Bahri to Sell Part of Its Stake in Petredec

first_imgThe National Shipping Company of Saudi Arabia (Bahri) is looking to sell a part of its 30.3% stake in Bermuda-based liquefied petroleum gas transporting and trading firm Petredec Limited.As part of the deal, Haydock Holdings Limited, the other partner in Petredec, will also sell part of its 69.7% stake in the firm, bringing the total ownership of the new investor to 13%.Bahri informed that its financial impact from the transaction will be determined in the event of completion of sale.The company expects the sale to take place during the first quarter of 2018, and it will use the proceeds of the sale for general corporate purposes.Conclusion of the transaction is subject to several factors, including but not limited to legal review and final agreement on all terms of the transaction by all parties concerned, Bahri added.Image Courtesy: Petredec Limitedlast_img read more

Spray trial in the Cape Breton HighlandsOpEd Piece

first_imgBy Eric Georgeson, provincial entomologist with the Department of Natural Resources. The Department of Natural Resources is conducting the spray trial component of its research work with the Canadian Forest Service against the blackheaded budworm. The budworm is threatening about 114,000 hectares of the Cape Breton Highlands. The spray trial will involve a maximum of 5,000 hectares and only use Bacillus thuringiensis kurstaki (Btk). There have been recent questions in the media about “inert” ingredients in Btk. The complete formulation for the compound (active ingredient and inert) is tested as a whole. All ingredients are known to Health Canada and the federal Pest Management Regulatory Agency before they make their assessment and review. Health Canada lists Btk as a natural biological control with no impact on humans or animals. Btk does not affect humans, wildlife or fish, as none of these organisms have the alkaline gut conditions to activate the Btk. Nor does Btk kill other types of insects such as honeybees, beetles, or flies; only the feeding larvae of moths and butterflies in the treatment area. Most important of all, it does not kill the natural predators and parasites that attack the target population. Some recent articles have made inaccurate claims about the inert ingredients. Any lists produced by non-scientific organizations and unqualified individuals, are merely conjecture and not based on facts. Health Canada and the company which produces the product are the only credible sources of information about the product, its ingredients and its effects. One article indicates that Btk can be found in the soil for years after a spray operation. Btk is a natural bacterium, always present in the soil regardless of spraying. Another statement that Btk can be “detected in the air for up to 17 days” after a spray is false. This is impossible as the spray degrades after three to five days. Similarly, the statement about Btk aerosol being found up to 80 kilometres from the spray site due to drifting on the air is also incorrect. The accuracy of modern technology is impressive; the aircraft flies very low and the spray is deployed only when weather and wind conditions permit. All guidelines from federal and provincial government departments concerning setbacks and conditions of spray application, such as weather and wind, are followed exactly to ensure the product is applied only where it is supposed to go. All insect outbreaks will ultimately collapse, but when and at what cost? The Eastern spruce budworm outbreak in Cape Breton didn’t collapse until more than 70 per cent of the merchantable spruce and fir trees were lost, which cost about $37 million to replace. The result of the damage to the forest was mirrored in damage to the economic and social structures of Cape Breton Island. All forestry-related employment in the area of the Cape Breton Highlands was adversely affected, and Nova Scotia’s taxpayers and industry had to carry the cost of regenerating the Highlands forest. Yet, the loss to Cape Breton cannot be measured in dollars alone. Residents who depended on forestry for part or all of their livelihoods were left to seek other opportunities, often in other parts of the province. The cost to register Btk as a tool we can use against the blackheaded budworm is small compared to the losses that can be experienced by Cape Bretoners from another major insect infestation in the Highlands. Spraying is a last resort, used only when all other forest-management options are not found to be effective. The spray trial is only one of several research components that the province is working on with the Canadian Forest Service. On our behalf, the Canadian Forest Service is also studying the natural predators and diseases of the blackheaded budworm and the impact of the defoliation on forest stands. The federal agency is also developing a monitoring tool for use as an early warning system. This research, together with the data resulting from the spray trial, will be used to develop forest-management tools for the future. We are not trying to exterminate the budworm. It is a part of the ecosystem of the Highlands forest, and we recognize that it can form a valuable link in the system’s food chain and ecosystem. We are trying only to control its population explosion. It is important that any debate on the use of aerial spraying be based on sound scientific evidence and not on unfounded and unsupported conjecture. To do otherwise benefits no one and serves only to endanger the livelihoods of those who depend, directly and indirectly, on a healthy and sustainable forest. -30-last_img read more

Council to Improve Classroom Conditions in Place

first_img Sean Barker, Antigonish Education Centre Mélanie Belliveau, École Acadienne de Pomquet, Antigonish Co. Cheryl Bourque-Wells, Drumlin Heights Consolidated School, Argyle, Yarmouth Co. Elizabeth Brideau-Clark, Bayview Community School, Mahone Bay Michael Cosgrove, Dartmouth High School Melanie Morrissey, Bible Hill Junior High School, Colchester Co. Reagan O’Hara, Avon View High School, Windsor Kerri Lynn Power, Memorial High School, Sydney Mines Rachel Ross-Mantley, Central Spryfield Elementary Myles Fox, grade 10 student at Cobequid Educational Centre, Truro Amy MacKinnon, parent, Shelburne County Pamela Doyle, guidance counsellor at Lockview High School, Fall River Joan Ling, executive director of the Nova Scotia Teachers Union and council co-chair Sandra McKenzie, deputy minister of Education and Early Childhood Development and council co-chair. The council will have $20 million over two years to address issues in the classroom that have been identified by teachers. This includes data collection, complex classrooms, class sizes at all grade levels and the student attendance policy. The co-chairs will name a neutral facilitator to work with the committee. There is also a provision for an arbitrator to be appointed in the event the council cannot agree on a recommendation. Almost 800 teachers applied to the council. There will be opportunities through the work of the council for teachers to take part and share their ideas. The council’s first meeting will be held by March 21. Initial recommendations from the council are expected no later than April 28. Biographical information about the council members can be found at Fourteen Nova Scotians who will be tasked to improve the teaching and learning environment in Nova Scotia classrooms have been selected to form the Council to Improve Classroom Conditions. The nine classroom teacher positions on the council were chosen by school board superintendents, who worked with board staff in selecting candidates. The superintendents submitted their selections to the government and the Nova Scotia Teachers Union today, March 7. The government also confirmed its three appointees are a student, a parent, and a guidance counsellor. The council will be co-chaired by representatives of the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development and the Nova Scotia Teachers Union. “The council is a first for our province,” said Karen Casey, Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development. “It reflects the perspectives of those most involved in the education system – teachers, parents and students. Meaningful change cannot happen without their input and guidance.” The council members are:last_img read more

Le gouvernement provincial annonce ses premières décisions concernant la légalisation du cannabis

first_img « Alors que nous nous préparons en vue de la légalisation du cannabis, notre principale priorité est la santé et la sécurité des Néo-Écossais, plus particulièrement celle des enfants et des jeunes, affirme Mark Furey, ministre de la Justice et procureur général. Les décisions stratégiques annoncées aujourd’hui, et celles qui sont à venir, ont été grandement influencées par les commentaires que nous avons reçus dans le cadre de notre consultation approfondie, ainsi que par l’expérience d’autres gouvernements. » L’âge légal de 19 ans en Nouvelle-Écosse est le même qu’à Terre-Neuve-et-Labrador et au Nouveau-Brunswick. Toutes les provinces qui ont annoncé l’âge légal pour la consommation de cannabis, à l’exception du Manitoba, ont choisi de le faire correspondre à l’âge légal pour la consommation d’alcool. « La Société des alcools a l’expérience et l’expertise nécessaires pour distribuer et vendre des produits réglementés comme l’alcool, et maintenant le cannabis, d’une façon responsable sur le plan social, souligne M. Furey. Nous sommes d’avis que la Société des alcools est la mieux placée pour vendre le cannabis, pour éviter que les jeunes s’en procurent et pour offrir le produit de façon légale, sécuritaire et réglementée. » Les renseignements détaillés sur la vente en ligne et les lieux de vente seront annoncés plus tard. Le gouvernement provincial prévoit faire des annonces supplémentaires au sujet de la légalisation du cannabis à mesure que les décisions finales seront prises. Il continuera d’évaluer les commentaires reçus dans le cadre des consultations pour l’élaboration future des plans et des stratégies. En octobre, le gouvernement provincial a mené des consultations publiques sur la légalisation du cannabis. Un rapport des résultats des consultations, qui résume les commentaires obtenus par les 31 000 sondages en ligne remplis, lors des rencontres avec les intervenants et dans les soumissions écrites, peut être consulté (en anglais seulement) au La loi fédérale établit les restrictions suivantes, qui sont acceptées par le gouvernement provincial : une personne peut posséder jusqu’à 30 grammes de cannabis; une limite de quatre plants de cannabis peuvent être cultivés par résidence; des sanctions pénales provinciales seront établies pour les jeunes qui possèdent jusqu’à cinq grammes de cannabis. l’âge légal pour l’utilisation, l’achat et la possession de cannabis sera de 19 ans; la distribution et la vente se feront en ligne ainsi que dans les magasins actuels de la Société des alcools de la Nouvelle-Écosse (NSLC). Le nombre de magasins n’a pas encore été déterminé. Après avoir consulté les Néo-Écossais, les experts en santé, les services de police, les municipalités et d’autres intervenants, le gouvernement provincial a annoncé, aujourd’hui 7 décembre, les décisions clés qui ont été prises concernant la légalisation du cannabis. Ces décisions font suite à la décision du gouvernement fédéral de légaliser le cannabis à usage récréatif d’ici juillet 2018. Les décisions stratégiques clés sont les suivantes : last_img read more

Hells Angels reestablish East Coast presence They have a good footprint

first_imgHALIFAX — The Hells Angels have re-established an evolving presence in Atlantic Canada, although experts say they have not expanded their roster of full-patch members since first reappearing in the region more than two years ago.Police and organized crime experts say it’s not clear why the country’s most powerful outlaw biker gang has not found any local prospects worthy of full membership, but confirm the Angels are retrenching after their former Halifax chapter was smashed by police in 2001.Stephen Schneider, a criminology professor at Saint Mary’s University who has written extensively on organized crime, believes the establishment of a new puppet club in the last year — the Red Devils — is a significant sign of intent.“The Red Devils is pretty much their sort of AAA affiliate club internationally,” said Schneider. “So this is a signal that the Hells Angels have not given up and that they are really serious about their presence in Atlantic Canada.”The Red Devils have set up chapters in Moncton, N.B., and in Halifax.The members of the Halifax Red Devils chapter, which was set up in July, were recruited from two other biker clubs, the Gatekeepers and the Darksiders, according to RCMP Staff Sgt. Guylaine Cottreau of the Criminal Intelligence Service Nova Scotia.“They were known to the Hells Angels and they came from the already existing support clubs,” said Cottreau. “We have no Hells Angels prospects … but they still have a good footprint in the province with their support clubs.”Cottreau said there had been a Nova Scotia prospects chapter, but it fell below six members this fall, and they’ve since become prospects for the Hells Angels in New Brunswick, where a Hells Angels Nomads club includes some full patch members that were transplanted to that province.She said in addition to the Red Devils, Nova Scotia has a series of other outlaw gangs, including Darksiders clubs in Dartmouth and the Annapolis Valley, Sedition clubs in Fall River and Weymouth, and Highlanders clubs in Antigonish, Pictou County, and Cape Breton.Experts believe the Angels are looking to expand territory and crack the drug trade in a region with several thousand kilometres of coastline, which makes it easier to import drugs.The only so-called group of one percenters — the elite outlaw bikers — in Nova Scotia is the Bacchus Motorcycle Club, which appears to have reached a detente region-wide with the Angels. It was also declared a criminal organization in a July ruling by a Nova Scotia Supreme Court judge — a move that has the potential to put a damper on its activities because it establishes tougher sentencing for crimes carried out to benefit the club.Meanwhile, a traditional rival group for the Hells Angels, the Outlaws, has also pushed into the region with support clubs known as the Black Pistons in Fredericton and in Sydney, N.S., where they set up shop earlier this year. The Outlaws and Bacchus also operate in Newfoundland, along with several Hells Angels support clubs.“Right now it is peaceful, however they (Outlaws) are the main rival group to the Hells Angels so there is potential there (for violence),” Cottreau said.Schneider said he finds it surprising that the Outlaws are trying to move into Atlantic Canada after failing to emerge as a significant threat to the Hells Angels in Ontario.“They have chutzpah I’ll give them that,” Schneider said. “They are still in there battling and trying to establish territory.”In Prince Edward Island there are two Bacchus club chapters and one affiliate chapter of the Hells Angels.RCMP Cpl. Andy Cook said the Angels are down to six prospect members from 10 in P.E.I. and none of the bikers are full-patch. He said stepped up police enforcement likely led to some members leaving the club.“Some of the incidents were probably not very attractive to the Hells Angels who are frequently trying to portray themselves in a positive light in the media,” he said.While it’s believed the Port of Halifax is the main prize coveted by the Angels, police say they’re not aware of any activity there.Schneider, who recently completed a study for the federal government on organized crime in marine ports, said he hasn’t seen any direct evidence either.“I didn’t see any known Hells Angels members working on the docks in Halifax, but that’s not saying they aren’t, or there aren’t associates,” he said.Schneider said the Angels’ influence has suffered setbacks through police enforcement actions such as the arrest in July of prominent New Brunswick member Emery Martin on 10 drug-related offences. However he believes it was the success of a crackdown years before against the biker group in Quebec that has had the most impact.In April 2009, Operation SharQc resulted in 156 arrests and the closure of several of the biker gang’s clubhouses, however many of the court cases eventually fell through and Schneider said the Hells Angels have seen a resurgence in Quebec that has implications for the Atlantic region.“They are in a better position to help Atlantic Canada establish chapters and puppet clubs. Having the Red Devils set up in Moncton is significant because they are a Tier 1 puppet group that has long been associated with the Montreal chapter of the Hells Angels.”Cottreau said police are aware of the emerging threat and observed a Quebec Hells Angels presence in the region over the summer.She said police will move to enforce the law against the Angels where and when they can.“We are trying to disrupt and dismantle them but it is a big task. They are a pretty well established organization.”Keith Doucette, The Canadian Presslast_img read more

Actors with Disabilities Joined Thousands For Inspirational ReelAbilities Film Festival

first_imgA blind state supreme court justice. A deaf teen girl who word slams in sign language. An inner-city schools basketball coach born without fully-formed arms. A double hand amputee meets the love of his life who doesn’t see his disability.RJ Mitte, Susan Brownknight, Nic Novicki, and Jamie Brewer attend the ReelAbilities Film FestivalThese stories and more were told at the largest and most unique film festival in the country celebrating the lives and art of people with disabilities (PWD), the ReelAbilities Film Festival held March 9 – 12 in Cincinnati, Ohio. More than 10,000 people attended the Hollywood-style film extravaganza showcasing dozens of moving and thought-provoking documentaries, features and shorts about people living and achieving with disabilities.The festival featured appearances by more than a dozen celebrities who live with varying disabilities including: • RJ Mitte, best known for his role as Walter “Flynn” White, Jr. on the award-winning TV thriller, “Breaking Bad;” • Ali Stroker – known for her role in “Glee,” and as the first Broadway actress in a wheelchair to appear on a Broadway stage. • Jamie Brewer – known for her role as Adelaide ’Addie” Lagdon in “American Horror Story,” and as the first model with Down syndrome to walk the runway at New York Fashion Week. • Lauren Potter – best known as Becky Jackson in the popular television show, “Glee.” • Nic Novicki – standup comedian known for his recurring role on “Boardwalk Empire.” • Kurt Yaeger, a fan favorite on “Sons of Anarchy,” and a recurring role actor on “NCIS: Los Angeles;” • John Lawson, A television, film and commercial actor with past roles in the long running television crime dramas, “Law and Order,” “Law and Order: SVU” and “FX AMERICAN HORROR STORY: FREAK SHOW.”The festival presents real-life PWD stories that are robust, inspiring and de-stigmatizing with the goal of transforming perceptions around people living with disabilities.“I’ve been working my whole life to work with it and evolve with it,” said actor RJ Mitte of his cerebral palsy diagnosis at age 3. “Growing up, I was never taught to use the words ’can’t’ or ’won’t.’ I was taught to believe that I can achieve anything I want and that disability does not define me. This festival focuses on how differences strengthen us individually and as a community and I’m excited to be a part of that message.”Among the notable films and screenings over the weekend were “The Astronaut’s Secret,” starring astronaut Rich Clifford who is managing Parkinson’s Disease; and “Chimes for Tyler,” about an autistic savant with the exceptional skill of distinguishing the sounds of the entire inventory of Woodstock’s chimes. Cult favorite “Spring Break Zombie Massacre,” written and acted by Downs Syndrome best friends Sam Suchmann and Mattie Zufelt was also featured.Other special events at the festival included celebrity meet and greets and panel discussions; an interfaith breakfast; a veteran’s reception and brunch; and numerous acting and filmmaking-related workshops.The Cincinnati ReelAbilities Film Festival has grown exponentially since its debut year in 2013 when a dozen films were screened by 1900 attendees. For more information on the Cincinnati ReelAbilities Film Festival, visit read more

Expect job market moderation in the months ahead internal memo tells Morneau

first_imgOTTAWA – An internal federal analysis foresees a stretch of job-market moderation in Canada’s near future following an extended period of healthy employment growth — an economic shift expected to play out as political parties calibrate their pre-election pitches for 2019.The assessment, prepared last spring for Finance Minister Bill Morneau, predicted that job creation would fade over the near term for a number of reasons. The explanations pointed to an economy already running at full capacity, an unemployment rate that has likely bottomed out near a four-decade low and the “stiff head winds” of Canada’s aging population.To make their point, Finance officials noted that the labour market lost a combined 72,600 positions in the first two months of 2018 after a strong 2017 that produced 425,000 jobs — 92 per cent of which were full time.The department said the early 2018 employment dip ended 17 consecutive months of job gains, which it called the longest uninterrupted streak in more than 15 years.Looking forward, the memo’s authors warned the new year slump may have marked a turning point.“While employment data are very volatile on a month-to-month basis, this does suggest that employment growth is moderating,” said the April briefing note, which The Canadian Press obtained under the Access to Information Act.“Our view is that it will likely continue to do so going forward, reflecting a combination of cyclical and demographic factors.”Whether or not criticism is warranted, the federal Liberal government can expect political foes to focus on incoming batches of jobs numbers as they ready their attacks in the lead-up to next year’s election.The economy is always an important battlefield, and the Conservatives believe they have an edge.Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer, for instance, has already accused the Trudeau government of “squandering” the booming economy that he argues the Liberals inherited in 2015 from the Tories.On the other side, the Liberals have frequently tried to take credit for the country’s good economic run.Many experts, however, argue that the direction of the Canadian economy — positive or negative — is much more influenced by external factors, such as oil prices, U.S. demand and global growth, than policy decisions by any federal government.Since those first two months of 2018, the labour market has seen some improvement. Through June, employment posted a net decrease of 17,100 jobs this year, according to Statistics Canada’s latest labour force survey.The Finance memo said Canadians should expect more subdued job creation ahead because of slower economic growth, along with the pressure of fewer people wanting to participate in the job market because of an aging population. Those forces will further constrain economic expansion and, thus, employment opportunities.Since the unemployment rate, which fell to 5.8 per cent this year, was already below its “natural (trend) rate, there is likely limited scope for the rate to come down further,” the authors said.The memo also informed Morneau that despite robust 2017 performance, the job market showed signs of underlying weakness.The note underlined wage growth that’s “still relatively modest by historical standards,” a lethargic employment rebound in Alberta since the 2014 oil-price collapse and a higher-than-anticipated share of unemployed people who have been looking for work for at least six months.The Bank of Canada has also been predicting a slowdown in employment growth. Last month, the bank called labour market conditions “healthy,” but also agreed with Finance that there was room for improvement in energy-producing regions, the long-term unemployment rate and wage growth.The central bank also says employment has remained resilient enough that more and more businesses have been reporting labour shortages.In June, average hourly wage growth remained firm at 3.6 per cent. The number, however, did come down from its nine-year high in May of 3.9 per cent. By comparison, a chart in Morneau’s briefing note pointed out that wage growth was close to five per cent before the 2008-09 recession.Canada added 31,800 jobs in June and the unemployment rate moved up to six per cent, from 5.8 per cent in May. Many economists, however, said the higher jobless rate was an encouraging sign because it coincided with the influx of nearly 76,000 job seekers back into the labour market, suggesting more people were optimistic they could land work in the hotter economy.The jobs numbers for July will be released next week.Follow @AndyBlatchford on Twitterlast_img read more

Soldiers deliver gas as Portuguese truckers strike bites

LISBON, Portugal — Soldiers are driving tanker trucks to distribute gas in Portugal as an open-ended truckers’ strike over pay enters its second day.Police officers are also making deliveries as close to 500 of the country’s about 3,000 gas stations were reported dry Tuesday.The government has issued an order allowing the army to be used. It has also enacted a rarely-used legal measure which introduces a punishment of up to two years in prison for strikers who do not carry out a minimum volume of daily gas deliveries stipulated by the government.The government announced those steps late Monday after deciding that international airports and gas stations in the southern Algarve vacation region, which hosts 1 million tourists in August, were not receiving their stipulated supplies.The Associated Press read more

New Zealand judge rules Kim Dotcom and 3 others can be extradited

New Zealand judge rules Kim Dotcom and 3 others can be extradited to US on copyright charges by Nick Perry, The Associated Press Posted Dec 22, 2015 10:06 pm MDT Last Updated Dec 23, 2015 at 7:00 am MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email FILE – In this Wednesday, July 3, 2013 file photo, Internet entrepreneur Kim Dotcom speaks during the Intelligence and Security select committee hearing at Parliament in Wellington, New Zealand. A New Zealand judge has ruled that colorful Internet entrepreneur Kim Dotcom and three of his colleagues can be extradited to the United States to face criminal copyright charges. Dotcom’s lawyers said they will appeal the decision. Judge Nevin Dawson’s ruling on Wednesday, Dec. 23, 2015, comes nearly four years after U.S. authorities shut down Dotcom’s Megaupload website, which some visitors had used to illegally download songs and movies.(Mark Mitchell/New Zealand Herald via AP, File) NEW ZEALAND OUT, AUSTRALIA OUT WELLINGTON, New Zealand – A New Zealand judge ruled Wednesday that colorful Internet entrepreneur Kim Dotcom and three of his colleagues can be extradited to the United States to face criminal copyright charges.Dotcom’s lawyers said they filed an appeal against the decision.Judge Nevin Dawson’s ruling came nearly four years after U.S. authorities shut down Dotcom’s file-sharing website Megaupload, which was once one of the Internet’s most popular sites. Prosecutors say it raked in at least $175 million, mainly from people using it to illegally download songs, television shows and movies.The U.S. has charged the men with conspiracy to commit copyright infringement, racketeering and money laundering. If found guilty, they could face decades in jail.But appeals to the extradition ruling are likely to take at least another year.“It will end up in the Supreme Court, there’s no doubt about it,” said Dotcom’s lawyer Ron Mansfield, referring to New Zealand’s highest court. “The legal issues are so interesting and complex.”Judge Dawson, who presided over the nine-week hearing, wrote, “The overwhelming preponderance of evidence … establishes a prima facie case to answer for all respondents on each of the counts.”The judge was required only to decide whether the U.S. had a valid case, and not whether he thought the men were guilty or innocent.The U.S. argued that the site cost copyright holders, which included Hollywood’s major movie studios, more than $500 million. Prosecutors say intercepted communications show the men talking about being “modern-day pirates” and “evil.”Dotcom argued that he can’t be held responsible for others who chose to use his site for illegal purposes, and that any case should have been heard in civil court.The case could have broader implications for Internet copyright rules. Mansfield said that if the U.S. side prevails, websites including YouTube and Facebook would need to more carefully police their content.The case also raises questions about how far U.S. jurisdiction extends in an age when the Internet has erased many traditional borders. Dotcom says he has never set foot in the U.S.Born in Germany as Kim Schmitz, Dotcom has long enjoyed a flamboyant lifestyle.He was arrested in New Zealand in 2012 after a dramatic police raid on his mansion.Out on bail soon after, he released a music album, started another Internet file-sharing company called Mega, and launched a political party which unsuccessfully contested the nation’s 2014 election.In addition to Dotcom, who founded Megaupload and was its majority shareholder, the U.S. is also seeking to extradite former Megaupload officers Mathias Ortmann, Bram van der Kolk and Finn Batato.“Justice was not served today,” Ira Rothken, another of Dotcom’s lawyers, wrote on Twitter.New Zealand Justice Minister Amy Adams is required to sign off on any extraditions. In a statement Wednesday, Adams said she would wait for the conclusion of any appeals before making a final decision. Even her decision can be subjected to judicial review.The men remained free on bail after Wednesday’s ruling, pending their appeals.Before the ruling, Dotcom wrote on Twitter, “This is my weirdest Xmas ever.” read more

Forced labour case raises new doubts on gilded cage jailing

NEW YORK, N.Y. – Dan Zhong’s two-story home in Livingston, New Jersey, is unremarkable by suburban standards, but the businessman’s lawyers have told a judge he is willing to pay $144,000 per month to turn the place into a private jail where he can comfortably await trial on charges he exploited immigrant Chinese labourers.His proposal is the latest example of wealthy people facing potentially long prison terms who have asked to finance their own, extravagant house arrests, highlighting inequities between them and defendants of lesser means who languish behind bars and spawning a cottage industry of former federal agents and police officers working as private guards.Zhong, 47, a former Chinese diplomat and legal U.S. resident, is accused of forcing immigrants to work on construction projects at Chinese diplomatic facilities in the U.S.For now, he is a prisoner at the fortress-like Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn. But he has resources other prisoners don’t. His uncle is a Chinese billionaire, Wang Wenliang, who has drawn scrutiny over his large donations to American political campaigns and nonprofits like the Clinton Foundation.Hiring a security firm to ensure Zhong doesn’t flee the property “is a very, very expensive proposition,” defence attorney Thomas Fitzpatrick said at a hearing late last year. “His family in China is willing to spend that money to get him out of the MDC.”Prosecutors so far have won the fight to deny Zhong house arrest — in the form of $10 million bail — in part by arguing that his finances are too murky. On Monday, a judge again rejected his bail bid; his lawyers said they’ll appeal.If a court eventually approves the proposal, Zhong would join a short but notable list of loaded defendants who turned their New York-area homes into a gilded cage.Ponzi scheme mastermind Bernard Madoff was released on $10 million bail and allowed to live in his $7 million Manhattan apartment before he was sentenced to a 150-year prison term in 2009.Former International Monetary Fund leader Dominique Strauss-Kahn posted $5 million bail so he could stay, under guard, in his Manhattan townhouse in 2011 until charges accusing him of sexually assaulting a hotel maid were dropped.More recently, a judge released Chinese billionaire Ng Lap Seng on $50 million bail so he could live in his $4 million Manhattan apartment, under 24-hour watch by two $200-per-hour security guards, while awaiting trial in a bribery case involving the United Nations.Other judges have been less hospitable.Last year, U.S. District Judge Richard Berman denied a $50 million private-jail bail bid by gold trader Reza Zarrab, who is charged with violating U.S. sanctions on Iran. Berman called it “unreasonable because it helps to foster inequity and unequal treatment in favour of a very small cohort of criminal defendants who are extremely wealthy.”Another federal judge in Brooklyn, Nicholas Garaufis, grew disdainful last year when Jacob “Kobi” Alexander, a former technology firm CEO who spent 10 years on the lam in Africa, unsuccessfully sought release on $25 million bail in a securities fraud case.“Spare me. I wasn’t born yesterday,” the judge said.A letter from Guidepost Solutions, a firm headed by former federal prosecutors, lays out the strict conditions for guarding Zhong, including installing alarms, sensors and cameras at his home and instructing his guards to take cellphones from any visitors — and even use “reasonable force” to keep him from fleeing.But prosecutors in the U.N. bribery case have questioned Guidepost’s resolve in their contract to secure Ng. In court papers, they complained the defendant was visited by a masseuse 16 times and was allowed to pick up meals at his favourite restaurant in Chinatown.Before his arrest, Zhong ran a business affiliated with China Rilin Construction Group, owned by his uncle, Wenliang Wang.Wang has made large donations to Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe. One of his companies, based in New Jersey, gave $70,000 to the Democrat’s gubernatorial campaign and $50,000 to his inaugural committee in 2013, according to campaign finance records.Rilin also gave at least $1 million to the Clinton Foundation, according to the foundation.McAuliffe’s dealings with Wang touched off a federal probe that the governor’s lawyer has said found no wrongdoing. Wang also was among dozens of members of China’s legislature expelled last year in a vote-buying scandal.In a past ruling denying Zhang bail, Magistrate Judge Ramon Reyes suggested that in dealing with the super-rich, even bails in the tens of millions that could be forfeited to the government don’t dampen the incentive to flee.“The relatives in China have a lot of money at their disposal,” he said. “A $10 million bond? They’d probably laugh it off, right?” by Tom Hays, The Associated Press Posted Jan 9, 2017 7:07 am MDT Last Updated Jan 9, 2017 at 2:00 pm MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email The Metropolitan Detention Center (MDC) is shown Sunday, Jan. 8, 2017, in the Brooklyn borough of New York. Dan Zhong, a businessman imprisoned on charges he forced immigrant laborers to do construction at Chinese diplomatic facilities in the U.S., wants to turn his New Jersey home into a private jail where he can comfortably await trial. For now Zhong is a prisoner at the MDC. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens) Forced labour case raises new doubts on ‘gilded cage’ jailing read more

Security Council extends terms of judges serving on UN Rwanda genocide tribunal

The Security Council today extended the term of office of five judges serving with the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) to facilitate the completion of the court’s work. In a unanimously adopted resolution, the 15-member body extended the terms of the following permanent judges until 31 December 2014 or until the completion of the cases to which they are assigned: Mehmet Güney of Turkey, Khalida Rachid Khan of Pakistan, Arlette Ramaroson of Madagascar, Bakhtiyar Tuzmukhamedov of Russia, and Andrésia Vaz of Senegal. Based in Arusha, Tanzania, the ICTR was set up after the Rwandan genocide, when at least 800,000 ethnic Tutsis and politically moderate Hutus were killed during a span of three months beginning in April 1994.The Council has urged both the ICTR and the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) to conclude their work by the end of 2014.It set up the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals (IRMCT) in December 2010 and mandated it to take over and finish the remaining tasks of the two tribunals when they are closed after their mandates expire. The ICTR branch of the Residual Mechanism began its functions on 1 July, while the branch for ICTY will start on 1 July 2013.In today’s resolution, the Council requested updates on the transition of functions of the ICTR to the Residual Mechanism, and also urged all States to provide all needed assistance to the tribunal, particularly in relation to the arrest of remaining fugitives. read more

Ohio State mens soccer set for rematch with Michigan in Big Ten

OSU junior defenders Liam Doyle (5) and Kyle Culbertson (3) fight for possession of the ball during a game against Kentucky, Oct. 28. at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium. OSU and Kentucky tied, 1-1.Credit: Taylor Cameron / Lantern photographerAfter tasting victory against the Wolverines on Wednesday, “Michigan Week” turned into a doubleheader for the Ohio State men’s soccer team.After defeating its rival, 2-1, Wednesday night, second-seeded OSU (8-6-4, 5-3-0) is set for a rematch with seventh-seeded Michigan (6-8-3, 3-3-2) in the quarterfinal round of the Big Ten men’s soccer tournament after outlasting five other teams aiming for one of the top two spots.“This Big Ten season has been really amazing how competitive it’s been, and the way it concluded on Wednesday evening, with four games and four teams with a chance to win the regular season championship on the final evening, what a tremendous conference to play in,” OSU coach John Bluem said.The Buckeyes finished the regular season in a tie for second place with Penn State and Northwestern. However, OSU’s +6 goal differential in Big Ten play was the best of the three, giving it the second seed in the tournament.“(I’m) obviously really excited, but I think the word to describe it’s ‘proud,’” junior midfielder Zach Mason said. “The last two years, we didn’t find the success we wanted, but we were very determined in turning it around.”After finishing 5-8-4 overall and 1-3-2 in conference play in 2013, Mason said the team’s turnaround was as simple as flipping a switch during the offseason.“It was just us deciding to turn it around,” Mason said. “We made a conscious decision as a team, the players and coaching staff, and I’m really proud we followed through with it.“We had some team meetings, we sat down with players, with coaches, and just sort of hammered it out. We re-evaluated what we were doing with training, in the classroom, everything, just A-through-Z, pretty much, and I think it’s really paid off for us.”OSU was picked to finish last in the Big Ten in the preseason coaches poll, something Mason said the team took personally.“Hearing we were voted last at the beginning of the season by most of the coaches put a chip on our shoulder,” the co-captain said.OSU was able to seal the right to host quarterfinal matchup with a 2-1 victory against the Wolverines in Ann Arbor, Mich., on Wednesday night.A pair of sophomore forwards scored for the Buckeyes, with Danny Jensen scoring less than a minute into the game, and Christian Soldat tallying the game winner with a deflection off a Michigan defender with just over five minutes remaining.Bluem said he wants to stress not to over-think the fact that the rematch between the two schools is coming so close to the first meeting.“We’ll talk about the psychological implications of playing a team you just defeated, and does that give us an advantage or them an advantage, but the reality is, it’s just another game,” he said. “You have to play people at one time or another, you always end up in the conference tournament playing someone you already played, the difference is the game was five days ago. But whether it’s five days ago or two months ago, you’re still playing against a team you already played.”In the game Wednesday night, OSU outshot Michigan, 11-4, in the second half as it looked for the deciding goal.Twenty fouls were called in Wednesday night’s game, as well as three yellow cards being handed out. Junior Liam Doyle chalked much of that up to the storied rivalry between the two schools.“It was a typical derby (matches between rivals from the same region). I’ve played in a few different derbies and it’s always the same,” the British defender said. “It’s heated, it’s aggressive, everyone’s playing on the edge, but hopefully it will stay friendly and competitive in that way.”OSU will come into the game 4-1-1 in its last six games. Mason said he feels the Buckeyes have gotten hot at the right time.“Absolutely, I think that’s what every team tries to do (get hot late in the season),” Mason said. “Obviously early on, we were trying to figure some things out, but we’ve been hot lately, and I think it’s perfect timing for us.”OSU has won the Big Ten tournament three times – in 2000, 2007 and 2009. However, it has not advanced past its first game in the tournamnet since its last title in 2009.Last season, the Buckeyes fell to Michigan State in the quarterfinals, 2-0, in Columbus.Michigan also fell in the quarterfinals a year ago, 2-1, in overtime against Indiana.OSU’s quarterfinal match against Michigan is set for Sunday at 1 p.m. at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium.The winner of the matchup between OSU and Michigan is set to play the winner of No. 3 seed Northwestern vs. No. 6 seed Indiana. That game is scheduled for Nov. 14 at 3:40 p.m. at the location of the higher remaining seed. read more

Ausdrill update on operating performance

first_imgAusdrill has reviewed its anticipated operating performance for the financial year ending June 30 2013 in light of the group’s results during the third quarter of FY2013 as well as prevailing market conditions and expects to report a Net Profit after Tax of between A$90 million and A$96 million for the financial year to June 30 2013. Ausdrill’s core business comprises of mining services in Africa and Australia and has performed as expected partly due due to the focus on production related services. Ausdrill’s profits are expected to be impacted by the general slowdown in activity in the Australian mining sector which started from September 2012 and has not recovered as predicted.Ausdrill viewed the slowdown as particularly evident in the following areas:Exploration – there has been a delay in resumption of activities following the seasonal shut down over the Christmas period with the current level of activity not showing signs of a recovery in the near term. This has affected exploration drilling, mineral assaying and some manufacturing activities. Exploration drilling accounted for approximately 10% of Ausdrill’s revenue in the half year to December 2012;Equipment hire – the fall in commodity prices has generally resulted in the deferral of new projects and the scaling back of overall physical material movements on some production sites. This has resulted in surplus mining equipment in the sector, with trading conditions in the equipment rental market remaining below expected levels. We expect these trading conditions to persist in the near term. Equipment hire revenue accounted for approximately 8% of Ausdrill’s revenue in the half year to December 2012;Weakness in prices of coal, iron ore and more recently gold – leading to a slowdown in other services provided by Ausdrill in Australia; andDelays being encountered in ramp-up of production well drilling in the coal seam gas sector in eastern Australia.In addition, Ausdrill has been developing two new businesses in the mineral assaying and coal seam gas drilling sectors which have been impacted as described above. Ausdrill continues to expense all development costs associated with those businesses. Despite this sustained slowdown in activity, Ausdrill expects to report a Net Profit after Tax of between A$90 million and A$96 million for the financial year ending June 30 2013 on revenues between A$1,150 million and A$1,170 million. Ausdrill considers that the forecast result is acceptable considering the adverse market conditions that have beset the industry since September 2012.This expectation is subject to the impacts of any fluctuation in the value of the Australian dollar in relation to the US dollar and the Euro, and assumes that the current trading conditions continue unchanged for the next quarter. The full year result includes the effects of significant items totalling approximately A$16.2m on an after tax basis.Ausdrill’s strategy is to continue its focus on strengthening its business in the Australian and African markets and will be reviewing cost structures within the group and reviewing working capital to ensure that it is commensurate with current levels of activity. Restriction of capital expenditure to replacement needs or identified growth opportunities.last_img read more

Tolkien Lovecraft Rowling Inspire Names of Seven New Spider Species

first_img There is a generation of Lunas and Lorelais and Dexters and Liams, born to parents inspired by popular culture.South American scientists had the same idea upon discovering seven new species of spider genus Ochyrocera in the caves of northern Brazil.Collected from the Carajás National Forest in Pará, the arachnids were named after famous spiders—including two conceived by J. R. R. Tolkien.No more than 2 mm in size, the six-eyed creatures (spiders typically have eight peepers) come from a family of 175 described species distributed across 15 genera.Ochyroceratids are common among the tropical litter and caves in South Africa, the Caribbean, and Asia (specifically the Indo-Pacific), where they build webs in dark, damp areas.Notably, two of the new species were found outside of the iron caves in Pará, according to a study by Antonio Brescovit, Igor Cizauskas, and Leandro Mota, of Sao Paulo’s Instituto Butantan.All seven, however, honor literary heavyweights among arthropods:Ochyrocera varysRefers to Varys, a eunuch “with a venomous spirit” from George R. R. Martin’s book “A Song of Ice and Fire.” He is known as “The Spider,” due to his vast web of intelligence sources.Ochyrocera atlachnachaRefers to Atlach-Nacha, a supernatural entity from H.P. Lovecraft’s short story “The Seven Geases.” The cavern dweller resembles a huge spider with an almost-human face.Ochyrocera laracnaRefers to Shelob (which translates to “Laracna” in Portuguese), an “evil thing in spider-form” from J. R. R. Tolkien’s Middle-earth legendarium. Worshipped by Gollum, she appears at the end of “The Two Towers” as part of the Stoor Hobbit’s deceitful plan.Ochyrocera aragogueRefers to Aragog, an Acromantula with a taste for human flesh and the ability to communicate with people. Hagrid’s secret pet from “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets” by J.K. Rowling eventually died of an unknown illness.Ochyrocera misspiderRefers to Little Miss Spider, the title character in the bestselling children’s books by David Kirk.Ochyrocera charlotteRefers to Charlotte, the beloved barn spider at the heart of E.B. White’s classic “Charlotte’s Web.” (And probably the only insect to befriend a pig.)Ochyrocera ungoliantRefers to Ungoliant, described in Tolkien’s legendarium as an evil spirit in the form of a spider. Briefly mentioned in “The Lord of the Rings,” she plays a supporting role in “The Silmarillion.”Last year, a University of Vermont scientist uncovered 15 new species of “smiley-faced” spiders, which he and four of his undergraduate students named after beloved family members, revered politicians (Barack Obama), actors (Leonardo DiCaprio), and musicians (David Bowie). Stay on target Watch: Dolphin Leaps Feet Away From Unsuspecting SurferNASA Says 2 Asteroids Will Safely Fly By Earth This Weekend center_img Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey.last_img read more

Run2Survive fun for living and undead

first_imgCan a zombie run three miles? Purists claim that their bodies are far too decayed for running, much less long-distance running. And yet, behind the fields of Endeavor Elementary School, a breed of enhanced zombies laced up their sneakers and ran in search of human flesh. Run2Survive was one of three events Saturday in support of the Evergreen School District Foundation. It was the first time Energy Events, which also sponsors the Vancouver USA Marathon, jumped onboard the zombie run fad, said race director Brian Davis. The foundation gets most of its money for scholarships and grants from a spring gala. Park Llafet, vice president of fundraising, said he wanted to add a fall fundraiser that was more geared toward the community.Survivors took off at dusk with a two-minute head start on the impending horde of the undead. The zombies ran wearing what they died in: hospital scrubs, tutus and pajamas. Some had the foresight to put on compression capris and running jerseys before their untimely demise.Although winner Dan McElrath finished in just 18 minutes, he did not survive. Being ahead of the pack turned out to be a disadvantage; he was ambushed by zombies hiding out along the course who jumped out of the bushes and snatched both of his red lifeline flags.last_img read more

Sneak peek at newest Ambergris Caye boutique resort

first_imgSneak peek at newest Ambergris Caye boutique resort Share Tuesday, June 5, 2018 Tags: Alaia, Belize, Marriott Travelweek Group center_img << Previous PostNext Post >> Posted by AMBERGRIS CAYE — Marriott’s Autograph Collection Hotels is offering a first look at the new Alaia boutique resort coming to Belize in 2020, as hotel development on the country’s cayes continues at a rapid pace.Beach Side ViewSet on the southern part of Ambergris Caye, in the historic town of San Pedro, Alaia will join the 135 independent hotels in the brand’s collection when it opens in two years.RooftopAlaia broke ground at the end of 2017 with a launch plan of five phases. Amenities will include a beach club exclusive to guests and residents, a rooftop suspended pool and lounge with ocean views, full service spa, fitness centre, kids’ club, dive shop and live art gallery.Villa“Belize’s tourism is booming, with 2017 being a record year and vastly surpassing the 400,000 annual visitor threshold,” says Manuel Heredia, Belize’s Minister of Tourism.  “With the industry playing an integral role on the country’s economy, Alaia has the government’s full support as it will take our country to new heights by boosting the employment growth, generating awareness around the destination, and allowing visitors to immerse themselves in Belize’s vibrant culture.”PoolAlaia isn’t Marriott’s only property on the island. The 203-key Belize Marriott Ambergris Caye Resort and Residences will offer an upscale experience on Belize’s largest island, known for its world-class scuba diving, fishing, water sports and white sandy beaches.Beach Front ViewBelize’s first luxury resort from a global brand, Mahogany Bay Resort & Beach Club, Curio – A Collection By Hilton, opened its doors in December 2017.More news:  Direct Travel names Smith as Senior VP, Leisure Marketing, North AmericaMeanwhile Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts is already at work on Four Seasons Resort and Residences Caye Chapel, Belize. The luxury retreat on Belize’s island of Caye Chapel will include 100 guest rooms and suites.last_img read more

Mumbai International Airport bags the runner up award in the Favourite Airport

first_imgAdding to its extensive list of laurels, Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport (CSMIA) administered by GVK MIAL bagged the runner-up award in the ‘Favourite Airport’ category at the eighth edition of ‘Condé Nast Traveller Readers’ Travel Awards’.The star-studded award ceremony, hosted by Bollywood actress Chitrangada Singh was attended by government officials, industry leaders, influencers and leaders from the travel and tourism fraternity. Selected by thousands of readers in a survey carried out by Condé Nast Traveller, the award reflects Mumbai airport’s excellence in service parameters that go towards satisfying the needs of travellers. The accolade is an acknowledgement of GVK MIAL’s continuous efforts towards setting quality benchmarks and implementing best practices for the airport industry across the globe. This achievement demonstrates the airport’s constant endeavour to consistently offer a seamless experience to its stakeholders at CSMIA.A quintessence of operational excellence, the Mumbai airport’s endeavours has tenaciously been directed towards placing CSMIA on the map of the world’s best airports. The evolution brought through CSMIA with respect to services, functionality and operations personifies into a dynamic travel companion that its stakeholders cherish having on their side. Through providing an assortment of world-class facilities to travellers, CSMIA has continually made a bid in rendering travel to Mumbai as the most desirable and enriching affair.last_img read more

New York NY – EL AL Israels national airline h

first_imgNew York, NY – EL AL, Israel’s national airline, has been recognized as having the highest safety standards in the aviation industry. The International Air Transport Association (IATA) is the umbrella organization of airlines worldwide that determines operational standards and is known for having the most stringent safety regulations in the aviation industry.EL AL passed the first IATA safety inspections in 2006 when the airline’s work procedures regarding safety were rigorously examined. By meeting the IATA standards this year, EL AL is guaranteed the honor of having the safety seal for the next two years, through

Dearth of knowledge among public on organ donation

first_imgBy Evie AndreouDespite the fact that Cyprus is among the top European countries when it comes to living kidney donors, it lags far behind on post-death organ donations, officials said on Thursday.From around 2,600 deaths recorded in hospitals each year only 25 people are registered as potential organ donors.The findings of a study announced at a news conference on Thursday indicate that there is still room for improvement as regards public awareness on organ donation in Cyprus.According to member of the Transplant Council, Dr Constantinos Fellas, four in ten respondents believe one can buy an organ for transplant, while around the same percentage believes that only close relatives of patients could be living donors.What was remarkable, he said, was that only 15 per cent of respondents knew that liver can be transplanted from living donors, and even fewer – 3 per cent – knew that the same can be done with lungs.Three in ten, he said, believe that a person can recover from brain death.Only eight per cent said they were registered as organ donors, and 65 per cent said they were interested in becoming one. The greatest interest was expressed from those in the 18 to 24 age group, followed by those between 25 and 44.The head of the Transplant Council, Olga Kalakouta, said that the continuous lack of organs leads to bigger transplant lists.The news is better however when it comes to kidney donations.Between February 2011 and last summer, there have been 168 kidney transplants of which 43 came from post-death donors.Transplant, Kalakouta said, is a successful treatment and gives patients a second chance in life and the ability to change their quality of life for the better.She also referred to Cyprus’ successful track record in transplants, mentioning the Paraskevaidion Transplant Centre that operated between 1986 and 2010 when a state operated clinic opened at the Nicosia General Hospital. During its 24 years of operation, almost 900 transplants were performed at the Paraskevaidion with over a 90 per cent success rate.Kalakouta also said that the transplant clinic of the Nicosia hospital has achieved “the best results both at European and international level”.She added that national legislation is fully in line with the European acquis and ensures transparent organ transplantation procedures of high quality and safety.To become an organ donor, one can also fill out and submit online a form to the Transplant Council.The form can be found at:$file/reg%20FORM%20ORGAN%20%20DONATION_EMAIL%20_25_7_2016%20_distributed.pdf  You May LikeSecurity SaversWindows Users Advised To Do This TodaySecurity SaversUndoPlarium I Vikings: Free Online GamePlay this for 1 minute and see why everyone is addictedPlarium I Vikings: Free Online GameUndoPopularEverythingColorado Mom Adopted Two Children, Months Later She Learned Who They Really ArePopularEverythingUndo Concern over falling tourism numbersUndoThe Deniz boat incident showed clearly the intentions of the Turkish sideUndoIsraeli rape suspects freed, woman who alleged assault arrested (Updated)Undoby Taboolaby Taboolalast_img read more

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along with U.Jammu and Kashmir governor NN Vohra said all arrangements have been made for the security of two-month-long Amarnath pilgrimage and there is no cause for any worry. a large section of the population considers free-ranging street dogs to be a nuisance. “Not the stage show I don’t know what will happen with that but the movie hopefully,上海龙凤论坛Carsen, In his celebrated treatise Origin of Species. read more