Hearings into controversial BC gold and copper mine wrap up

first_imgAPTN National NewsThe hearings into a controversial new prosperity open pit gold and copper mine in northern British Columbia wrapped up last week.This is the second time Taseko Mines has proposed this development.Their first proposal was turned down because a panel found the project’s tailings dump would destroy a nearby lake.The latest proposal wants to move the tailings dump upstream.Grand Chief Stewart Phillip addressed the panel as it wrapped up last week.Phillip joined APTN’s Cheryl McKenzie from Vancouver Friday.last_img read more

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60 years after Sputnik Russian space program faces troubles

first_imgMOSCOW – Six decades after Sputnik, a refined version of the rocket that put the first artificial satellite in orbit remains the mainstay of Russia’s space program — a stunning tribute to the country’s technological prowess, but also a sign it has failed to build upon its achievements.And unlike the Cold War era, when space was a key area of the rivalry between the United States and the Soviet Union, space research now appears to rank low on the Kremlin’s priorities.The Soyuz booster, currently the only vehicle that launches crews to the International Space Station, is a modification of the R-7 rocket that put Sputnik in orbit on Oct. 4, 1957.Another Soviet-designed workhorse, the heavy-lift Proton rocket that has been used to launch commercial satellites to high orbits, was developed in the 1960s.Both rockets established a stellar reputation for their reliability, but their record was tarnished by a string of failed launches in recent years that have called into question the Russian space industry’s ability to maintain the same high standards of manufacturing.Glitches found in Proton and Soyuz in 2016 were traced to manufacturing flaws at the plant in Voronezh that builds engines for both rockets. The Russian space agency, Roscosmos, sent more than 70 rocket engines back to production lines to replace faulty components, a move that resulted in a yearlong break in Proton launches.The suspension eroded the nation’s niche in the global market for commercial satellite launches. Last year, Russia for the first time fell behind both the U.S. and China in the number of launches.Clients have increasingly opted for new, more efficient and affordable choices, such as the Falcon 9 built by SpaceX, which broke ground in reducing costs by making its rockets reusable.Russian officials have recognized the challenge posed by SpaceX and others, but they have offered few specifics on how the nation hopes to retain its place in the global market. The only short-term answer appears to be a plan to manufacture a less-powerful version of the Proton booster to lower costs.In an astonishing recognition of the depth of Russia’s space woes, Roscosmos chief Igor Komarov declared earlier this week that the Voronezh factory used substandard alloys because of a logistical failure that occurred after a warehouse worker had become ill.The Khrunichev company that assembles the Proton also has fallen on hard times amid criminal investigations into alleged mismanagement and a decision to sharply cut its assets. Much of the prized real estate it occupies in western Moscow has been designated for development.Meanwhile, the development of the Angara, a booster rocket intended to replace both the Soyuz and the Proton, has been repeatedly pushed back, and its future remains uncertain. More expensive and lacking the long-established track record of its predecessors, the Angara probably will find it hard to compete with SpaceX rockets and others in the international market.The first tests of the Angara have been successful, but full-scale production is yet to be organized at a plant in the Siberian city of Omsk.And while the Soyuz is now the only vehicle for ferrying crews to the International Space Station following the retirement of the U.S. space shuttle fleet, Russia stands to lose the monopoly soon as the SpaceX’s Dragon v2 and Boeing’s Starliner crew capsules are to fly test missions next year.Work on a new spacecraft intended to replace the Soyuz crew capsule designed 50 years ago has crawled slowly. The ship, called Federation, is tentatively set for its first manned flight in 2023, but little is known about it.Roscosmos also has talked about sending several unmanned missions to the moon in the next decade, but details are yet to be worked out. Attempts to send unmanned probes to Mars in 1996 and to the Martian moons Phobos in 2011 failed due to equipment problems.Russia also has struggled for years to build its own scientific module for the International Space Station. Originally set for 2007, the launch of the Nauka, or Science, module has been pushed back repeatedly. A 2013 check revealed that its systems had become clogged with residue and required a costly cleaning. The launch is now tentatively set for next year, but some reports suggest it could be delayed further.Amid funding shortages, Roscosmos has decided to cut the size of its ISS crews from three to two, a move criticized by many in Russia.“It’s very bad when we have to cut the number of cosmonaut seats,” cosmonaut Svetlana Savitskaya said in parliament this year. “The situation in our space industry is quite alarming.”One Russian cosmonaut currently in orbit, Sergei Ryazanskiy, on Wednesday posted a picture of himself holding a tiny replica of Sputnik on Twitter to mark the 60th anniversary. Ryazanskiy’s grandfather, the chief designer of radio guidance systems for space vehicles during Soviet times, was involved in Sputnik’s launch.While other space programs faced cutbacks, Russia spent billions to build the new Vostochny launch pad in the Far East as a possible alternative to the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan that Moscow has leased from its former Soviet neighbour.Many have questioned the feasibility of the expensive new facility, given the fact that Russia intends to continue using Baikonur for most of its launches. Work at Vostochny has also been dogged by scandals involving protests by unpaid workers and the arrests of construction officials accused of embezzlement.A launch pad for Soyuz finally opened in 2016, but another one for heavier Angara rockets is only set to be completed in late 2021.Amid massive spending on Vostochny, whose future remains unclear, some have criticized Roscosmos for cutting corners on personnel. Cosmonaut Maxim Surayev, who now serves as a lawmaker, lamented the poor conditions for future space crews at the Star City training centre outside Moscow.“It’s wrong when, instead of fulfilling their task to prepare for space flight, they have to find side jobs and a place to live,” Surayev said in parliament.Several veteran cosmonauts were forced to retire earlier this year amid vicious infighting at Star City. One of the retirees was Gennady Padalka, who holds the world record for the longest time in orbit — 879 days over five space missions.In a letter to the media, Padalka urged authorities to fire the director of Star City to prevent the facility from falling into “complete ruin.”___This version corrects spelling of Falcon rocket and length of Padalka record to 879 days.last_img read more

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Amnesty urges US to end drone attack secrecy

first_imgIslamabad- The United States should end the secrecy surrounding its drone campaign in Pakistan and bring those responsible for illegal strikes to justice, Amnesty International said Tuesday.The rights group said there appeared to be no justification for two drone attacks in northwest Pakistan last year, one of which killed a 68-year-old grandmother as she picked vegetables.Amnesty’s call came on the eve of White House talks between US President Barack Obama and Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, at which the drone attacks are expected to be discussed. The US has carried out nearly 400 drone attacks in Pakistan’s restive tribal districts along the Afghan border since 2004, killing between 2,500 and 3,600 people, according to the London-based Bureau of Investigative Journalism.Washington says they are an important and effective tool in the fight against militants liked to the Taliban and Al-Qaeda, who have strongholds in the tribal areas. But critics say hundreds of innocent civilians have died in the strikes.Amnesty said that without more transparency it was impossible to test US claims that the attacks are based on reliable intelligence and conform to international law.“Secrecy surrounding the drones programme gives the US administration a licence to kill beyond the reach of the courts or basic standards of international law,” said Mustafa Qadri, the group’s Pakistan researcher.US President Barack Obama mounted a defence of the drone war in May as legal and just and the best way to counter terror plots against Americans.A Pakistani youth from outlawed Islamic hard line group Jamaat ud Dawa holds a banner showing a drone, during a protest in Lahore on July 5, 2013But they are very unpopular in Pakistan, where the government condemns them publicly as counterproductive and a violation of sovereignty.Amnesty’s drone report published Tuesday focused on 45 confirmed strikes in the North Waziristan tribal agency between January 2012 and August 2013.The campaign group highlighted two incidents that it said raised serious concerns about violations of international law.The first was the death of 68-year-old Mamana Bibi in a double strike as she picked vegetables in the family’s fields in October 2012.In the second, Amnesty said, 18 labourers were killed in a village on the Afghan border as they ate a meal at the end of the day.“We cannot find any justification for these killings. There are genuine threats to the USA and its allies in the region, and drone strikes may be lawful in some circumstances,” said Qadri.“But it is hard to believe that a group of labourers, or an elderly woman surrounded by her grandchildren, were endangering anyone at all, let alone posing an imminent threat to the United States.”Amnesty called on the US to investigate publicly all cases where drone strikes may have caused deaths unlawfully, and to prosecute those responsible where there was enough evidence.Though the Pakistani government publicly protests against drone strikes, previous administrations are known to have given them their tacit blessing.Amnesty called on Islamabad to investigate drone strikes and probe whether Pakistani officials were involved in providing information for them.last_img read more

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New Foreign Investments to Bring 60000 New Jobs to Morocco by

Rabat – New investments will bring 60,000 new jobs to Morocco by 2020 as foreign companies begin offshoring to the kingdom, according to new contracts signed by the minister of industry, trade and investment, Moulay Hafid Elalamy on Thursday in Rabat.The “eagerly awaited” contracts – which launched Morocco’s offshoring industry’s ecosystem – will generate MAD 18 billion in new export revenues through MAD 1.5 billion worth of investments. The time period over which the new revenues would be generated has not been specified.The new ecosystem authorizes foreign companies to offshore operations to the country in five different sectors: customer relations (CRM), business processes (BPO), information technology services (ITO), engineering services (ESO), and data mining and knowledge analysis (KPO). Once the new ecosystems have been implemented, Morocco will be more economically competitive worldwide and harbor new, high value-added sectors, according to Elalamy.The signing of the contracts coincided with the introduction of new incentive programs to further attract new businesses to the country. New legal provisions will also support the training of the domestic labor market to fit the needs of the new corporate actors, allow foreign companies access to larger land properties and ensure the protection of their data on servers.Elalamy said the kingdom’s technology startups would also benefit from special programs, which will run in partnership with the National Agency for the Promotion of Small and Medium Enterprises.The new ecosystems ensure “balanced and equitable” regional development, the minister said, adding that only 20 percent of the investments will go to established industrial centers, such as Casablanca or Tangier. read more

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Herve Renard to Officially Announce Resignation Saturday

Rabat – Herve Renard, head coach of Morocco’s national team is set to announce his resignation on Saturday, July 20, according to Medi1 TV.Renard will officially  terminate his contract with the national team without financial compensation as stipulated in the contract, reports the TV channel.The decision, according to Medi1 television program “Saat Lcan” (CAN Hour), will be irrevocable. Renard’s announcement is expected to come after the final match of the 2019 African Cup of Nations between Algeria  and Senegal, which will take place on Friday, July 19.Rumors of Herve Renard’s resignation went viral recently. Morocco’s Football Federation (FRMF), however, denied the reports.“President of the Moroccan Royal Football Federation (FRMF) Fouzi Lekjaa had two meetings with Renard on Sunday and Monday to evaluate Morocco’s performance during the 2019 African Cup of Nations,” FRMF said.Read also: Romain Saiss: All Members of National Team Wants Herve Renard to StayRenard also  took to his Instagram to announce his meeting with Lekjaa.“At my request I met Mr Lekjaa president of the FRMF. We have taken stock of the competition that has just ended for us. We also talked about the future, I gave him my opinion. We have agreed not to make any public statement,” wrote Renard.The coach’s yet to be announced decision  comes a few weeks after the exit of the national team from 2019 CAN after disappointing performance against Benin on July 5.Before the CAN, Lekjaa said that there is no “guarantee” that Renard will stay with the Moroccan team after the African tournament.Lekjaa said that Renard’s future depends on the team’s performance in an official competition. The FRMF president suggested that the outcome of CAN for the Moroccan team would have a definitive bearing on Renard’s future with the Atlas Lions. The  FRMF president added that after each competition, both parties should take a moment’s pause “before moving forward.” read more

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Human trafficking ring headed by Sri Lankan busted in Malaysia

Malaysian Police have busted a human trafficking syndicate operating in Malaysia for the past 8 months and rescued 30 victims from India and another five from Sri Lanka, the New Straits Times reported. The victims were duped into coming to Malaysia with the promise of work as maids and shop assistants, as well as in the plantation sector. However, when they arrived in Malaysia, the victims were instead exploited by the syndicate for sexual purposes, he said.“The syndicate targeted foreign nationals as their clients (Bangladesh, India and Nepal), but there was also demand from local men,” Amar added. “The syndicate was headed by a 32-year-old Sri Lankan who was assisted by a 47-year-old Indian female,” said Kuala Lumpur Police Chief Datuk Amar Singh.He said police detected the syndicate renting condominiums and flats in the Brickfields area as accommodation over the past eight months. Those arrested in the operation, which took place at 5am yesterday, include the syndicate’s head and his deputy, as well as three drivers and three premise minders. In an operation named ‘Op Atip Khas,’ police raided three locations in the Brickfields area and nabbed 8 suspects believed to be members of the syndicate. read more

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Dairy Farmers pull ad after complaints over alleged misleading the public

An advocacy group for dairy farmers decided to pull one of its new ads after a number of people complained it misled the public, according to letters sent to complainants from the advertising standards body.The print ad in question is part of the Dairy Farmers of Canada’s “Honest. Canadian. Dairy.” campaign, which was developed by DDB Canada and launched at the end of January with a planned run until March, according to DDB’s website.The ad pictures a man standing in front of a pasture with the words “There are zero growth hormones in milk produced in Canada. Like, none,” emblazoned on the sky above his head.A picture of the ad circulated on social media and angered some animal rights activists, including Torontonian Jenny McQueen, a vegan for more than 25 years who volunteers for several animal rights groups.An animal rights group suggested people submit complaints to Ad Standards to say that milk contains a natural growth hormone, she said.The Dairy Farmers of Canada did not immediately respond to a request for comment.McQueen sent her complaint to Ad Standards, a national, not-for-profit advertising self-regulatory body, on Feb. 2.She was upset that the advocacy group appeared to be trying to mislead the public, and had concerns over the impact hormones may have on human health. More broadly, she said she dislikes the way the animal protein industry treats animals.McQueen and many other complainants received a response Tuesday to inform them that Ad Standards contacted the advertiser for additional information.“We were informed by the advertiser that, upon receipt of your complaint, the ad has been permanently withdrawn,” reads the letter signed by Yamina Bennacer, manager of standards at the organization.Ad Standards will close its file on the matter as a result of this corrective action.“I was very pleased that they had seen that a company is using language that is not true,” said McQueen.The national ad campaign is intended to better inform millennials about Canadian dairy and clear up any misconceptions they may have, according to DDB’s website, with “an honest, candid approach to share truths about Canadian dairy products and the industry.”It shares facts like the average Canadian dairy farm has 89 cows and the corresponding video ad includes a man sharing the names of those 89 cows.Another print ad includes the text, “Real milk comes from real cows. Anything else is nuts,” highlighting a growing war of words between dairy farmers and alternative milk producers, such as soy or nut milks.Follow @AleksSagan on Twitter. read more

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Sierra Leone faces real threats to stability despite solid progress – Annan

Despite significant progress, Sierra Leone faces numerous threats to its stability as it continues on the path to recovery from the disastrous and brutal civil war that engulfed the country in the 1990s, according to a new report from Secretary-General Kofi Annan.In a report to the Security Council issued today, the Secretary-General, who visited the country in early July, said he remained “reasonably optimistic” about prospects for long-term peace and economic recovery from the 10-year conflict, which began in 1991 and left thousands dead and many more with amputated limbs.Mr. Annan noted that the transfer in June of former Liberian President Charles Taylor to The Hague to face war crime charges removed a major source of potential instability in Sierra Leone. He expressed concern, however, about several other factors.“Currently, the most serious potential threats to the country’s stability emanate from domestic challenges, including the need to improve the general standard of living of the population, stimulate economic progress, step up anti-corruption efforts and address the issue of high unemployment, particularly of the youth,” he said.The Secretary-General also expressed concern about the country’s political situation, as preparations get underway for elections to be held next July.“There are also worrisome signs of growing intolerance among various political party leaders and their supporters, which portend acrimonious and potentially violent campaigns in the period leading up to the 2007 elections,” he said.Mr. Annan noted that some parties and their supporters are reported to have declared certain areas “off limits” to opponents and that the Government had issued a directive requiring political parties to obtain permission from the police before holding meetings.The Secretary-General said he plans to dispatch an electoral needs assessment mission to the country to meet with its Government and determine what type of assistance the UN, which currently has an Integrated Office in Sierre Leone (UNIOSIL), can provide. He also appealed to Member States to close the gap of $8 to $9 million in funding needed for the elections. read more

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Gannett splits publishing and broadcast wings following Time Warner News Corp and

Gannett splits publishing and broadcast wings, following Time Warner, News Corp. and Tribune by Mae Anderson, The Associated Press Posted Aug 5, 2014 5:20 am MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email NEW YORK, N.Y. – The game of survival is on for newspapers, as USA Today owner Gannett on Tuesday became the most recent major media entity to say it will divide its print and broadcast divisions into separate companies.As consumers continue to gravitate toward online sources of news and entertainment, newspapers are increasingly being asked to fend for themselves.Gannett said its separation will leave the newspaper unit debt free and let both companies pursue growth and acquisitions more efficiently. But some observers see the rush to split less profitable print businesses from growing TV and digital operations as an ominous sign for the newspaper industry.“To take a draconian view, over next 10 years a lot of newspapers could disappear or be much smaller print products,” said Edward Atorino, an analyst with Benchmark Co.As part of the move, Gannett also announced Tuesday that it will take full ownership of Cars.com for $1.8 billion, another sign of the increasing importance of digital properties.Gannett’s spinoff follows similar manoeuvrs by major operators such as Time Warner Inc. and News Corp. Earlier this week, the Tribune Co. completed a split with its division that publishes The Los Angeles Times and other newspapers.The spinoff trend takes place amid a backdrop of declining newspaper revenue. As consumer tastes for digital content grow, advertisers continue to shift more of their spending online. Over the past eight years, annual print newspaper ad revenue has fallen 64 per cent to $17.3 billion in 2013, according to the Newspaper Association of America.Gannett’s publishing arm will retain the Gannett name and include USA Today, 81 local U.S. daily publications and Newsquest, a regional community news provider in the U.K.The company touted the publishing unit as a debt-free company and said both entities will have “increased opportunities to grow organically across all businesses,” as well as pursue strategic acquisitions.CEO Gracia Martore said the “bold actions” will help increase value for shareholders “in today’s increasingly digital landscape.”Benchmark Co.’s Atorino said the newspaper unit was “holding back the Gannett stock.” But many other analysts say the recent rush to spin off print assets paints a dark picture for newspapers.“Now, these stand-alone print companies won’t have the profits to depend on from the broadcast companies,” said Ken Doctor, a media analyst for consulting company Outsell. “For them, it’s life without a parachute. They have to figure out how to make it completely on their own.”None of the spinoff print companies have very much debt, which is a positive, but they don’t have any source of strong revenue growth either, Doctor added.“Their only route is to continue to manage decline at the same time they’re trying to find growth,” he said.Gannett acquired Belo Corp. last year for about $1.5 billion, nearly doubling the number of TV stations it controls. The deal raised talk of a split almost immediately as the broadcast division’s dominance grew over the publishing wing.Gannett’s broadcasting and digital arm, which has yet to be named, will operate the company’s 46 television stations and websites such as CareerBuilder. It will also include Cars.com.Both companies will remain headquartered in McLean, Virginia. The broadcasting and digital company will trade on the New York Stock Exchange. The publishing business is also expected to trade on the NYSE.Gracia Martore will serve as CEO of the broadcasting and digital company. Robert J. Dickey, currently president of Gannett’s U.S. Community Publishing division, will become CEO of the publishing company.If approved by the company’s board, Gannett anticipates that the distribution of the new publishing business’ shares will be completed by the middle of 2015.Gannett is buying the 73 per cent interest in Classified Ventures LLC, owner of Cars.com that it doesn’t already own. Cars.com lets people compare vehicles online and connects them with sellers and dealers. The website displays about 4.3 million new and used cars from nearly 20,000 dealers.Gannett will finance the Cars.com transaction with available cash, approximately $650 million to $675 million in new senior notes and borrowings under its revolving credit agreement. The deal is expected to close in the fourth quarter.Gannett’s stock slipped 47 cents to $33.84 in late day trading. The stock is up about 16 per cent this year.___AP Business Writer Michelle Chapman contributed to this report. read more

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Mexico Deforestation for avocados much higher than thought

by Mark Stevenson, The Associated Press Posted Oct 31, 2016 9:53 pm MDT Last Updated Oct 31, 2016 at 10:40 pm MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email MEXICO CITY – Deforestation caused by the expansion of Mexican avocado orchards is much higher than previously thought, authorities said Monday.Talia Coria, an official in the attorney general’s office for environmental protection, said almost 50,000 acres (20,000 hectares) of forest land are converted to agricultural uses each year in the western state of Michoacan, the world’s top producer of avocados.Coria, who heads the office’s Michoacan division, said between 30 per cent and 40 per cent of the annual forest loss is due to avocados. That is about 15,000 to 20,000 acres (6,000 to 8,000 hectares).Experts say a mature avocado orchard uses almost twice as much water as fairly dense forest, meaning less water reaches Michoacan’s legendary crystalline mountain streams on which trees and animals in the forests depend. Species like the monarch butterfly also rely on Michoacan forest as habitat, though Coria said there does not appear to have been damage to the monarch wintering grounds from avocado expansion yet.Guillermo Haro, the attorney general for environmental protection, said Michoacan grows about eight out of 10 avocados exported worldwide, but added that the state’s forests “are a wealth greater than any export of avocados.”Mexico’s National Institute for Forestry, Farming and Fisheries Research had previously estimated the loss of forest land to avocado planting at about 1,700 acres (690 hectares) a year from 2000 through 2010. However, the rising popularity of the fruit and higher prices have apparently lured growers to expand orchards faster in recent years.Avocado trees flourish at about the same altitude and climate as the pine and fir forests in the mountains of Michoacan. The state already has about 370,000 acres (150,000 hectares) of orchards, and no new permits for cutting down forest to create plantations have been granted in recent years.The largely impoverished state depends on avocado growing and harvesting for jobs and income as an alternative to the rampant production of synthetic drugs that also exists in the state.“That is why we are sitting down now with all the parties involved to find a way to continue this industry of avocado growing, which provides a lot of Jobs and income for the state, in harmony with the conservation of our natural resources,” Coria said.Coria said authorities began meetings with avocado producers Friday to discuss the problem of deforestation.“We are going to search for a way …. to ensure that all avocados exported are legal, and that the environment has not been affected by their production,” she said. “The avocado growers appear to be convinced that we have to find options for conserving the environment.”However, she said there were no concrete plans yet for any kind of certification of sustainable avocado growing. “It is hard to know which avocado comes from recognized orchards and which comes from illegal plantings,” Coria said.She noted that other agricultural sectors, such as berry and peach farms and cattle ranches, have contributed to deforestation in Michoacan. FILE – In this Jan. 16, 2014, file photo, avocado boxes are collected an avocado orchard in Michoacan, Mexico. Authorities in Mexico said on Monday, Oct. 31, 2016, that deforestation caused by the expansion of avocado orchards is much higher than previously thought. (AP Photo/Eduardo Verdugo, File) Mexico: Deforestation for avocados much higher than thought read more

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Prison unrest Govt failed to act on CoI recommendations says former

Former Public Security Minister, Clement RoheeGovernment is under fierce attack over the recent incident at the Camp Street Prison which led to the prison being almost completely destroyed and which facilitated the escape of several high-profile criminals; some of whom have been convicted and are currently on death row.Former People’s Progressive Party (PPP) Government Minister, Clement Rohee, said what occurred on Sunday is due largely to the “incompetence” of his successor, Public Security Minister, Khemraj Ramjattan in particular and the Granger Administration in general. “It is beyond the shadow of a doubt a matter of collective responsibility,” he declared.Rohee, who served in the capacity of Minister responsible for national security for close to nine years, is of the firm belief that the authorities took for granted the security of the prisons and the prisoners, as well as the alleged maltreatment of prisoners.“And the lax attitude of the Ministry of Public Security towards prison reform and its persistent efforts at misleading Parliament about the depth and scope of those reforms based on a comprehensive strategic plan adopted by the previous PPP Administration have, cumulatively, resulted in today’s events at the Georgetown Prisons,” he added.Rohee also accused the coalition Administration of being guilty of “dereliction of duty,” by not taking seriously the recommendations that emanated from the Commission of Inquiry (CoI) into the deadly occurrence at the same prison location just one year ago.He said there were no structured follow-ups or administrative mechanisms put in place to implement those recommendations and for regular progress reports to be made available for Cabinet’s consideration especially for implementation of those recommendations, where financial resources are necessary and urgently needed.Given what he dubbed the knee-jerk predisposition of the Granger Administration, from all indications, another CoI could be established soon to look into Sunday’s events at the Georgetown Prison.“In the circumstances, it should come as no surprise if a fresh set of recommendations will eventually be piled upon the previous recommendations only to gather dust given the laissez faire attitude of the Minister of Public Security towards prison reform,” the PPP Member of Parliament added.Rohee is also demanding that his successor – Ramjattan – must be made to answer for the “dereliction of duty” and his alleged persistent failure to perform his functions as a Minister to the satisfaction of taxpayers.“No amount of closing ranks by the Government and Mr Ramjattan’s Cabinet colleagues to defend his incompetence will suffice. And the President (David Granger) should refrain from his well-known efforts at sheltering Ministers whose performance in the eyes of the public has been less than stellar having failed miserably in the execution of their respective portfolio responsibilities,” Rohee asserted.Rohee said the situation is still sketchy with respect to the origins of the fire, the actual situation on the ground, the whereabouts of the scores of prisoners, death or injury of prisoners as a result of the actions of law enforcement. “The rumour mill is spinning out of control,” he added.Calls were made for the public relations departments of the Guyana Prison Service, the Guyana Fire Service and the Guyana Police Force to be more pro-active in keeping the public informed and alerted as regards the situation and its security implications for the citizens countrywide.The former Minister also expressed his gratitude to the family of the now dead prison officer, Odinga Wickham, and those who have in some way or the other been affected by the incident. “I feel a sense of pain, grief and sorrow on learning of the events at the Georgetown Prisons. The herculean efforts by the administration of which I was an integral part to carry out comprehensive prison reform went up in flames long before the flames that engulfed the Georgetown Prisons on Sunday,” Rohee added. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedAPNU+AFC Govt ill-equipped to handle public safety, security, says RoheeMarch 7, 2016In “latest news”Deadly prison riot: President stands by Public Security Minister…says calls for his dismissal “absurd”March 9, 2016In “latest news”Rohee roasts Govt over crime situationMay 6, 2016In “Crime” read more

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Dugald River ships first zinc concentrate

first_imgFirst production of finished zinc concentrate left MMG Limited’s (MMG) Dugald River mine near Cloncurry in Queensland’s North West yesterday. The milestone was celebrated during the official site opening attended by MMG Chairman, Guo Wenqing and Chief Executive Officer, Jerry Jiao.Jiao said that the opening and first concentrate from Dugald River was an important milestone for the project. “I’d like to take this opportunity to recognise and thank all those who have played their part in the successful commissioning of the Dugald River Project. I congratulate MMG staff and contractors for their hard work in delivering the $550 million project – under budget and ahead of schedule.”In his speech delivered at the event, Jiao made special mention of the support MMG has received from the Queensland State Government, the communities of Cloncurry and the North West and major shareholder, China Minmetals Corporation and China Development Bank who helped financed the project.Wenqing said: “The collaboration between China Minmetals Corporation and MMG laid a solid foundation for the success of the Dugald River project. It also showcases the formidable capabilities and confidence of China Minmetals and MMG in running world-class resource assets.”In attendance at the opening were senior representatives from MMG’s major shareholder China Minmetals Corporation (CMC) and China Development Bank (CDB), as well as the State Member for Mount Isa The Hon Robbie Katter MP, Cloncurry Mayor Greg Campbell, representatives from Native Title Holders, the Kalkadoon, and other key business partners and community members.“The Dugald River deposit was originally discovered in 1870s,” said Mr Jiao. “I’m very proud that MMG has finally brought this challenging project to production,” Jiao said. “By taking the time to understand the characteristics of this complex deposit, we have delivered the right plan and invested at the right time. We remain positive about the long-term fundamentals for zinc and Dugald River has come into production at a time of tightening global supply and rising prices.”Located approximately 65 km north-west of Cloncurry in Queensland, Australia, Dugald River will process an average 1.7 Mt/y of ore to initially produce 170,000 t of zinc in concentrate, plus by-products. When fully operational, the Dugald River mine will be a top 10 global zinc mine.last_img read more

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Toyota can now make an electric motor without rare earth metals

first_imgRare earth minerals/metals are poorly named simply for the fact most of them are not actually rare. They are instead difficult to mine and therefore expensive. It also doesn’t help matters that China currently supplies 95% of the market. However, that should slowly change now that new, large deposits have been found in a tiny village in Nebraska and the Pacific Ocean.Rare earths are used in many of the gadgets we all own including TVs, laptops, tablets and smartphones. They are also used in the manufacture of electric vehicles, and more specifically electric motors–an industry that is set to grow quickly over the coming years.Tech companies have so far resigned themselves to having no alternative, and therefore having to pay the high price of getting the rare earths they need. Toyota has taken a different approach, though. It has set about researching alternatives to the neodymium and dysprosium rare earth metals it currently uses for electric motor production. The end result is it can now do without them, potentially cutting the cost of manufacture and solving the supply issues, depending on what the replacement is of course.For the moment, Toyota is holding off switching production, but has said it will make the switch if rare earths pricing does not fall. Research will continue to try and remove the reliance on such minerals from the company’s other products too.Toyota’s decision to research around the problem is surely not a unique one. If the cost of these materials continues to rise, alternatives will be found. If China is keeping watch it may start to reduce pricing so as to keep companies like Toyota buying rather than losing them as customers in a few years.via Reuterslast_img read more

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Horrible vandalism of a peculiar kind Church leaders make direct appeal for

first_img Share88 Tweet Email2 15,352 Views Short URL ‘Horrible vandalism of a peculiar kind’: Church leaders make direct appeal for return of mummy’s head Catholic and Church of Ireland archbishops surveyed the damage this morning. Image: Leah Farrell/RollingNews.ie Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article https://jrnl.ie/4515474 Image: Leah Farrell/RollingNews.ie Wednesday 27 Feb 2019, 1:30 PM By Daragh Brophy GARDAÍ AND SENIOR church figures are making a direct appeal for the return of the head of an 800-year-old mummy known as The Crusader, which was taken from the crypt of St Michan’s Church on Dublin’s northside at the weekend. The thieves who vandalised the crypt also turned the remains over. Other mummified remains, including those of a nun, were also desecrated, the Church of Ireland said.The Church of Ireland and Catholic Archbishops of Dublin, Michael Jackson and Diarmuid Martin, surveyed the damage alongside Archdeacon of Dublin David Pierpoint and Garda Assistant Commissioner Pat Leahy this morning. Speaking to reporters afterwards, Leahy appealed to whoever had taken the head to make contact and make arrangements to return it immediately. “Anybody who knows anything about where the head is now please, please make contact with An Garda Síochána. “The minute it was removed from the crypt itself it started to deteriorate so we need to get our hands on it as quickly as possible.”  Source: TheJournal.ie/YouTubeExtensive damage was caused to the crypt during the break-in, which is believed to have taken place sometime between Saturday night and Sunday morning last. The damage was discovered at lunchtime on Monday.The thieves would have had to prise open a heavy steel door in order to access the vaults, which have since been closed to the public. Asked about motivation behind the crime, Leahy said gardaí were not treating it as “mindless vandalism” but as a crime that had been planned in advance. He said the level of resources being dedicated to the case reflected that.Archbishop Jackson described the damage in the crypt as barbaric and said he wanted to reassure the faithful that he would return next week to re-consecrate it.“I didn’t know what to expect but the damage is significant. The disturbance and the desecration is very alarming.”Archbishop Martin said whoever had broken in was well prepared. “They have broken up the coffins and so on, and as a Dubliner I feel this is an offence to the city.”“It’s a sad thing to see and we have to find ways of restoring the harmonies of this place.”Jackson warned that the head would deteriorate at a rapid rate once it was removed from the microclimate of the crypt, which is kept at around 14 degrees Celsius all year round.Asked whether there was any known trade in remains of this kind, Martin said he would be very surprised if there was any commercial interest in it. He described the incident as “horrible vandalism of a peculiar kind”.  St Michan’s, on Church Street near the Four Courts in Dublin 7, was originally founded in 1095 but the present church dates from 1685 and was renovated just under two centuries ago. The Church of Ireland and Catholic Archbishops of Dublin, Michael Jackson (right) and Diarmuid Martin. Source: Leah Farrell/RollingNews.ieThere are five long burial vaults underneath the church containing remains, including those of members of influential Dublin families from the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries.The constant dry atmosphere has caused the mummification of the bodies and the preservation of the coffins, the church’s website says. Visitors have descended the steps to view the bodies since Victorian times.Currently around 28,000 visitors a year visit the the vaults, which remain closed as the garda investigation continues.Gardaí are examining what’s believed to be a message left by the intruders. Sources said that while the message would be examined, it could just as easily have been left by the thieves to throw investigators off the trail. Feb 27th 2019, 12:46 PM 20 Comments last_img read more

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Effort seeks to connect poor banks

first_imgAn initiative to help banks put out a welcome mat to low-income households that don’t use banking services is being considered in Clark County.The push is called “Bank on Clark County,” and it will follow the basic structure of “Bank On” programs that are developing in dozens of communities. It started with Bank on San Francisco in 2006, a program that now has 170 participating banks and credit unions. In Washington, “Bank On” programs are already under way in Cowlitz County, which was part of a national pilot study about the concept, and in Seattle/King County. A statewide coalition is helping to coordinate local efforts using a grant from the state Department of Commerce, under the umbrella of a larger set of programs to help low-income people better save and manage their money. The coordinated “Bank On” programs aim to help low-income families tap into the services of banks and credit unions that either have been unavailable or uninviting to them. Establishing a relationship with a financial institution will help low-income families and individuals reduce costs for financial services, and could put them on course for saving for future needs, program advocates say.“Getting a car and a home loan is out of the question if you don’t have a relationship with a bank,” said Denise Rodriguez, Bank on Washington initiative manager at the Washington Asset Building Coalition. “From an asset-building perspective, it really is the first step to building financial stability.”last_img read more

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Volvo brings V2V to cars across Europe offers safety research to everyone

first_img Post a comment Volvo 2018 Volvo XC60 T8: More hustle from a hybrid More about 2019 Volvo S60 Meet Roadshow’s long-term 2019 Volvo XC40 Review • 2019 Volvo S60 review: More competitive than ever Volvo Volvo has had vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) tech installed in some of its vehicles since 2016, but they were limited to Sweden and Norway. Now, everyone across Europe can take advantage of this tech, which could help more people avoid accidents.Volvo announced Monday that it would expand its Hazard Light Alert and Slippery Road Alert systems to the rest of Europe. The systems will be standard on all 2020-model-year Volvos. Certain post-2016 vehicles on the SPA and CMA platforms will also have the ability to retrofit this tech.Both systems rely on the cloud to enable V2V tech. When a driver turns on the hazard lights or encounters a slippery patch of road, the car will send that information to the cloud, and other drivers heading that way will be alerted to what’s ahead. The idea is that, by giving out this information ahead of time, Volvo can better prepare its drivers, reducing the likelihood of a crash. It could even warn drivers of impending traffic jams, as European drivers generally engage the hazard lights when slowing to a stop on the freeway.Enlarge ImageYou’ll have to pay extra to see the giant orange waves in the sky. (Just kidding, they’re invisible.) Volvo Since trucks cover just about every corner of the world’s roads, Volvo expanded this tech to its Volvo Trucks marque, as well, allowing cars and trucks to share data that could improve safety for everyone. In its release touting the V2V expansion, Volvo once again invited other automakers to share anonymized data because a larger pool could make the roads that much safer.Volvo also wants other automakers and researchers to make use of its own past research. In addition to expanding its V2V tech, Volvo announced Monday that it has opened a central digital library containing all its past safety research. The research stretches all the way back to the 1970s and covers up through 2018.Volvo’s safety measures cover other ground too. The automaker announced earlier this year that it intends to fit 112-mph speed limiters on all Volvos starting in the 2021 model year. Volvo also said it would begin fitting driver-monitoring cameras in certain models in the early 2020s that are capable of slowing and stopping a vehicle if a driver appears to be distracted or intoxicated. Auto Tech Car Industry Tags 2020 Volvo XC90 first drive: An improvement worth subscribing to 2019 Volvo S60 review: More competitive than ever More From Roadshow 50 Photos Preview • 2019 Volvo S60: Familiar formula with a twist 0 Share your voicelast_img read more

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Nodeal Brexit not ideal says Irish PM Leo Varadkar

first_imgLondon: A no-deal Brexit could lead to a united Ireland as more people in Northern Ireland would “come to question the union” with Britain, Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar has said. His comments came after new British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the current Brexit deal was unacceptable and set preparations for leaving the EU without an agreement as a “top priority” for his right-wing government. Also Read – UK, EU Brexit teams to meet twice-weekly in September Advertise With Us Tension around the withdrawal deal centres on the so-called Irish backstop — a mechanism designed to preserve the bloc’s single market and prevent a hard border between Northern Ireland and EU member Ireland. Varadkar warned a no-deal Brexit could see more people in the North question the union with England, Scotland and Wales. “People who you might describe as moderate nationalists or moderate Catholics who were more or less happy with the status quo will look more towards a united Ireland,” Varadkar said Friday at a summer school in county Donegal, the Irish Independent newspaper and other media reported. Also Read – Climate change: Australia downgrades outlook for Great Barrier Reef to ‘very poor’ Advertise With Us “And increasingly you see liberal Protestants, liberal unionists starting to ask the questions as to where they feel more at home. “Is it in a nationalist Britain that’s talking about potentially bringing back the death penalty and things like that? Or is it part of a common European home and part of Ireland?” said Vardakar, whose heavily trade-dependent nation stands to lose most from a messy EU-UK split.last_img read more

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2 extortionists lynched in Bbaria

first_imgTwo suspected extortionists were lynched and another was injured by an angry mob at Bholanagar village in Bancharampur upazila of Brahmanbaria on Tuesday evening, reports news agency UNB.One of the deceased was identified as Jibon Mia.Bancharampur Police Station officer-in-charge Angshu Kumar Deb said three robbers went to the house of Amir Mia of the village to collect their demanded Tk 5 lakh extortion in the afternoon.Being informed, angry locals gave the trio a severe thrashing, leaving two of them dead on the spot and severely injured another.The injured is Kamal Mia, son of Ratan Mia of Gosaipur village in Nabinagar upazila.Jibon Mia was accused in several robbery cases, police claimed.last_img read more

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Hidden Message Found In Flooded House

first_img X In July 1979, Tropical Storm Claudette caused significant flooding in southeast Texas. In Friendswood, Mike Babin’s house received 18 inches of water, forcing Babin to make serious renovations. During the process, he scrawled a note on some exposed sheetrock, wishing the future residents well in case the same misfortune fell upon them.He covered the note with a 1 x 6-inch piece of white pine, and forgot about it, until Jennifer Hunt (the current owner) found it while volunteers were mucking and gutting the house after it received 38 inches of water due to Harvey.In September, Hunt and Babin met for the first time and shared stories about their respective flooding experiences, each nearly 40 years apart. 00:00 /06:30 Listen center_img Home owner Jennifer Hunt meets the former owner of her home, Mike Babin. A hidden message from Babin was found during Harvey renovations. To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code: Sharelast_img read more

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US Officials Say Its OK To Eat Some Romaine Lettuce But Encourage

first_img Share Matthew Mead/AP FileThis file photo shows a Caesar salad with romaine lettuce. Last week, food regulators urged Americans not to eat any romaine lettuce because of a new food poisoning outbreak, bit now the FDA says it’s OK to eat some romaine and the agency is encouraging the public to check the lettuces’ labels.It’s OK to eat some romaine lettuce again, U.S. health officials said. Just check the label.The Food and Drug Administration narrowed its blanket warning from last week, when it said people shouldn’t eat any romaine because of an E. coli outbreak. The agency said Monday the romaine linked to the outbreak appears to be from the California’s Central Coast region. It said romaine from elsewhere should soon be labeled with harvest dates and regions, so people know it’s OK to eat.People shouldn’t eat romaine that doesn’t have the label information, the FDA said. For romaine that doesn’t come in packaging, grocers and retailers are being asked to post the information by the register.Romaine harvesting recently began shifting from California’s Central Coast to winter growing areas, primarily Arizona, Florida, Mexico and California’s Imperial Valley. Those winter regions weren’t yet shipping when the illnesses began. The FDA also noted hydroponically grown romaine and romaine grown in greenhouses aren’t implicated in the outbreak.Labeling arrangementThe labeling arrangement was worked out as the produce industry called on the FDA to quickly narrow the scope of its warning so it wouldn’t have to waste freshly harvested romaine. An industry group said people can expect to start seeing labels as early as this week. It noted the labels are voluntary, and that it will monitor whether to expand the measure to other leafy greens and produce.The FDA said the industry committed to making the labeling standard for romaine and to consider longer-term labeling options for other leafy greens.Robert Whitaker, chief science officer of the Produce Marketing Association, said labeling for romaine could help limit the scope of future alerts and rebuild public trust after other outbreaks. “Romaine as a category has had a year that’s been unfortunate,” Whitaker said.Source of contamination The FDA still hasn’t identified a source of contamination in the latest outbreak. There have been no reported deaths, but health officials say 43 people in 12 states have been sickened. Twenty-two people in Canada were also sickened.Even though romaine from the Yuma, Arizona, region is not implicated in the current outbreak, it was blamed for an E. coli outbreak this spring that sickened more than 200 people and killed five. Contaminated irrigation water near a cattle lot was later identified as the likely source.Leafy greens were also blamed for an E. coli outbreak last year. U.S. investigators never specified which salad green might be to blame for those illnesses, which happened around the same time of year as the current outbreak.But officials in Canada identified romaine as a common source of illnesses there.The produce industry is aware the problem is recurring, said Jennifer McEntire of the United Fresh Produce Association.“To have something repeat in this way, there simply must be some environmental source that persisted,” she said. “The question now is, can we find it?”Safety measuresGrowers and handlers in the region tightened food safety measures after the outbreak this spring, the industry says. Steps include expanding buffer zones between cattle lots and produce fields. But McEntire said it’s not known for sure how the romaine became contaminated in the Yuma outbreak. Another possibility, she said, is that winds blew dust from the cattle lot onto produce.McEntire said the industry is considering multiple theories, including whether there is something about romaine that makes it more susceptible to contamination. Compared with iceberg lettuce, she noted its leaves are more open, thus exposing more surface area.Since romaine has a shelf life of about 21 days, health officials said last week they believed contaminated romaine could still be on the market or in people’s homes.Food poisoning outbreaks from leafy greens are not unusual. But after a 2006 outbreak linked to spinach, the produce industry took steps it believed would limit large scale outbreaks, said Timothy Lytton, a Georgia State University law professor. The outbreak linked to romaine earlier this year cast doubt on how effective the measures have been, he said.But Lytton also noted the inherent risk of produce, which is grown in open fields and eaten raw.___The Associated Press Health & Science Department receives support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Department of Science Education. The AP is solely responsible for all content.last_img read more

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