 24 Jun 2017, 4:00 PM Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this articlelast_img read more

Melbourne Uni to welcome Greek researchers

first_img Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram With Greece’s economic status currently in turmoil, the University of Melbourne’s Professor Christos Pantelis has been actively thinking up ways to help his fellow Greek researchers abroad. Inspired by his recent trip to Greece, where he took part in the World Federation of Societies of Biological Psychiatry at Athens University, the professor of neuropsychiatry is actively pursuing the development of a fellowship for young Greek researchers. “It was a great trip. It also gave me the opportunity to meet with a number of academics in psychiatry, but also young researchers. What really impressed me was you’ve a number of enthusiastic people with lots of good ideas, who are finding it very difficult to take forward these ideas, because of issues that Greece is facing currently.“Some of these young researchers are working and doing their work without any pay at all, which is extraordinary,” Professor Pantelis tells Neos Kosmos. Invited to give the opening keynote talk of congress, the professor was also conferred the university’s highest distinction, the Doctor Honoris Causa, which he says was the greatest honour.For many years he has been working alongside Professor Stan Skafidas on the genetics of autism and has identified pathways in the brain that could play a pivotal role in what underlies the condition. Taking their findings to the next level, most recently the duo have been looking at the development of potential new medications for autism, with the help of fellow researcher Arthur Christopoulos of the Monash institute.“It’s a long way yet before we know whether this might be fruitful, but it’s certainly exciting and a way forward for a condition where there are no treatments at the moment,” he says. Simultaneously, the academics have continued to research schizophrenia, with results showing a potential overlap between the biology that underlies the two disorders. While this is an exciting time for the professor, he hopes to be able to use his connections at the university to establish further collaborative links with Greece to support the work of Greek researchers.“We’re hearing about all the problems, but I want to emphasise the fabulous stuff I saw and what I really want to do is see if we can support them in their work. I think it’s always exciting to see young people with great ideas, and we need to help them to move forward in that regard,” Professor Pantelis explains. The professor plans to meet with the advancement of the University in the coming weeks and has his sights set on establishing the fellowship as soon as possible. If you are interested in learning more about the fellowship, and what you can do to help, contact Professor Christos Pantelis at read more

News Report cites Bahamas refugee laws lacking UNHCR to help

first_imgFacebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Related Items: Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp#Bahamas, August 17, 2017 – Nassau – The United Nations Human Rights Commission is telling a local newspaper that Bahamas laws are lagging when it comes to how legitimate refugees are handled; and it is leading to outrageously lengthy detention times for those who rightly fall into the category.   The Tribune reports that this is a twenty year old problem, and despite the fact that The Bahamas has signed onto the conventions since 1993, which would necessitate these laws, the legal framework is simply absent.UNHCR Assistant Protection Officer, Deneisha Moss Balboni said, “…if you look at the people who are admitted into a process and have access to UNHCR, there are still ongoing gaps because there are no guarantees under Bahamian law for people who are recognized as refugees.    So things that are protections that are provided for in the refugee convention that people don’t have access to, for example the right to be issued ID documents and whatever necessary residence permit to facilitate a refugee’s continued stay in a country of asylum, or a right to gainful employment so they could become self-sufficient or the right to access basic healthcare and education.”No law it seems, equates to no respect for the right of that UNHCR refugee and for 12 detainees at the Carmichael Road detention center, who were recently released it meant being held for years and years and years without any criminal charge.   Bascially, local laws should allow the proven refugee to have freedom of movement.Moss Balboni reports that the Government is prepared to fill the legislative gaps with some formal mechanisms, adding that as an advisor for the United Nations, her outlook for the future is bright as The Bahamas aims to get this right.#MagneticMediaNewsPhoto Credit: The Tribunelast_img read more

Giuseppe Marotta apponited Inter Milan CEO

first_imgFormer Juventus director Giuseppe Marotta has today officially joined Inter Milan as chief executive officer for sport.Marotta took to Twitter to announce the news in a video message and Inter Milan held a board meeting on Thursday to ratify his appointment.#Marotta: “Da oggi farò parte della grande Inter, per me è motivo di grande orgoglio” #FCIM— Inter (@Inter) December 13, 2018At the end of October, Juventus terminated Marotta’s contract as CEO.Franck Ribery, FiorentinaFiorentina owner: “Ribery played better than Ronaldo!” Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Fiorentina owner Rocco Commisso was left gushing over Franck Ribery’s performance against Juventus, which he rates above that of even Cristiano Ronaldo’s.“I am happy and proud to be beginning a new professional challenge at a prestigious club such as Inter,” Marotta told Sky Sports.“President Steven Zhang has an ambitious project and I am looking forward to becoming an active part of that.“It’s certainly going to be an important chapter in my professional life, and I will have a great responsibility but that doesn’t daunt me.“It is the start of a new chapter and it must be one marked by success.”Marotta will work alongside chief executive officer corporate Alessandro Antonello, who is now in charge of all corporate activities.last_img read more

ASAs International Efforts Receive Praise from Secretary Vilsack

first_imgSecretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack singled out the ASA when answering a question at a recent conference on Feed the Future, hosted by the U.S. Agency for International Development.  Sec. Vilsack’s speech to about 400 USAID staff and stakeholders cited the many programs the USDA manages that contribute to agricultural development.When asked how the private sector can get involved, Sec. Vilsack specifically lauded the ASA’s work around the world. He suggested that more economic development increases both food security and our own national security. He also challenged everyone involved in Feed the Future efforts to talk about the good work that is going on around the world to increase small farmers’ livelihoods and improve people’s nutrition. Click here to learn more.last_img

An Anchorage House Member Has Introduced A Gun Bill

first_imgThe bill would allow authorities to temporarily take guns from people deemed to be a danger to themselves or others. The bill has been pending for over a year but is just getting attention now following the shooting in Parkland, Florida, on February 14.  The bill was introduced in 2017, after an Anchorage man was charged in the shooting deaths of five people at a Florida airport. House Judiciary Committee Chairman Matt Claman says formal requests must be made for a bill to be heard and he doesn’t think one was made until after the shooting. Representative Geran Tarr (D-Anchorage) introduced the bill that will go before the House Judiciary Committee this afternoon at 1 p.m. Facebook0TwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享An Anchorage area representative has introduced a bill that would permit family members or law enforcement to remove guns from someone they believe could harm themselves or others. House Bill 75 reads: “An Act relating to gun violence protective orders; relating to the crime of violating a protective order; relating to a central registry for protective orders; relating to the powers of district judges and magistrates; requiring physicians, psychologists, psychological associates, social workers, marital and family therapists, and licensed professional counselors to report annually threats of gun violence.” Story as aired: Audio PlayerJennifer-on-hb-75-noon.mp3VmJennifer-on-hb-75-noon.mp300:00RPdlast_img read more

The Onion Chops Its Remaining Print Circulation Seriously

first_imgAfter 25 years, The Onion’s satirical newspaper will become 100 percent digital at the close of 2013. At its peak, the publication was circulated in 17 cities nationwide, however that had been whittled down to just three–Chicago, Milwaukee and Providence.”The Onion’s focus in recent years has been on growing the digital side of our business,” president, Mike McAvoy tells FOLIO: in an email. “While the print edition is an important part of our history, we are very excited for the opportunities that come with prioritizing digital for even greater company growth.”Advertising for the print publication had been waning for several years, and as CRAIN’s Chicago Business points out, the most recent Chicago issue only had two pages of print advertising, hailing from one source. However, the publication suggests that digital native ad buys are growing nicely. And The Onion claims its audience has never been bigger or more engaged–thanks to the affordances of digital technology, which gives editors the flexibility to produce timely content.”Since this transitional process began, we have seen our audience grow stronger than ever, and our unique visitors to The Onion and A.V. Club sites have increased by more than 200 percent since July 2012,” McAvoy says. “Our success has allowed us to invest in our Onion Labs creative services business and, in a short time, Labs has completed projects with brands such as Home Depot, Lenovo, 7-Up, 7-Eleven, Clorox, YouTube and DSW.” Although The Onion is exiting one platform, it is still expanding its multiplatform strategy–which includes an Amazon-exclusive TV series titled Onion News Empire. Still, after 25 years The Onion certainly has a large library of content assets, but when asked, the company declines to address whether it will continue to leverage its assets for premium print products like anthology books. More on this topic ‘Funny’ is Money: How The Onion Transformed Its Business ‘Financial Constraints’ Force ASBPE to Cancel National Editorial Conference People on the Move | 7.19.12 CMP to Shutter Intelligent Enterprise Magazine, Keep Web Site Founder to Buy, Relaunch EGM Rising StarsJust In Meredith Corp. Makes Digital-Side Promotions | People on the Move BabyCenter Sold to Ziff Davis Parent J2 Media | News & Notes PE Firm Acquires Majority Stake in Industry Dive Bonnier Corp. Terminates Editor-in-Chief for Ethics Breach The Atlantic Names New Global Marketing Head | People on the Move Four More Execs Depart SourceMedia in Latest RestructuringPowered bylast_img read more

Aging Southeast Older residents impact regions economy

first_imgAs senior populations grow throughout Southeast Alaska, what kind of impact do they have on the economy? According to experts, it’s a good one. A state report on Alaska’s aging population said seniors contributed an estimated $2.4 billion to the economy in 2014. That comes mostly from retirement income, health-care spending and wages.As part of CoastAlaska’s Aging Southeast series, KHNS’s Emily Files takes a look at the senior economy from Haines.Download AudioHaines physical therapist Marnie Hartman works with 92-year-old patient Marge Ward. Hartman said most of her business comes from people 65 and older. (Photo by Emily Files, KHNS – Haines)Ron Jackson is 75 years old. He moved to Haines 15 years ago, after retirement.“This was the closest thing to home that I’d ever felt. So that was pretty cool. It was like, I belong here. And I’ve been here longer than I have any place in my life.”As Jackson puts it, in Haines, there’s “gray hair everywhere.” Eighteen percent of residents are 65 or older. And seniors are on track to make up more than a third of the population by 2024.Haines also has the oldest median age in the state – 48.5. That’s about 14 years above the state average and nine years above the region.How does the abundance of seniors in this 2,000-person town impact its economy?“One thing is that retirement income works as an injection into the economy, where it’s basically outside dollars that retirees are able to use on goods and services purchased locally. So it’s money that wouldn’t otherwise be circulating the economy,” said state economist Conor Bell.”“It does seem that we have a thriving senior community. A lot of our business is from the seniors,” said Christy Tengs, who owns the Bamboo Room Restaurant. The majority of customers she saw on a recent Monday morning were seniors.Jackson said older customers are especially important in communities such as Haines, where the economy booms in the summer and busts in the winter.Ron Jackson at a Haines coffee shop. He said, “Senior income is stable … it survives the ups and downs of an economy.” (Photo by Emily Files, KHNS – Haines)“Throughout that entire year, a senior income is stable, generally it’s some annuity that’s been earned or Social Security and it survives the ups and downs of an economy,” Jackson said.Economist Bell said another benefit that comes from a large senior population is increased demand for healthcare.Marnie Hartman, a doctor of physical therapy in Haines, said that’s been her experience.“I would say probably 50 to 60 percent of my patient base, depending on the flow at that time, qualifies for Medicare, which is 65 and older,” she said.After nine years at the local clinic, she opened her own practice. She wasn’t sure if she would have enough patients. But she’s been almost too busy to handle the load.Those 65 and older have a positive economic impact by bringing in stable, outside incomes and more healthcare spending. But what about the tax breaks they receive?Take for example, the state-mandated senior property tax exemption. It tells municipalities not to charge property tax on the first $150,000 value of a home.“So if you had a $200,000 house, you were only paying on $50,000,” said Kathie Wasserman, executive director of the Alaska Municipal League.AML is fighting the tax-exemption mandate. She said the state should reimburse local governments for the money lost on the exemption.“We have always said that municipalities need the freedom to look at this policy within their own community and say, ‘OK, this is our financial position at this time and we can afford this much, but we can’t afford to exempt everybody.’”State data shows that in Fiscal Year 2015, the exemption cost Southeast communities more than $5 million.In addition to that lost revenue, some municipalities have senior sales tax exemptions. Sitka, Petersburg and Juneau leaders are among those who have considered doing away with the breaks. With a rapidly aging population, some say they’re unsustainable. But all of those efforts were met with community backlash.“I think I paid my dues, I really, truly do. I’m 80 years old and I’m still working. And, I don’t know, it’s just disgusting that you keep picking on the old people,” Sitkan Shirley Robards told her community’s borough assembly in 2015.The only one of those three Southeast towns that successfully scaled back senior tax breaks is Juneau.Economist Bell said things like tax exemptions lead some people to view an aging population as inherently bad for an economy. But he disagrees.“It’s underrated the amount of impact retirees and an aging population can bring to a community,” Bell said.Jackson, the 75-year-old retiree, said Haines seniors are involved.“The definition of a senior isn’t an old person who sits around a lot and drains the system,” said Jackson. “They’re out there hiking the trails and working on projects.”He said aside from spending at local businesses, seniors volunteer and serve in government. And he’s not alone in that view. Many in Haines say the same thing – seniors here are active, they contribute to the community.last_img read more

SpiceJet plans to gain from ecommerce boom

first_imgBudget airline SpiceJet has reportedly charted out plans to take advantage of the booming e-commerce sector in the country, as it looks to raise revenue from new sources.The Gurgaon-based carrier plans to purchase 100 mini trucks and set up about 40 warehouses across the country to offer “fast delivery” services to the customers who order goods online, The Economic Times reported.The airline plans to run the mini trucks between warehouses and airports for transportation of goods.However, analysts caution that SpiceJet should concentrate on its core business rather than increasing focus on non-core segments.SpiceJet is also “experimenting” to transport cargo, particularly belonging to e-commerce firms, by carrying inside the cabin.”A pilot (study) was conducted on the Bengaluru-Mumbai late-night flight last month,” an executive familiar with the development told the daily.But there are some issues in carrying the cargo by this method, as using ropes to strap the cargo to the seats can “damage” them, the executive said.The airline’s revenue from non-core initiatives now stands at nearly 17 percent of its total income compared to about 6 percent a year earlier.SpiceJet reported a net profit of Rs 238.40 crore for the quarter ended Dec. 31, 2015, as against a loss of Rs 275 crore registered in the corresponding quarter last fiscal.A 35 percent decline in fuel costs due to low jet fuel prices enabled the company to stage a turnaround. Its shares went up over 300 percent in the last one year alone.Share price of SpiceJet traded over 1 percent higher on the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) on Monday, even as the benchmark indices fell by more than 1 percent.last_img read more

Facebook India posts 52 jump in revenues at Rs 521 crore profit

first_imgFacebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg at F8 conferenceFacebook NewsroomSocial media giant Facebook has reported a 40 per cent jump in its profit for the fiscal year ended in March 2018. The major reason attributed to this steep jump is the increased adoption of social media amid reduced cost of data usage.Notably, its total revenue surged 53 per cent in India which also represents the money it earned through Whatsapp. For the financial year 2018, the company’s total revenue stood at Rs 521 crore as against Rs 407 crore in the same period a year ago.The financial statement of the company also highlighted the several tax issues it is facing in India. As per the financial statement, Facebook is facing disputes related to income tax, VAT, sales tax, customs and excise and service tax.However, the industry experts are of the opinion that the figures may not accurately reflect the company’s earnings from the country. Amit Maheshwari, a partner at Ashok Maheshwary and Associates LLP, said: This may not accurately reflect the revenues of Facebook from India on account of online advertising.”The company in its financial statement has said that the numbers only represent services the India unit provides to the parent company based in the US. Facebook operates its Indian arm through a Singapore-registered company.According to the Economic Times, the latest Magna 2019 forecast shows that digital advertising is expected to reach at a level of Rs 18,802.3 crore, from Rs 14,162.2 crore in 2018. Of total Indian digital advertising spend, Google and Facebook has more than 65 per cent share.Interestingly, in last the two years, Facbook and Google have come under the tax department’s lens. Recently, the central government had introduced equalisation levy colloquially known as Google tax though which it collects six per cent tax from the online major on their domestic advertising revenues.Three major players — Google, Facebook and LinkedIn — contributes for the major part of the tax collection thorough equalization levy. The tax authorities in India adopt the principles from the multilateral Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) under BEPS (Base Erosion and Profit Shifting) to prevent tax evasion.last_img read more