AutoCanada sues former CEO Patrick Priestner over dealerships acquisitions

EDMONTON — AutoCanada Inc. says it has launched a legal suit against company founder and former CEO and chairman Patrick Priestner over his private acquisition of some auto dealerships.The Edmonton-based dealership group has alleged that during Priestner’s tenure at AutoCanada he breached his fiduciary and other duties by “appropriating” corporate opportunities for his own holding companies including Canada One Auto Group Ltd.Priestner, who served as CEO from 2006 to 2014 and then executive chairman for two years, says in a statement that the claims are completely without merit.He says that during his time at AutoCanada he repeatedly and thoroughly disclosed dealership acquisitions that the company could not buy because of restrictions by certain manufacturers on public companies owning dealerships. He says the acquisitions were specifically authorized by AutoCanada’s board of directors as in the best interest of the company.The company says it has filed the yet-to-be challenged claims in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice and is seeking an accounting of profits, damages and establishment of a trust on the disputed dealerships.AutoCanada operates 68 franchised dealerships in eight provinces in Canada as well as a group in Illinois in the U.S. and has over 4,200 employees. Companies in this story: (TSX:ACQ)The Canadian Press read more

Unemployment in Gaza remains high despite improved economy – UN

7 December 2011The rate of unemployment among refugees registered with the United Nations in the Gaza Strip in the occupied Palestinian territory stands at 33.8 per cent, indicating that their participation in the labour market has declined despite growth in the construction industry, a new report unveiled today indicates. The rate of unemployment among refugees registered with the United Nations in the Gaza Strip in the occupied Palestinian territory stands at 33.8 per cent, indicating that their participation in the labour market has declined despite growth in the construction industry, a new report unveiled today indicates.The report by the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), which is based on a comparison of macro-economic indicators in Gaza for the first half with those the similar period in 2010 found that there were 1,430 more refugees employed in the public sector and about 18,670 in the private sector, a net gain of about 20,100 jobs.The rise in the number of jobs, however, did not keep up with the robust population growth in Gaza. Refugees accounted for less than 20 per cent of workers taking up new jobs in the public sector and about 55 per cent in the private sector. Overall refugees account for nearly 62 per cent of Gaza’s labour force.The report also found that there was a “surge in private employment” as a result of “expanded importation of much-needed building materials and other productive inputs.”The UN estimates that 46,500 tons of building materials came through the Kerem Shalom crossing from Israel into Gaza in September, whereas 90,000 tons came through the tunnels.Some 9,195 tonnes of cement came through Kerem Shalom, while 90,000 tons of the commodity were brought in through the tunnels. An estimated 1,418 tons of steel bars came through Kerem Shalom and 15,000 tons were imported into Gaza through the tunnels.Despite the easing of restrictions on the Israeli-imposed blockade, tight controls of the crossings from Israel into Gaza are a significant factor in the growth of the “tunnel economy,” according to UNRWA.Construction jobs grew by more than 9,400, more than three times the rate of expansions in the first half 2010, accounting for 27.7 per cent of all job growth.That growth was still significantly lower than pre-blockade levels, dampening the prospect of reversing the trend of worsening poverty and aid dependency among ordinary people in Gaza, UNRWA points out.“The private sector accounted for 90 per cent of all job gains in first-half 2011 relative to second-half 2010 as it added 42,450 positions,” according to the report. “Public sector employment grew by 4,660 jobs or 5.1 per cent in the same period.”The private sector continues to be badly affected by the restrictions on exports. While the informal economy provided for wider imports, the blockade continues to restrict exports, which currently stand at just over 3 per cent of pre-blockade levels, preventing sustainable economic growth, the report points out. read more

TSX advances resource sectors positive after sharp selloff

TORONTO — The Toronto stock market closed higher Tuesday with the resource sectors positive as buyers started to nibble at companies that have sustained a severe mauling because of a steep drop in oil prices and other economic concerns.The S&P/TSX composite index gained 51.56 points to 14,195.73.The Canadian dollar was up 0.32 of a cent to 87.41 cents US.Worries that last week’s positive jobs creation data could result in the U.S. Federal Reserve moving sooner than expected to raise interest rates punished most U.S. indexes.The Dow Jones industrials fell 51.28 points to 17,801.2 and the S&P 500 index dipped 0.49 of a point to 2,059.82, while the Nasdaq gained 25.78 points to 4,766.47.Oil prices rose 77 cents to US$63.82 a barrel after tumbling almost US$3 a barrel Monday in the wake of weak trade data from China and a report from Morgan Stanley that suggested prices for Brent crude, an international benchmark, could fall to as low as US$43 a barrel next year.The TSX energy sector closed up 1.13 per cent Tuesday — but the component, which makes up 23 per cent of the TSX, is still under water almost 20 per cent year to date as markets try to work out a huge imbalance in supply and demand. “The energy space is almost looking like capitulation,” observed Paul Vaillancourt, executive vice-president, private wealth, at Fiera Capital in Calgary.“When we see days like this, they’re expected. Never waste an opportunity and in this situation here . . . fear and panic have resulted in some pretty indiscriminate selling.”Canadian energy companies continue to be impacted by plunging oil prices. Baytex Energy (TSX:BTE) is reducing its monthly dividend by more than half to 10 cents a month. The company is also cutting 2015 spending plans by 30 per cent from earlier estimates as well as its production ranges. Baytex shares gained 44 cents to $16.90.Another bright spot on the TSX was Talisman Energy Inc. (TSX:TLM), which said several parties, including Spanish energy company Repsol, have approached it about potential deals. Talisman and Repsol held inconclusive talks during the summer but the Calgary company’s shares have plunged about 60 per cent since then, making it a more attractive takeover target. Its shares rose 11.85 per cent to $4.81.Miners also provided some lift to the TSX, with the gold sector ahead 4.4 per cent as February bullion gained $37.10 to US$1,232 an ounce.The base metals sector was up 2.25 per cent as March copper rose four cents to US$2.93 a pound.Elsewhere, Hudson’s Bay Co. (TSX:HBC) had a quarterly net loss of $13 million or seven cents a share and “normalized” earnings of $116 million, both improvements from the same time last year. Retail sales nearly doubled to $1.91 billion from $984 million a year earlier and its shares edged up 51 cents to $24.Financials led decliners, down 0.3 per cent. Financials have been steadily sliding since last week after the big banks delivered a mixed bag of earnings and warned of a challenging 2015. Investors have been cutting their exposure to banks because of worries that falling oil will negatively impact economic growth and cut back on bank lending.AGF Management Ltd. (TSX:AGF.B) was the major drag on the sector Tuesday, down 14.65 per cent to $8.28 after the company said it would cut its quarterly dividend by 70 per cent to eight cents a share as of the first quarter of 2015. read more

Eid celebrations in Hamilton

Millions of Muslims around the world celebrated Eid Saturday, including thousands of people in Hamilton.The city’s Muslim community is growing, and is in the midst of creating new prayer spaces to accommodate that growth.Thousands of Muslims across the city attended prayers to celebrate the end of this year’s Hajj season.Eid, also known as the festival of sacrifice, is marked by sacrificing animals to feed the poor.Over two million Muslims took part in the Islamic pilgrimage of Hajj in Saudi Arabia this year.Hajj is regarded as one of the pillars of Islam and according to the Quran every Muslim who can physically and financially afford the pilgrimage must perform it at least once in their life time.After prayers, the Muslim community marked the celebration with a day long family Eid festival in the parking lot of the new mosque in downtown Hamilton.The mosque will also serve as a community centre when construction is complete.Hamilton’s Muslim community includes about 30,000 people, thus the need for another prayer space in the downtown core.The festival featured henna tattoos, food, and even bouncy castles.All the money collected at the festival will help pay for the new mosque.Community members expect the mosque to be completed by the end of the year.By then the mosque will be a fully functional community centre, with a gym, fitness centre and mostly importantly more prayer space. read more

Annan head of international employers group urge support for Global Compact

The statement signed by Mr. Annan and President François Perigot calls on employers’ organizations to urge their members to embrace and enact the principles of the Global Compact. The Compact’s nine guiding principles are drawn from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Labour Organization’s Fundamental Principles on Rights at Work, and the Rio Principles on Environment and Development.The joint statement released following a meeting today in New York said that the two sides agreed that the Global Compact should remain inclusive and open to employers, regardless of their size or location, “especially given that there are many ways to make progress in implementing the principles of the Compact.” They also agreed that the Global Compact “is not a substitute for other approaches, such as regulation, and that it is a voluntary initiative that seeks to motivate employers to act within their sphere of influence.”The International Organization of Employers has used its global network to promote the Compact throughout the world by convening meetings on the initiative and preparing materials on the subject, including an Employers Guide to the Global Compact in Arabic, English, French, Spanish and Russian, according to the statement.The Secretary-General expressed appreciation for this commitment to the Compact emphasizing the importance of involving companies from the developing world in the future efforts of this nature, the statement said. read more

After moving 10000 refugees inland UN to close two border camps in

The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) announced today that the sites at Rugombo and Gatumba would be closed over the next weeks. The Congolese settled at the two camps after fleeing fighting between two rebel movements in the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s (DRC) south Kivu region.“We have transferred all the Congolese refugees there to the new camp. This site will be closed as soon as nearly 600 Burundian returnees who came back from south Kivu following the conflict in October are re-integrated in their home districts,” UNHCR spokesman Ron Redmond said in Geneva, referring to Gatumba. “We are talking with government authorities about their re-integration.”The new camp, which now has some 5,746 Congolese refugees transferred from the two border sites, is in the north-western province of Cibitoke, some 40 kilometres from the border between Burundi and the DRC.Meanwhile, some spontaneous returns to the south Kivu region continue, UNHCR said. In the last few weeks, nearly 500 Congolese have returned to the Uvira area, which is relatively calm. read more

Pakistani general new commander of UN forces in Sierra Leone

General Akram replaces Lt. Gen. Daniel Opande, who is now the Force Commander for the UN Mission in Liberia (UNMIL). Until his appointment, General Akram was Deputy Force Commander of the Sierra Leone operation.The Security Council had unanimously agreed on 19 September to extend for six months the mandate of UNAMSIL, instructing it to continue the gradual drawdown of the peacekeeping force without jeopardizing the security situation in the country torn apart by a decade-long civil war.At that time, the Council welcomed the increasing security in Sierra Leone and encouraged “further progress towards strengthening the capacity of the Sierra Leone Police and armed forces to maintain security and stability independently.” read more

Federal watchdog finds more cooked contracts at agency that teaches ethics

OTTAWA – A federal watchdog has blown the whistle on a series of cooked contracts at a government agency that teaches ethics to public servants.The blistering findings mark the second time in less than a year that Canada’s procurement ombudsman has discovered bureaucrats carefully tailoring contract requirements to get the suppliers they prefer.The latest case involves a dozen training contracts — together worth $170,000 — awarded by the Canada School of Public Service between 2009 and 2011.Ombudsman Frank Brunetta found that the school split contract amounts and generally stacked the deck so that a retired public servant who was already collecting a pension could get all the work.Brunetta’s report cites inappropriate sole-source contracts awarded repeatedly, even after key officials at the school warned against the practice.The Canada School of Public Service is a federal agency that, among other things, provides values and ethics training to federal public servants.The report, submitted last week to Public Works Minister Rona Ambrose, determined the school was “favouring an existing contractor by issuing repetitive sole source contracts and contract splitting.”In July last year, Brunetta found parallel problems at the Public Service Commission of Canada, which issued four sole-source contracts crafted in a way that ensured favoured workers got hired.The public service commission’s role is to ensure transparency and openness in the hiring process.The Canada School of Public Service was created in 2004 to “foster a common sense of purpose, values and traditions in the public service.”The school currently has an annual budget of $101 million and 744 employees, though recently announced it is getting out of language training, leaving that work to the private sector.The ombudsman’s report does not identify the favoured supplier at the school, other than to say the person previously worked with Treasury Board to develop policy and was recommended to teach related subject matter.Brunetta began investigating after receiving a formal complaint by another potential supplier, who also was not identified.The individual contract amounts awarded to the favoured supplier ranged from $4,200 to $54,240 — a contract that got underway in May and continues to the end of September this year.The report suggests the school deliberately split a $30,900 contract in two to get around a government rule that prevents contracts worth more than $25,000 from being awarded to former public servants who are receiving a pension.The ombudsman’s office, created in 2008 as part of the Tories’ Federal Accountability Act, does not impose penalties, but says the school has since agreed to fix the problems.A spokesperson for the school was not immediately available for comment.Andrea Mandel-Campbell, spokeswoman for Treasury Board President Tony Clement, the minister responsible for the educational agency, said school officials failed to uphold the high standards expected by the government.“We are very concerned about some of the findings in this report, and we find the actions of the school unacceptable,” Mandel-Campbell said in an interview. Treasury Board will be monitoring to see whether the school’s action plan is producing results, she added.Allan Cutler, a former whistleblower whose career was damaged in the sponsorship scandal, says the school should now have all its contracts over the last few years audited in depth.“CSPS has long been known as an area that contracts by favouritism,” he said. “This includes senior former public servants who already receive a generous pension.”Cutler, who co-founded the non-profit Canadians for Accountability in 2008, was a complainant in the case involving four sole-source contracts at the public service commission. He left the public service and ran unsuccessfully for the Tories in the 2006 federal election.A spokesman for the ombudsman cautioned against concluding from incidents in the two reports that the procurement system is broken.“These things are in the vast, vast minority but they get the most attention,” said David Rabinovitch. “It’s not fair to generalize.”In 2010-2011, the ombudsman received 110 formal complaints, three-quarters of which were about the way contracts were awarded.The office has previously cited sole-source contracting as one of the biggest areas of abuse in federal procurement. Federal watchdog finds more cooked contracts at agency that teaches ethics by Dean Beeby, The Canadian Press Posted Jul 4, 2012 7:43 pm MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email read more

UN humanitarian coordinator condemns Central African Republic hospital attack as inhuman and

The armed men entered the Regional Hospital based in the city centre of Bambari, after previously threatening medical staff and patients last Thursday and looting the offices of nine humanitarian organizations, as well as the National Refugee Commission, during the course of last month.“I hold these armed groups directly responsible for this intrusion for any medical complications and life-threatening conditions of patients” Humanitarian Coordinator Najat Rochdi stated on Saturday.Recalling that at in accordance with the principles of humanitarian law and impartiality, healthcare is a right granted to all patients in need, condemning their behaviour as “inhuman and unworthy.”For five years, conflict has plagued the country, with violence intensifying over the past 12 months.According to preliminary estimates, relatives responded by removing some 30 vulnerable patients from their hospital beds, depite it’s effect on their medical care.Ms. Rochdi stressed that civilian hospitals care for the wounded and sick, and should under no circumstances be attacked. She emphasized that they must be respected and offered protection by all parties to conflict.This latest incident constitutes an additional challenge for humanitarian workers in Bambari, particularly those administering healthcare.”The population is once again ‘held hostage’ by the impact of clashes between armed groups since May 14,” said Ms. Rochdi, adding that civilians were “being cut off” from life-saving assistance. “I call upon the perpetrators of these acts to put the interest of the population above their differences,” stressed the Humanitarian Coordinator. read more

Evacuees returning home Assistance extended

first_img Related Items:#magneticmedianews Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Electricity Cost of Service Study among the big agenda items at September 11 Cabinet meeting ALERT # 2 ON POTENTIAL TROPICAL CYCLONE NINE ISSUED BY THE BAHAMAS DEPARTMENT OF METEOROLOGY THURSDAY 12TH SEPTEMBER, 2019 AT 9 PM EDT Recommended for you Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppBahamas, September 14, 2017 – Nassau – Deputy Permanent Secretary of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Chrystal Glinton updated the public from the NEMA office on Wednesday afternoon, September 13, 2017 on the circumstances of Hurricane Irma evacuees from Acklins, Crooked Island, Mayaguana Ragged Island, Inagua, and Bimini.She said some of those persons from Salina Point, Acklins, returned yesterday to help with post-hurricane clean-up. Today, persons returned to Crooked Island and Mayaguana. Tomorrow, they will return to Mayaguana and Acklins, and on Friday, persons will return to Acklins and Bimini.Ms. Glinton remarked that it is difficult for evacuees to mentally process the rapidly changing circumstances of a sudden evacuation and so the Psychology Association will assist them by through Disaster Mental Health sessions.In addition, she noted, the Prime Minister has initiated an exigency order so that persons from affected islands may purchase items duty/VAT free locally and abroad. The order will last for 90 days for some islands, and 100 days for others. The Luxury of Grace Bay in Down Town Provolast_img read more

Towns Current Bidding Contract Opportunities

first_imgWILMINGTON, MA — The Town’s Purchasing Department currently has the following bidding and contract opportunities available:Request For Proposals/QualificationsNoneInvitations To BidInstallation Of Aboveground Storage Tank For Diesel Fuel — Deadline: Wednesday, March 6, 2019, 10amWoburn Street Water Main Replacement — Deadline: Wednesday, March 20, 2019, 9amAll interested parties must first complete the town’s Bid Registration Form.Visit the Town’s Purchasing Department website for additional information. Contact Wendy Martiniello at wmartiniello[at] with questions.Like Wilmington Apple on Facebook. Follow Wilmington Apple on Twitter. Follow Wilmington Apple on Instagram. Subscribe to Wilmington Apple’s daily email newsletter HERE. Got a comment, question, photo, press release, or news tip? Email this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… RelatedTown’s Current Bidding & Contract OpportunitiesIn “Government”Town’s Current Bidding & Contract OpportunitiesIn “Government”Town’s Current Bidding & Contract OpportunitiesIn “Government”last_img read more

BeyoncéGlover duet feels the love as Lion King tickets go on sale

first_img Summer movie preview: Aladdin, Spider-Man, Tarantino and more It is time. Advanced tickets available now. #TheLionKing— The Lion King (@disneylionking) June 24, 2019 On Sunday, Disney released a video of the two singing short snippets of the classic love song, Can You Feel The Love Tonight? The video has gotten more than 500,000 views in just over one day. Disney The new Simba is just so darn cute. Walt Disney Studios Just can’t wait to be king? You don’t have to wait anymore. Tickets for the new, scarily realistic, computer-animated Lion King are on sale. Although the remake of the classic 1994 animated hit doesn’t open for nearly a month, major online ticket-selling sites, including Fandango, AMC, Cinemark and Regal, all have tickets available now.Buy tickets on AtomBuy tickets on FandangoNote that CNET may get a share of the revenue if you buy anything featured on our site.The film features a star-studded voice cast, including Donald Glover as Simba, the lion cub who must find his way, and Beyoncé Knowles-Carter as his mate, Nala.  21 Photos Share your voicecenter_img The Lion King opens July 18 in Australia and July 19 in the US and UK. TV and Movies Post a comment 0 Tagslast_img read more

Breaking Sri Lanka to bat first after winning the toss against India

first_imgIndia will be chasing after their opponents, Sri Lanka, won the toss and decided to bat first. The Lankan captain Dimuth Karunaratne said that the pitch looks dry and may deteriorate in the second half, making chasing a target difficult, hence he has made this decision. The big news from Indian side is the exclusion of Yuzvendra Chahal and Mohammad Shami and the inclusion of Kuldeep Yadav and Ravindra Jadeja. The exit of Chahal, though, officially described as a rest, may well be the result of him not having achieved the kind of success expected of him. Shami, on the other hand, has been picking a lot of wickets but has proved very expensive in the death overs. Ravindra Jadeja comes into the team very late in the tournament but his consistency and accuracy makes him a valuable asset. Today’s match will decide what will be the composition of India’s bowling attack in the semis. It is very likely that Shami won’t come back and one of Chahal and Jadeja would accompany Kuldeep.last_img read more

SC asks Saharas Subrata Roy to deposit Rs 1500 cr to stall

first_imgSahara Group Chairman Subrata Roy gestures as he arrives at the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) headquarters in Mumbai on April 10, 2013. REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui/File PhotoThe Supreme Court on Tuesday asked Sahara chief Subrata Roy to deposit Rs 1,500 crore — a part payment of Rs 24,000 crore that two group companies had raised from the investors — with market regulator Sebi to stall the auction of its lands in Aamby valley.Directing the sum be deposited by September 7, the bench of Justice Dipak Misra, Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice A.K. Sikri permitted Roy to place before them a reasonable plan for the payment of balance amount over a period of 18 months – as he had himself sought.As it cleared all the terms and conditions submitted by Bombay High Court’s official liquidator Vinod Sharma for floating a global tender to invite bids for the auction of Aamby Valley, the court said that if Sahara pays Rs 1,500 crore by September 7 and submits a plan, it would stall the process of auctioning Aamby Valley.However, it was subject to payment of this sum, the court said, which also include balances of Rs 305 crore that Roy has yet to pay from his last instalment that he was to submit by June 15.”Both things would go together – if you pay the amount, then we will stall the auctioning process, the court told senior counsel Kapil Sibal, appearing for Roy, who tried to impress upon the court not to go ahead with the publication of advertisement inviting global bids as it would adversely impact the efforts by Roy to raise money by disposing of his other assets.But Roy also told the bench that it was not possible for him to raise the amount and sought that he be given time till October.Expressing his inability to raise Rs 1,500 crore, he said that he has sold his New York hotels – New York Plaza and Dream New York hotel.On April 16, the court had asked the Bombay High Court’s official liquidator to evaluate and auction the Aamby Valley property of the Sahara Group and Sharma, in his report on its worth, said that its market value is Rs 37, 390 crore and the fair value is Rs 43,000 crore.The next hearing would take place on September 11.The Sahara India Real Estate Corporation Ltd. and the Sahara Housing Investment Corporation Limited had raised Rs 24,000 crore through optionally fully convertible debentures in 2007 and 2008 and the top court by its August 31, 2012, order had directed Sahara to refund this amount with 15 per cent interest.last_img read more

Commonwealth wants BNPs participation in next election

first_imgMirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir, Patricia ScotlandThe Commonwealth wants to see Bangladesh Nationalist Party participate in the upcoming eleventh national elections. Commonwealth secretary general Patricia Scotland in a letter sent to BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir encouraged the party to participate in the election.Scotland, in her letter, said a participatory election is a must for functional democracy, a BNP source said.A standing committee member of BNP, seeking anonymity, told Prothom Alo that BNP had pointed out the political situation of the country and suppression of opposition parties when Patricia had visited Bangladesh recently. BNP leader also said, perhaps the Commonwealth secretary general also urged the government to hold a free, fair and participatory election.BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam told two journalists that he will reply to the letter soon.last_img read more

Suu Kyi makes first visit to crisishit Rakhine

first_imgSuu KyiMyanmar’s leader Aung San Suu Kyi arrived on her first visit to conflict-battered northern Rakhine State on Thursday, an official said, an unannounced trip to an area that has seen most of its Rohingya Muslim population forced out by an army campaign.Suu Kyi, a nobel laureate who leads Myanmar’s pro-democracy party, has been hammered by the international community for failing to use her moral power to speak up in defence of the Rohinyga.Some 600,000 of the stateless minority have fled to Bangladesh since late August carrying accounts of murder, rape and arson at the hands of the Myanmar’s army, after militant raids sparked a ferocious military crackdown.The UN says that crackdown is tantamount to ethnic cleansing, while pressure has mounted on Myanmar to provide security for the Rohingya and allow people to return home.“The State Counsellor (Suu Kyi’s official title) is now in Sittwe and will go to Maungdaw and Buthiduang too. It will be a day trip,” government spokesman Zaw Htay told AFP, mentioning two of the epicentres of the violence but without elaborating on her schedule.It is her first trip in office to northern Rakhine, which has hosted the worst of the communal violence that has cut through the western state since 2012, severely damaging Myanmar’s global reputation.It was not clear if Suu Kyi would visit some of the hundreds of Rohinyga villages torched by the army—allegedly aided by ethnic Rakhine Buddhist locals—or if she would be taken to see remaining clusters of the Muslim group, who are living in fear and hunger surrounded by hostile neighbours.Thousands of others are believed to still be camped on a beach near Maungdaw awaiting boats to Bangladesh in increasingly parlous conditions.The Rohingya are hated in Buddhist-majority Myanmar, where they are denied citizenship and widely dismissed as illegal “Bengali” immigrants.Observers say Suu Kyi has chosen not to criticise the army in fear of a backlash from a powerful institution that controls all security matters.The plight of the Rohingya also garners little sympathy inside Myanmar, making any defence of the minority a politically unpopular cause amid surging Buddhist nationalist sentiment.Suu Kyi heads a committee charged with rebuilding Rakhine and repatriating Rohingya from Bangladesh who meet strict criteria for re-entry to Myanmar.On Wednesday, spokesman Zaw Htay accused Bangladesh of delaying the start of the repatriation process.Dhaka has yet to send an official list of the Rohingya who have fled since August 25, he told AFP.The Rohingya have packed into makeshift camps on a poor, already overcrowded slip of border land inside Bangladesh.Aid groups say the risk of major outbreaks of disease is high while they struggle to deliver food and basic supplies to the unprecedented number of refugees.last_img read more

Sets the city World Science Festival 2012 New Yorkstyle Part 1 of

first_img , Nature Physics The first WSF2012 panel discussion I attended was Artist as Innovator: Visions of a Floating City. Held at New York’s iconic Metropolitan Museum of Art, Artist as Innovator was a multidisciplinary science-meets-art look at Cloud Cities, artist Tomás Saraceno’s vision of a floating city. The immense grouping of interconnected pods – now installed on the Metropolitan’s rooftop – was inspired by Saraceno’s investigations into neural networks, optimal packing algorithms, bubble geometry, balloon flight, cosmological spatial patterns, and three-dimensional spider webs. Moreover, Cloud Cities redefines the phrase open to the public: Museum visitors can enter the structure and navigate through its maze of dodecahedron pods. (The installation runs through November 4, 2012.)Saraceno spoke prior to the panel discussion, giving a near-lightspeed tour of his work that led to Cloud Cities. His range and experience extends from NASA and arachnid biology to solar energy and neural networks, and his energy and imagination were evident. Saraceno was then joined on the panel – moderated by Peabody Award-winning radio producer Julie Burstein – by arachnologist Peter Jäger, astrophysicist Mario Livio, astrobiologist Christopher McKay, and architectural theorist and Dean of Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation Mark Wigley.The questions were varied and the answers spirited, although the discussion itself seemed a bit brief. In any case, the arachnid-obsessed Jäger – who has discovered more than 200 species of spiders in past 10 years alone, including one he somewhat humorously christened Heteropoda davidbowie – spoke about his collaboration with Saraceno. “Tomás called to say that he needed a spider expert to have a three-dimensional spider web scanned, greatly enlarged and installed. I said it was impossible – but he did it! As a scientist, I start with known limitations, but as an artist, Tomás has an idea and goes with it – so here we are.”McKay, a research scientist at NASA Ames Research Center, whose research focuses on the evolution of the solar system and the origin of life, is leading an effort to establish a Mars habitat suitable for humans, initially by conducting various field research projects at Earth’s most extreme environments. These include not only the aptly-named Haughton Mars Project (HMP), Canadian Arctic and Mars Desert Research Station, Utah, but also sites such as Spitsbergen (Svalbard) Island, Rio Tinto, Spain, Pavilion Lake, Canada, Mojave Desert, California, Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa, Axel Heiberg Island, Nunavut, Canada. Even more ambitious are his group’s recently-funded plans to transport sterilized plant seeds to the Moon for cultivation and – critically – replanting seeds produced by that first exoplanetary generation. (Sterilization eliminates Earth microbes from the seed without affecting its genetic material or ability to sprout, grow and produce viable seeds of its own.) In that context, McKay stole the show with a one-liner repurposed from (no surprise) Star Trek: “We want to grow where no one has grown before.”Mark Wigley (who has also recently appeared on Critical Thought | TV) contributed some of the discussion’s most thought-provoking comments. ”I think we know more about life on Mars than we do about life on Earth – by which I mean that by the year 2015 there’ll be 9.3 billion people living on this planet, and 70% of them – seven billion people – will be living in cities. No one has any idea what that means. None at all – not even the beginning of an idea.” Part of the problem, Wigley adds, is that cities (which he describes as a technology for maximizing connectivity) are evolving more quickly than most technologies – and faster than the institutions designed to think about them as well. From a different perspective, Wigley adds that while it is the cosmos that seems mysterious, “what’s really strange is the world in which we live.” As an example, he pointed out that even something as basic as the concept of home – and even of room – is highly variable. “The conceptualization of home has vaporized and almost completely dispersed. For example,” he illustrated, “a teenager’s idea of home is probably more in his or her cell phone than it is in an actual house.” Next up (this time at Hunter College) was Madness Redefined: Creativity, Intelligence and the Dark Side of the Mind – a profound, humorous and ultimately inspiring panel discussion addressing the likely possibility that the so-called tortured genius or mad scientist may actually be more than folk legend. Based both on research showing that bipolar disorder and schizophrenia correlate with high creativity and intelligence, the panel discussed a range of issues, including the role of environment in mental illness, the possibility that certain traits related to mental illness are being selected for in the human gene pool, and the border between brilliance and madness. The Festival was co-founded in 2008 by Brian Greene, quantum physicist, string theorist, Columbia University professor of physics and mathematics, and bestselling author of The Elegant Universe and The Hidden Reality; and Tracy Day, Emmy Award-winning journalist and television producer. The annual event brings together many of the world’s leading scientific minds with renowned artists and influential thinkers for a five-day celebration that, through discourse and debate, conversation and performance, the arts and exhibitions, allows everyone to experience science in a unique and thrilling way. Since its inception, the Festival has attracted some 600,000 people to over 200 original programs.Prior to the Festival proper, a Gala Celebration hosted by the inimitable Alan Alda – a Visiting Professor at Stony Brook School of Journalism, working with the Center for Communicating Science – was held in recognition of the Festival’s fifth anniversary and ongoing success. A Performing Arts Salute to Science brought together leaders in science, theatre, music, art, education and business for an evening that celebrates both the content and the culture of science, while raising essential support for the Festival’s mission and programs. The event featured Brian Greene, violinist Joshua Bell, Emmy award-winning actress Debra Monk and other Broadway luminaries – Todd Ellison, Rose Hemmingway, Paige Faure, Eryn Murman, Abbey O’Brien, David Hibbard, Drew Gehling, the dancers/illusionists of MOMIX – and my personal favorite, TONY award-winning performer James Naughton’s hysterical over-the-top performance of his piece Stress (note that the linked video is the same piece, but not recorded at the World Science Festival Gala). Proposed experiment would prove that quantum jumps are not objective events Citation: Sets & the city: World Science Festival 2012, New York-style (Part 1 of 2) (2012, August 7) retrieved 18 August 2019 from Explore further Copyright 2012 All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or part without the express written permission of Journal information: Physical Review Letterscenter_img This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Video: Copyright © 2012 World Science FestivalModerated by Cynthia McFadden, co-anchor of Nightline and recipient of the Emmy, the Peabody, Dupont, and Foreign Press awards, the panel featured James Fallon, an internationally recognized neurobiologist; Kay Redfield Jamison, a psychologist transformed her own struggle with manic-depression into a lifelong career researching the illness and its treatment; and Elyn Saks, a mental health law professor focused on legal and ethical issues surrounding mental illness.Perhaps the most engaging aspect of the event was the courage and honesty with which each panelist discussed not only his or her own mental illness, but the professionalism and clarity that informed the impact that illness had visited on their personal lives. The audience therefore had a rare opportunity to have both emotional and intellectual insight into these disabling yet sometimes enhancing conditions. Saks, for example, described with great precision the way that, in schizophrenia – her own affliction – traits associated with high creativity (such as the ability to hold contradictory concepts simultaneously in one’s mind) infiltrate and thereby compromise more deliberative, rational cognitive processes.Aside from the occasional humor found in their comments, Fallon was disarming when he unabashedly acknowledged accidentally discovering that his own brain scans (one of his key areas of expertise) were indistinguishable from those of sociopaths. With this realization as an impetus, he began asking colleagues, friends and family members if he displayed any characteristics that would indicate such a condition. To his great surprise, they all answered in the affirmative – but they only described annoying behaviors. In other words, despite his diagnostic brain images, Fallon was not classically sociopathic – a positive outcome he attributes to his supportive upbringing.At Hunter College again the following evening, John Hockenberry – award-winning radio, broadcast television and print journalist, co-host of WNYC and PRI’s The Takeaway, host on The DNA Files, and contributor to The Infinite Mind – moderated a forward-looking discussion entitled Quantum Biology and the Hidden Nature of Nature. The panel featured Paul Davies, physicist, cosmologist, astrobiologist and Director of Arizona State University’s Beyond Center for Fundamental Concepts in Science; Seth Lloyd, a mechanical engineer at Massachusetts Institute of Technology who was the first person to develop a realizable model for quantum computation, and who’s now focused on the quantum mechanics of living systems (which he refers to as quantum life); and Thorsten Ritz, a biophysicist at the University of California, Irvine interested in the role of quantum mechanics in biological systems, ranging from photosynthetic light harvesting systems to sensory cells.Video: Copyright © 2012 World Science FestivalIt should be noted that despite increasing evidence from areas as diverse as bird navigation, photosynthesis and human olfaction, the role of quantum events in biological systems is still hotly debated. In general, the arguments against quantum life have centered on dimensionality (distances between components of biological systems are too great), temperature (biological systems are too warm), and standard biophysics (quantum effects statistical zero out at higher levels of scale). As demonstrated by the history of science, however, facts often turn out to be incorrect beliefs – and these long-held dismissive assertions about quantum life may well be that. Copyright © Greg Kessler, 2012 World Science Festival Seth Lloyd on Quantum Life Consider the above-mentioned research. Delving into the ability of some migratory bird species sense very subtle variations in Earth’s magnetic field, scientists at University of Oxford found that quantum superposition and entanglement are not only present, but sustained for tens of microsecond – far longer than artificial molecular systems, which, moreover, typically operate only at cryogenic temperatures. Similarly, researchers at University of California, Berkeley analyzed quantum entanglement in light-harvesting biological complexes, demonstrating what they describe as the first rigorous quantification of entanglement in a biological system. Finally, scientists at University College London showed that while molecular odorant receptors are not sufficient to explain our olfactory sense, tested their proposal that quantum electron tunneling from a donor to an acceptor mediated by the odorant provides critical odor discrimination in biomolecular systems – and found that proposal consistent both with the underlying physics and with observed features of smell.Hockenberry concluded the discussion with a (perhaps inevitable) question about the role of quantum mechanics in the emergence of consciousness – and Lloyd gave a balanced and insightful response. “Quantum mechanics is strange and mysterious…the origins of life are strange and mysterious…consciousness is strange and mysterious…and Donald Trump’s hair is strange and mysterious. That doesn’t mean that they’re all the same thing or strange and mysterious in the same way. However,” he continued, ”there is one place where we really do know that quantum mechanics plays a very important role in developing life – and that is in the introduction of variation. Classical mechanics doesn’t give you any mechanism for introducing variation – it’s completely deterministic. Quantum mechanics, on the other hand, is probabilistic, and can inject all kinds of information into the universe. In fact, the only explanation we have for why the universe is so varied and interesting – given that it came from an initial state that was incredibly uniform, the quantum state was incredibly uniform, the laws of physics were simple, and if that were a classical universe, it would have stayed simple – is that quantum mechanics is constantly injecting all kinds of little fluctuations that can become seeds for the formation of galaxies, or for that matter, little mutations that become seeds for cancer when an ultraviolet photon zaps one of our cells. This variation is being introduced by quantum mechanics.”Part 2: … e-festival-york.html ( — New York City is the nexus of all things intellectual, cultural and academic. (Being a native New Yorker, I admit being somewhat biased.) Either way, one highlight in this complex and vibrant metropolis is the annual World Science Festival, founded in 2008. World Science Festival 2012 was a nearly week-long orchestration of myriad events focused on a wide range of topics embracing not just science, but also art, architecture, film, music, and technology. More information: Sustained Quantum Coherence and Entanglement in the Avian Compass, Physical Review Letters 106, 040503 (2011), doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.106.040503Quantum entanglement in photosynthetic light-harvesting complexes, Nature Physics 6, 462–467 (2010) doi:10.1038/nphys1652Could Humans Recognize Odor by Phonon Assisted Tunneling?, Physical Review Letters 98, 038101 (2007), doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.98.038101last_img read more

KCR meets CM says dialogue will continue on Federal Front

first_imgKolkata: Telangana Chief Minister and TRS chief K Chandrashekhar Rao met his Bengal counterpart and Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee on Monday and said that the dialogue over formation of a Federal Front for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections will continue.”Our dialogue will continue and very shortly we will come out with a concrete plan. We are discussing things…a non-Congress, non BJP front is my mission. I will continue my efforts,” Rao said after meeting Banerjee at the state secretariat Nabanna. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeHe reiterated that an alternative front to the Congress and BJP-led alliances is not a small matter. “Wait for the right time. The dialogues will continue,” he told reporters with Banerjee and some senior ministers of the state government beside him. Rao, popularly known as KCR, has achieved a resounding victory in the recently-concluded Telangana Assembly polls, and is now working on forming an alternative coalition front ahead of the 2019 general elections. He had also met his Odisha counterpart and Biju Janata Dal (BJD) chief Naveen Patnaik, at his residence in Bhubaneswar on Sunday. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedThe TRS president would spend the next three days in New Delhi, where he would meet Mayawati and Akhilesh Yadav. Since he is visiting the national capital for the first time after the Assembly elections, he will also be making a courtesy call on Prime Minister Narendra Modi. It may be mentioned that Mamata Banerjee has been talking about the formation of the Federal Front from early this year. Chandrababu Naidu has already met Mamata Banerjee and on Saturday, Farooq Abdullah met her as well and discussed about the functioning of the Federal Front. Many national leaders who will join the Front will come to attend the Brigade Parade Ground Rally, scheduled to be held on January 19, 2019.last_img read more

Pulse massacre shooters widow found not guilty on all counts

first_imgMoreover, they said Seddique Mateen, worked as an FBI informant for 11 years, up to June 2016, when Mateen attacked the nightclub. Also adding that the prosecution knew this but sought to hide it.During the attack, Mateen told hostage negotiators he was committing the nightclub massacre in response to U.S. airstrikes in Syria and Iraq. One including an attack killing the senior Islamic State member Abu Wahib.Omar Mateen killed 49 at Pulse, an LGBTI nightclub in Orlando, FloridaPulse nightclub shooter ‘originally intended to attack Disney World’ say, prosecutorsDuring the trial, the prosecutors say Mateen originally intended to attack the Disney World resort.In their closing statements, they told of his plans to hide a gun in a stroller and take it to the resort. But after getting a ‘spook’ from the police – he chose the gay club instead.A decision that led to the murder of 49 LGBTI and mostly Latinx people.‘The target of the terrorist attack was not the Pulse nightclub,’ the Assistant U.S. Attorney Sara Sweeney told the court. ‘The target of the attack was Disney.’The court saw footage from the Disney Springs complex. It showed Mateen walking near the House of Blues club in the hours before the Pulse attack.More to follow on this developing story.Read more from Gay Star News:It’s been a year since my friend was killed in Orlando Her husband, Omar Mateen, killed 49 people at the LGBT venue Pulse in Orlando. The attack sent waves around the world becoming America’s deadliest terror attack in the U.S. since 9/11.At the time was the worst mass shooting in the nation by a single gunman. Mateen was killed by gunfire during the attack at Pulse on 12 June 2016.Salman was today found not guilty on all charges. She was facing charges of aiding her husband and obstructing the investigation into the attack.Her lawyer’s main argument was that she was simply an innocent victim – caught up in her husband’s lies. Charles Swift, acting for her defense, in his closing argument said:‘She doesn’t go to the mosque, she searches for Hello Kitty on her website.’In addition, he said: ‘We’re to believe she had long conversations with Omar Mateen about jihads?’It took the 12-member jury three days to return their verdict on Friday morning (30 March.)Orlando rainbow crosswalk | Photo: @thecitybeautiful InstagramProsection: Salman ‘knowingly misled’ FBI interrogatorsIn the case, prosecutors argued the statement Salman made to the FBI after her arrest in January 2017 shows that she knew her husband was going to do something violent.In addition, they say Salman ‘knowingly misled’ FBI interrogators in the hours after the attack.Another revelation during the trial was that attacker’s father was allegedly an FBI informant.It came out after Salman’s lawyers filed a federal court motion saying prosecutors only contacted them midway through the trial to tell them about the gunman’s father, Seddique Mateen, and his relationship with the FBI.Therefore, her lawyers say the late disclosure did not allow them to look into the involvement of Mateen’s father.‘The violations, in this case, have placed Ms. Salman, the jury, and this Court in a dark wood where the search for truth has been thwarted.’ Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… WATCH: Crowds cheer as anti-gay protestor arrested outside Pulse on anniversary of Orlando shooting Confirmed: Pulse massacre shooter was NOT gay, never used GrindrPulse nightclub shooter ‘originally intended to attack Disney World’ say prosecutorsPulse nightclub gunman’s father ‘was FBI informant for 11 years’, court hearsRead the full article on Gaystarnews:  : GAYSTARNEWS-center_img Omar Mateen with wife Noor Salman Got a news tip? Want to share your story? Email us . eTN Chatroom for Readers (join us) Noor Salmon, the widow of the man that killed 49 people at Pulse, has been found not guilty.last_img read more

How to spot a shark in Costa Rica on your dinner plate

first_imgNo related posts. From the print editionDemian Geneau sees these scammers every time he goes out to the fish market: Vendors sell catfish or other low-grade fish as sea bass. Endangered species are disguised with nonsense monikers. Shark is marketed under every name except shark.  The owner of Product C, a restaurant with a focus on fresh seafood, has developed a keen eye for distinguishing one type of fish filet from another.But unacquainted consumers end up buying species like barracuda or eel, two fish that when filleted look like more valuable sea bass.As for catfish, the difference in flavor becomes obvious at first bite. “It’s insane,” Geneau said. “You got these fishermen who go out and handline real sea bass, and they try to sell it for ₡3,000 [$6] or whatever, and they call it sea bass. And then this guy that imports bassa [shark catfish] from China says it’s sea bass, and they sell it for ₡1,000 [$2].” The fish fraud makes for a major headache for the local fishing industry. To fight the deception, the government passed a law establishing a labeling system for fishery products. The legislation went into effect on Aug. 14. To alert consumers, the nonprofit MarViva Foundation released an “Identification Guide for Fish and Seafood Filets” this week. The guide can be downloaded at MarViva’s website (Or click here, to download the guide directly).The “Labeling of Fishing Products Law” intends to prevent importers and local fishing fleets from undercutting market values. Besides being fraudulent, the cheap charge also makes it difficult for Costa Rican artisanal fisherman to compete and make a living. Sellers use fantasy names to sell endangered species like sailfish, marlin or shark in Costa Rica, said Jorge Jiménez, MarViva’s general director. These protected fish often are caught illegally as bycatch by longliners and trawlers.Shark meat, especially, is sold under several ambiguous names like bolillo, cazón or cornuda. Shark is a common ingredient in local ceviches even if consumers do not realize they’re eating it. The new law stipulates that shark meat must include the word “tiburón” (Spanish for “shark”) on its label.The guide states that all seafood filets, whether sold fresh, frozen or prepackaged, must be labeled under a common name. A passage in the guide states that this is not the scientific name, but the name the species is “best known by.” For example, the law bans the use of the word “corvineta” for catfish.  The word corvineta is a made-up word that happens to look similar to corvina, the Spanish word for sea bass. Instead, catfish should receive labels like bagre, bassa or pangasio, depending on the species.   The law also asks vendors to include the seafood’s country of origin. (Bassa or pangasio often are imported from Asian countries like China and Vietnam). Frozen or prepackaged fish need to include an expiration date. Three government entities worked together to create the law: the Economy Ministry, the Agriculture and Livestock Ministry and the Costa Rican Fisheries Institute. MarViva also gave input for the law. The organizations are training food inspectors at the National Animal Health Service and at the fisheries institute to spot fish-market mislabeling. Members of large seafood distributors and sellers are receiving instructions on the law.  Economy Minister Mayi Antillón said the government has a “sincere” strategy to make sure the plan reaches all of Costa Rica. Officials acknowledge the challenge of getting these regulations out there to docks and markets where fishermen work.“We still have a ways to go to adopt this policy because we have to bring this information to all consumers in all corners of the country,” Jiménez said.MarViva hopes to place the guides at points of sale for fresh fish throughout Costa Rica, Jiménez said. At the supermarket, customers could leaf through the guide to make sure filets on sale match images in the book.The guide, available only in Spanish, show pictures of common fish filets sold in Costa Rica, detailing characteristics of each species including the common names, colors and average sizes. Chef Demian Geneau serves seafood from his restaurant Product C. Courtesy of Evelyn Arroyo / MEIC New rules state that all seafood filets sold fresh or frozen in Costa Rica must be labeled under a common name. A Spanish-language guide, above, will be distributed at stores to help shoppers verify labeling. “Guide for Identifying Fish Filets and Seafood”center_img Facebook Comments Jiménez, Antillón and Agriculture Minister Gloria Abraham spoke at a press conference Monday about how the law represented a step forward for protecting Costa Rica’s oceans by bringing awareness to the consumer. The oceans are a key issue for the current government as the waters remain under siege due to overfishing by fishing flotillas.      Officials brought Geneau to the press event to show off the benefits of sustainable fishing practices. The upscale Product C brand started in Malpaís, on the southern Nicoya Peninsula, and now has two locations in southwestern San José suburbs.In the presence of posters promoting the new law and photos displaying that consumers should “eat this, not that,” Geneau catered the press event. He supplied shucked oysters cultivated from seedlings in Punta Cuchilla, a rural community in Puntarenas. Attendants doled out pompano ceviche and strips of róbalo (snook) caught by handline fishermen in small, coastal villages.Geneau turned jack crevalle, which he said has a reputation for being “cat food” in Costa Rica, into a tastefully smoked hors d’oeuvre served on a thin slice of bread. The chef always has been puzzled by why Costa Rica imports so much seafood instead of promoting “the two seas on both sides” of the country. He hopes the label law will encourage sustainable fishing and eating locally.  “Any other product in the country comes with a label, with the brand, the process and the ingredients of the product. Fish doesn’t have that. You simply buy the filet,” Geneau said. “But if you buy a fish that’s certified, at the least you’re ensuring a good practice.”last_img read more