SOUTH BEND, IN – NOVEMBER 14: Tabari Hines #6 of the Wake Forest Demon Deacons lets a punt bounce as the Notre Dame Fighting Irish close in for the tackle during the first quarter at Notre Dame Stadium on November 14, 2015 in South Bend, Indiana. The Notre Dame Fighting Irish won 28-7. (Photo by Jon Durr/Getty Images)When full class of 2021 rankings roll out, expect IMG Academy’s Greg Crippen to be high up there. The Massachusetts native has offers from many of the top programs in the country.Alabama, Boston College, Duke, Michigan, Pitt, Purdue, and Syracuse are among the early offers that have rolled in for Crippen. Notre Dame hasn’t pulled the trigger yet, but he’s firmly on their radar.Crippen recently spoke to Rivals, and revealed that he is set to make his third trip to South Bend since last football season. This time, it is more about his recruitment, while earlier he camped with the Fighting Irish.He will be on campus on Thursday:Bradenton (Fla.) IMG Academy 2021 offensive lineman Greg Crippen visited Notre Dame during the 2018 football season and for a lineman camp over the summer, and will return to South Bend on Thursday for another look at the program.The 6-foot-4, 270 pound Crippen said the visit has been on his mind for a while.“I have been looking forward to this for a while,” Crippen said. “I’m Looking forward to getting there early and spending the day watching practice, talking to academics and talking to coaches and players.”Notre Dame’s combination of academics and athletics helps Notre Dame stand out for Greg Crippen.He said as much in the interview:“Academics with athletics,” Crippen said of what’s most important in his recruitment. “I’m looking for a great combination of them both.”Offensive line coach Jeff Quinn leads the way in Crippen’s recruitment, and has built a solid bond with the IMG star.While a decision could be a way’s off, Notre Dame has already started to build its 2021 class. The Fighting Irish recently landed four-star quarterback Tyler Buchner to get the ball rolling with the current high school sophomores.[Rivals]
Cancer is a leading cause of death worldwide and accounted for 7.6 million deaths, which is around 13% of all deaths in 2008. Seventy percent of all cancer related deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries such as Jamaica. In Jamaica, cancer is one of the top five causes of death in our population. According to data from the Registrar General’s Department, in 2010, 3198, Jamaicans died due to cancer. The three most common types of cancer that kill Jamaican men are prostate, lung and colorectal and for women they are breast, cervix and colorectal cancer. In 2009, there were 4,315 discharges from Government hospitals, including UHWI, for Cancer. On World Cancer Day this year, the Ministry of Health is joining with the World Health Organization and supporting the International Union Against Cancer to urge persons to get the facts about cancers. This year will focus on Target 5 of the World Cancer Declaration: Dispel damaging myths and misconceptions about cancer, under the tagline “Cancer – Did you know?”. The myths that we must work towards dispelling are Myth 1: “Cancer is just a health issue”; Myth 2: “Cancer is a disease of the wealthy, elderly and developed countries”; Myth 3: “Cancer is a death sentence”; and Myth 4: “Cancer is my fate”. The truth is that cancer has wide reaching social, economic and development implications. Approximately 47% of cancers and 55% of related deaths occur in less developed regions of the world. Its impact on persons also threatens the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals and the disease has been branded both a cause and outcome of poverty. There is no specific age group that is affected; the disease affects persons from all age and socio-economic groups. The good news is that the development and improvement in medical technology and treatment methods have resulted in successful treatment of many cancers and so the disease is no longer considered a death sentence. More than 30% of cancers could be prevented and cured if detected early and treated adequately. Tobacco use is the most preventable cause of cancer in the world. In Jamaica, Cancer Prevention and Control has been afforded priority attention in view of the rapidly increasing trend globally and locally in the prevalence of cancers. A National Technical Working Group/Task Force on Cancer Prevention and Control has been put in place to develop that component of the National Strategic Plan for the Prevention and Control of Non-communicable Diseases in Jamaica 2012 – 2017. As a priority of this Government, work has already begun towards improving cancer care. In November last year, we officially opened the Ambulatory Chemotherapy Unit at the Kingston Public Hospital which is the first of its kind at the KPH and will provide enhanced care for cancer patients, while improving treatment and diagnostic services for increased survival and recovery. Sixty one patients were treated in the unit at KPH in November and that number increased to 101 in December. If we are going to tackle this problem we must work together; all of government not just the Ministry of Health, civil society, persons living with and affected by cancer, private sector and academia are required to ensure the effective prevention and control of NCDs. Some of the ways we can prevent cancer is by not smoking, sticking to a healthy diet, becoming more physically active, visiting our doctor to assess our cancer risk and getting screened. I urge all Jamaicans to join me in this fight, get the facts about cancer and begin the quest to a healthier lifestyle as your commitment this World Cancer Day. Hon. Dr. Fenton Ferguson Minister of Health
Le Bureau de gestion des urgences (BGU) conseille aux gens d’être prudents au cours des quelques prochains jours puisque diverses conditions météorologiques associées à du mauvais temps devraient s’abattre sur la province. Selon Environnement Canada, de la neige, la possibilité de pluie verglaçante et des pluies fortes frapperont presque toute la Nouvelle-Écosse ce soir, 26 décembre, ainsi que demain et mardi, 27 et 28 décembre. « Ce pourrait être notre première véritable expérience de l’hiver cette année, a indiqué Ramona Jennex, ministre du Bureau de gestion des urgences. « Nous avons eu beaucoup de mauvais temps cet automne, mais l’hiver est différent et il présente ses propres défis. La chose sensée à faire est de se préparer. Suivez tous les conseils pratiques sur la sécurité du BGU et du ministère des Transports et du Renouvellement de l’infrastructure; vous pourrez ainsi profiter de l’hiver au lieu de le redouter. » Les prévisions météorologiques pour ce soir et demain, lundi, annoncent de la neige, de la pluie et de la bruine verglaçante pour presque toute la Nouvelle-Écosse, les accumulations de pluie pouvant atteindre 40 millimètres et celles de neige pouvant atteindre 20 centimètres. Des vents forts sont prévus presque partout, avec des rafales de 70 à 80 kilomètres à l’heure du nord-est au nord-ouest, tout dépendant du moment et de l’endroit. Les eaux côtières pourraient être plus élevées que la normale et les vagues seront fortes. On conseille aux gens d’écouter les bulletins météo locaux pour connaître les conditions des routes et on leur recommande d’avoir des fournitures d’urgence dans leur véhicule. On rappelle aussi aux conducteurs de faire preuve de prudence, surtout s’ils n’ont pas encore fait installer de pneus d’hiver sur leur véhicule. Le Bureau de gestion des urgences recommande d’avoir à la maison une trousse d’urgence pour toutes les saisons pour que votre famille puisse être autosuffisante jusqu’à 72 heures après une tempête. La trousse devrait comprendre ce qui suit : une radio à manivelle ou à piles, une lampe de poche, des piles de rechange, des aliments non périssables, un ouvre-boîte manuel, de l’eau potable, des médicaments en quantités suffisantes, une trousse de premiers soins, des couvertures ou des sacs de couchage ainsi que des vêtements et des chaussures de rechange. La trousse d’urgence de la voiture devraient contenir des articles semblables ainsi que des câbles de démarrage, des feux d’avertissement, une pelle, du sable de traction ou du sel, ainsi qu’un câble de remorquage. Durant les tempêtes, il est toujours recommandé d’avoir à portée de la main une lampe de poche, une lanterne ou des feux d’avertissement, ainsi qu’une radio à manivelle ou à piles et des piles de rechange. Pour plus d’information sur la préparation d’une trousse d’urgence pour votre maison ou votre véhicule, consultez le site Web du Bureau de gestion des urgences au www.gov.ns.ca/emo. Pour connaître les conditions routières, faites le 511 pour les conditions sur les grandes routes de la province, ou faites le 1-888-432-3233 pour l’état des routes dans votre localité. Le BGU continue de travailler avec Environnement Canada afin de surveiller la tempête de près. Les responsables de la gestion des urgences provinciaux et municipaux ont été alertés et sont prêts à diffuser d’autres mises en garde ou à agir, selon les besoins.
The Petroleum Services Association of Canada is calling its latest oil and gas drilling forecast a pleasant outcome after a year of ‘hell’ for oilfield services in 2016.In its latest forecast for 2017 Thursday in Calgary, PSAC announced it is now projecting 6,680 wells to be drilled in Canada, a 60 per cent increase from its original forecast back in November.It’s certainly an improvement from the totals of 5,400 in 2015 and just under 4,100 last year.However, it’s a far cry from 2012-2014, each year with over 11,000 wells.President and CEO Mark Salkeld said it was certainly more than expected.“It was just a good indication of how quickly this area can bounce back when required,” he said.Unlike the November forecast, Alberta will take back the lead in drilling at almost half of the projected wells, followed by Saskatchewan which was in front in the original projection.Along with Salkeld’s presentation to companies and other stakeholders, he was joined by Jon Morrison, CIBC Executive Director of Institutional Equity Research – Oilfield Services at CIBC World Markets.Morrison labelled 2016 as “The Year of Oilfield Services Hell” and is calling 2017 the year of “Oilfield Services Purgatory”.“While we expect a recovery in conventional spending, we struggle with the outlook for oil sands growth and believe a recovery in spending will be 12-24 months behind the broader North American market at the earliest,” Morrison’s report said.Salkeld when it comes to services, he agreed.“It’s just been absolute hell on the pricing and we’re coming out of it,” he said. “You’re seeing some of the more required services like cementing, fracking, pressure-pumping, those are in demand, drilling side, the rates are starting to increase, but they’re not giving it back easily.”Another big concern of both Salkeld and Morrison is attracting labour for the long-term in the seasonal reality of the oil and gas industry, especially during a downturn.“That rides whether we like it or not, we have to shut down,” he said. “That we can deal with, it’s these long downturns and this one, as you guys know, this is like three times worse than 2009. It’s equivalent to the early 80s one and that just shakes a lot of people’s confidence.”Despite mergers and acquisitions and the job losses of 2016, Salkeld said he is expecting more gains, as companies are holding job fairs, mostly searching for Canadian workers.“Bringing talent back that has experience in the sector, but it’s also we’ve got member companies starting up their own training programs and bringing new people into the industry,” he said.“It’s positive, we need people again,” he added. “We talked about this in ’09-’10 ramping back up again to meet the needs through 2010-2014; we’re faced with that again right now and the signs are positive.”
HALIFAX — Tethered to an ankle monitor and alone in a British Columbia basement apartment in the fall of 2017, Glen Eugene Assoun felt his sanity slipping away as his wrongful conviction file languished in Ottawa.“I was sitting at the table and hearing voices. I was losing my mind,” the 63-year-old recalled in a recent interview at his Halifax apartment.“It started to dawn on me: Why is it taking so long to get justice?”Assoun, his family and lawyers with Innocence Canada say the years spent on bail — awaiting a ministerial declaration that his conviction for murder was likely a miscarriage of justice — point to a slow, overly political and under-staffed system for probing wrongful convictions.Assoun was acquitted of the knifing death of Brenda Way on March 1 of this year in Nova Scotia Supreme Court after spending 17 years in federal prison and 52 months on bail.He remains angry about the “lost decades,” and the multiple heart attacks and the mental illness he says he experienced in federal prisons. However, Assoun says he wants his suffering to bring change: an independent, well-funded review system to investigate alleged cases of wrongful conviction.It’s a recommendation first made in 1989 by the royal commission on Donald Marshall Jr.’s wrongful conviction for murder and one repeated in four other public inquiries, most recently the 2008 inquiry into the wrongful conviction of David Milgaard.Yet, Assoun’s case appears to have followed a familiar pattern of years of painful waiting that former Supreme Court of Canada judge Peter Cory described in a 2001 public inquiry as creating a “blight” on the family lives of the accused.On Nov. 25, 2014, Assoun had emerged smiling from a Halifax courtroom, exchanging hugs with his daughters, whose euphoria was mixed with tears as their father tasted freedom.He said he felt hopeful then, knowing a preliminary assessment by Justice Department lawyer Mark Green documented a key witness altering her story about an alleged confession and the RCMP erasing potential evidence of an alternative suspect.Based on the assessment, Assoun says, he expected the federal justice minister at the time, Jody Wilson-Raybould, would receive a final investigation report promptly and make her decision within “a year or two.”In the meantime, Assoun’s release conditions required him to leave his hometown and children behind. He flew to be with his brother and sister-in-law in British Columbia, where he was required to remain within metres of their Maple Ridge home.On Aug. 4, 2016, Assoun asked the courts to allow him to live on his own, arguing he’d become a burden to his brother, whose health was declining. He moved into a basement in Chilliwack, still believing that before long a ministerial decision would arrive.He says he couldn’t afford gas for the 70-kilometre trip to Maple Ridge and was so poor that he relied on food banks for nourishment, usually tinned items and pasta. At times his ankle monitor failed, forcing him to stay connected to a charger as he awaited delivery of a replacement. He suffered recurring nightmares about his years in prison.Assoun’s children were also struggling as their hopes of a renewed relationship with their father were dashed and family milestones passed. For his youngest daughter, Amanda Huckle, an incoherent phone call from her frightened father — who was imagining police were beating her — remains a painful moment.“I’ll never forget it. He thought I was hurt somewhere. He was completely delusional,” she said in a recent interview.A Sept. 5, 2017 letter from his lawyers to police said links between the delays and Assoun’s mental health had been documented in a psychologist’s report that “has been provided … for the (federal) Minister of Justice …”After he was stabilized during a month in hospital, the Nova Scotia Supreme Court altered Assoun’s bail to allow him to move in with his daughter Amanda and her wife Shannon Huckle in Halifax, but the couple say his bouts of depression and sense of isolation continued.“Those three years caused him a breaking point, and we had to pick up the pieces after that,” recalled Shannon.Wilson-Raybould declined an interview request, stating in an email that it would be inappropriate for her to discuss the details of Assoun’s case when there may be a public inquiry or court case.She did say Assoun’s was one of “many complex applications simultaneously” being handled by her department and noted she appointed retired Justice Morris Fish as special adviser on wrongful convictions on Dec. 6, 2018.However, The Canadian Press confirmed with government sources a Halifax Examiner report that Assoun’s case was before Raybould-Wilson and ready for her signature by September 2017 but remained unsigned over 17 months later when she was shifted out of the portfolio in January 2019.Wilson-Raybould’s successor, David Lametti, said he acted within weeks of seeing his officials’ recommendations. “The compelling facts of the case, as well as the health of Mr. Assoun, underscored the need for expeditious action,” he said in an email. He declined an interview.Innocence Canada’s lawyers say the varying responses of politicians demonstrate why an independent review board is needed. Jerome Kennedy, who sits on Innocence Canada’s board, says as long as a federal minister is directly involved, political factors can come into play.“There were viable suspects raised 10 years earlier, and police destroyed valuable evidence, and so why it would take almost five years for a decision for Glen Assoun is simply astounding,” says the former attorney general of Newfoundland and Labrador.He notes the preliminary assessment showed that an RCMP officer had been researching serial killer Michael McGray as a suspect in the Way murder, and yet the RCMP had destroyed this evidence before Assoun’s unsuccessful appeal in 2006.In addition, the report said a key witness changed her testimony that Assoun was the bearded man who assaulted her in 1996-97 and who during the assault had admitted to killing Way.Lametti, who is campaigning for re-election in Montreal, said he is “always open to exploring good ideas to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the processes to address cases of wrongful conviction.”Ian MacLeod, a spokesman for the Justice Department, said in the past year, the criminal conviction review group has added two full-time lawyers to its staff, bringing the total to seven. In the meantime, to help address a backlog from a recent increase in applications, it has made use of outside agents to ensure files are assigned.He declined comment on the specifics of Assoun’s case but said the department must carefully review materials from applicants, and it may need to obtain and review the police and Crown files, seek out expert scientific opinions, and request DNA and other forms of testing.“Each of these steps can cause delay,” MacLeod said in an email. He said the review group is currently looking at 38 applications, including eight from Innocence Canada.Still, Amanda Huckle is hoping the repeated calls for an independent review process don’t again disappear into an Ottawa maze, leaving others to suffer in silence.“Our political leaders need to be aware of all the harm these families are going through,” she said. “Timely actions are needed so their lives can continue.”This report by the Canadian Press was first published on Sept. 22, 2019.Michael Tutton, The Canadian Press
DETROIT – Chinese automaker GAC Motor will scrap the brand name it uses in China when it enters the U.S. market next year because it could be confused with President Donald Trump’s surname.For the past eight years, GAC has sold cars and SUVs under the brand Trumpchi in its home market, but is now researching new names before the company’s expected U.S. debut in the fourth quarter of 2019.“We want to provide the best service for American customers, so we want to not be closely linked with politics,” Wang Qiujing, president of GAC Engineering Institute China, said through an interpreter in an interview at the Detroit auto show. “This is the reason we want to rename the brand.”GAC picked the Chinese name Trumpchi in 2010, well before Trump was elected. The similarity to Trump is just a coincidence, Wang added. GAC will continue to use Trumpchi in China, where the word means legend and good fortune.GAC’s first vehicle in the U.S. will be the GS8, a loaded-out full-size SUV that will cost about $35,000. Two more vehicles are being researched for U.S. sales, but have not been selected yet.The company showed seven different of its models on a video and unveiled two more at the Detroit show. One is a gull-wing compact electric SUV called the Enverge, which is still in the concept phase. The automaker says it will go over 370 miles on a single charge. Also unveiled was the GA4 midsize sedan that will go on sale in China later this month.The GS8 would be comparable to a big luxury SUV, many of which go for more than $60,000. Wang said he didn’t know what the brand’s lowest-price vehicle would be in the U.S.GAC sold just over 500,000 automobiles in China last year, up 37 per cent from 2016.The company says it is negotiating with partner Fiat Chrysler about possible distribution of vehicles. Wang said GAC is the top-ranked domestic brand for initial quality in China in J.D.Power and Associates surveys, and it ranks fourth or fifth when joint ventures with foreign automakers are included. He says the company’s vehicle quality will be ready for U.S. buyers, and it will work with U.S. partners to meet stricter U.S. safety standards.Chinese automakers are advanced and have expertise in mass production but the American market may not be ready yet to accept GAC, said Jake Fisher, Consumer Reports’ director of auto testing.Other Chinese companies showed vehicles at the CES gadget show in Las Vegas last week such as Byton, which unveiled an electric prototype that’s like a Tesla Model X SUV but costs thousands less, Fisher said.“There will be Chinese automakers at the top of the market and at the bottom of the market, and it will be very interesting to see how they are received,” he said.GAC already has a research centre in Silicon Valley and is working on another one in Detroit, as well as a Los Angeles design centre. Initially it will import vehicles from China but depending on sales, plans to build a factory in the U.S.GAC, which stands for Guangzhou Automobile Group Co., also plans to enter other global markets after the U.S., including Europe.____Auto Writer Dee-Ann Durbin contributed to this report.
WASHINGTON — The Federal Reserve is raising its key interest rate for the fourth time this year to reflect the U.S. economy’s continued strength but signalling that it expects to slow hikes next year.The quarter-point hike, to a range of 2.25 per cent to 2.5 per cent, lifts the Fed’s benchmark rate to its highest point since 2008. The increase will mean higher borrowing costs for many consumers and businesses.The Fed’s policy statement says “some” further gradual rate increases are likely. But its updated forecast projects just two rate hikes next year, down from three that the Fed had predicted in September. In another sign of fewer rate hikes ahead, the new forecast reduces the long-run level for the Fed’s benchmark rate to 2.8 per cent, down from 3 per cent.The Fed has raised rates with steady regularity as the U.S. economy has strengthened. Wednesday’s was the Fed’s ninth hike since it began gradually tightening credit three years ago. But a mix of factors — a global slowdown, a U.S.-China trade war, still-mild inflation, stomach-churning drops in stock prices — has led the Fed to consider slowing its rate hikes in 2019 to avoid weakening the economy too much. It’s now likely to suit its rate policy to the latest economic data — to become more flexible or, in Fed parlance, “data-dependent.”The Fed has so far managed to telegraph its actions weeks in advance to prepare the financial markets for any shift. But now, the risks of a surprise could rise. Next year, Chairman Jerome Powell will begin holding a news conference after each of the Fed’s eight meetings each year, rather than only quarterly. This will allow him to explain any abrupt policy shifts. But it also raises the risk that the Fed will jolt financial markets by catching them off guard.The reasoning for any shift in the Fed’s communications, some analysts say, is that it may want to pause in its credit-tightening to assess how the economy fares in the coming months in light of the headwinds it faces. Contributing to this view was a speech Powell gave last month in which he suggested that rates appear to be just below the level the Fed calls “neutral,” where they’re thought to neither stimulate growth nor impede it. Powell’s comment suggested that the Fed might be poised to slow or halt its rate hikes to avoid weakening the economy.For now, most U.S. economic barometers are still showing strength. The unemployment rate is 3.7 per cent, a 49-year low. The economy is thought to have grown close to 3 per cent this year, its best performance in more than a decade. Consumers, the main driver of the economy, are spending freely.In such an environment, the Fed would normally keep gradually raising rates to make sure the economy didn’t overheat and ignite inflation. But this time, the risks to the economy seem to be rising. From China to Europe, major economies are weakening. President Donald Trump’s trade conflict with Beijing could, over time, undermine the world’s two largest economies.There are also fears that the brisk pace of U.S. growth this year reflected something of a sugar high, with the economy artificially pumped up by tax cuts and a boost in government spending. The benefit of that stimulus will likely fade in 2019, slowing growth to a more modest pace. And as U.S. interest rates have risen, loan-sensitive sectors of the economy, from housing to autos, have begun to weaken.In addition, the Fed has been gradually shrinking the vast portfolio of Treasury and mortgage bonds it built up after the 2008 financial crisis. This process is thought to have had the effect of putting further upward pressure on borrowing rates for consumers and businesses.Economists appear unified in the view that whatever the Fed does, it won’t be influenced by the attacks Trump has made on the central bank and on Powell personally since the stock market began tumbling this fall. In a highly unusual move for a president, Trump has repeatedly and publicly denounced the Fed’s rate increases. At one point, the president called the Fed and its string of rate hikes this year “my biggest threat.”This week, Trump fired off two tweets objecting to a likely rate hike. In one of them, he called it “incredible” that the Fed would consider raising rates again when “the outside world is blowing up around us.”Powell, who was Trump’s hand-picked choice to be chairman, has stressed that the Fed will pursue its mandate of managing rates to maximize employment and stabilize prices, regardless of any outside criticism.Martin Crutsinger, The Associated Press
“The transitional period for Southern Sudan provides a unique opportunity to put children at the centre of policy and decision making and to build on the gains made,” Deputy Executive Director Hilde F. Johnson said on Sunday at the end of a four-day visit. In January, Southerners voted overwhelmingly in a historic referendum to secede from Sudan and form their own country. The vote was part of the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) that ended two decades of war between the North and the South.The years of conflict have devastated the infrastructure in Southern Sudan, according to UNICEF. Thousands of children have been left without access to schools, basic health care and clean water. In addition, one out of every seven children in Southern Sudan dies before his or her fifth birthday; only about 10 per cent of children are fully vaccinated; and less than 50 per cent of all children receive five years of primary education. “We need to confront the current glaring realities of deprivation,” said Ms. Johnson. “Now is the time to act to deliver on our commitments for the children of Southern Sudan. The key for their future lies with us.”During her visit, which also included stops in Darfur and Abyei, Ms. Johnson met with the President of the Government of Southern Sudan and other senior officials, and visited children’s programmes in Unity state.While highlighting the gains that have been made – such as increasing school enrolment and developing laws to protect the rights of children – she stressed the need for greater investment in social services, infrastructure and human resources to ensure progress for the children of Southern Sudan. 28 March 2011The deputy head of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has stressed the need for Southern Sudan, which is scheduled to become an independent nation in July, to prioritize issues such as birth registration and immunization and to invest in programmes to ensure the progress and well-being of young people.
The UN Chief was also told that the Government of Sri Lanka has ensured that the victims of enforced disappearance could not seek any international remedy by refusing to make declaration under Article 31 of the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance, which would normally allow a grieved party to bring individual complaints directly to the International Committee on Enforced Disappearance.The TGTE says it will organise more events and initiate new actions in association with the mothers, relatives of the victims, and Human Rights Organizations on August 30th, the International Disappearance Day. (Colombo Gazette) The Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam (TGTE), in association with many mothers, relatives and friends of the Tamil victims of enforced disappearance in Sri Lanka, held demonstrations around the world. A memorandum on Sri Lanka has been handed over to UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres by a pro-LTTE organisation. Following a demonstration outside the United Nations in New York, a memorandum was handed over to the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres. “For over 114 days, the relatives and friends of the victims of Enforced Disappearances have staged a continuous protest by the roadside in Kilinochchi in the North Eastern part of the island, demanding that their children and family members be brought back home or an investigation be conducted with the participation of international experts about the fate of their children and family members,” the TGTE said.In the memorandum to the UN Secretary General, it was stated that Sri Lanka is ranked the second largest number of enforced disappearance cases in the world, in addition to the Tamil civilians who are subject to enforced disappearance by the Sri Lankan State, the fate of large numbers of surrendered cadres of the LTTE is still unknown, the establishment of the Office of Missing Persons (OMP) was done without any consultations with the victims and that the OMP also continues to deny the possibility of any engagement of international experts in its operations, despite persistent demands by the victims.
Through a spokesman, Jean Arnault called the employees of the Organization for Mine Clearance and Afghan Rehabilitation “invisible heroes who without any thought of self put their own lives at enough risk everyday.” The four were shot dead while traveling in vehicles from Herat to Farah City. Asserting that “the cowardly act committed against them cannot and will not be tolerated,” Mr. Arnault called for a full investigation of the incident. He stressed that the perpetrators “who seek to destroy the hard earned peace, obstruct positive advances and callously wage war on decent and innocent people” must be brought to justice.
In an interview with UN Radio, Nickolay Mladenov, head of the UN Assistance Mission in Iraq (UNAMI), said that there is “general agreement,” not just in the UN but in Iraq as well, that the security element of dealing with ISIL is one part of the solution, but is not the comprehensive solution to the problems facing the country.“What also needs to happen is a political process, and a political process that allows for the various communities of Iraq to come back together,” Mr. Mladenov stressed.“The last decade has seen a lot of violence that has been driven by divisive politics, that [in turn] has been driven by the communities looking more inwardly rather than working together, and it is time now to address that,” he added.Indeed, he said, the new Government in Iraq is inclusive of all the political parties, and is embarking on an agenda of addressing some of the long-standing grievances that exist within Iraqi society, including those related to poverty, security, participation in decision-making and revenue-sharing. As such, the UN is working “intensely” with the Government of Iraq, as well as with Kurdish authorities and with various groups on the ground to find where agreement can be reached on security, political and social solutions, and, ultimately, pushing for those agreements to be implemented, Mr. Mladenov said.“Our role really in this process – what I think is fundamentally the role of the United Nations around the world – is to bring people together, to facilitate dialogue, and to come up with proposals for solutions that could work on the ground, and to help implement them,” he said.Asked how he would evaluate the current political process in Iraq, Mr. Mladenov said there is “definite change,” but stressed that such change takes time.“We have to acknowledge that in an environment in which the country is struggling with a life-threatening threat, which is ISIL, with a very difficult financial situation because of the falling oil prices and lack of an approved budget by Parliament, all of these changes will take time,” he said in the interview.An encouraging sign, which occurred in the past few days, has been the agreement reached with the Kurdish authorities in the North of the country to allow the resumption of payments from the federal budget, allowing people to receive their salaries, the envoy said. In addition, the resumption of the Kurdistan Regional Government providing oil to the federal Government for export is another positive occurrence, as this helps the Iraqi budget as well, he noted. In response to a question about the humanitarian situation in the country, Mr. Mladenov emphasized the urgent challenge of providing shelter, food and fuel to up to 2 million people who have been displaced in Iraq. In that regard, he noted the Iraqi Government’s decision to increase assistance to the internally displaced people by coming forward with quotas for heating oil.Lamenting the lack of financial support as the winter approaches, Mr. Mladenov said the $500 million donation from the Government of Saudi Arabia is running out. Mobilizing international support for dealing with the internally displaced is a continuing priority, he said, as is continuing the difficult task of attempting to reach people in ISIL-controlled areas.Asked about the major challenges in Iraq going forward, he said that among them is restoring security to Baghdad and restoring control in the areas that have been taken over by ISIL; dealing with the financial crisis in the country; and advancing the political process and the policies of inclusivity that the Government of Iraq is now putting forward.“That is the long-term guarantee – that’s the insurance policy for any security deterioration in Iraq in the future,” he concluded.
Updated at 10.23pmCONVICTED DRUG DEALER John Gilligan has dismissed an attempt on his life yesterday as a “Halloween prank” and insisted he has “no enemies”.Gardaí in Blanchardstown are investigating the incident, which happened at the Halfway House pub on the Navan Road at around 4pm yesterday.According to gardaí, a man in motorcycle gear entered the premises and walked around “looking for someone”.It’s understood the man shouted “where’s Gilligan” as he rushed around the bar.When it became clear that the criminal wan’t there, the gunman fled the scene. He was intercepted on the road by a Garda patrol car, and officers attempted to stop his motorcycle on the Ratoath Road in Finglas.According to a garda spokesman: “The driver was seen discarding a firearm and then fleeing the scene”.A 9mm pistol was recovered, and has been taken for forensic tests.Questioned by RTÉ at the Four Courts in Dublin today, Gilligan played down the incident, insisting it had been a “Halloween prank too late”.I’ve no problem with anybody and I’ve no fear of anybody. I’ve no enemiesHe admitted gardaí had been in contact with him since the incident, but said he had nothing to fear. Asked again why someone might want to try and kill him he said:I haven’t got a clue. Halloween. Kids making mistakes.Gardaí have been interviewing witnesses and carrying out door-to-door enquiries in the area in the wake of the incident, and CCTV from the pub — a landmark on the Navan Road — is also being examined.The Halfway House pub [Image: Google Streetview]Gilligan was released from Portlaoise Prison on 15 October, after serving a sentence for drug trafficking offences.The was sentenced to 28 years in prison on drug trafficking charges in 2001, but this was later reduced to 20 years on appeal. He was entitled to further time off the sentence due to remission.The 61-year-old criminal, originally from Ballyfermot, led the gang responsible for killing journalist Veronica Guerin in 1996. He was later acquitted of the murder.Gilligan was at the High Court today for an action challenging the sale by the Criminal Assets Bureau of his former family home and the adjacent equestrian centre in Jessbrook, Co Kildare.Originally posted at 3.12pm.Read: Pictures: John Gilligan walks free from Portlaoise PrisonRead: Jimmy Guerin: I think there are a number of new John Gilligans
Munster fan who confronted Billy Vunipola banned from Thomond Park The supporter will also be prohibited from attending matches at Irish Independent Park. By Murray Kinsella Friday 3 May 2019, 12:07 PM 39,253 Views May 3rd 2019, 12:07 PM 79 Comments https://the42.ie/4618426 Short URL Share11 Tweet Email The Munster fan confronted Vunipola at the Ricoh Arena. Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHOThe supporter was banned from the Ricoh Arena for that incident and Munster have now followed up by prohibiting him from attending games at the province’s two home stadiums, Thomond Park in Limerick and Irish Independent Park in Cork.While a Munster Rugby statement does not confirm any duration for the ban, The42 understands that it essentially amounts to a lifetime ban.Munster Rugby – who previously stated that the fan is not a member of their supporters’ club and does not hold a season ticket – underwent a thorough legal process to determine their rights in this regard.“Following further investigation into the incident involving a spectator entering the field of play at the Ricoh Arena, the province can confirm that a decision has been made to prohibit the supporter from attending matches at Irish Independent Park and Thomond Park, in addition to the ban from the Ricoh Arena,” reads a statement from Munster Rugby. “The province wishes to reiterate it does not condone the entry of any spectator to the field of play.“While it was hugely disappointing to see a supporter breach the stadium regulations, the behaviour of this one individual is not reflective of our supporters.” Vunipola was formally warned by Saracens and the RFU. Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHOVunipola has not served a ban from the game since ‘liking’ Folau’s homophobic post on Instagram and subsequently publishing his own post that said “man was made for woman to procreate.”The 26-year-old was given a formal warning by both the RFU and Saracens, who said Vunipola “made a serious error of judgment in publicly sharing his opinion, which is inconsistent with the values of the club and contravenes his contractual obligations.”Gavan Casey and Murray Kinsella are joined by Andy Dunne to discuss all the week’s rugby news.: Source: The42 Rugby Weekly/SoundCloudSubscribe to our new podcast, The42 Rugby Weekly, here: MUNSTER RUGBY HAS banned the supporter who confronted Saracens’ Billy Vunipola from attending games at Thomond Park and Irish Independent Park.The fan entered the pitch at the Ricoh Arena in Coventry following Munster’s 32-16 Champions Cup semi-final defeat on 20 April to remonstrate with England international Vunipola, who had defended Israel Folau’s homophobic social media post. Subscribe Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article
Wayne Rooney is likely to leave Everton after just one season and join DC United in the American MLS – and Gary Neville can understand this decision as playing again in your old club just isn’t the same.The former England international has been a key player this season for the Toffees but he is likely to leave in the summer, while Gary Neville insisted that it is understandable that he wants to try something different in his career.The former Manchester United player spoke about Rooney’s situation, according to Sky Sports:Jose Mourinho is sold on Lampard succeeding at Chelsea Tomás Pavel Ibarra Meda – September 14, 2019 Jose Mourinho wanted to give his two cents on Frank Lampard’s odds as the new Chelsea FC manager, he thinks he will succeed.There really…“I thought it was nice that he went back to Everton, but it never quite works when you go back.”“My view is that to experience something completely different would be a great thing for him – to get away and try something different.” “He’s got 30/35 years of his life to think about, coming pretty quickly. To experience different things, different culture, different environment, and to learn about new things is not a bad thing for him.”“He’s got a big decision to make in the next couple of years about what he does in his post-career.”
Then-senator Jeff Sessions at a Trump campaign event last year. (Photo: Gage Skidmore/cc)U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions said today (March 2) he will not involve himself in any investigation of foreign interference in last year’s election.Listen now“I have now decided to recuse myself from any existing or future investigations of any matter related in any way to the campaigns for president of the United States,” Sessions announced.Sessions was an advisor to the Trump campaign. He’s now taking heat from members of Congress, mostly Democrats, over his failure to disclose during his confirmation hearing that he’d met twice with Russian ambassador Sergei Kislyak.Before Sessions announced his decision, Alaska’s two U.S. senators took different positions.Sen. Lisa Murkowski, through a spokeswoman, said that Sessions should recuse himself and provide information about his meetings with the ambassador.Sen. Dan Sullivan defended Sessions. A Sullivan press release blamed Democrats for trying to disparage the attorney general. The senator called it a “politically motivated witch hunt.”“Attorney General Jeff Sessions is a man of integrity and principle, and I take him at his word that when, and if appropriate, he will recuse himself,” Sullivan said.Sullivan served with Sessions on the Senate Armed Services Committee and said meeting ambassadors is part of the job.Sessions said today he did not recall any campaign-related discussion with the Russian ambassador.His announcement came as several Republicans in Congress joined Democrats in calling for recusal. Democratic leaders are also asking Sessions to resign.
Ashima MakhijaPR HandoutSometimes, some people have to make a tough choice of quitting their job to pursue something they always loved. It might look like a risk, but what’s life without taking one? One such person who took a chance of quitting her job as a teacher to achieve her dreams in the beauty and fashion world is Ashima Makhija.Ashima was a teaser and she had quite a stable job. But a few years ago, she left it because what interested her was working for something in the field of fashion and being an entrepreneur. 5 years ago, she started her blog, ColorsnGlitters. In the initial days, she started writing reviews of different beauty products and shared her views on different fashion trends. She used to do the same on her Instagram page.However, with time, her popularity rose and people started trusting and admiring her for her work. They loved their beauty product reviews, engagement with her followers and the way she presented herself in every post. Her popularity and great work also led to her collaboration with several big brands like Genesis Luxury, Mac Cosmetics, Tresemme, Maybelline, Garnier, Rado and many more.All the popularity and success helped Ashima Makhija in launching her own brand GLASM COSMETICS. It started on Christmas in 2018. GLASM COSMETICS sells good quality of make-up brushes. The products are available at a reasonable rate and very suitable for Indian buyers.About how to stand out with your work and have loyal customers, Ashima believes that one must deliver a quality product, be genuine and honest. She said that in order to make their mark in this competitive world, one must be humble with and put forward authentic work in front of their customers. According to Ashima, the sole intention of an entrepreneur or someone who comes with their own startup should be giving quality products and satisfaction to the masses.
“I hope they tear this place down, it isn’t safe! It’s got mice, roaches, rats, mold, bedbugs—all kinds of pests…” said Danielle Harris a longtime resident of Perkins Homes. And her sentiment is echoed by many living in the public housing complex. The AFRO spoke to tenants about the conditions at Perkins Homes.Taneeta Wilson, a resident of the Perkins Homes public housing development in East Baltimore points to crumbling plaster from her leaky kitchen ceiling.Wanda, who only wanted her first name used, said black mold in her home triggered a health hazard, because she said she has an autoimmune disorder. “I started experiencing, in the bathroom and the kitchen, these big, black spots, like in the corner of the bathtub, which was, they say, mold…When maintenance came they sprayed white paint over the spots in the bathroom…the paint started to wash away in the shower but the mold was still there,” she said.As residents described deplorable living conditions for their families another story emerged—residents alleged women were being asked to exchange money or sexual favors for maintenance services already guaranteed by their lease. Although many claimed they knew of women who had been harassed, only one woman came forward and shared her notarized statement of the harassment she experienced.According to a woman identified as “Ms. W” the electricity was intermittent at her home, and her refrigerator would lose power. She says the management office dispatched a maintenance worker who installed a large generator in the kitchen to power her home. When she realized the generator made too much noise for her and her child to sleep, she asked for it to be removed. “He came back out to my house to pick the machine up, and he said it would cost me $150. I did not have it because it was the end of the month, and I had no more money to pay him. He stated to me, ‘Well, we can have sex to clear this bill up,’” according to her statement. This allegation echoes a similar scandal which emerged last year at Gilmor Homes. The city settled a lawsuit for almost $8 million after more than a dozen residents said they had been asked for sex in exchange for repairs.The AFRO contacted the Housing Authority of Baltimore City (HABC) and discovered there have been 18 complaints of sexual harassment in Perkins Homes since 2016.HABC communications director Tania Baker refused to comment specifically on the status of the sexual harassment complaints. “It is HABC policy not to disclose the outcome of any personnel investigation, as personnel matters are confidential by law,” was Baker’s response.Lucky Crosby a former public housing maintenance worker and whistleblower said that the lack of response was calculated, “I know that sexual harassment is still happening, I’ve heard the complaints and I know women have reported it…but they just sweep it under the rug.”The complaints about Perkins come as Beatty Development, the company that developed Harbor Pointe in Harbor East, allegedly is moving forward with plans to revitalize and redevelop Perkins Homes.The question remains, will this have any impact on the plans that Beatty Development and the City of Baltimore have for redevelopment. Last year, a development deal for Perkins with Virginia based CRC Partners fell apart for undisclosed reasons. Beatty Development and Perkins Point Partners have promised, “high-quality housing for people of all income levels,” but have not yet released the details of how many affordable housing units will be available to residents who wish to stay in Perkins homes. Although residents say they are still struggling with conditions in Perkins and fearful of retaliation for their complaints, some are even more fearful the future of Perkins will have no place for them.
Former NBA Commissioner David Stern was viewed as a disciplinarian during his time running the NBA. He was definitely not an ally to NBA players when it came to weed. In his retirement, Stern has become surprisingly more chill regarding the ganj.He spoke with former NBA player and medical marijuana entrepreneur Al Harrington, in an interview for the Uninterrupted, and said that he supports the legalization of medical marijuana – largely because he saw a CNN documentary by Sanjay Gupta that enlightened him to the medical usage of the drug – and thinks the NBA should remove it from the banned substance list.File this interview under “Things you never thought you would hear in a million years.” David Stern is now down with the herb.
5 min read These days, there’s a lot being said about big data and the value that comes from properly utilizing it. I’ve written previously about the importance of having a data science team. The next goal is to figure out how to keep those data scientists happy.Related: Look for These 7 Characteristics Before Hiring a Data ScientistAt The Data Incubator, we’ve spoken to hundreds of companies looking to hire data scientists from our training program. They’ve ranged from large corporations like Capital One and eBay to smaller, nimbler outfits like Betterment, Upstart and Mashable; and all have been eager for suggestions on how to retain their data scientists.Even without the capital provided by a larger corporation, there are plenty of ways — most of them free — for scrappy entrepreneurs to keep their data scientists engaged and on board. Here are three tips:1. Give your data scientist a purpose.It’s important for data scientists to understand how the work they do fits in with the broader mission of the business. To help make them feel like valued members of the team, have them spend time with business or product units. This will provide them context to better understand the problems they are facing and, in turn, will strengthen their analyses.Feeling valued will also lead them to make better products and deliver better services to your customers. The more connected they feel, the better their work will be.Data scientists, like many technical employees, get motivated by solving challenging problems. So, find intellectually stimulating new questions for them to work on or ask them to come up with their own. Engage them by encouraging them to work on compelling data sets. Allow them to work with your engineering staff to automate their repetitive weekly tasks. These things will help keep them connected to the company and keep them mentally sharp.2. Help your data scientist foster a sense of ownership.Entrepreneurs are often strapped for cash, so it makes sense to allow your data scientists to utilize his or her favorite open-source tools. Data scientists don’t exist in a vacuum; they’re part of a larger network of peers collaborating in an open-source movement. Encouraging them to contribute to open-source projects, and giving them the time to do so, gives them a greater sense of ownership and a broader purpose: contributing to the open-source community. If open source alternatives are not available, buy or build your own tools. Seek the data scientists’ input for the procurement or purchasing process. In the same way that a chef gets frustrated working with someone else’s dull knives, data scientists will become equally frustrated if forced to use the wrong tools for the job. Involving them in the decision-making process will increase their sense of ownership and avoid jeopardizing their morale and desire to stay with your company.Related: Hire Better Talent With a Big-Data ScientistRecognize the accomplishments of your data scientists and make sure you give them credit for their hard work. Good data scientists can take terabytes of data from a number of sources and synthesize that data into a single, succinct graph. This can be challenging work, even if they make it look easy, and this work is often overlooked.Letting your data scientists present their findings to management (and publicly thanking them when they do so) will help them feel connected to the company’s broader mission. And, after all, no one is more familiar with the analysis than the data scientist who performed it.3. Provide your data scientists with the support they needAs an entrepreneur, you may not have a team of engineers set up to assist your data scientist. Even so, recognize that data science and engineering go hand in hand, and do what you can to provide enough engineering support for your data scientist to get the job done. If the data clusters are slow, it will be difficult for your data scientists to iterate quickly, and the result will be a loss of motivation and creativity.They may also want software tooling support so that they are not writing MapReduce from scratch. Make sure the tools at hand are appropriate for the job in terms of both type and speed.There are also always new skills for data scientists to learn that could help them better leverage data to the company’s benefit. When possible, invest in their education. If you can afford to do so, pay for additional training classes to keep them on the cutting edge. As a less expensive option, cover lunch so they can hold seminars to teach one other new tricks or provide space for hosting meetups with academics and data scientists from other companies.Doing these things will show that your company really does care about the data scientists and the work they do. Plus, you’ll be building up your team’s skill set in the process.Entrepreneurs are notoriously scrappy and capable of coming up with creative solutions to the challenges they face. Utilizing some of these techniques should enable you to keep your data scientists engaged and on board. And the more engaged they are, the happier they’ll be to stick with you and provide quality work.Related: Want Big Data to Help Your Marketing Team? Hire a Data Scientist. Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Global October 2, 2015 Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box. Register Now »
Van der Valk Hotels & Restaurants chooses IDeaS RMS to boost revenue and efficiencyVan der Valk Hotels & Restaurants chooses IDeaS RMSThe largest Dutch hospitality chain switches from BookingSuite to IDeaSNew agreement covers nineteen hotels and 2,498 rooms in Germany, Bonaire, Spain, and the Netherlands.Tweet this: @HotelBlijdorp chooses @IDeaS_RevOpt RMS to boost revenue and efficiency. www.ideas.com/newsIDeaS Revenue Solutions, the leading provider of revenue management software and advisory services, is pleased to announce that Van der Valk Hotels & Restaurants has chosen IDeaS Revenue Management System (RMS) to optimise revenue performance and improve efficiency at nineteen additional hotels.With over thirty Van der Valk properties already using IDeaS’ solutions, the agreement expands the number of rooms in the Netherland’s biggest hospitality chain to over 5,500 priced through IDeaS.The nineteen hotels covered in the new agreement had been using BookingSuite as their pricing system—but news of its imminent closure prompted a search for alternative, more robust solutions.“BookingSuite’s pending withdrawal helped us focus on the need to invest in a more powerful analytics system,” said Christina Hobbel, commercial manager at Van der Valk International. “After conducting an extensive market review, we’re confident IDeaS RMS will bring us closer to total revenue management and will take our demand forecasting and pricing decisions to much higher levels.”The family-run Van der Valk business encourages management teams of its various hotels to regularly exchange thoughts. Even though another RMS provider is already installed in some Valk properties, it was at these meetings that Christina Hobbel regularly heard of the advantages the IDeaS platform and services had delivered for her colleagues.“Some features that caught our eye were the yielding on total business mix, inventory controls and length-of-stay restrictions—that’s something we’ve wanted for a while,” Hobbel said. “Besides the functionality, we also appreciated how easy it would be to implement and use the system along with the quality of training and customer support on offer.”Van der Valk’s hotels attract a mix of leisure and business guests who enjoy the presence of onsite restaurants, casinos, conference rooms and cinemas—areas the company has identified for efficiency gains.“We try to provide a total package so our guests have no need to leave their hotel,” added Hobbel. “Implementing IDeaS RMS frees our front office staff fromworrying about revenue—instead they’ll be able to make our guest experience even better and upsell products and services when necessary.”Powered by SAS®, with nearly three decades of innovation in hospitality technology, IDeaS remains the global leader in revenue management and continues to provide solutions that equip clients with a clear view of their data, giving them greater control over their business performance.“We are delighted that Van der Valk Hotels & Restaurants has decided to expand our partnership into new hotels,” said Fabian Specht, EMEA managing director for IDeaS.Kirsten Lang at KL Consulting, IDeaS’ partner in the BENELUX region responsible for implementation added, “I look forward to working on this project—implementing IDeaS RMS is a key step in their future growth and will help drive better business decisions, enhance the guest experience and optimise revenues.”About Van der Valk Hotels & RestaurantsVan der Valk is a Dutch international hospitality chain run by the Van der Valk family.Started in 1862 with café de Gouden Leeuw in Voorschoten, the company has now grown into the country’s largest hospitality chain, with more than 68 locations in the Netherlands, Germany, Spain and the Caribbean.For more information, visit www.valk.com.About IDeaSWith more than 1.6 million rooms priced daily on its advanced systems, IDeaS Revenue Solutions leads the industry with the latest revenue management software and advisory services. Powered by SAS® and with nearly three decades of experience, IDeaS proudly supports over 10,000 clients in 124 countries and is relentless about providing hoteliers with insightful ways to manage the data behind hotel pricing.IDeaS empowers clients to build and maintain revenue management cultures—from single entities to world-renowned estates—by focusing on a simple promise: Driving Better Revenue.IDeaS has the knowledge, expertise, and maturity to build upon proven revenue management principles with next-generation analytics for more user-friendly,insightful and profitable revenue opportunities—not just for rooms, but across the entire hotel enterprise.For more information, visit www.ideas.com.Source = IDeaS