Everton fan jailed for attacking Lyon players while holding toddler in his arms

first_imgAn Everton fan has been jailed for eight weeks after attacking opposition players while holding his toddler in his arms sucking a dummy.Snarling Michael Fitzpatrick was seen holding his three-year-old son in one arm, dummy in mouth, and using his other to grapple or punch at opposition players during a Europa League tie between Everton and Lyon last October.Footage of the incident went viral as Fitzpatrick was seen carrying the child among other fans pulling and throwing punches as players grappled near the touchline at Goodison Park.The 30-year-old, from Derby Square, Prescot, Merseyside, later said he felt “ashamed” by his behaviour and feared his ex will ban access to their children.Fitzpatrick was jailed for eight weeks after he pleaded guilty to assault, when he appeared at the Community Justice Centre in Bootle, on May 23, Merseyside Police said.He was also given a six-year football banning order due to the serious aggravating factor of the assault taking place while holding a child.Superintendent Dave Charnock, of Merseyside Police, said: “The majority of fans went to the game to enjoy it for what it was – a football match between two passionate clubs.“The police will not tolerate the selfish and idiotic actions of a few attempting to spoil a game of football that the vast majority of people went along to enjoy.“We will continue to work closely with all of our local clubs to make matches safe and enjoyable occasions for everyone, and ensure that we look to prosecute anyone who commits this type of behaviour.”“Fitzpatrick will now will have a criminal record and the consequences of this in the future could be significant.”The incident happened during the second half of the first leg with the home side trailing visitors Lyon.Toffees skipper Ashley Williams’ push on goalkeeper Anthony Lopes ignited a heated confrontation between several Everton and Lyon players which continued off the pitch and in front of the Howard Kendall Gwladys Street End.Everton banned Fitzpatrick for life from the ground.Callum McCready, 19, of Four Acre Lane, Clock Face, St Helens, was also charged with assault in connection with the incident and was given a caution.Daniel Herbert, 30, of Ashbourne Crescent, Roby, pleaded not guilty to common assault and will stand trial in June. 1last_img read more

Opening night is a flop for Angels

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREThe top 10 theme park moments of 2019 They were hot, having won 14 of their past 16. They clinched early, enabling them to rest regulars and shape their rotation for the playoffs, starting ace Bartolo Colon in the opener. They unexpectedly won the home-field advantage in the first round against the Yankees. And they came out almost flat as their oddly subdued crowd, getting shut down by a sore-armed pitcher who hadn’t thrown over 81 pitches in a game since Aug. 19. What a missed opportunity. What a disappointing beginning. What serious trouble the Angels are in after their 4-2 loss to the Yankees in Game 1 of their American League Division Series. In the playoffs, of course, everything is magnified. Every struggle, every bad jump on a ball, every O-for-4, and, most definitely, every loss. An opening defeat hardly ends a postseason run, but in a best-of-five series every loss looms huge. And with Randy Johnson scheduled to start for the Yankees on Friday against Paul Byrd in New York, tonight’s Game 2 here is almost a must win. Yep, one measly game into the playoffs and an Angels team that appeared out of sync all night, already needs John Lackey to come up huge, or Arte Moreno can start planning his next invasion of Los Angeles. Many of the Angels were quick to point out they lost the opening game of every series in their 2002 run to the World Series title. “It’s never in our plans to start one behind,” second baseman Adam Kennedy said. “Especially with a team like that – it’s going to be tough.” It was pointed out by several other Angels, however, they also lost the opener last year against the Red Sox. “They can say that, but last year we lost the first one and got swept,” first baseman Darin Erstad said. “This is a new year. We lost the first game, but it’s not over.” Truth is, the Angels haven’t won a postseason game since clinching the World Series in ’02. Heck, even the Dodgers have won a playoff game since then. Comparisons to ’02 are difficult to make right now. That year, the Angels were explosive. That year, they specialized in dramatic comebacks. That year, the home crowds were electric. Tuesday night’s sellout crowd suffered a blackout. Scattered ThunderStix barely made a ripple. The Rally Monkey just seemed silly again. The game was almost devoid of playoff atmosphere. Of course, falling behind 3-0 before getting your first ups does tend to quiet a crowd. Colon got the first two outs, and then gave up three consecutive singles to load the bases. Rookie Robinson Cano then drove a hit to left field. Garret Anderson, playing too shallow and getting a poor jump, ran back awkwardly and missed the drive as it landed on the grass near the track. A top outfielder should run that drive down. Instead, it fell for a bases-clearing double, and New York led 3-0 barely before manager Mike Scioscia had a chance to put on his jacket. Colon gave up another two-run in the second and had thrown almost 50 pitches after two innings. All while sore-armed Mike Mussina was setting the Angels down with relative ease. Six dull innings later and it was still 4-0 New York, and there was no remarkable comeback in the offering. “We were just kind of waiting for that one rally and it never came,” outfielder Steve Finley said. Nope, they hardly appeared as the team advertised. Leadoff man extraordinaire Chone Figgins never got on base. Anderson went hitless in four at-bats and Yankees-killer Kennedy was 0 for 3. They didn’t work counts much, couldn’t get men on base to utilize their baserunning or push their situational hitting. The air seemed to go out of the team and the crowd after one inning. All those best-laid plans, all that resting of starters, setting up of the rotation, all that momentum and it was just thud. “It didn’t work out,” Erstad said. “We didn’t win. It doesn’t matter if guys were rested or not. “Once the postseason starts, you can throw everything else out.” Including, apparently, all those good vibes and fortune and scheming from the past two weeks. One game into it, and the Angels are already in trouble. Steve Dilbeck’s column appears in the Daily News four times a week. He can be reached at stephen.dilbeck@dailynews.com. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Everything had been going so right for the Angels that Tuesday must have looked foreign as a Bengie Molina sprint. Things were lined up for the Angels and then … splat. center_img ANAHEIM – Thud. The sound of the best-laid plans of mice and men, and several Angels, landing in a heap, in a deflating flop of a postseason opener. last_img read more

Liverpool January transfer news LIVE

first_imgTransfers Liverpool January transfer news LIVE: Lemar decides to join Liverpool Goal Last updated 1 year ago 01:30 1/4/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Thomas Lemar Monaco Getty Images Transfers Liverpool Premier League Goal brings you all the latest news, rumours and deals related to the Reds as the January transfer window heats up Lemar decides to join LiverpoolMonaco star Thomas Lemar has decided to join Liverpool ahead of Arsenal and Manchester United, according to Yahoo Sports . Arsenal tried to sign Lemar last summer, but failed to finalise a €95 million deal on deadline day which, in turn, prevented Alexis Sanchez from joining Manchester City.Liverpool were also interested in Lemar in the last transfer window and are ready to make a renewed push to sign the France international in January, with Barcelona trying to agree a deal for Philippe Coutinho. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. A Liverpool legend in the making: Behind Virgil van Dijk’s remarkable rise to world’s best player Manchester United have also been linked with Lemar, but the winger has decided he wants to join Liverpool and he could become the replacement for Coutinho at Anfield.Valverde coy over Coutinho moveErnesto Valverde BarcelonaBarcelona manager Ernesto Valverde has refused to comment on whether a move for Philippe Coutinho is close.The Liverpool midfielder is keen to complete a move to Camp Nou in January after the Reds rejected three bids over the summer.Read the full story on Goal!Liverpool in battle for AlissonAlisson Becker RomaLiverpool are locked in a battle to sign Roma goalkeeper Alisson, according to Gazzetta dello Sport .The Reds are keen to add a new keeper to their squad, with neither Simon Mignolet nor Loris Karius able to bring any consistency to Jurgen Klopp’s side.They have turned their attention to Brazil international Alisson, but face competition from Paris Saint-Germain for his signature.Liverpool eye Ceballos as Coutinho replacementDani Ceballos Philippe CoutinhoLiverpool have identified Real Madrid midfielder Dani Ceballos as the man they want to replace Philippe Coutinho, according to Diario Gol . Ceballos is apparently fed up of waiting for a chance to prove himself under Zinedine Zidane and has communicated his desire to leave, through his agent, to president Florentino Perez.And the Reds are keen to make their move, seeing him as the ideal replacement for Coutinho, who is closing in on a switch to Liga leaders Barcelona. Max keen on Premier League movePhilipp Max, Augsburg, 18/18Augsburg left-back Philipp Max is keen on a move to the Premier League but doesn’t expect to change clubs in the January transfer window.Manchester City, Manchester United and Liverpool have all been linked with an approach for Max, who is under contract at Augsburg until 2022.The 24-year-old said: “I have a contract with Augsburg. In football, you can never rule anything out but I firmly believe that in the second half [of the season] I will play for FCA.”Read the full story on Goal! Barca confident of landing CoutinhoPhilippe Coutinho LiverpoolBarcelona are growing increasingly confident of landing Philippe Coutinho in January, with the Brazilian pushing for a move, according to the Mirror . There is a growing feeling from the Spanish outfit that a bid over £130million will get the deal done, with Coutinho having pulled out of Liverpool’s match against Burnley on New Year’s Day.Liverpool lead Goretzka chaseLeon Goretzka, Schalke, 17/18Liverpool are the leaders in the race to sign Leon Goretzka from Schalke, according to Bild ( via the Express )Liverpool, Arsenal and Bayern Munich have all been mentioned as possible landing spots for the 22-year-old midfielder, but the German publication seems to think the Reds are winning the race. Goretzka is out of contract in the summer, and the club have already moved to bring in another midfielder this winter, opening the door for his possible exit. Pjaca’s agent confirms Juve switchMarko Pjaca Juventus Milan Serie AJuventus midfielder Marko Pjaca will spend the rest of the season on loan at Schalke, after struggling to establish himself in Serie A. Agent Marko Naletilic confirmed to  Goal  on Tuesday that his client has chosen Schalke as his next destination, despite interest from the club’s Bundesliga rivals Wolfsburg, with the Reds having also been mentioned as a possible destination. And though he does not want to leave, he conceded that the club will have the final say on his future.Read the full story on Goal! Kent set for Liverpool returnHD Ben Woodburn Dom Solanke Ryan KentRyan Kent is set to return to Liverpool, with the club ready to loan out Ben Woodburn and Ovie Ejaria, according to the Daily Mail . Kent is expected to return after a dissapointing loan spell with Freiburg, where he signed on for the season this summer. The Reds are also ready to part ways with Woodburn, with Sunderland among those leading the chase, and Ejaria, who have both struggled for game time this season. Keita not seeking January switchNaby Keita RB LeipzigNaby Keita has not asked for an early transfer to Liverpool, according to RB Leipzig CEO Oliver Mintzlaff.A deal to take Keita to Anfield next summer was agreed in August and, amid rumours that the former Salzburg midfielder is eyeing a switch in January, the Bulls boss has laid such to rest.Read the story in full right here on Goal! Coutinho has played last game for LiverpoolPhilippe Coutinho LiverpoolPhilippe Coutinho has pulled on the Liverpool jersey for the last time as he looks to force a move to Barcelona, according to Spanish outlet  Sport .The 25-year-old is determined not to pick up an injury playing for the Reds, and as a result, will play no part in their January fixtures as he seeks a move to Camp Nou during the current transfer window.Coutinho last played for Liverpool on December 30, as Jurgen Klopp’s side defeated Leicester City 2-1 thanks to a Mohamed Salah double. He then sat out their 2-1 victory at Burnley on New Year’s Day.Coutinho pushes for record Barca dealCoutinho, LiverpoolPhilippe Coutinho has repeated his insistence to trade Liverpool for Barcelona in a potential deal that would comfortably surpass the British transfer record.Sources close to the No.10 have revealed Liverpool unsuccessfully tried to alter Coutinho’s mind by presenting multiple incentives and a greater wage packet to their highest earner.Read Liverpool correspondent Melissa Reddy’s full story right here! Lijnders leaves Liverpool for NECHD Pep LijndersPepijn Lijnders has left his post as Jurgen Klopp’s assistant to take over as head coach of Dutch side NEC, the Reds confirmed .The 34-year-old joined the Premier League side in 2014 to take over the Under-16s side and then become part of Klopp’s coaching staff, but has been lured back to his homeland to take on his own side in the second tier.“I’m proud of each day that I could represent [Liverpool] directly and I will give my best to do so in my next chapter. Hopefully they will be proud of me as well,” he told the club’s website as he bid farewell.Klopp shrugs off Coutinho Nike ‘leak’Coutinho, LiverpoolLiverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has said he “couldn’t be less interested in anything in the world” regarding Nike’s apparent leak of Philippe Coutinho’s rumoured transfer to Barcelona.The Brazilian has been linked with the Catalan giants since the start of the season and was not part of the Reds’ squad for Monday’s 2-1 victory at Burnley due to a minor thigh complaint.Read the story in full right here on Goal! Subscribe to Goal’s Liverpool Correspondent Neil Jones’ weekly email bringing you the best Liverpool FC writing from around the weblast_img read more

Edgy comedy duo Williams and Ree inundated with hate mail loses work

first_imgJohn MurrayAPTN InvestigatesThe comedy duo of Williams and Ree has been inundated with hate mail and has had concerts in Canada cancelled because of what many called racist comments during a tribute concert for the Humboldt Broncos in late April.“I can count on one hand the complaints that we had up until this one,” said Terry Ree who was reached by APTN Investigates in Florida after a show. “You know the complaints that the people who were usually offended were usually drunk white people who didn’t understand what we’re doing. Certainly to call us racist is the furthest thing from our minds. We just had fun.“We had fun and soon realized that we were actually doing more good than harm because we were showing people how stupid it is to be racist and to hate.”The Casino Regina cancelled a May 24 engagement after their performance April 27 in Saskatoon caused an uproar on social media.The duo, comprising of Bruce Williams and Ree who also call themselves The Indian and The White Guy, tour North America with their show combining music with comedy that plays on stereotypes.Ree said Williams had already apologized on the group’s Facebook page but it was deleted because of the response it received.“Hundreds, hundreds of hate mail. Death threats you know. I mean vulgarity, like I can cuss with the best of them but I’m telling you it was crass,” he said, “So I just said ‘take that whole thing down.’”The April 27 incident came to light after an Instagram post by Miriam Dreaver.“Got asked to come to the Humboldt concert. Left early though. I’m all about supporting other humans but when the MC says ‘country girl shake it for me now, shake it for me, shake it for me, shake it for the Indians with the STDs’ and everyone in there, except my friend and I, roared with laughter,” Dreaver wrote.The post has since been deleted after Dreaver began receiving hateful messages.She said that there were many more supportive and positive comments than negative ones.Unfortunately, the negative ones were often personal and vulgar, she said.When reached by APTN, Ree, who is Sioux, said that he and his partner Williams (who is not Indigenous) were working in Seattle when Country Thunder proposed the concert.They immediately agreed and left Seattle on the Friday of the tribute concert, travelled all day and performed that night.“So we had very little sleep Thursday night, drove to the Seattle airport early morning, we flew to Saskatoon and got off the plane at five o’clock. We went to the venue at seven o’clock. The show started and we did what we do,” Ree said.They performed between musical acts and were well into the show when the incident occurred.When APTN spoke to Dreaver she said she was there with her friend Bernadette Anaskon and they were the only visibly Indigenous people in their vicinity.She told APTN that she has a good sense of humour but the comedy that night didn’t sit well with her. When Williams and Ree started singing she had an immediate reaction.“As soon as I heard the tone of their song, like as soon as I heard them start singing, I was like here we go. It’s like I knew it was coming. And then boom and I was like ‘nah I don’t want to stay here,’” she said.Others also weighed in on the controversy by posting on the Country Thunder Foundation Facebook page.“Pretty sad that you use this tragedy to slam another race with your comments,” Rhonda Copegag posted. “Last I checked we are all human and all bleed the same color. Guess you never thought that this whole world was mourning this tragedy also, including the ‘[I]ndians’. I am disgusted by your actions.”Bernadette Anaskon also offered her opinion on the promoter’s Facebook page.“Even though I’m for Humboldt and what they stand for because I relate, being a hockey mom but to hear tonight from one of the announcers and his ridiculous comment. I’m amazed at the ignorance of our society,” she said.Anaskon attended the event with Dreaver. She told APTN that they were there having a good time laughing when they heard the song line.They both looked at each other and immediately decided to leave.“My initial reaction to hearing what he said, as we were busy laughing, talking and having a good time, it was like OK wait what?” Anaskon said. “You know I looked at her and I was like shocked. And I was standing and I’m like did he just say that and then she said yeah. I said oh my god, why would he say that? And then she’s like are you ok? I look around and I’m like geez. And then she was like are you OK and I’m like No. She’s like you do you want to leave? I’m like yeah let’s go.”Anaskon was there to support the Humboldt Broncos.“My kid is around that age. He made pre-season with the Blackhawks for Beardy’s and you know it was his dream to jump on the bus. And he goes as a stats person and a trainer for a bantam team in Regina. And you know they lost one of those of guys, you know a 16-year-old on the bus, so it pulls on my heartstrings” she said.Facebook threats and insults were hurled in both directions, by Indigenous and non-Indigenous people alike, according to both Dreaver and Ree.Dreaver, in a follow up Facebook post after deleting the initial post said she didn’t intend to promote hate.“I just wanted to say. I don’t promote hate or anger but what happened at that show was inappropriate in my eyes. I wasn’t a fan of the jokes, especially at this time, and that’s OK,” she said.Ree felt otherwise.“It certainly did invoke hate,” he said. “You know, hundreds of people who have never seen us and have no idea what we do sent hate mail and we lost a job. They cancelled us at Regina at the casino where we played every other year since the casino started.”SaskGaming, the corporate body for Casino Regina, offered the following statement by email: “Due to content concerns stemming from the recent Humboldt Broncos tribute concert, Casino Regina has made the decision to cancel the Williams and Ree comedy show originally scheduled for May 24, 2018 in the Show Lounge. All ticket holders will be refunded using their original method of payment.”Saskatoon resident, concert attendee, and former APTN corresondent Larissa Burnouf, shared Casino Regina’s Facebook announcement with the following comment.“Bravo Casino Regina!! Racist ‘jokes’ at a tribute concert for the Humboldt Broncos is not acceptable and we were all extremely offended by the things these men were saying at the show. I will never attend another Country Thunder production again,” Burnouf wrote.Country Thunder Music Festivals is a promoter and organizer of concerts and music festivals like the Craven Country Jamboree in Saskatchewan.Despite the cancellation in Regina the duo is slated to host the Craven Country Music Jamboree this summer and will be opening for The Bellamy Brothers at River Cree Casino in Edmonton in November.Country Thunder Music Festival Foundation sponsored the event with proceeds going the victims and families of the tragic motor vehicle collision on April 6 that took the lives of 16 people.APTN reached out to Country Thunder but calls were not returned.Ree wanted people to know they are about having fun.“I just want anybody who thinks we are hate, come see the show. You know, we tell them up front that we’re not politically correct and if you’re easily offended this might not be the place for you. And then we do what we do,” he said.jmurray@aptn.ca@murrjwlast_img read more

Robin van Persie looking forward to being the coach of his

first_imgFeyenoord striker Robin van Persie revealed how he’s looking forward to his retirement from football but refused to rule out returning one day as a coachThe 35-year-old has enjoyed a remarkable career that saw him star in the Premier League for 11 seasons at Arsenal and Manchester United.Van Persie left the English top-flight in 2015 for Turkish giants Fenerbahce after managing an impressive tally of 144 goals and 65 assists in 280 league games along with one title.As of January 2018, Van Persie has since been playing his football at boyhood club Fenerbahce where he scored in their 3-0 KNVB Cup final win over AZ Alkmaar last season.But the Dutchman announced in October that he will likely call time on his successful career in June and appears to be looking forward to the prospect of being the coach of his own life.“I was on a good holiday in Dubai – 12 days with friends and family,” Van Persie told NOS.“Nemanja Vidic was there as well. He has been retired for three and a half years and said very fittingly: ‘When you retire, you have to be the coach of your own life’.Harry Maguire, Manchester UnitedSolskjaer praises Harry Maguire after Man United’s 1-0 win Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Ole Gunnar Solskjaer singled out Harry Maguire for praise after helping Manchester United keep a clean sheet in their 1-0 win over Leicester City.“Everything is arranged for [players], a team manager and a coach tell you what to do, we are just children often going on school trips.“If that disappears, you have to become the coach of your own life. Is that difficult when your whole life is thought out for you? Yes, but I’m going to try it.DOETINCHEM, NETHERLANDS – AUGUST 12: Robin van Persie of Feyenoord looks on during the Eredivisie match between De Graafschap and Feyenoord at Stadion De Vijverberg on August 12, 2018 in Doetinchem, Netherlands. (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)“I won’t have to do anything anymore, I’m going to swim, play table tennis, tennis, football. I like that a lot. Then when there is a time I can’t do anything, without thinking: there will be another competition soon.”The former Arsenal star revealed he’s held talks with Dutch Football Association director Eric Gudde over getting his coaching badges.“I think [coaching] is nice, but I don’t know,” added Van Persie.“I had contact with Eric Gudde and he provided options for my eventual trajectory, but nothing has been decided yet.”Despite entering what will likely be his last season, Van Persie shows no signs of slowing down with seven goals and three assists in 13 Eredivisie appearances for Feyenoord.last_img read more

Western Posts Picked to House Armys Newest Security Assistance Brigades

first_imgThe Army will station new security force assistance brigades (SFABs) at Fort Hood, Texas, Fort Carson, Colo., and Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., bringing to five the number of SFABs with identified home stations. The units slated for Fort Hood and Fort Carson, the Army’s 3rd and 4th SFABs, are scheduled to begin standing up later this year, reports Army Times. The 1st SFAB is stationed at Fort Benning, Ga., and the 2nd SFAB at Fort Bragg, N.C. The Army also plans to stand up a sixth and final SFAB assigned to the National Guard.The decision to station the SFABs — specialized units whose core mission is to conduct advise-and-assist operations with allied and partner nations — at these three posts was based on strategic considerations including projected time to activate and train an SFAB, presence of senior grade personnel to man the unit, and required facility costs, according to a press release. The Army is also establishing a command element within Army Forces Command at Fort Bragg, with the intent to conduct training and readiness oversight of the SFABs.Photo by Patrick Albright Dan Cohen AUTHORlast_img read more

Simbu to join hands with Singam director Hari

first_imgSimbu in Vantha Rajavathaan Varuven.PR HandoutSimbu has returned to Chennai from London last week to attend his younger brother Kuralarasan’s wedding. The actor looks fit and fine in his new get-up for his upcoming movie Maanadu, directed by Venkat Prabhu.The actor, after witnessing a downhill in his career for a few years, bounced back with Mani Ratnam’s Chekka Chivantha Vaanam. Although his next film Vantha Rajavathaan Varuven failed to set the box office on fire, he has been getting a lot of good offers.The latest film to come his way is from director Hari, the creator of Singam series. As per the buzz, leading producer AM Rathnam has come forward to fund the project and the initial talks have started. According to sources, nothing is firmed up at this stage and both the parties will be in a stage to talk about the project.It may be recalled that Simbu had worked with Hari in Kovil.Currently, Simbu is preparing for Venkat Prabhu’s film and lost 13 kgs in a span of 37 days. He has reportedly given nod to play the role of MR Radha in his biopic. He will be teaming up with Arvind Swami in the flick, directed by Ike.last_img read more

Heres Where The Texas Legislature Is On Abbotts Special Session Issues

first_imgSTILL PENDINGCaps on state government spendingUnder the Texas Constitution, state spending cannot grow faster than the state’s economy. Ahead of each legislative session, state leaders set a growth rate for state spending based on the estimated rate of growth in Texans’ personal income over the next two years. Abbott has asked lawmakers to require future legislatures to limit how much state spending can grow to the estimated combined growth in population and inflation, a figure that is often lower than the one lawmakers currently use.Related bills: HB 41, HB 127, SB 9 STILL PENDINGLimits on local tree regulationsDozens of cities and towns across Texas have ordinances protecting trees on private property; in many cases, property owners either have to pay a fee or replant trees if they cut down larger trees on their land. These measures would make those local ordinances illegal, though current versions of the bills focus specifically on ordinances that prevent residential property owners from cutting down trees as they please. Cities can still regulate what commercial property owners do with their trees.Related bills: HB 70, SB 14 STILL PENDINGSchool finance reformAt first, Abbott said he would task legislators with creating a commission to study the school finance system. But in July, he added immediate school funding reform to the session’s agenda amid complaints from Democrats and moderate Republicans in the House that the state’s beleaguered system for funding public schools deserved more concrete action. The governor also tasked legislators with helping small, rural districts struggling after the expiration of a $400 million state aid program.Related bills: HB 191, SB 16 STILL PENDINGSunset legislationDuring this year’s regular session, lawmakers failed to pass so-called sunset legislation needed to prevent some state agencies from closing. Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick held key sunset legislation hostage in a successful effort to force a special session on other issues. In announcing the special session, Abbott said he would only add an additional 19 issues to the agenda after the Senate passed sunset legislation. On the third day of the special session, the Senate did just that and Abbott significantly expanded the session’s agenda.Related bills: HB 1, HB 2, SB 20, SB 60 STILL PENDINGProperty taxesThere’s a constitutional prohibition on the state levying a property tax, but that’s a major source of revenue that keeps cities, counties and special purpose districts operating. Amid Texans’ complaints about rising property tax bills – often driven by rising property values – Abbott called on the Legislature to tackle measures aimed at reining in increases in local property taxes. Local government officials argue the bills would hamstring their ability to deliver services their residents expect.Related bills: HB 3, HB 4, SB 1 STILL PENDINGPreventing local rule changes on already acquired propertiesThis bill would prohibit cities and towns from enforcing any local regulation on a property that was not in place when that property was purchased. Critics have expressed concern that the measure could have far-reaching consequences on environmental, health and other local ordinances in place in communities across the state.Related bills: HB 188, SB 12 STILL PENDINGMail-in ballot fraudAmid an investigation of mail-in ballot irregularities affecting city council races in Dallas, Texas lawmakers this year put a newfound focus on mail-in ballot fraud, a documented vulnerability in elections. During the 2017 regular session, Abbott signed into law a bill that overhauls absentee balloting at nursing homes, in an attempt to shore up that process. During the special session, Lawmakers are considering bills to increase criminal penalties for those found to have committed mail-in ballot fraud.Related bills: HB 184, SB 5 STILL PENDINGSpeeding local government permittingLawmakers want to make it easier for developers to get approval for projects in cities. Abbott wants state law changed so that permits would be approved automatically if cities don’t respond to them fast enough. Lawmakers are also looking at outlawing construction permitting rules currently in place in Austin that expedite permitting for projects that include certain worker protections such as offering worker’s compensation insurance.Related bills: HB 164, SB 13 STILL PENDINGTexting-while-drivingTexas will be under a statewide texting-while-driving ban starting Sept. 1. But Abbott has complained that this measure leaves in place a “patchwork quilt” of driving safety regulations that differ across cities and counties. He has called on lawmakers to effectively preempt local ordinances in more than 40 Texas cities that are stricter than the statewide ban.Related bills: HB 171, SB 15 STILL PENDINGMaternal mortalityIn 2013, lawmakers created The Task Force on Maternal Mortality and Morbidity to examine why so many Texas mothers die within a year after their pregnancies end. A study last year in the medical journal Obstetrics and Gynecology showed that Texas’ maternal mortality rates had nearly doubled between 2010 and 2014. While public health experts and legislators have not been able to pinpoint reasons for the spike in deaths and pregnancy complications, there’s bipartisan support behind extending the task force until 2023 to continue its work.Related bills: HB 9, SB 17 STILL PENDINGTaxpayer funding for abortionState and federal law already prohibit using tax dollars to pay for abortions, but Abbott wants the Legislature to broaden that ban to block local and state government agencies from entering into any financial contracts — including lease agreements — with clinics that are affiliated with abortion providers, even if those clinics don’t perform abortions.Related bills: HB 14, HB 163, SB 4 STILL PENDINGAbortion insuranceLawmakers are considering measures that would require women to pay additional premiums if they want their health plans to cover abortions performed outside of medical emergencies.Related bills: HB 214, SB 8 Share STILL PENDINGTeacher pay and retirement benefitsAbbott asked the Legislature to put more money into the Teacher Retirement System amid concerns that retired teachers would no longer be able to afford their medication amid rising health insurance premiums and health care costs. He also wants school districts to rearrange their budgets to increase teacher salaries by an average of $1,000, a measure educators vehemently oppose and have criticized as an “unfunded mandate.”Related bills: HB 198, SB 19, SB 97, SJR 1 STILL PENDINGBathrooms, showers, locker and changing roomsAmong the most contentious issues during the regular session, proposals to bar transgender men, women and children from restrooms that do not match their biological sex are back under consideration in legislative overtime. Efforts to pass such restrictions fizzled out in May as part of an ongoing fight that’s pitted Republicans against business and Republicans against Republicans. Lawmakers are now considering proposals that would affect bathrooms overseen by both school districts and local governments like cities and counties.Related bills: HB 46, HB 50, SB 3, SB 91 STILL PENDINGAbortion reportingThe Senate has passed two bills that would require physicians and facilities to report more details about abortions — and fine those who do not comply. Under one measure, in procedures where complications occur, physicians would be required, within 72 hours, to submit reports to the state health commission that include detailed information like the patient’s year of birth, race, marital status, state and county of residence, the date of her last menstrual cycle, the number of previous abortions and the number of previous live births. Another measure would also require reporting on whether minors seeking abortions did so because of a medical emergency and whether they obtained parental consent or a judicial bypass.Related bills: HB 13, HB 195, HB 215, SB 10, SB 73 STILL PENDINGCaps on local government spendingAbbott asked lawmakers to cap how much additional money local governments could spend each year without an election, drawing immediate criticism from city and county officials. They say such a limit would make it difficult to develop long-term financial plans and fund maintenance and services that residents want from their local governments.Related bills: HB 206, SB 18 STILL PENDINGSchool choice for kids with disabilitiesDuring the regular session, the Senate passed a measure to subsidize private school tuition using state funding. But school-choice proposals have long faced significant opposition in the House, particularly from Democrats and rural Republicans. Abbott has narrowed the issue for the special session by calling for “private school choice” specifically for students with disabilities.Related bills: HB 253, SB 2 STILL PENDINGDo-not-resuscitate protectionsThe governor has asked lawmakers to ensure that patients or their legal guardians have consented to a do-not-resuscitate orders before doctor can issue them. Proponents say it codifies practices already in place at many hospitals, while some opponents say that it could needlessly complicate the process of issuing a do-not-resuscitate order.Related bills: HB 12, HB 43, SB 11, SB 80 STILL PENDINGMunicipal annexationA bill that would have allowed homeowners targeted by a city for annexation to vote on the proposal died during the regular session when state Sen. José Menéndez, D-San Antonio, launched a filibuster against it, claiming it offered inadequate protections to military bases from encroaching development. Now that Abbott has included annexation reform on the special session agenda, lawmakers are looking to resurrect the issue.Related bills: HB 6, SB 6 STILL PENDINGUnion dues deductionState lawmakers are considering for the second time this year a measure that would end the practice of collecting membership dues automatically from the paychecks of certain public employees who are in labor unions or other associations. The proposal would apply to public school teachers, corrections officers and other government employees, but would exempt firefighters, police officers, emergency first responders and charitable organizations — a carve-out that’s received a lot of pushback, even from some of the law enforcement groups that would benefit from the exemption.Related bills: HB 156, SB 7last_img read more

US Consul General of Kolkata meets Tourism minister in Siliguri

first_imgDarjeeling: Patti Hoffman, US Consul General, Kolkata made a stopover at Siliguri on the way to Sikkim. In Siliguri, the Consul General met Tourism Minister Goutam Deb and discussed different issues pertaining to tourism on Tuesday.”The Consul General wanted to know about different festivals of the state. I apprised her that Durga Puja is the most important festival. However, festivals like Gangasagar Mela and Rash Mela in Cooch Behar draw lakhs of tourists from all over the country,” stated Minister Deb. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeConsul General Hoffman wanted to know about the tourism potential of the state, the amount of investment in the tourism sector and the foreign tourist footfall in the State. “She wanted to know of the air and road connectivity along with the type of accommodations available for the tourists. I apprised her of the improvement in air and road connectivity in the State. Our Government under the able leadership of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has given a lot of impetus on road and air connectivity for the benefit of locals and tourists alike,” stated Deb. The Consul General suggested that an increase in direct flights connecting Netaji International Airport, Kolkata to important cities throughout the globe would increase foreign tourist footfall. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedIn another development, the Airport Authority of India jointly with the Siliguri Jalpaiguri Development Authority (SJDA) is all set to start a Perishable Cargo unit at Bagdogra Airport. This would be the only Perishable Cargo unit in this region including the North East, Nepal and Bhutan. “No Airport in this region has the capability to handle perishable cargo. The unit will emerge as a very profitable component to Bagdogra,” stated Sourav Chakraborty, Chairman, SJDA.last_img read more

Want to Cheat the System Call Yourself a Tech Company

first_img 3 min read Free Workshop | August 28: Get Better Engagement and Build Trust With Customers Now August 22, 2016 This hands-on workshop will give you the tools to authentically connect with an increasingly skeptical online audience.center_img A variety of factors contributed to Theranos’s prolonged public deception, though they’re often summed up by “tech hype.” The company’s founder, Elizabeth Holmes, was a Stanford dropout who dreamed of “making a difference in the world.” Her company was valued at nearly $10 billion. She was hailed as the “next Steve Jobs.”Blogger and media entrepreneur Anil Dash explains that Theranos successfully drummed up buzz about its faulty products “because the company, its founder and its investors all shielded themselves under the cultural cover of being a glamorous member of the ‘tech industry’ rather than a prosaic medical supplier.”Related: The 10 Best U.S. Cities for Tech JobsIt’s absurd to refer to companies that specialize in vastly disparate goods and services all under the umbrella of “tech,” Dash argues in a Medium post titled, “There is no ‘technology industry.’” If Theranos had been treated as a blood-testing company rather than a tech company, his argument follows, it would have been under far more scrutiny from day one.It’s not simply an imprecise description, Dash notes. He emphasizes that this overarching label obscures the reality that there is no such thing as the tech industry, in terms of a common set of regulations for the companies that supposedly exist within it.“Mature industries develop their own regulatory frameworks, their own systems for self-regulation, and their own standards for monitoring transgressions within the industry,” Dash writes. “Today, tech as an industry is almost completely lacking in all of these areas.”In other words, a “tech company” in pursuit of “disruption” is not exempt from the law. See: Uber and its disregard for background checks based on its self-designation as a technology company rather than a taxi service.Obviously Dash is not the first to make the argument that the tech industry is a misnomer for a nonexistent collective. In a May 2012 Slate piece, “It’s Official: There’s No Such Thing as a Tech Company,” journalist Matt Yglesias wrote of Apple and Amazon, “they’re in different lines of business, so there’s no ex ante reason to expect them to [be] valued in a similar way.”In March 2013, reporter David Yanofsky wrote in Quartz, “To stay competitive in today’s marketplaces, every company, by the current standard, could be called a tech company, which of course, is another way of saying that none of them should be.”Related: 10 Tech Companies to Watch – Entrepreneur’s Brilliant 100Yet in the third quarter of 2016, the phrase “tech industry” persists, as companies continue to incorporate technology, in the broadest most literal sense of the word, into their business operations and consumer products. Now that technology is omnipresent, it’s time to start conceiving of tech companies based on their sub-industries — transportation, information, food and beverage — and impose restrictions on them based on the specific services they provide.Every company occupies the “business” space, but society does not treat all of these companies as though they exist on the same plane. The same should be true of “tech.” Embrace the reality that your company is more than a “tech company” and establish what differentiates you from all of the tech startup bandwagoners out there. Enroll Now for Freelast_img read more