first_imgST. JOHN’S, N.L. — A Newfoundland beekeeper who intended to run as a Marijuana Party candidate in this month’s federal election had his hopes dashed when he realized too late that he was missing necessary paperwork.Brendan Quinlan said a series of miscommunications left him scrambling at the last minute, and he missed a Sept. 30 deadline to file the paperwork needed to make his candidacy official with Elections Canada.“I found out basically everything too late,” Quinlan said from his home in Holyrood, N.L.After speaking with a Marijuana Party organizer to start the process, Quinlan saw his named listed in the newspaper as an interested candidate and thought he had done all the necessary work.He learned too late that there were more forms to complete and signatures to collect, leaving him and his passionate — but politically green — volunteers with little time to learn the campaigning ropes.Quinlan said he believes the odds are stacked against inexperienced candidates running for smaller parties with little financial and logistical support.“If you’ve got no one to show you the way … it’s quite difficult,” Quinlan said.Blair Longley, the leader and chief agent of the Marijuana Party, said he never spoke to Quinlan personally before the nomination deadline, and instructions on how to set up a campaign slipped through the cracks.There has been a relatively low follow-through rate for interested candidates since the Marijuana Party’s establishment in 2000, Longley said: about 75 per cent of those who express interest don’t end up on the ballot.Longley said his decentralized party runs on a “broken shoestring budget” and prospective candidates are often overwhelmed by the work it takes to get their campaigns off the ground.The Marijuana Party lost a significant portion of its membership in the early 2000s to larger political parties, including founder Marc-Boris St-Maurice, who left to join the Liberal party. Longley became leader in 2004 when he was the only person willing to step up.With its membership numbers gutted and cannabis officially legalized last October by the federal Liberal government, the future of the Marijuana Party is hazy. But the party has four candidates in the running this year.Longley said legalization in its current form does not reflect the long-held vision of the Marijuana Party, arguing, among other things, that new regulations continue to criminalize cannabis users through impaired driving laws.He also takes issue with the fact that federal government has not apologized for cannabis prohibition, and small cannabis producers and consumers are still not able to get ahead in a system that benefits larger producers.Longley is realistic about his party’s chances. He said he does the minimum necessary to keep the party registered, but it gets harder every time.Still, he said the Marijuana Party will hang on as long as possible as a small statement of opposition to what he calls “bogus legalization.”“From my point of view, it’s better to do something than nothing, even if what you can actually do is next to nothing,” he said.For Quinlan, his campaign’s failure to launch has not diminished his passion for policies such as expunging the criminal records of people with cannabis-related convictions and empowering small farmers.He said he’s learned from the experience and plans to run in the next election as a candidate in Newfoundland and Labrador’s Avalon riding.This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 4, 2019.Holly McKenzie-Sutter, The Canadian Presslast_img read more

Read More


first_imgIt’s nice to have you back, Mike Ross.In a new 30-second teaser touting the ninth and final season of Suits, Patrick J. Adams returns to his old haunts after being away for one calendar year. And though it’s felt like forever since Mike and his mentor, Harvey Specter (Gabriel Macht), were reeling off legal wins at the law firm, it’s nice to have the pair back together again. Advertisement Facebook “I always have time for an old friend,” Mike says, as he shakes Harvey’s hand.  We have seriously missed this bromance!So what whisks Mike away from Seattle where he’s, presumably, still happily married to Rachel Zane (Meghan Markle) and helping those in legal need at their own firm? A case that pits Mike against Harvey and Samantha Wheeler (Katherine Heigl). Patrick J. Adams (Photo courtesy of USA Network) Advertisementcenter_img LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Login/Register With: Advertisement Twitterlast_img read more

Read More


first_img“The LNG project has demonstrated some clear, positive steps around consultation,” Singh said. “There was an exhaustive and pretty thorough consultation around Indigenous communities, First Nations communities and elected bands and chiefs.”“There are people standing up and defending their land who have the right to express those concerns, and there’s still ongoing work that needs be addressed before this project moves ahead.”Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs oppose a Coastal GasLink pipeline that would lead to LNG Canada’s export terminal in Kitimat. RCMP arrested 14 people at a blockade last month, sparking national protests.Police later reached a deal with the chiefs to allow pipeline work to continue.Coastal GasLink has signed agreements with all 20 elected First Nations bands along the pipeline.Singh has tried to project unity in the party while facing internal criticism for poor fundraising and low support in the polls. If he wins the byelection Monday and remains leader, he is likely to encounter calls from his caucus for a tougher stance on climate change. BURNABY, B.C. – Federal NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh is facing calls from within the party for a stronger stance on climate change as he defends his support of the $40-billion LNG Canada project in northern British Columbia.Svend Robinson, the New Democrat candidate in Burnaby North-Seymour in the general election, opposes any new oil and gas infrastructure. Julia Sanchez, running for the party in a byelection in Outremont in Montreal, disapproves of the use of public funds for such projects.Singh is seeking his first seat in Parliament in a byelection in Burnaby South. The leader opposes the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion that would increase tanker traffic departing from the Metro Vancouver city, but he approves of liquefied natural gas pipeline and export facility. Robinson said he returned to politics after 15 years because of the latest report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the United Nations panel that assesses scientific evidence on global warming. The report concluded temperatures were likely to rise 1.5 C above pre-industrial levels between 2030 and 2052 unless drastic action is taken.“The most important issue facing our planet and our country today is climate change. We have to effectively put the country on the same kind of wartime footing that we did at the time of the last world war to fight climate change,” Robinson said.“If we are to do that, there can be no new oil and gas infrastructure.”He said his specific concerns about LNG Canada include the increase in emissions associated with the project, the environmental impact of fracking and the importance of respect for hereditary Indigenous leadership.center_img Robinson would not say if he tried to change Singh’s mind on the project. But he said he hopes to influence the NDP’s fall election platform, and if he wins a seat, he will continue to bring his position forward around the caucus table.Julia Sanchez said climate is the key issue she hears about on the doorstep while campaigning in Outremont, the riding previously held by former NDP leader Thomas Mulcair.She has proposed a vision she calls the “Great Transition,” which urges an end to subsidies for the oil and gas industry and for public investment in new infrastructure. It also recommends more ambitious greenhouse gas emissions targets.Sanchez said the NDP has made progress on its position on climate change over the past two years, but the party could go further. She noted LNG Canada benefits from $275 million in federal funding.“I have a hard time seeing how we can justify making massive investments in projects in the oil and gas industry,” she said. “That means we’re not doing investments in renewable energy or … in supporting the transition of workers from the oil and gas industry to other industries.”LNG Canada spokeswoman Susannah Pierce said the project has been designed to achieve the lowest greenhouse gas emissions of any large-scale liquefied natural gas facility in the world, about 50 percent lower than the average facility.The UN report models pathways to keep global warming to 1.5 or 2 degrees C, including one scenario that says natural gas use must grow while coal declines, Pierce said in a statement.“Natural gas is clearly a part of the solution, as is natural gas shipped as LNG to Asia from B.C.,” Pierce said.Simon Donner, a geography professor and climate-change expert at the University of B.C., said LNG Canada’s emissions represent a fraction of Canada’s 2030 target. But the project would operate for decades, making it harder for the country to meet longer-term targets, he said.Singh has also faced pushback from the public for his support of LNG Canada. A protester recently interrupted a debate in Burnaby South to accuse Singh of “turning his back on Aboriginal people,” and the leader calmly listened and offered to speak with the man after the event.Singh likely supports the project to align himself with the province’s minority NDP government, said Richard Johnston, a University of B.C. political science professor.“He needs his friends,” Johnston said. “It means that the government of B.C. can be unembarrassed in supporting him in his attempt to get elected to Parliament.”last_img read more

Read More


first_imgFORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – JD Knives and Custom Works and Northern Hydrographics FSJ have come together to raise funds to support the Fort St. John Charitable Society(FSJFFCS).Through the collection of donations, each $20.00 gives you an opportunity to choose one of two custom gifts while raising money to help support families throughout the Peace Region needing assistance covering medical costs and travel expenses.JD Knives and Custom Works are offering a Custom San Mai JD Bird & Trout 6” knife with the retail value of $700 and an (FSJFFCS) challenge coin. Each suggested entry of $20.00 will enter your name in the draw.The draw date will be Tuesday, May 21, 2019To view JD Knives and Custom Works; CLICK HERETo view Northern Hydrographics FSJ; CLICK HERE Northern Hydrographics FSJ is offering a customized firefighters helmet valued at over $500.Donations can be made in person to the following locations;JD Knives & Custom WorksUnit 8 10404 101 ave.Fort St. John, BCNorthern HydrographicsUnit 9 10404 101 ave.Fort St. John, BCFort St. John Fire Department9312 93 Ave, Fort St John, BCOr by E-transfers which can be sent to jdknives.donations@gmail.com with the password: “knife”last_img read more

Read More


18 July 2007The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) reports that a predicted decline in the rate of cereal production this year in many low-income food-deficit countries (LIFDCs) could lead to a tighter food supply situation as 28 countries to suffer serious food shortages. The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) reports that a predicted decline in the rate of cereal production this year in many low-income food-deficit countries (LIFDCs) could lead to a tighter food supply situation as 28 countries to suffer serious food shortages.After four successive years of relatively strong growth, cereal production in many LIFDCs is expected to rise by just over 1 per cent in 2007, which exceeds the rate of population growth, says the latest FAO Crop Prospects and Food Situation report. Moreover, if the largest producers – China and India – are excluded, overall cereal output of the rest of LIFDCs is forecasted to decline slightly from last year.Continued high international prices are also exacerbating the problem, the agency notes.Countries which have experienced harsh droughts or irregular periods of rain are facing reduced crop yields. Zimbabwe, Swaziland and Lesotho have reported their worst main season harvests ever; compared to last year, the production of maize – the main staple crop in these countries – will drop by 50 per cent on average. Meanwhile in Morocco, the cereal crop is estimated at just one-quarter of what it was last year. On the other hand, the prospects for this year’s crop yields are favourable in other areas, according to the report.In Asia, forecasts for coarse grain and rice crops are reported to be generally favourable thanks to the onset of seasonal rains. Several Southern African countries are reporting record or above-average harvests, and apart from Somalia, most East African countries estimate increased output.The report classifies 28 countries as requiring external assistance to overcome food shortages.In one of these countries, Nepal, a major obstacle in the face of providing relief for providing food assistance is the limited access to vulnerable populations. A total of 42 out of the Himalayan country’s 75 districts are estimated to be food deficient, with chronic and widespread food insecurity prevailing in some mountain regions.Violence and subsequent security problems – in such countries as Sudan, Somalia and Iraq – have adversely impacted food security. In Iraq, over 1.8 million people have been internally displaced while more than two million have fled the country, according to humanitarian agencies.The other countries on the FAO’s list include Eritrea, Ethiopia, Mauritania, Sierra Leone, Burundi, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, Republic of Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Afghanistan, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Timor-Leste and Bolivia. read more

Read More


The joint United Nations-African Union peacekeeping mission in Darfur (UNAMID) today reported that the security situation in the war-torn western Sudanese region was calm although banditry remains a problem. UNAMID said the most recent incident involved a robbery yesterday of a house shared by mission staff in El Fasher, the capital of North Darfur, where thieves made off with electronics and cash, said UN spokesperson Michele Montas.Ms. Montas added that other acts of banditry have been reported in and around makeshift camps sheltering internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Darfur, where an estimated 300,000 people have been killed and another 2.7 million forced from their homes since violence erupted in 2003, pitting rebels against Government forces and their allied Janjaweed militiamen.In a report to the Security Council earlier this month, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon condemned armed clashes which erupted in North Darfur in recent months, initiated by elements of the rebel Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) against the Sudan Liberation Army/Minni Minawi (SLA/MM), a pro-Government faction, supported by the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF). Mr. Ban said a 24 May attack on the SAF Umm Baru camp left at least 53 people seriously injured, needing evacuation for medical treatment. In addition, around 350 civilians – mainly women, children and the elderly – as well as 100 unarmed Sudanese soldiers and members of the SLA/MM took refuge at the UN base near the scene of the violence.UNAMID, currently at 68 per cent of full deployment with some 13,455 uniformed personnel, was established by the Security Council in 2007 to protect civilians in Darfur. 24 June 2009The joint United Nations-African Union peacekeeping mission in Darfur (UNAMID) today reported that the security situation in the war-torn western Sudanese region was calm although banditry remains a problem. read more

Read More


In his final address to the Security Council, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative Atul Khare said that President José Ramos-Horta and other leaders of Timor-Leste do not wish to be continually dependent on the deployment of UN police units in their country.“I also believe that the long-term sustainability of Timor-Leste’s efforts depends on the ability of its own institutions to operate in a democratic, responsible and effective manner,” said Mr. Khare, who heads the UN Integrated Mission in Timor-Leste (UNMIT). “At every step of the way, UNMIT and the UN country team have consciously endeavoured to work in a manner that enhances the capacity and credibility of the institutions of this young nation,” said Mr. Khare.The Special Representative noted, however, that the success in supporting security forces instead of taking the lead in law enforcement means that progress depends on the rate of which local institutions develop, which can also include setbacks.“The touchstone for success in Timor-Leste is not whether crises occur, but how future crises are met and resolved,” said Mr. Khare. “The goal should be to ensure that they are handled in a responsible manner that does not threaten the State, and instead provide an opportunity for enhanced social cohesion and development.”He said that the future presence and role of the international security forces needs to be carefully taken into account in planning any modification of the composition and size of UNMIT.Current UNMIT strength stands at 1,578 police officers, 33 military personnel, around 1,200 international and local civilian staff and 195 UN Volunteers.“The United Nations and the Government of Timor-Leste should jointly agree on the criteria for each step in the process of downsizing the UNMIT police,” said Mr. Khare. “It should be clearly agreed with the authorities, in advance of each stage, what support the UN will and will not provide.”The UN presence in Timor-Leste began in 1999 when it conducted a “popular consultation” which saw a huge turnout of Timorese overwhelmingly vote for independence over autonomy within Indonesia. The eventual result was the birth of the State, but 1,500 to 2,000 people were killed in clashes in the immediate aftermath of the declaration.UNMIT received its mandate to restore public safety in the wake of an eruption of violence in 2006 – attributed to differences between eastern and western regions of the country – when 600 striking soldiers were fired, and the ensuing hostilities claimed dozens of lives and drove 155,000 people, or 15 per cent of the total population, from their homes.In his most recent report on UNMIT earlier this month, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon stressed that the causes underlying the 2006 crisis, including the rising level of poverty, persistent unemployment, the lack of an effective land and property regime, and under-strength justice and security sectors, could still destabilize the country. 23 October 2009Any drawdown of international security forces in Timor-Leste should proceed with caution, the top United Nations envoy to the South Pacific nation warned today ahead of UN and Government reviews of the world body’s peacekeeping presence in the fledgling country. read more

Read More


Do Over Anderson Silva and Chris Weidman Rematch Set

The rematch between Anderson Silva and Chris Weidman for the UFC middleweight title will be held Dec. 28 at MGM Grand Garden in Las Vegas as the main event of UFC 168. Dana White made the announcement live on ESPN’s Sports Center just moments after the deal closed.Chris Weidman knocked, Silva, the greatest mixed martial artist in the history of the sport, out cold in 2012. Weidman caught Silva with a hard left hook straight to the chin during one of Silva’s infamous cocky moments in the octagon.The day after the fight at the post-fight news conference, Weidman said that he wanted the rematch. He referred to the rematch as “a done deal.”Watch the blow that knocked Silva out cold in the video above.

Read More


first_imgThe last few years have seen a raft of changes in the education system, not least for GCSE qualifications. While some of these have already been implemented, reforms will continue for the next few years, all the way up to 2020 when current plans will see all GCSE students take the English Baccalaureate (EBacc). Exam hall From course content, to performance measures and grading – here are the changes parents and pupils should expect to see over the next few years.There seems to have been a lot of changes already, what have I missed?The introduction of linear GCSEs in September 2012 effectively prevented students from retaking the same test twice in one year. This reform addressed the widespread ‘resit culture’, which often saw pupils sitting units repeatedly until they had achieved the desired grade.Many welcomed this move to abolish the January and March exams, arguing that modular assessment contributed to grade inflation, encouraged ‘teaching to the test’, and didn’t give an accurate picture of ability.New league tables were also introduced that only took into account a pupil’s first attempt at an exam, meaning there was less incentive for schools to enter pupils early for GCSEs.Haven’t there been changes to subjects as well?So far, exam awarding bodies have strengthened qualifications in geography, history and English.In terms of English language, marks awarded for teacher-assessed speaking and listening exercises were scrapped, while marks for written papers became worth 60 per cent of pupils’ overall grade, compared with 40 per cent previously.Additionally, from January 2013, a small number of additional marks were introduced to reflect the quality of spelling, punctuation and grammar in written exams. This amounted to 5 per cent of overall marks in English literature, history, religious studies and geography papers.What’s the new grading system?New GCSEs in English language, English literature and maths were launched in September 2015 in schools in England, with the first qualifications due to be awarded in August 2017. Courses will be taken over the full two years, rather than by modular assessment.One of the main differences with these GCSEs will be the grading system. No longer will these qualifications be graded A/B/C, students will – in 2017 – receive a grade between 1-9, with 9 being the highest grade awarded.It is thought that roughly the same number of students will achieve a grade 4 and above as currently achieve a grade C and above, while the top 20 per cent of those who get a grade 7 and above, will get a grade 9.Grade 5 – equivalent to a low B or high C – will be the new benchmark for a “good pass” required by league tables, where currently the required grade is C. This, the Government says, will bring the country in line with some of the top performing education systems around the world.It is hoped that this new grading will introduce greater differentiation between high performing students and will also mark out the new GCSEs from their older counterparts.In 2017, students collecting their results will received a mixture of the old style grades and the new numerical system. By 2019, all pupils will be graded with a 1-9.  What will the new GCSEs entail?Maths: From September 2015, pupils will be expected to learn key formulae by heart, while the syllabus will also cover proportion, ratio and “real-world problems” including financial mathematics.There will also be a greater emphasis on non-calculator work. Where previously, as little as 25 per cent of exam papers were “non calculator”, new GCSEs will need to include between a third and 50 per cent.Documents published in 2014 also revealed that the exams would be lengthened to cover the extra content, with pupils set to sit three test papers over four-and-a-half hours.English language: Students will be required to read a greater range of challenging literature and non-fiction texts from a variety of genres and time periods – with reading and writing being equally weighted in the overall grades. There will be greater emphasis on the correct use of spelling, punctuation and grammar.English literature: While no longer compulsory (and not a part of the EBacc performance measure), pupils who take the subject will have to assess a 19th century novel, a Shakespeare play, a selection of poetry since 1789 and a British fiction or drama from 1914 onwards. There will also be emphasis on ‘unseen texts’ in the exam.What about the Ebacc?For those who don’t know, the English Baccalaureate (EBacc) is a performance measure that allows the public to see how many pupils achieve a grade C or above (a “good pass”) in core academic disciplines, including English, maths, the sciences, history or geography and a language.In June 2015, the Government announced plans to make sure all school pupils study the Ebacc to GCSE. This will be implemented for all pupils starting Year 7 in 2015, who will take their GCSEs in 2020.I’ve heard people mention Progress 8, does this concern me?Realistically, Progress 8 will only concern you if you’re a teacher, the Government, or if you’re looking at league tables. It is a new performance measure which aims to compare the progress of pupils over eight key subjects.It will, in fact, be the Department for Education’s headline performance measure when tables are published for GCSE results in January 2017, alongside traditional measures including; the percentage of pupils obtaining five A* to C grades and the percentage of pupils obtaining the EBacc.A pupil’s Progress 8 score will be reached by first calculating their Attainment 8 score. This score is based on eight subjects taken at GCSE; English and maths (which receive double points), three EBacc subjects, and three additional subjects.Points are assigned to each subject, depending on the grade received. A total is then taken and divided by 10, which becomes the Attainment 8 score.A pupil’s Progress 8 score will be calculated thus: Attainment 8, minus ‘estimated’ Attainment 8.The estimated Attainment 8 score will be the average Attainment 8 score of all pupils who achieved the same level in primary school key stage 2 tests.Each school will also receive a Progress 8 score, based on the average taken from their pupils. Schools will be required to meet a national benchmark, set by the Government, or could be labelled as failing.Still confused? Basically, all you need to know is that Progress 8 will tell you how well a school is performing with all their pupils, not just the high fliers. So, are lower attaining students being left to flounder in favour of the bright students who would previously push up a school’s position in the league tables?There are worries, though, that schools will start to share individual pupil’s scores with parents, when this is intended as a Government measure looking at the whole school, not as an additional way to assess pupils.Is that it then? Or are these changes going to continue?That is definitely not ‘it’. English literature, English language and maths were simply the first new GCSEs to be introduced. Biology, chemistry, physics, modern foreign languages, history and geography – among others – will be launched in September 2016.In September 2017, it will be the turn of economics, psychology, sociology and design and technology.center_img Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. By 2019, all pupils will be graded with a 1-9.Credit:PAlast_img read more

Read More


first_imgA serial killer met his third victim while on unescorted leave from a secure mental hospital where he had been locked up for strangling his last girlfriend, a court heard. Violent and “controlling” Theodore Johnson, 64, attacked mother-of-four and grandmother Angela Best, 51, beating her over the head with a claw hammer and throttling her with a dressing gown belt after she left him for another man. He then jumped in front of an express train at Cheshunt station in Hertfordshire.As he was being treated for severe injuries, police went to his flat and found Ms Best dead in the living room.Johnson pleaded guilty at the Old Bailey to murdering Ms Best and yesterday was jailed for life with a minimum term of 26 years.In 1981, he was convicted of killing his wife by pushing her off a balcony and then, in 1993, a couple of years before meeting Ms Best, he was convicted of strangling another girlfriend in London. Afterwards, Ms Best’s sister Lorraine Jones accused Johnson of attempting to “play the system” to get away with murder.She said: “This convicted murderer tried to play the system as he has successfully done before.”He used diminished responsibility as the cause for his murderous actions.”This time, however, he has eventually pleaded guilty to murder after 12 months since his arrest and subjecting our family to unnecessary additional trauma. Lorraine Jones accused Johnson of attempting to “play the system” Credit: Yui Mok/PA Lorraine Jones The Jamaican, who suffered from a personality disorder and depression, was on unescorted leave when he met Ms Best as he was taking a City and Guilds course on furniture restoration on two days a week.In October 1997, about a year after their relationship began, Johnson successfully applied to a tribunal for a conditional discharge.One of the conditions was that he alerted authorities to any relationship with a woman, which he failed to do for years.He kept his relationship a secret from doctors and social workers who continued to monitor him in the community.He was last seen by a social worker and psychiatrist on December 8 2016 – days before the murder – and was not found to be depressed and continued to deny being in a relationship.Ms Best only found out he had killed a previous partner when she found letters and confronted him, the court heard. The court heard that Ms Best, of Tottenham, north London, had been in a relationship with Johnson since around 1996, after moving to the capital from Manchester.At the time, Johnson was still the subject of a hospital order, having been refused conditional discharge around that time.center_img Angela Best Angela Best was murdered by JohnsonCredit:PA  “He has shown in all cases he was clearly of sound mind. He knew what he was doing when he planned and executed the horrific murder of our beloved Angela.” Camden and Islington NHS Trust, which was responsible for Johnson’s care in the community since 2004, said it would provide Ms Best’s family with an independent report and that Johnson’s treatment complied with conditions set by the Mental Health Tribunal which oversaw his discharge in 1997.  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.last_img read more

Read More


first_imgUpdated at 11.19pmNEED TO CATCH up? TheJournal.ie brings you a roundup of today’s news…Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary at the airline’s AGM today [Photocall]IRELANDDonegal teenager Conor Boyle passed away in hospital in England.TUI members accepted the Haddington Road deal, while the ASTI said ‘no’.Junior doctors called off their strike for a week after progress in talks.Ryanair promised to refund Dr Sattar for his Leicester flight fees.Michael Noonan signalled a rise in VAT for the hospitality sector.Micheál Martin accepted an invitation to a Seanad debate, but Enda Kenny hasn’t yet.Concerns were raised over a child beauty pageant organiser’s lack of contact with parents.Five people were rescued after a 17 hour emergency effort.The Health Minister defended staffing levels in the mental health sector.There were calls for an independent investigation into Ireland’s illegal adoptions.Naval vessel the LÉ Emer was decommissioned.The Children’s Minister said the number of obese three-year-olds was ‘frightening’.Claims by Fine Gael on the cost of the Seanad were disputed. INTERNATIONAL[Elephant in India, via Shutterstock]#CHICAGO: Twelve people, including a 3-year-old, were shot in a Chicago park.#SYRIA: The Deputy Prime Minister of Syria admitted the civil war had reached a stalemate.#INDIA: A British man was trampled to death by a rampaging elephant in India.#BRITAIN: There was a warning that children were being blackmailed into performing webcam sex acts.INNOVATIONReviews from around the world of the latest iPhone and iPad operating system were decidedly mixed. Google has begun rolling out a redesign of its homepage, intended to cut down on ‘distractions’. [BBC]PARTING SHOTUKIP politician Godfrey Bloom has been fighting a one man war with journalists today.The irascible MEP whacked Channel 4′s Michael Crick on the head with a party brochure, after the reporter had asked why there weren’t “any black faces” depicted on the cover.We can’t stop watching this…Check out the full story here.Read: Here is what happened yesterday >last_img read more

Read More


first_imgA MAN HAS been injured in an afternoon stab attack in Dublin today.The attack happened near the Bottom of the Hill Pub in Finglas when two men approached the injured man by motorcycle before attacking him.Both attackers were said to be wearing helmets and black clothing when they dismounted the motorbike and stabbed the injured man.Both men the fled on the motorcycle after the attack which happened at about 2pm.The matter is currently under investigation by Gardaí who did not provide any details on the condition of the injured man.Read: Man dies after Smithfield stabbing >Read: Man in his 60s stabbed to death in Limerick >last_img

Read More


first_imgIf you had high hopes for the future of webOS once HP took over, your expectations have probably been on the decline recently. Get ready for them to bottom out: HP is going to kill off its webOS division sometime in the near future.There’s always the chance that someone else will swoop in and scoop up what’s left of Palm. Names from HTC to Samsung to Amazon have been bandied about, but so far those rumors have only been met with flat-out denials from official sources. webOS has always been more than a little misunderstood and under-appreciated, and HP ultimately didn’t do much to fix that.HP has been quite the little one-company soap opera this year.  It all started way back with the acquisition of Palm and webOS to the hiring of (now former) CEO Leo Apotheker — whom many of the company’s board members later admitted never having met.As the year went on, the story got weirder and weirder. HP’s first webOS products launced: first, the Pre 2 and Veer, then the  TouchPad, and finally the Pre 3. But the Pre 2 and Pre 3 were barely more than mumbled about, and despite fairly massive publicity campaigns for the Veer and TouchPad the public seemed to barely take notice.That is, of course, until HP famously pulled the plug on the TouchPad just weeks after its arrival in stores. Then there was the famous price cut, and TouchPads instantly became the most sought-after gadget around. Supplies have all but been exhausted now, and although there are now scores of new webOS users, most of them are more interested in getting Android running on the TouchPad than sticking it out and seeing what becomes of webOS.Hopefully someone with the vision and resources to do something great with webOS will step in soon. It would be a damn shame for Palm’s legacy to fade away because of the way it  was handled by the  three-ring-circus that was HP.via Guardianlast_img read more

Read More


first_imgWho was Charles Byrne?The Derry man, who was born in 1761, suffered from acromegalic gigantism which caused him to grow to nearly 8 feet tall.After undergoing a rapid growth spurt during his teens he travelled to Britain where he achieved a degree of celebrity by exhibiting himself as a human curiosity.Crowds of people flocked to see the Irish giant and he attracted regular attention from newspapers and managed to build up considerable savings. Source: BBC/ScreengrabHowever Byrne’s life took a turn for the worse when his entire fortune was stolen. He fell into a deep depression and his drinking habit worsened. He apparently contracted TB and died in 1783, aged only 22.According to an 1841 edition of the The American Journal of the Medical Sciences Byrne’s death was recorded in the Annual Register Chronicle in June 1783 with the following note: 32,888 Views Short URL By Ceimin Burke Share250 Tweet Email1 Died in Cockspur Street, Charing Cross, aged only 22, Mr. Charles Byrne, the famous Irish giant, whose death is said to have been precipitated by excessive drinking, to which he was always addicted, but more particularly, since his late loss of all his property, which he had simply invested in a single bank-note of 700 pounds (sterling).“Mr B., in August 1780 measured 8 feet; that in 1782, he had gained two inches, and, after he was dead, he measured 8 feet 4 inches,” it added.Stolen corpseAs Byrne’s body was being transported to the coast to be buried at sea an undertaker swapped his remains for dead weight and the highly prized corpse was handed over to John Hunter.According to press reports at the time the funeral went ahead as scheduled with everybody seemingly unaware that Byrne’s remains were no longer in the coffin. Queen Elizabeth viewing the skeleton of Charles Byrne in 1962. Source: PA Archive/PA ImagesAbout four years later Hunter unveiled the giant skeleton. The famous surgeon’s collection passed into the hands of the College of Surgeons in 1799 and Byrne’s skeleton has been on public display for much of the intervening years.It has played an important role in advancing research including helping to link acromegaly  – the condition where someone produces too much growth hormone – and the pituitary gland.Campaigners have long argued that scientific reasons cannot be used as justification for, going against Bryne’s expressed wishes, and keeping his skeleton on display.Muinzer said the argument holds no water as a full DNA profile of Byrne has already been recorded and an exact copy of his skeleton could be created.  There are also other patients with the same condition who have offered their remains to be used for scientific research.If the museum is not willing to release the remains the law lecturer said it should ensure that they do not go on display when the Hunterian reopens. This is a huge move on their part because their traditional approach has been to bury their heads in the sand. It’s a very unusual and groundbreaking statement.Given the negative coverage and given the growing strength of the campaign I feel it would be very difficult for them to reopen the display. https://jrnl.ie/4083747 18 Comments A LONDON MUSEUM is considering the release of the remains of an 18th Century Irish Giant following sustained pressure from campaigners.The skeleton of Charles Byrne, who hailed from Littlebridge in County Derry, has long been one of the centrepiece exhibits at the Hunterian Museum.The museum, which is run by the Royal College of Surgeons, houses the collection of, the famous Scottish surgeon and anatomist, John Hunter.During his lifetime Byrne toured the UK as a spectacle and newspaper reports from the time of his death indicate that he wished to be buried at sea out of fear that gravediggers would exhume his corpse and sell it to scientists. Source: BBC/ScreengrabWhen he did die, aged only 22, Byrne’s remains came into Hunter’s possession through a crooked undertaker and his skeleton has been on public display for much of the time since.In recent years a campaign calling for the remains to be released and – true to Byrne’s wishes – to be buried at sea has built up considerable traction.One of the campaign groups, Free Charles Byrne, created this short animation about the Derry man’s interesting life and death. Source: freecharlesbyrne/YouTubeVarious different campaigners have made appeals to the Hunterian but the museum has refused to change its stance on the matter and has routinely cited scientific reasons as the justification for keeping Byrne’s remains on display.However the publication of an article in The Conversation, by law lecturer Dr Thomas Muinzer, caused the case to crop up again this week, and the museum has finally offered an altered position on the issue.‘Groundbreaking statement’In a development that has been warmly welcomed by campaigners, the Royal College of Surgeons has said that it is considering releasing Byrne’s remains.In a statement a spokesperson for the Royal College of Surgeons said: Jun 22nd 2018, 12:06 AM After sustained campaign, Irish giant’s bones may finally be released from London museum Charles Byrne wanted to be buried at sea so scientists wouldn’t get their hands on his corpse. His skeleton has been on public display for decades. The Hunterian Museum will be closed until 2021 and Charles Byrne’s skeleton is not currently on display. The Board of Trustees of the Hunterian Collection will be discussing the matter during the period of closure of the Museum.Speaking to TheJournal.ie Muinzer, who has campaigned for Byrne’s remains to be released since 2011, described the statement as a very positive development and added that it would be very hard for the museum to reopen with the skeleton on display.“The Hunterian has previously not responded to any queries so their statement is a hugely positive step,” he said to TheJournal.ie. Friday 22 Jun 2018, 12:05 AM Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this articlelast_img read more

Read More


first_imgAraignées : l’arachnophobie est-elle innée ?États-Unis – Selon des scientifiques américains, la peur des araignées et des serpents serait non seulement innée chez certains animaux, mais aussi chez les êtres humains.Selon les chercheurs de l’université de Californie à l’origine de l’étude, l’arachnophobie serait le fruit de la sélection naturelle. Les individus craignant le plus les animaux dangereux pour leur espèce seraient en effet plus susceptibles de survivre dans un environnement hostile, finissant par être les plus nombreux, jusqu’à ce que tous leurs descendants soient dotés de leur phobie.Des scientifiques ont démontré que chez les criquets, quand une femelle gestante expérimente la peur des araignées, les jeunes issus de cette gestation sont beaucoup plus susceptibles d’être effrayés par les arachnides. Pour cela, les chercheurs ont introduit dans un terrarium des femelles criquets gestantes, en présence d’araignées de la famille des Lycosidae. Ils avaient pris soin de recouvrir les crochets des araignées avec de la cire avant de procéder à l’expérience, pour empêcher les criquets de se faire dévorer. Ainsi, les insectes ont pu expérimenter la peur des araignées et en sortir indemnes. Après que les œufs ont éclos, les criquets ont été introduits, comme leur mère, dans un terrarium occupé par une araignée. Cette fois, pas de cire. Les chercheurs ont remarqué que les criquets dont la mère avait déjà eu à faire au prédateur étaient plus effrayés que les autres, cherchant beaucoup plus activement un abri pour se cacher. De même, ils montraient plus de signes de peur que leurs congénères lorsqu’ils rencontraient des toiles ou des excréments d’araignée. Ainsi, leurs chances de survie étaient supérieures à celles des autres criquets qui eux, étaient beaucoup plus nombreux à se faire manger.À lire aussiTrypophobie, l’étrange peur des petits trousDes chercheurs de l’université de Californie ont démontré le même processus chez l’Homme. Lors de leur expérience, adultes ou enfants ont montré qu’ils étaient capables de repérer en un laps de temps très court une araignée ou un serpent parmi des objets ordinaires. En revanche, lorsqu’on leur demandait de repérer des fleurs ou des grenouilles, cela prenait plus de temps.Cette phobie serait donc transmise de la mère au jeune afin de le protéger. Cependant, les scientifiques ne savent pas par quels mécanismes se produit ce phénomène.Le 24 février 2010 à 13:02 • Emmanuel Perrinlast_img read more

Read More


first_imgLes bébés phoques sérieusement menacés par la fonte des glacesL’absence de glace au large de la côte est du Canada entraîne la mort de nombreux bébés phoques. En effet, leur habitat naturel tend à disparaître et des chercheurs américains s’interrogent même sur la survie à long terme de l’espèce.Les phoques du Groenland élèvent leurs petits à la surface des glaces de l’Atlantique Nord. Or, selon une étude de chercheurs de l’Université Duke, en Caroline du Nord, cette surface a diminué de 6% environ par décennie depuis le début des années 1980. Les données publiées dans le journal scientifique PLoS ONE laisse entendre que ce changement a causé la mort de générations entières de bébés phoques.À lire aussiQuand des Américains assistent à la naissance d’un bébé phoque sur une plage”Le taux de mortalité que nous observons dans l’est du Canada est dramatique”, a déclaré un des chercheurs, David Johnston. “Cela met en question la résistance de la population” dans son ensemble. En effet, les phoques sont menacés par la fonte des glaces et les bébés meurent en grand nombre lorsque la surface des glaces est moins étendue, rapporte Sciences et Avenir. Malgré tout, les phoques du Groenland ont en partie réussi à s’adapter ces dernières années à la fonte précoce des glaces au printemps. Pour cela, ils ont réduit à 12 jours la période d’allaitement. Pour autant, la population ne sera pas nécessairement en mesure de résister à la disparition graduelle de la couverture glaciaire.”Cette espèce est bien capable de réagir à des changements climatiques naturels de courte durée, mais notre recherche suggère que les phoques peuvent ne pas être en mesure d’amortir les effets de variations à court terme combinées avec un changement climatique à plus long terme et avec des facteurs humains comme la chasse ou la capture”, a ajouté David Johnston.Le 7 janvier 2012 à 12:59 • Maxime Lambertlast_img read more

Read More


A Smart Speaker Could Save You From Cardiac Arrest

first_img Easily Assign Tasks With Google AssistantGoogle Defends Letting Humans Listen to Virtual Assistant Queries Stay on target My fiancé is a deep sleeper: If I stopped breathing or began gasping for air in the middle of the night, he’d snore right through it.But a smart speaker could save my life.Researchers at the University of Washington developed a tool to monitor people for cardiac arrest when they’re asleep.Nearly 500,000 Americans die each year from sudden heart failure—many in the comfort of their own bedroom.A new skill for a smart speaker or phone, however, could detect the gasping sound of abnormal breathing and call for help.On average, the proof-of-concept tool—trained on real agonal breathing instances captured from 911 calls—identified labored breathing patterns 97 percent of the time, from up to 20 feet away.The findings were published this week in a Nature journal.“A lot of people have smart speakers in their homes, and these devices have amazing capabilities that we can take advantage of,” study co-author Shyam Gollakota, an associate professor at UW, said in a statement.Researchers envision a contactless system that works by continuously and passively monitoring the bedroom for an agonal breathing event and call for help (via Sarah McQuate/University of Washington)Picture this: You’re enjoying a pleasant vision of shirtless Hugh Jackman serenading you on a yacht as it cruises through the canals of Venice. Suddenly, your heart stops pumping and blood flow ceases; you’re fighting for breath, making guttural gasping noises, and involuntarily twitching. Neither Hugh nor anyone else is there to perform first aid.The smart speaker on the bookshelf, however, recognizes signs of agonal breathing and calls 911.You’re alive and well to stalk Hugh Jackman live another day.Researchers gathered more than 162 IRL 911 calls to Seattle’s Emergency Medical Services, collecting short recordings on different devices, including an Amazon smart speaker, iPhone 5s, and Samsung Galaxy S4.They added interfering sounds like barking dogs, honking cars, and humming A/C units: “Things that you might normally hear in a home,” according to first author and UW doctoral student Justin Chan.And accounted for distractions like snoring or obstructive sleep apnea.“We don’t want to alert either emergency services or loved ones unnecessarily, so it’s important that we reduce our false-positive rate,” Chen said.Moving forward, the team envisions the algorithm functioning like a mobile app or Alexa skill that runs in passively—in real time, so there’s no need to store data or send it to the cloud—while people sleep.“Cardiac arrests are a very common way for people to die, and right now many of them can go unwitnessed,” co-author Jacon Sunshine, an assistant professor at the UW School of Medicine, said. “Part of what makes this technology so compelling is that it could help us catch more patients in time for them to be treated.”More on Geek.com:Amazon Alexa Launches HIPAA-Compliant Medical SkillsLA Hospital Patients Use Alexa for Hands-Free CommunicationCalifornia Wants to Limit Storage of Smart Speaker Recordings9 Times Your Smart Speaker Got Weirdlast_img read more

Read More


Committee recommends organisations with 50 employees report gender pay gap

first_imgThe Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee has recommended that the qualifying threshold for gender pay gap reporting be widened from organisations with 250 or more employees to include businesses with 50 or more staff, in time for April 2020’s reporting deadline.The recommendation forms part of the committee’s Gender pay gap reporting paper, published today (Thursday 2 August 2018), which also proposes that organisations should be required to publish an explanation of any observed gender pay gap, as well as an action plan for closing it and their annual progress, as part of the standard reporting requirements.The committee further suggests that the gender pay gap reporting requirements be amended to incorporate partner pay into calculations, and that the government should provide more clarity and guidance in this area, in time for the 2019 deadline.Crowley Woodford, employment partner at international law firm Ashurst, warned: “Extension of the current gender pay disclosure obligations to employers of this size will present a considerable challenge for them. The larger employers have already found the regime difficult, complex and unclear even with their ability to access internal and external help to understand it. Smaller employers are likely to try and work it out for themselves and therefore the accuracy of any disclosure may be compromised.”Other proposed changes to the reporting requirements include changing the way that bonus pay is calculated so that it is worked out on a pro-rata basis, and requiring both part-time and full-time gender pay gap statistics to be published. Furthermore, the report asks that the government clarify legal uncertainty around the Equality and Human Rights Commission’s (ECHR) enforcement powers by introducing specific fines for non-compliance.To help tackle the gender pay gap moving forwards, the committee suggests that sector representative bodies should work with their members and stakeholders to develop and publicise long-term targets, organisation boards should introduce key performance indicators for reducing and eliminating gaps, and remuneration committees should explain how reducing the gender pay gap is being reflected in their decisions.Claire McCartney, diversity and inclusion adviser at the Chartered Institute for Personnel and Development (CIPD), said: “Efforts to close the gender pay gap should be knitted into the fabric of the organisation at every level, so we also support the suggestion of making those at the top more accountable, such as through stretching targets for [chief executive officers] and senior leaders.“If organisations are serious about closing their gender pay gaps, it’s only right that those at senior levels should be held accountable and play a more significant role in the efforts.”The report also recommends that the government publish and maintain a definitive list of all organisations that fall within the scope of the gender pay gap reporting requirements, and consult upon introducing requirements to collect and report pay gap data regarding disability and ethnicity, potentially introducing this for April 2020.Rachel Reeves, member of Parliament and chair of the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee, said: “Transparency on gender pay can only be the first step. The gender pay gap must be closed, not only in the interests of fairness and promoting diversity at the highest levels of our business community, but also to improve the country’s economic performance and end a monstrous injustice.“A persistent gender pay gap shows that [organisations] are failing to harness fully the talents of half the population. The penalties of working part-time, both financial and in terms of career progression, are a major cause. [Employers] need to take a lead. For example, why aren’t they offering flexible working at senior levels? They must look at why they have a pay gap, and then determine the right initiatives, policies and practices to close it. Chief executives should have stretching targets in their key performance indicators and be held to account for any failure to deliver.”Kate Smith, head of pensions at Aegon, added: “Gender pay equality continues to be a big talking point, but we can’t ignore the growing pension inequality which also exists today. Pension contributions are often calculated as a percentage of earnings, such as auto-enrolment contributions. So, if women’s [salaries are] lower, pension contributions will also be lower leading ultimately to lower retirement incomes. Tackling the gender pay gap will kill two birds with one stone and fix the gender pension gap.”last_img read more

Read More


USCG intercept boat filled with Cuban migrants near Florida Keys

first_imgNEAR ISLAMORADA, Fla. (WSVN) – The U.S. Coast Guard intercepted a boat filled with Cuban migrants not far from South Florida.USCG crew members stopped the vessel 20 miles south of the Florida Keys, Friday.Officials said 10 Cuban migrants were on board the vessel.The migrants will all be sent back home, officials said.Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.last_img

Read More


first_imgSen. Lisa Murkowski speaks to a crowd of people at Bethel’s annual river breakup bash. (Krysti Shallenberger / KYUK)Sen. Lisa Murkowski is keeping mostly neutral on Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s proposed budget cuts. She spoke about his budget on a visit to the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta this past weekend. The governor’s proposal cuts deeply into Medicaid expansion, public safety, and education, all services that many in the Y-K Delta rely on. Murkowski endorsed Dunleavy in last year’s election, but there is one area where Murkowski doesn’t want to see any cuts: education.“Let’s make sure we do right by those kids in making sure we give them those full opportunities,” Murkowski said.Murkowski visited Bethel on a scheduled trip to Eek this past weekend. She didn’t make it out to Eek because of weather, but managed to attend Bethel’s river breakup bash on April 13, the earliest breakup bash on record.last_img read more

Read More