first_imgBRUSSELS – The North Atlantic Treaty Organization is lending its support to the U.S.-led coalition against the group calling itself the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.“NATO joining the coalition to defeat (ISIL) is a strong political message of unity in the fight against terrorism,” Sec.-Gen. Jens Stoltenberg said Thursday.The decision came as NATO leaders are gathering in Brussels to discuss how they can better share the cost of defence and co-ordinate efforts in the fight against terrorism, which was once again thrust into the spotlight after the deadly attack on a concert arena in Manchester, England this week.Those are the main items on the agenda, but the main motivation behind this ad hoc meeting is to introduce U.S. President Donald Trump to NATO — a military alliance he once called “obsolete” — and convince him it is still relevant today.All 28 NATO allies, including Canada, are already part of the anti-ISIL coalition, and the military alliance has been involved in training Iraqi forces.Still, Trump had been urging the alliance to take on a bigger role.Stoltenberg said that by formally joining the coalition, NATO will be better able to co-ordinate its efforts there, but it does not mean it will be involved in combat operations.It will mean practical support, such as more flying hours for its fleet of its surveillance aircraft, information-sharing and air-to-air refuelling.NATO will also set up a new terrorism intelligence cell at its headquarters in Brussels, which will include getting better at sharing intelligence on foreign fighters, and appoint a special co-ordinator to oversee the counter-terrorism efforts.Trump has also been vocal about his demand for the other members of NATO to pick up their fair share of the tab when it comes to defence spending, which is where things could get uncomfortable for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.Canada spends just over one per cent of its GDP on defence, which is just half of NATO’s target and puts the country among the bottom third of allies.The Liberal government has argued that its contribution is bigger than the numbers suggest, pointing to its commitment to send up to 455 troops to head up a multinational mission in Latvia, as part of efforts to curb Russian aggression in the Baltics, as another way to contribute.There seemed to be some support for that notion from Stoltenberg.“This is not just about cash, but also modern capabilities and meaningful contributions to NATO’s missions, operations and engagements,” Stoltenberg said Thursday.“Today, we will take steps to keep up the momentum,” adding that NATO members will agree to come up with annual national plans to help them meet the target.There has been much speculation about the role that Russia will play in the talks, especially given explosive allegations and domestic U.S. investigations of close ties between the White House and Russia.Eastern European partners are concerned with Russian aggression and there are also growing concerns around the relationship between Turkey and Moscow, and their roles in the Syrian conflict.Stoltenberg, though, tied the issue of Russia to the one of burden-sharing, which is top of mind for Trump.“One of the reasons why we are investing in our collective defence, why we are increasing our presence in the eastern part of the alliance, is of course as a response to the aggressive actions of Russia we have seen in the Ukraine,” Stoltenberg said.“So, Russia is on NATO’s agenda,” he said.Stoltenberg also said that NATO will assess its “level of support and the future of the mission” in Afghanistan, where the alliance currently has 13,000 troops involved in training.“Our aim is to train the Afghan forces to enable them to step up their efforts in stabilizing their own country, countering Taliban but also fighting different terrorist groups in Afghanistan, including (ISIL),” Stoltenberg said.Stoltenberg said NATO will decide on exact troop levels later this year, but will not return to a combat operation in Afghanistan.— Follow @smithjoanna on Twitterlast_img read more

first_imgVANCOUVER – There’s little evidence that legalized marijuana poses a threat to public health and safety, and there may be benefits, says a new study from Canadian doctors and researchers.The report, submitted to the Senate this week, outlines the positive and negative impacts legalization has had in other jurisdictions.“It hasn’t been a public health disaster or crisis yet, but there are some key areas that we need to watch,” said Rebecca Haines-Saah, a public health specialist at the University of Calgary and one of the report’s authors.The federal government has promised to legalize recreational marijuana later this year under Bill C-45, which is expected to go to a final vote in the upper house Thursday.Dr. M.J. Milloy with the B.C. Centre on Substance Use worked on the study and said researchers did not find significant declines in road safety in American states where marijuana had been legalized, but they did find a drop in alcohol sales.They also found that rates of fatal opioid overdoses went down in some places.“There is evidence to suggest that when legal cannabis is available, people substitute that for other substances,” he said.“We are hopeful that we might see some of the same benefits here.”B.C. declared a public health emergency because of overdose deaths in April 2016. The provincial coroner’s service has said there were more than 1,400 fatal overdoses across B.C. last year.The Senate report also outlines 28 indicators to watch for as Canada legalizes marijuana, grouped under the themes of public safety, cannabis use trends, other substance use trends, cardiovascular and respiratory health, and mental health and cognition.The indicators include instances of cannabis-impaired driving, rates of use among youth and the number of marijuana-related calls to poison control centres.Watching those areas will be key to determining if marijuana policy has been a success, said Haines-Saah.It’s possible some of the negative indicators will see an uptick, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that legal pot is having a detrimental affect, said Haines-Saah.She noted that some American jurisdictions have reported increases in cannabis-related calls to poison control centres following legalization.Those incidents may have been happening previously, too, but parents were too scared to call because the drug was illegal, Haines-Saah said.It’s important to look at the broad picture instead of specific instances, she said.“I think we’ll see more people reporting use and harms in the first few years, but that doesn’t mean they’re real harms. It just means that reporting bias has been removed because of the stigma.”Data about many of the suggested indicators is already being collected by various levels of government, and researchers or statisticians can use that to look at the impact of changes to marijuana policy, Milloy said.Legalization is a “fundamental change” and decisions about public health need to be informed by scientific evidence, he added“We really think that closely monitoring and evaluating the possible impact of cannabis legalization on public health is key.”last_img read more

first_imgTORONTO – When Mark Wlodarski started collecting bobbleheads about a decade ago, dollar signs were far from his mind.The Toronto Blue Jays, whose bobbleheads he coveted most, Wlodarski says were “just horrid” and their merchandise were hardly desirable.That changed around 2015. The Jays shot up in the standings, bolstered by newcomers Josh Donaldson and Troy Tulowitzki, who came with bobbleheads that attracted droves of collectors.The shift taught Wlodarski — the owner of about 650 bobbleheads at his collecting peak, who insists his love of the figurines is about passion not profit — plenty about how to master the collectibles market.The market can be fraught with high price tags and even higher emotions, but experts say there are tens of thousands of dollars to be to made, if you’re willing to part with high-value items like baseball cards, comics, coins, stamps and vintage film posters.They say maximizing what can be made or nabbing an item for as little as possible can be tough because it takes a mix of timing and luck.The trick to making money off collectibles, Wlodarski said, is learning how to assess a market.“You have to know when it’s time to get into any hobby, and get out of any hobby,” he said.To do that, Wlodarski keeps an eye on how teams are performing and how popular characters and other celebrities are. If a team is headed for the playoffs or a television show, movie or character are really taking off, collectibles tied to them are worth more and it’s a good time to sell, but a terrible time to buy. When that popularity is waning, there are generally better deals to be found, but if you’re selling, less money to be made.Bobbleheads given away recently at sports games or events will be plentiful and won’t command much cash, but ones from older seasons, when few were made, can be worth a pretty penny, he said.Not everything will increase in value over time though, said Stephen Ranger, the vice-president of auction and appraisal business Waddington’s.“The things your mother and your grandmother collected are not always the things that have sustained market value,” he said. “Our tastes have changed. It would be rare to find a 30-year-old who is interested in Royal Doulton figurines.”Ranger said fine wines from Bordeaux and Burgundy are proving to be quite valuable as is art from Canadian modernists including Jack Bush, Harold Town and Claude Tousignant.Other experts say many Beanie Babies, a hit with kids in the 1990s, aren’t just tiny in size, but also now in value. Many also say old-fashioned ceramics can be hit-or-miss too.If there’s an item you’re keen on nabbing, Wlodarski said it’s imperative to have a budget “or else you could go broke obtaining it.”If you’re on the selling side, Kent Sikstrom, Kijiji Canada’s community relations manager, said photos taken from multiple angles and in good lighting can increase what a seller will make when advertising on online platforms. Descriptions of the collectible with information on its age, dimensions and condition help too.Posts made on the online sales platform on or near weekends usually net more traffic because more people have time to browse on Saturday and Sunday, said Sikstrom, who collects action figures and hockey cards.If you’re selling an entire collection, Sikstrom recommended splitting up the items into separate posts because it’s harder to find someone willing to shell out for every item you have for sale.If it’s taking a while to sell something or you’re hesitant to post obscure collectibles for sale, he reminds, “There is always a collector for everything.”“One person’s trash is another one’s treasure.”last_img read more

“There are complaints that some countries have not been dealt with carefully, other countries believe it was not democratic, other groups believe that the matter has been out of the hand of the UN and they would like also that UN would take over this problem again,” he told a year-end news conference in New York about the summit, which set no mid- or long-term limits on global warming greenhouse gas emissions for individual countries.“But I think we should be realistic that what happened there, it is really something positive,” he said, noting that he had not expected a concrete binding resolution to emerge. “I think that the conclusion of a certain agreement was really good progress and we have to follow that up.“We all agree that the United Nations should take the lead and we’ll continue to take the lead and we will have certainly the summit of Mexico. We’ll finish what we have started in Copenhagen. But I’m very happy that the majority of countries of the world are aware of the dangers of this problem and they would like to do what they have to do to save the world and to have an agreement, a binding agreement.”Asked about the years-long debate on expanding the Security Council to represent the world as it is now, not as it was decades ago when the 15-member body was last upgraded, Dr. Treki stressed that everyone is agreed about reform. “We need reform in the United Nations, in the General Assembly especially,” he said, reprising his call for the revitalization of that 192-member body in the interests of real democracy. At present only Council decisions are binding. He noted the different points of view on reform – “some people want to enlarge the Council with a new member, permanent member, with veto, without veto” – and underscored African complaints that their continent is deprived of representation as a permanent member.“I see from my contacts that all agree the African situation should be corrected and Africa should be represented,” he said.Asked whether relations between the UN and the United States had improved under the administration of President Barack Obama, Dr. Treki referred to the new US leader’s pledge at the General Assembly opening in September to cooperate more and more with the UN.He said he had talks in Washington last week with State Department officials and members of Congress and “they showed me certainly their support for the United Nations.“We need to have more discussions especially with the members of Congress,” he added, noting that he had invited some of them to come to New York to meet with UN ambassadors. “They assured me that they believe that the… problems facing the world as a whole need a collective action through the United Nations.” 22 December 2009While most countries are not happy with the outcome of this month’s summit on climate change in Copenhagen, “really good progress” was made towards a binding agreement “to save the world,” with the United Nations leading the way to possible adoption at next year’s meeting in Mexico, General Assembly President Ali Treki said today. read more

Major tea company Tetley – which is owned by India’s Tata Global Beverages – said it was in touch with the Rainforest Alliance regarding the findings. The expose raises questions about the effectiveness of ethical label schemes – which are used by major tea brands and can mean higher prices – and their ability to detect and combat labour abuses of workers at the bottom of global supply chains. Sri Lanka is the world’s third biggest tea exporter behind China and India, earning $1.4 billion last year, and about 4 percent of a 21 million population live and work in tea estates.Sumathi, 25, a tea picker who works on a Rainforest Alliance and Fairtrade-certified estate, said her daughter was born with a heart condition and needed frequent medical care. The deductions on her monthly payslip – taken without her consent – amounted to $35, enough for 10 trips to hospital.“Why would I let them take my money when I don’t even have enough to bring my baby to the doctor?” she said.Tharshini, 51, who also works on an estate backed by the two certifiers, said she was suffering from malnutrition and anemia.Her most recent monthly payslip showed she took home $4.50 after the estate deducted 87 percent of her earnings for debt repayment and various fees to pay towards an estate funeral fund, a co-op fund, tea and the salary slip itself.“I’m sick a lot because I don’t have enough money to buy food or medicine,” she said.Tharshini said if she picked less than 18 kg of tea, the estate paid her for a half-day, regardless of how many hours she worked, adding that she rarely met the quota due to exhaustion. The same quota policy was in effect at several other tea estates, according to both estate managers and workers. Wages were also halved if workers arrived late by just 15 minutes.According to the payslips gathered by the Thomson Reuters Foundation, workers at Fairtrade-certified estates were subject to 74 percent wage deductions on average, while those at Rainforest Alliance-backed estates saw 65 percent taken away. Several of the payslips showed deductions of over 75 percent – and slashing wages by more than three-quarters is illegal under the Wages Board Ordinance and the Allowances to Plantation Workers Act, said Dissanayake, the former government lawyer.The 17 wage slips showed labourers taking home an average of $1.54 daily after debt repayments, salary advances, and fees. In reality, some workers earned less as wages being halved for not meeting quotas or arriving late does not appear on the payslips. Several labourers also complained that their estates only abided by the certifiers’ ethical standards during audits but they were afraid of reprisals if they revealed this to auditors.“Normally we don’t wear the protective gear when we spray chemicals, but on the day that Fairtrade comes, the manager tells us we have to,” one worker said on condition of anonymity.Four tea estate managers defended their working conditions, with one saying his plantation did not do anything to prepare for audits because “we implement the standards perfectly”. “I’m under pressure from the workers on one side and from the management on the other side to maximize profits,” said one of the estate managers, declining to be identified.Indra Gallearachchi, deputy general manager at the Rainforest Alliance-certified Robgill estate, said wage deductions paid for services to make “workers’ lives easier”.Major tea companies have increasingly relied on certification schemes to assure consumers over ethical produce.Some firms are now setting their own standards but leading brands, including Tetley and Twinings, still say they source all or most of their tea via Rainforest Alliance and Fairtrade. Tetley said it was in contact with Rainforest Alliance but had not sourced tea from the certified estates visited by the Thomson Reuters Foundation in the past year, although seven of them feature on Tetley’s supplier list that is available online.Twinings’ Head of Social Impact, Céline Gilart, said the firm was fully committed to ethical sourcing, but that it has “limited leverage” because it does not own the tea estates. The Thomson Reuters Foundation’s investigation echoed a 2018 report by Britain’s Sheffield University, which found little difference in the conditions of 600 tea workers on certified and non-certified farms in Assam and Kerala, in India.Genevieve LeBaron, a politics professor who led the two-year research, said major tea companies must shoulder some of the blame for labour exploitation on plantations. “There just simply isn’t enough money going to the bottom end of the supply chain,” she said.“Companies could most certainly address that if … they paid enough for tea to ensure that workers had a living wage.”(This story was originally published by the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, that covers humanitarian news, women’s and LGBT+ rights, human trafficking, property rights, and climate change) Labourers in Nuwara Eliya – a district in Sri Lanka’s central highlands – said their wages were also halved if they failed to meet a daily picking quota or arrived to work late. Such deductions violate several labour laws – the Industrial Disputes Act, Wages Board Ordinance and the Allowances to Plantation Workers Act – said four lawyers including Lahiru Dissanayake, who used to work for Sri Lanka’s attorney general. Plantations in Sri Lanka that supply tea stamped slavery-free to top global companies are under investigation by ethical label groups after an expose found illegal wage deductions that have left some workers ill and unable to afford healthcare.An investigation by the Thomson Reuters Foundation found some workers at tea estates certified by Rainforest Alliance and Fairtrade taking home as little as 26 Sri Lankan rupees (14 U.S. cents) a day after fees and deductions levied without consent. Sri Lanka’s labour ministry declined to comment on the findings despite repeated requests over a two-week period.The Minister of Plantation Industries, Navin Dissanayake, said he “disagreed” that workers’ wages were being halved. Wage slips from 17 workers at nine Rainforest-certified tea estates – six of which were also backed by Fairtrade – showed daily earnings widely being cut by more than three-quarters for debt repayments, salary advances and a laundry list of fees. “Tea estate workers are still not treated as citizens,” said lawyer Tambiah Eliyathamby, adding that halving workers’ wages violated the legally binding collective bargaining agreement between estates and unions within the Industrial Disputes Act.“They are treated as inferior and face discrimination,” said Eliyathamby, who heads Thambiah Law Associates, a private firm, and is general secretary of the People’s Workers’ Union.Dissanayake, who was appointed minister of plantations in 2015, said he was unaware of earnings being cut over quotas. “(However) I concede that estate workers are one of the most impoverished communities with the highest rate of malnourishment,” he said. “The situation has improved over the past 20 to 30 years, but that doesn’t mean we should be happy.” Rainforest Alliance and Fairtrade both said they were investigating the findings as deducting wages without workers’ consent was not allowed by law and contravened their standards.“The allegations you have reported to us … if confirmed, represent serious violations of the Fairtrade Standards,” said a Fairtrade spokeswoman, adding that the group’s independent certifier, FLOCERT, would follow up on the findings.A spokeswoman for Rainforest Alliance said it was investigating the findings, and the estates in question could “have their certification status suspended or cancelled”. Consumer goods giant Unilever – which owns a dozen well-known tea brands from PG Tips to Lipton – said it was “deeply concerned” and would investigate. read more

Hamilton Police say two suspicious fires near Binbrook are being investigated as possible arson.Fire and police crews responded to a fire at a vacant home on Golf Club Rd. around 3:30 a.m. Thursday.Within minutes, a second blaze broke out less than 10 minutes away at a barn on Westbrook Rd.The two fires are believed to be linked because of the close time and location, police said in a release.Investigators with the arson unit are looking to speak with anyone who saw people or vehicles in the area at the time.They are also looking for any surveillance video. read more

SAN FRANCISCO — With Pacific Gas & Electric in bankruptcy as it faces billions of dollars in claims over wildfires started by its equipment, San Francisco is offering to buy pieces of the utility’s assets for $2.5 billion so the city can run parts of the power system on its own.Mayor London Breed and City Attorney Dennis Herrera said in a statement that the offer was “competitive, fair and equitable” and will lead to financial stability for the beleaguered investor-owned utility.“We look forward to positive, collaborative discussions with PG&E on this critical issue,” the statement issued Sunday said. “Throughout this process we will protect the best interests of our city as we strive toward the independent energy future that San Francisco deserves.”The offer was presented before PG&E was expected to submit its plan Monday for reorganizing its finances to get out of bankruptcy.PG&E said in a statement that it doesn’t believe the sale would be “in the best interests of our customers and stakeholders.”San Francisco, where PG&E was founded more than a century ago, began examining options for taking over pieces of the utility after it filed for bankruptcy protection in January.A May report by the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission said public ownership of the electric grid could help the city become carbon neutral by 2030 and stabilize electricity rates.The city already has its own power system but relies on PG&E to deliver electricity to many customers.California lawmakers passed a measure in July to bolster PG&E by requiring any local government’s purchase of utility assets to be approved by state regulators.Cities previously could use eminent domain to take ownership of assets at fair market value. The change would allow regulators to consider other costs in deciding the purchase.Breed, along with San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo and Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf, told lawmakers that expanding regulators’ oversight would infringe on cities’ authority to provide electric service in the future.A provision in the legislation signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom also requires new owners to protect PG&E workers’ jobs for three years. San Francisco said it would recruit PG&E employees to operate the proposed municipal system and honour their union contracts.PG&E filed for bankruptcy because it said it could not afford billions in damages from recent deadly wildfires caused by downed power lines and other company equipment, including a November fire that killed 86 people and largely destroyed the town of Paradise.The new law creates a fund of up to $21 billion to help PG&E and the state’s other major utilities — Southern California Edison and San Diego Gas & Electric — pay out future claims as climate change makes wildfires across the U.S. West more frequent and more destructive.To use the fund, companies would have to meet new safety standards to be set by state regulators and take steps such as tying executive compensation to safety.PG&E also must emerge from its bankruptcy proceedings and settle its pending lawsuits from homeowners, insurance companies and local governments by June 30 of next year to tap into the fund.Daisy Nguyen, The Associated Press read more

“MONUC is concerned by increasing acts of gangsterism in Kinshasa and understands the population’s apprehension,” the acting deputy spokesperson for the UN Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUC), Rachel Eklou Assogbavi, told journalists yesterday.Asked whether MONUC would toughen its stance against insecurity in Kinshasa, the military spokesman Colonel Thierry Provendier said: “Criminal activities are legally-related matters. The Transitional Government is responsible for law enforcement and security. MONUC calls on the authorities and the Interior Minister, in particular, to meet the population’s security expectations, so that voter registration can start peacefully.”With regard to the eastern Ituri province, Col. Provendier said that despite the UN-imposed arms embargo, “supply routes are countless. MONUC has stepped up its border patrols and the pressure maintained thus far makes illegal weapons supplies to DRC difficult and risky.””The effectiveness of this embargo relies on the cooperation of the nine States bordering the DRC,” however, he noted.On the 11 June attack on the MONUC patrol operating on Lake Albert, which is a natural border between DRC and Uganda, he said, “MONUC operations deter the few hard-liner militia who have so far failed to realize that disarming and returning to a civilian life is their only viable option.”Ms. Eklou Assogbavi added, “MONUC warns militiamen who have not yet disarmed and reiterates that, with the exception of Bunia, all other transit sites will be closed by June 25. There will be no delay.”As of June 14, “14,827 persons, including 4,204 children, had handed over their weapons,” she said.Referring to the 16 June Day of the African Child, MONUC Child Protection’s Daniela Baro said the ongoing integration of armed forces had led to the release by militias of 7,908 children, including 1,082 girls, but the recruitment of child soldiers continued in Ituri, even though the recruiters were subject to investigation and prosecution. read more

MONTREAL – Transcontinental says it will further reduce its printing capacity by closing a plant in the Montreal area next month that will result in the loss of about 150 jobs.Canada’s largest printer said Thursday that its plant in LaSalle, Que. will close Dec. 20.Marian Kerr, senior vice-president of retail and newspapers, said the decision was made to remain competitive as the printing industry continues to undergo major transformation that is altering supply and demand.“Given the capacity and potential of our network, we have concluded that we have excess production capacity in relation to market demand,” she said in a statement.It is the latest of a series of similar moves that have been made across the country, especially following the acquisition last year of most of the former Quebecor World assets in Canada held by Quad/Graphics.Transcontinental (TSX:TCL.A) announced in March that about 500 jobs would be cut with the closure of two of the six Quad/Graphics plants, one in Dartmouth, N.S., and one in suburban Montreal.The acquisition of the Canadian assets of Quad/Graphics was expected to bring in $230 million in new business and generate at least $40 million in net earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization over 12 to 24 months.In 2011, Transcontinental consolidated production at a Montreal printing plant and closed two plants, one in Quebec and one in Manitoba.Transcontinental is the largest printer in Canada and the fourth-largest in North America and has about 10,000 employees. It publishes consumer magazines and French-language educational resources, as well as community newspapers in Quebec and the Atlantic provinces. It also has a network of more than 3,500 websites.On the Toronto Stock Exchange, Transcontinental’s shares closed down three cents to $10.27 in Thursday trading. by News Staff Posted Nov 1, 2012 5:17 pm MDT Transcontinental closing Montreal-area printing plant, 150 jobs will be lost AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email read more

Speaking in Geneva, Santiago Canton, Chairperson of the Commission of Inquiry on the 2018 protests in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, explained what the panel knew about the Israeli Defence Force’s relevant military protocols with regard to demonstrators. “Under the rules, they could be shot in the leg at any moment,” he said. “While in theory, this key inciter status was to be conferred only when the crowd was posing an imminent threat to life, in reality – and that has been one of the main findings of the Commission – that was rarely the case.”Mr. Santiago’s comments followed his assertion that the panel’s “main conclusion…is that we found reasonable grounds to believe that the Israeli Security Forces committed serious violations of human rights and international humanitarian law”.During last year’s demonstrations in the Gaza Strip – referred to as the “Great March of Return and the Breaking of the Siege” – the Commission found that 189 Palestinians were killed, 183 with live ammunition. Victims included children, persons with disabilities – including a double amputee who was shot and killed while sitting in his wheelchair – journalists and medical personnel.Less than two weeks from the anniversary of the beginning of the protests, the panel’s concern is to avoid a repeat of deadly demonstrations such as those on 30 March, 14 May and 12 October. “We hope that the international community gets involved in order to avoid more killings and more shootings during the anniversary,” Mr. Santiago told reporters after his address to the Human Rights Council earlier in the day. “I think that is why this presentation was important. It’s important that Israel change the rules of proceedings and stop the shootings, basically.”‘Triggers were pulled 6,000 times’In addition to those killed during weekly protests at the border fence with Israel, the UN panel underscored the damage caused by high-velocity bullets, which replaced the rubber bullets initially used against demonstrators.“In the case of many of the killings, there were very small entry wounds and huge exit wounds,” Commission member Sara Hossain said. “We also have detailed evidence about the kinds of bullets, but also about the use of long-range sniper rifles, sophisticated optical aiming devices,” she added. “We know that the target could be magnified in the sight of the snipers, so they could know the consequences of at least some of the shootings. But nevertheless, triggers were pulled, and the trigger was pulled more than 6,000 times.”Asked about the legality of targeting unarmed protesters in a crowd, the Commission insisted that doing so based on individuals’ membership of an armed group was unlawful.“We believe that in situations of crowd control and in situations that we deem to be civilian in nature, if there are individuals in the crowd that may be a legitimate target, you still cannot shoot at the crowd, because you may kill or shoot innocent individuals”, Mr. Santiago said.Israel probe into 11 incidents welcomedThe Commission also welcomed inquiries into 11 incidents which Israel has said it will undertake, although Ms. Hossain called for more transparency.“On the nature of investigations, for the ones from Israel, they have announced that there are these 11 incidents…but that is after one year,” she said. “And there is no announcement as to the progress of those investigations and we think that there is at least a moral obligation to disclose what the outcome of those is.”The issue of demonstrators launching incendiary kites and balloons from Gaza was also covered in the Commission’s report to the Human Rights Council, Ms. Hossain said, noting that “significant property damage” had been caused in southern Israel.In a related development on Monday, Human Rights Council-appointed Special Rapporteur Michael Lynk warned of an impending “humanitarian catastrophe” in Gaza linked to the “stifling restrictions” on the Strip’s residents.“Israel has maintained a hermetic air, sea and land blockade around Gaza, controlling who and what enters and leaves the (Gaza) Strip,” Mr. Lynk told the Council. “For nearly five million Palestinians living under occupation, the degradation of their water supply, the exploitation of their natural resources and the defacing of their environment, are symptomatic of the lack of any meaningful control they have over their daily lives.”A major concern is the “collapse of natural sources of drinking water in Gaza and the inability of Palestinians to access most of their water sources in the West Bank”, the Special Rapporteur said.Scale of Gaza victims’ needs is immense, warns UN health agency Coinciding with developments at the Human Rights Council on Monday, the World Health Organization (WHO) appealed for $5.3 million to help the many thousands of Gazans hurt and handicapped in the demonstrations.“The sheer magnitude of trauma needs in Gaza is immense; every week injured patients continue to arrive at hospitals requiring complex long-term treatment.” said Dr Gerald Rockenschaub, head of WHO’s office for the Occupied Palestinian Territory.WHO reiterated concerns that the upcoming one-year anniversary of the Great March on 30 March could result in further casualties and an increase in people requiring trauma care and rehabilitation services. read more

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) has welcomed today’s announcement by home secretary Theresa May that from April 2011, the majority of highly skilled workers entering the UK under Intra-Company Transfer arrangements will be exempt from government’s proposed immigration cap.This change in policy, called for by SMMT in September, sends a strong signal to potential investors about the UK’s positive business environment. It will also assist the rebalancing of the country’s economy, strengthening industry’s global leadership in low carbon technology development and production. “Today’s announcement by government is welcome news for the UK automotive industry as highly skilled employees from across the world are essential to maintaining and improving our global productivity and competitiveness,” said SMMT chief executive, Paul Everitt. “The UK is already leading the way for low carbon technology and this latest decision will enhance the UK’s appeal as an investment location for international companies.” In late September, SMMT called for intra-company transfers to be excluded from government’s migration limits, over concerns that capping the number of highly skilled migrants could negatively impact UK competitiveness and the re-balancing of the economy. In July, the Home Office imposed a temporary limit on non-EU migrant workers, which caps workers to 24,100 from June 2010 to April 2011. Government then produced a consultation on how a permanent cap could be implemented, a move that SMMT lobbied to be adjusted to take account of highly skilled workers.Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window) SMMT warned that limiting intra-company transfers through caps, lottery allocations or more stringent eligibility requirements could harm the operation of global companies, such as those represented in the UK automotive sector, where knowledge and skills transfer is essential in contributing to low carbon growth, and could diminish the attractiveness of the UK as a place to do business. read more

first_imgAn easily maneuverable, self-contained, heavy-duty lifting system which can be used in even the tightest locations and over rough terrain has been released throughout South-East Asia by Enerpac, The Enerpac POW’R-RISER® lifting jack combines a high capacity (54-181 t) cylinder and an electric or air-powered hydraulic pump unit integrated into a mobile cart. Enerpac POW’R-RISER has the speed, power and versatility for a wide variety of on-site site applications, including servicing tires, tracks and other maintenance functions on heavy equipment, lifting and positioning of large constructed elements and many other applications that require heavy lifting equipment in remote locations.Key features include:• Can be rolled into position for easy placement• No exposed hoses or fittings to damage• Narrow width for hard-to-reach areas• Wide selection of capacities, strokes and jack heights for a variety of applications• Electric motor fully enclosed to withstand elements.• 54, 90, 136 and 181 ton capacities with pneumatic or electric pumps for the toughest jobs• SUP-R-STACKTM extension system allows lifting at all heights without blocking.For safe mechanical cribbing of a lifted load, accessory locking u-rings can be placed around an extended piston and come in four lengths for each POW’R-RISER capacity. They are available individually or in sets. Locking u-rings are accommodated by storage racks integral to the POW’R-RISER.POW’R-RISER provides safe, efficient, mobile lifting and load-holding for the toughest applications and is backed by Enerpac’s extensive product support. This support includes national and worldwide networks of local distributors and authorised service centers as well as regional customer and technical service centers.Enerpac is long established as a major supplier of high-pressure (700 bar) hydraulic equipment, having service backup across South-East Asia and a strong distribution network. Its ranges of 700 Bar (10,000 psi) precision hydraulic cylinders, tools and safety equipment is complemented by professional bolting technology being introduced by Enerpac to address the needs of major areas of industry, including mining and energy, infrastructure construction, manufacturing, pipelines, mobile machinery, tracked and heavy vehicles, cranage and fixed plant. www.enerpac.comlast_img read more

first_imgRevealing the costs of the trip in a written Dáil PQ to Deputy Alan Kelly, Ross confirmed that his four-night stay at the four-star Excelsior hotel in Rio cost €1,893.A spokesman for the Department of Tourism and Sport said the €1,893 spend is the cost of the six-night trip that Minister Ross was booked in for but he returned after four nights. The lobby at the Excelsior hotel Source: Windsor HotelsIn addition, Ross’s return flights to Rio cost €7,098, which included a charge incurred for rescheduling of flights back early.He added that there is a credit note of €2,893 from Air France resulting in the net cost of the flights totalling €4,205.Ross also confirmed that the hotel costs for his junior colleague, Patrick O’Donovan in Rio cost €1,577 with his flight costs totalling €4,526.The tax-payer had to spend an additional €6,299 between flights costing €5,726 and hotel costs of €573 for Minister Donovan’s four night stay in Rio for the Paralympics in September.The figures also show that the taxpayer spent an additional €1,532 for Ross to travel to Chicago for the historic win by the Irish rugby team over the All-Blacks in November.In addition, €784 was spent on a flight for Ross to see Ireland beaten by Belgium during Euro 2016 in Bordeaux, while the flight costs of sending O’Donovan to see the Italy game in Lyon cost €654.The government jet flew O’Donovan and others over to see Ireland’s opener against Sweden in Paris.More:The tribunal is dead, long live the tribunal: Ireland’s messy love affair with ‘the truth’Read: ‘She kept her head. She was going to take that medal home if it killed her’ Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article Shell shock here in Rio— Shane Ross (@Shane_RossTD) August 17, 2016 Ross watching Annalise Murphy sailing in Rio Image: Morgan Treacy/INPHO Friday 17 Feb 2017, 6:19 PM Short URL By Gordon Deegan 65 Comments It cost over €12,000 to send Shane Ross to deal with Rio ticket controversy Ross admitted on his return that Pat Hickey ‘ate him for breakfast’ 19,556 Views Feb 17th 2017, 6:19 PM Image: Morgan Treacy/INPHO Source: Shane Ross/Twitter Share Tweet Email1 Ross watching Annalise Murphy sailing in Rio THE DRAMA-FILLED trip by the Minister for Tourism and Sport Shane Ross and his Junior Minister to Rio de Janeiro for the 2016 Olympics cost the taxpayer €12,201.In total, the State has paid €21,470 to fly Minister Ross and his junior minister Patrick O’Donovan to international sporting events since last June.In August 2016, Minister Ross flew out to Rio to meet with then-Olympic Council of Ireland (OCI) chief Pat Hickey following the arrest of THG employee Kevin Mallon in the Olympic ticketing controversy.Ross admitted on his return that Hickey ‘ate him for breakfast’ at their initial meeting where the Minister admitted to getting little information as to what was going on.The Independent Alliance TD arrived in Rio on 14 August and three days later, Minister Ross famously tweeted ‘Shell shock here in Rio’ following the shock arrest of Hickey. Ross then cut his trip short to Rio to deal with the mounting controversy back in Dublin.last_img read more

first_imgUn nouveau convoi de déchets nucléaires vers l’AllemagneUn porte-parole de Greenpeace a informé l’AFP qu’un train de déchets radioactifs allemands, retraités à l’usine Areva de la Hague, doit quitter la région le 24 novembre. Une forte mobilisation des écologistes antinucléaires est attendue.En 2010, un train transportant des déchets radioactifs allemands, parti le 5 novembre de Valognes, était arrivé trois jours plus tard à son terminus ferroviaire en Allemagne avec un à deux jours de retard. Aujourd’hui, Yannick Rousselet chargé des questions nucléaires à Greenpeace France a annoncé qu’un nouveau convoi quittera Valognes, situé à 36 kilomètres de l’usine de retraitement des déchets de La Hague, le 24 novembre prochain, en milieu d’après-midi. À lire aussiLe pied d’éléphant, cette effrayante masse radioactive cachée dans les entrailles de TchernobylInterrogé par l’AFP, un porte-parole d’Areva a seulement confirmé qu’un tel convoi, le 12ème et dernier retour de la Hague vers l’Allemagne, est prévu avant la fin de l’année, sans plus de précisions. Mais selon Greenpeace, les déchets transportés vers le site de stockage allemand de Gorleben sont les même que lors du dernier convoi de novembre 2010. A l’époque, trois wagons supplémentaires embarquant des gendarmes avaient fait le voyage et plusieurs dizaines de milliers de personnes avaient manifesté. Un sit-in de 3.000 militants avait alors bloqué le train une nuit entière.Si Greenpeace s’attend, cette fois encore, à une forte mobilisation des antinucléaires en France, l’ONG ne participera pas à celle-ci car, bien que contre l’atome, elle prône un retour des déchets au producteur. Certains membres du Ganva (Groupe antinucléaire non violent), qui avait bloqué le convoi pendant trois heures à Caen en 2010, devraient néanmoins participer à la protestation.De plus, un campement est annoncé sur internet du 22 au 24 novembre à Valognes, indique Ses organisateurs, le collectif Valognes Stop Castor (de l’anglais “Cask for Storage and Transportation of Radioactive Material”), appellent à bloquer le départ du train et à débattre, pour lutter contre l’industrie nucléaire. Le lieu de rendez-vous n’est pas encore précisé.Le 4 novembre 2011 à 11:24 • Maxime Lambertlast_img read more

first_img Posted: March 15, 2019 IRS warns public of new phone scam KUSI Newsroom March 15, 2019 KUSI Newsroom, 00:00 00:00 spaceplay / pause qunload | stop ffullscreenshift + ←→slower / faster ↑↓volume mmute ←→seek  . seek to previous 12… 6 seek to 10%, 20% … 60% XColor SettingsAaAaAaAaTextBackgroundOpacity SettingsTextOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundSemi-TransparentOpaqueTransparentFont SettingsSize||TypeSerif MonospaceSerifSans Serif MonospaceSans SerifCasualCursiveSmallCapsResetSave SettingsSAN DIEGO (KUSI) – The Internal Revenue Service today warned the public about a new phone scam in which criminals are impersonating IRS employees. Similar to other IRS impersonation schemes, thieves make unsolicited phone calls to their intended victims fraudulently claiming to be from the IRS.In the recent variation, scammers are making unsolicited phone calls to victims claiming to be from the IRS Taxpayer Advocate Service office in Houston or Brooklyn.Calls may be robo-calls that request a call back. Once the taxpayer returns the call, the con artist requests personal information, including a Social Security number or individual taxpayer identification numbers.TAS does not initiate calls to taxpayers out of the blue. Typically, a taxpayer would contact TAS for help first, and only then would TAS reach out to the taxpayer.In other variations of the phone scam, fraudsters demand immediate payment of taxes by a prepaid debit card or wire transfer. The callers are often hostile and abusive.Alternately, scammers may tell would-be victims that they are entitled to a large refund but must first provide personal information. Other characteristics of these scams include:Scammers use fake names and IRS badge numbers to identify themselves;Scammers may know the last four digits of the taxpayer’s Social Security number;Scammers spoof caller ID to make the phone number appear as if the IRS or another local law enforcement agency is calling;Scammers may send bogus IRS emails to victims to support their bogus calls;Victims hear background noise of other calls to mimic a call site;After threatening victims with jail time or driver’s license or other professional license revocation, scammers hang up. Others soon call back pretending to be from local law enforcement agencies or the Department of Motor Vehicles, and caller ID again supports their claim. Categories: Local San Diego News, National & International News FacebookTwitterlast_img read more

first_imgTwo thirds (66%) of respondents would take a pay cut of at least 1% to be happier at work, according to research by Hired.Its Perceptions of mobility and the job search report, which surveyed 2,557 full-time employees over the age of 18 in the US, UK and Australia, also found that 78% of millennial respondents would opt for a pay cut to be happier at work, compared to 63% of generation X respondents, and 55% of baby boomer or older respondents.The research also found:11% of respondents would take a pay cut of 20% or more to be happy at work.26% of respondents left their previous job because they felt they were being underpaid, and 18% of respondents left because they felt their work was undervalued.14% of respondents handed in their notice because they did not enjoy the workplace culture, and 5% quit their job because they did not believe in the organisation’s mission.14% of respondents cite a poor work-life balance as their reason for leaving their last job.Mehul Patel, chief executive officer at Hired, said: “Our research shows that 44% of all employees daydream about leaving their job on a monthly basis. Nearly 74% are open to considering new employment or half-heartedly dabbling with the job search today, yet only 14% are actively looking. When people love what they do, everyone wins.”last_img read more

first_imgUber has been granted the right to appeal against an Employment Tribunal ruling that found that the organisation’s drivers are employed as workers and are entitled to the national minimum wage and holiday pay.The appeal will be heard at the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) in London on 27 and 28 September 2017.The appeal relates to the ruling released by the London Central Employment Tribunal on 28 October 2016 following the preliminary hearing of the Aslam and Farra v Uber case. In this case, the drivers contended that they were workers rather than self-employed contractors, and that they were therefore  entitled to workers’ rights such as the national minimum wage and holiday pay.The Employment Tribunal found that the drivers were employed as workers within the meaning of the Employment Rights Act, National Minimum Wage Act, and the working time regulations. The tribunal also found that the claimants were engaged in unmeasured work for the purposes of the National Minimum Wage Regulations, and that their working time should be calculated in accordance with the working time regulations.The Aslam and Farra v Uber case was originally heard at the London Central Employment Tribunal in July 2016. The drivers’ claims were supported by the GMB trade union.Uber has approximately 40,000 drivers in the UK.A spokesperson at Uber said: “Almost all taxi and private hire drivers in the UK have been self-employed for decades and with Uber they have more control over what they do. Licensed drivers who use our app are totally free to choose if, when and where they drive with no shifts, minimum hours or uniforms. The vast majority of drivers who use Uber tell us they want to remain their own boss as that’s the main reason why they’ve signed up to us in the first place.”Maria Ludkin, legal director at GMB, said: “While we fully respect the higher court’s interest in this extraordinarily important case about bogus self-employment, we remain 100% confident that the courts will uphold the original judgment that these drivers have employed worker status.”last_img read more

first_imgOPA-LOCKA, FLA. (WSVN) – The former manager of Opa-locka has surrendered in the wake of a City Hall scandal.David Chiverton faced a judge Monday on bribery charges.He resigned from office in July.Dozens of FBI agents raided City Hall in March, following a two-year investigation that found Chiverton and other officials allegedly pocketed thousands of dollars in illegal cash payments from local business owners.Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.last_img read more

first_imgLandslide caused by heavy rain in Magurchhara area of Moulvibazar district on Monday halted the rail communication of Sylhet with the rest of the country.Sreemangal train station master Foizur Rahman said the mud and rocks blocked the Magurchhara rail track following a landslide in the hilly area inside Lauachhara national Park at around 8:15am in the area since Sunday night.The Dhaka-bound inter-city Kalni Express from Sylhet is stuck at the Bhanugachh station for the landslide, said Bhanugachh station master Shahbuddin Fakir.Work is in progress to restore the rail link and it may take another two hours, he added.last_img read more

first_imgMap of Kabul locating the international airport, site of deadly suicide bomb attack on Sunday. Photo: AFPThe death toll from a suicide attack near Kabul international airport has risen to 23, the health ministry said Monday, with an AFP driver among the dead.At least 107 others were wounded in Sunday’s powerful explosion, which happened as scores of people were leaving the airport after welcoming home Afghan Vice President Abdul Rashid Dostum from exile.The health ministry warned the latest toll, which initially had been 14 dead and 60 wounded, could change.AFP driver Mohammad Akhtar, 31, was among those killed when the suicide bomber blew himself up.The father of four had been on his way to work the night shift.The attack was claimed by the Islamic State group through its official Amaq news agency, according to the SITE intelligence monitoring group.Senior Afghan government officials, political leaders and supporters had gone to the airport to greet Dostum, a powerful ethnic Uzbek leader and former warlord.Despite being linked to a catalogue of human rights abuses in Afghanistan, Dostum was mobbed like a celebrity as he arrived in Afghanistan after more than a year in exile.He was travelling in an armoured vehicle and narrowly escaped the attack.Dostum fled to Turkey in May 2017 after being accused of organising the rape and torture of a political rival.He had denied the allegations and said his departure was for medical check-ups and family reasons.Seven of Dostum’s bodyguards have been convicted of the sexual assault and illegal imprisonment of Ahmad Ishchi, a former governor of the northern province of Jowzjan, in 2016.last_img read more