Top 5 Indigenous issues all Canadians should care about

first_imgAPTN National NewsAs Canadians head to the polls Monday, there’s a push to make sure Indigenous voters are among them.The Assembly of First Nations has identified 51 ridings where the First Nations, Metis or Inuit vote can make a difference.The AFN highlighted on its website where the parties stand on Indigenous issues so people can cast their ballots accordingly.2015 Election commitments for First NationsAboriginal leaders, lawyers, activists and academics say Canadians in all 338 ridings across the country should do the same.Social media is peppered with complaints that key indigenous issues haven’t featured in mainstream media and debates.Inequalities in healthcare, education, the economy.The importance of social justice and treaty rights.“We assume different types of knowledge because we’ve lived it,” said Cindy Blackstock, Executive Director of the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society. “And I think we have to be better communicators and better educators of non-Aboriginal people so they can understand why these situations have evolved.  And then invite them into the solution.”“You can’t build a country without your indigenous peoples,” said Todd Russell, an Inuit leader in Labrador.  “When we’re weak, this country is weak. And when we’re strong, this country is strong.”Here are the issues all Canadians should care about.Healthcare: “We need to call for equality being the floor not the ceiling.”  Cindy Blackstock, First Nations Child & Family Caring SocietyHealthcare is a basic right of all Canadians. Cindy Blackstock said it might come as a shock to the average person that Indigenous people do not have equal access to the same care.Cindy BlackstockIn a release this week, the Aboriginal Nurses Association of Canada wrote, “Quality health care is out of reach for many Aboriginal Canadians.”A complicated “patchwork” of policies, legislation and agreements…cultural barriers according to the Association, have created barriers to equitable access to health care and services.That’s reflected in sobering statistics when it comes to physical and mental health.Suicide rates are five to seven times higher for First Nations youth than for non-Aboriginal youth.Disproportionate rates of tuberculosis at 26.4 times the rate of Canadian-born non-Aboriginal people.Type 2 diabetes is now considered to have reached “epidemic” levels“Many people I talk to have taken on government supported stereotypes that First Nations’ children on reserve are getting more,” said Blackstock. “And that’s why they couldn’t understand why things weren’t getting any better.”Blackstock took the Canadian government before the Human Rights Tribunal over its discriminatory policies.“The federal government has been under-funding these services in the order of 30 per cent for 148 years,” said Blackstock. “And that’s why we see all these inequalities for kids an then it makes sense for the average Canadian.”A decision from the Tribunal is expected in the next few months.In the meantime, Blackstock hasn’t heard the party leaders address key indigenous issues in this election. “I think the silence of the leaders is actually an endorsement of the continued racial discrimination,” she said.Ontario Regional Chief Isadore Day is urging Canadian voters to “reject the current conservative policy approaches that perpetuate institutional racism.”In the Chief of Ontario’s “Top 5 Priorities for First Nations,” the Indigenous healthcare crisis sits at number one.Isadore Day“It is simply unacceptable that Indian Status is an indicator of health, poverty, and education in Canada,” said Day. “First Nations have worse health and educational outcomes, worse housing, and less access to critical services than any other population in Canada. This is entirely due to federal funding practices, policies and discriminatory legislation – some of which has been on the books since 1876.”“These inequalities put a red hot poker stick into that Canadian identity,” said Blackstock.Aside from the steep social cost, equality is good for the economy.Blackstock points to research that shows a traumatic childhood, like living in poverty, in overcrowded houses, with mental health or addiction issues in the family, leads to costly healthcare problems for adults.“It’s all predicted by what happened to you as a little kid, so the better we can make childhood, the more money we’re going to save downstream,” said Blackstock.  “And that’s why the World Health Organization says for every dollar we spend on a kid, the taxpayers save seven dollars down the line.”Economy:“All Canadians benefit, when we are more prosperous.” Todd Russell, President of NunatuKavutIn Labrador, the Southern Inuit of NunatuKavut have been fighting for recognition of their Aboriginal identity and land claim for 25 years.Russell wants to make it an election issue. A land claim brings in federal dollars to a region struggling economically. And that’s good for everyone in Labrador.Todd Russell“We’re always judged by what we can do for those who have the least,” said Russell. And adds, as a country, Canadians shouldn’t accept poverty that defines so many Indigenous communities.Number two on Ontario Regional Chief Isadore Day’s list of priorities: Continuing abject poverty that creates systemic issues in First Nations.“On Election Day, voters should ask themselves if they are prepared to support another generation of discrimination, another generation of youth stuck in poverty, or another decade of lost opportunities,” said Day.And the economies of First Nations matter.In Cape Breton, the Mi’kmaw community of Membertou is an economic success.With its hotel, business park and convention centre, it employs seven hundred people, many from off the reserve.Not far away, Eskasoni is the largest Mi’kmaw reserve with a population of 4,000.“General mainstream should care because we’re all part of the community,” said Tuma Young, an assistant professor at the Unama’ki College at Cape Breton University. “Eskasoni is such an economic force that impacts Sydney. People spend money off reserve. Cape Breton depends on what happens in Eskasoni.”On a larger scale, First Nations are key to the larger Canadian economy, says a lawyer specializing in Aboriginal Title and Treaty Rights.“The proposed pipelines that go west or south or east,” said Bruce McIvor, “those are indigenous issues. If non-indigenous people expect these to be resolved, to have major resource extraction projects move forward, we have to come to grips with indigenous issues across the country.”Bruce McIvorEnvironmental activist Clayton Thomas-Muller said the platforms of the main political parties “set Canada on a crash course with First Nations.”“If our economic model continues on oil,” said Thomas-Muller, “that’s at odds with constitutional protection of indigenous rights to hunt and trap within our territories. Nobody is addressing the jurisdictional gray area that exist between title, sovereignty and rights of First Nation’s and where that sits between goals of extractive industry.”Treaty Rights:“We’re not going anywhere, this is our land. We’re here to stay.” Clayton Thomas-Muller, Environmental activistThe 338 electoral ridings across the country overlay a patchwork of Treaties that make up modern Canada.“These are not historical, but instead are living documents,” said Bruce McIvor. “They need to be renewed. Respected. They need to be implemented and that takes work.”For the Canadian public, treaty rights might only come to fore when there’s conflict; images of protests, burning tires, clashes with police on the evening news.Clayton Thomas-Muller“But that’s the last resort for most First Nations,” he said. “That symbolizes how important these issues are and that they take these things seriously to step up in that way when confronted with force. Non-indigenous Canadians should take that as wake up call. One, these issues are fundamentally important to the country. And two, the government is not doing its job on these issues in a respectful, principled, honourable manner.”In Elsipogtog, the fight over fracking brought the Mi’kmaq together with their Acadian neighbors and environmental groups. A coalition based on the common goal to protect the water.That new expression of what it means to be Treaty partners pops up in similar scenes across the country, like the fight against Enbridge in British Colombia.“What really binds them is locality,” said McIvor. “Hydroelectricity is a good example. The benefits flow south, the negative effects are experienced by the people close to the development. And a lot of non-indigenous groups are more aware now that in order to have a better chance of being successful in opposing a particular development, they’re better off supporting an indigenous group that has constitutional rights they can rely on.”Thomas-Muller sees an awakening at a grassroots level that has yet to reach federal politics.“There is a spirit of change that I see I these streets, especially with young Indigenous people who are leading social change,” said Thomas-Muller. “Forestry, pipelines, mining. We see this incredible Indigenous resurgence and it’s a real tragedy that the candidates haven’t addressed it, especially in the wake of Idle No More.”He calls the lack of debate in this federal election on Treaty rights a “disservice to voters.”Education: “Kids are the best investment any society can make and we’re not investing in these children in fact we’re under investing.” Cindy Blackstock, First Nations Child & Family Caring SocietyThe Liberals have promised $2.6 billion over four years for First Nations education. The NDP promise $4.8 billion over 8 years.Assistant Professor Tuma Young points out that money spread over 600-plus First Nations across Canada over several years, doesn’t add up to what’s needed.Infrastructure. New schools. Resources for teachers. Culturally relevant curriculum.“I don’t dismiss these promises, but generally speaking it’s the status quo or even less,” said Tuma Young. “We’ve been talking about education since the 1980s. I remember there was a protest train, students went to Ottawa to protest cuts to education then.”Tuma YoungWith an exploding young indigenous population, he said all of Canada benefits from an investment in education.“Mainstream schools are closing in rural areas,” said Young. “Schools in First Nation Communities are busting at the seams and universities are starting to eye the First Nation schools as a tuition base.”But the gap between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal students is well documented. From grades to high school graduation rates to who goes to university.“There needs to be someone in a leadership position that says, you know, we have got to step up to the plate, we’ve got to end this,” said Blackstock. “Maybe it means we’re going to go into a deficit for a couple of years. But these people have been in a deficit for 148 years and it’s the least we can do.”Thomas-Muller says Canadians themselves need to be educated on the Indigenous reality against “racist stereotypes.”“Canadian need to understand that there’s a well-funded campaign to label Indigenous people as anti-developemt, non-tax paying free loaders,” said Thomas-Muller.Instead, he points out the incredible potential of indigenous youth.“This is the fasted rising labour demographic in the country. This generation of young native people that are graduating is the most empowered, educated generation since colonization.”Advocates say an investment now will pay off in the long run.“I think our kids are worth the money,” said Blackstock. “And I think most Canadians would say that too.”Social Justice:“If we ensure our women are uplifted than everybody’s uplifted.” Beverley Jacobs, Former President, Native Women’s AssociationMissing and murdered Indigenous women and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission report have captured headlines this year. And earned promises from the NDP, Liberals and Green Party.A national inquiry into MMIW. Implementation of the TRC’s 94 recommendations.But many want the platitudes backed up with policies: a plan to move forward.Bev JacobsLast month, Mi’kmaw elder Albert Marshall went to see the Witness Blanket, a 12-metre long art installation that pieces together the tangible evidence of residential schools to tell the story of trauma and cultural loss.“What I’m really hoping is this wonderful piece of art will somehow resonate in the eyes of the policymakers, like the politicians, the government,” said Marshall. “To take another step forward and not just use words, but put resources together for us to be able to begin this journey. This journey of reconciliation.”Reconciliation requires partnership, says Beverley Jacobs, former President of the Native Women’s Association.“My elders always taught me is that we’re always the one educating them,” said Jacobs. “So that’s part of our responsibility but now it’s up to them also. They have to become educated about who we are and about that mutual understanding and relationship.”Jacobs, the lead researcher on the No More Stolen Sisters report over a decade ago, said Indigenous women have born “the brunt of colonial genocidal policies.” But she sees a growing awareness of issues around missing and murdered Indigenous women.“These issues have root causes, rooted in Canada’s fabric,” said Thomas-Muller. “Addressing these things are all part of Canada’s identity. It creates a serious moral dilemma, we can’t say no, that’s a serious block to reconciliation.”Jacobs hopes Canadian voters don’t put the Conservatives back in power.She met Harper during her time as head of NWAC, when he offered up an apology over residential schools. Jacobs calls him “the most racist person I’ve ever met,” and doubts true reconciliation can happen under his leadership.Social justice is a broad heading. And the issues are interwoven; education, poverty, racism, violence, over representation in prisons, high numbers of kids in care.“We assume different types of knowledge because we’ve lived it,” said Blackstock. “And I think we have to be better communicators and better educators of non-Aboriginal people so they can understand why these situation have evolved.  And then invite them into the solution.”Blackstock would like to see every Member of Parliament elected on October 19th get a crash course on Indigenous issues so government can move forward with understanding.In the meantime, who makes the trip to Ottawa is up to the Canadian public.The hope is that Indigenous issues will matter when they cast their ballots.troache@aptn.calast_img read more

Sustainable development vital for populations in arid lands Ban says

“The management, conservation and sustainable development of dry forests are central to combating desertification,” Mr. Ban said in a message marking World Day to Combat Desertification, which is celebrated on 17 June. He emphasized that degraded land can be made productive through sustainable practices. The UN General Assembly designated 2011 as the International Year of Forests to bring attention to the value of forests and the social, economic and environmental costs of their loss. The theme of this year’s World Day to Combat Desertification is “Forests keep drylands working.”In his message, Mr. Ban advocated for investment in drylands for the betterment of local communities.“Too often, investing in drylands has been seen as unproductive or risky, instead of a necessary avenue for improving the well-being of local communities and national economies,” he said.Through the upcoming events of the General Assembly’s high-level meeting on desertification, land degradation and drought in September and the Rio+20 UN Conference on Sustainable Development in June 2012, the Secretary-General urged governments and their partners to “bring greater focus to the quest for solutions to this urgent challenge of sustainable development.”UN Environment Programme (UNEP) Executive Director Achim Steiner noted the importance of forests for the livelihood of the residents of the world’s drylands. “The analysis indicates that investing an additional $40 billion a year in the forestry sector could halve deforestation rates by 2030, increase rates of tree planting by around 140 per cent by 2050 and catalyze the creation of millions of new jobs” stated Mr. Steiner.The UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) is recognizing this year’s World Day to Combat Desertification with an environmental non-governmental organization (NGO) in Spain through a ceremony to designate the soccer star Carlos Marchena as a Drylands Ambassador of the UNCCD.In recognition of the Day, Lesotho is celebrating a successful tree-planting effort and revival of previously degraded land in Leribe district. In Senegal, activities include a tree planting ceremony, while events are also being staged in Egypt, Argentina, the Republic of Korea, Iran and Benin.The Day, first observed in 1995, is designed to serve as a reminder that desertification is a problem that can be addressed through community participation and cooperation. 17 June 2011The estimated two billion people living in the world’s arid lands are among those most vulnerable to hunger and climate change, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon warned today, calling for sustainable development to ensure those areas are productive enough to support their populations. read more

There Is Absolutely Positively No Way LeBron Can Keep This Up …

It took seven back-and-forth games, but the NBA’s most perplexing team will continue to confuse observers — and statistical models — for at least one more round.The Cleveland Cavaliers ensured that by beating the Indiana Pacers 105-101 in Sunday’s Eastern Conference quarterfinal finale, earning LeBron James a trip to the second round for the 13th time in his storied career. James was incredible in Game 7 on Sunday, with 45 points (on 64 percent shooting), 9 rebounds and 7 assists. The performance capped one of his greatest series ever; he led the Cavs in points, assists and rebounds over these seven games against Indiana.But the Cavs’ big questions are still unanswered. Can Cleveland keep advancing while asking so much of its best player? And is this team really still good enough to contend for a championship? This series provided few insights.When James finally got a little help in Game 7, it came in the unlikely form of center Tristan Thompson. Despite scoring only 3 points (in 24 minutes) during Games 1-6, Thompson produced a crucial double-double (15 points and 10 rebounds) in Game 7. But on the whole, James’s teammates were still not efficient Sunday, shooting just 16-for-49 from the field to finish off a series in which they made only 38.8 percent of their shots — even as James himself shot an impressive 55.3 percent from the field.In fact, for all of James’s heroics, the argument could be made that the Cavs were the least-convincing winner of any playoff series in modern history. (Going back to 1984, when the NBA playoffs expanded to 16 teams.) Before Sunday, no team in that period had won a series while being outscored by more than 34 total points — a “record” that belonged to the 1990 Portland Trail Blazers, for their win over the Phoenix Suns in the Western Conference finals. Despite winning Game 7 by four, the Cavs were outscored in the series by 40 points, the worst total point differential for a winning club in a series since 1984.1Yes, 34 points of that differential came in Game 6 alone, a massive Pacers blowout. But the Cavs were also outplayed for far longer stretches of the series than they dominated: They won just 11 of the series’ 28 total quarters.Now the Cavs will advance to face the top-seeded Toronto Raptors, and once again the stats have major doubts about their ability to win. Their defense is historically weak by the standards of a champion. Our CARM-Elo model gives Cleveland a 29 percent chance of knocking off the Raptors and an 11 percent chance of making the Finals. The logic there is clear: If the Cavs struggled against the Pacers with home-court advantage, why should they be favored without it against a Toronto team that was 6.1 points per game better than the Pacers during the regular season?Then again, the Cavs are, well, the Cavs. They’ve eliminated Toronto in each of the past two postseasons, by a combined margin of 8 games to 2. They have the LeBron trump card to play in any crucial game. (After Sunday, James is the all-time NBA leader with 34.9 career points per game in Game 7s.) A James-led team has represented the East in the NBA Finals every single season since 2011. All signs point to that streak ending this year — except it hasn’t ended the past few times that all signs pointed to it ending.No matter what happens next, though, let’s appreciate the amazing show LeBron put on in Game 7 against Indiana. It was the kind of performance reserved for history’s greatest players, and the Cavs needed every bit of it to extend their season and keep on confounding the stats deeper into yet another spring.Check out our latest NBA predictions. read more

New US Interior Secretary emphasizes importance of mining

first_imgThe US Senate has overwhelmingly approved Idaho Governor Dirk Kempthorne (R) as Secretary of the Interior. Kempthorne, a former US Senator and mayor of Boise, Idaho, officially took office on May 31 and, according to the National Mining Association (NMA), he “wasted no time expressing his appreciation for the mining community.” In the Washington Post of June 1 Secretary Kempthorne emphasized the benefits of mining. “When we ride on a bicycle, that’s brought to us by mining. When you ride in a car, that’s brought to you by mining,” he said. Kempthorne added that his wedding ring was “brought to me by mining.”The NMA stated “Secretary Kempthorne brings to the department an impressive commitment to public service and a deep appreciation for the mining community, and we look forward to working closely with him.” His experience as a western governor and US senator will be particularly valuable in helping the mining community use “responsible land management practices to develop America’s vast mineral resources and accomplish vital land conservation goals,” said the NMA.The NMA further reports that one of the issues Kempthorne has identified as a target for action is a revision of the Endangered Species Act. During a Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee meeting held in May as part of his confirmation process, Kempthorne expressed dismay with the current structure for saving endangered species and said future efforts must be designed to ensure species recovery. He has also targeted the development of alternative energy sources and water conservation as priority action items.last_img read more

We lost Marian Cozma 4 years ago

Time is running… Four years passed after the tragical night in Veszprém. Marian Cozma, MKB Veszprém’s and Romania’s gigantic line player was stabbed in a bar and died. There’s no explanation for this tragedy. The whole handball society lost a fantastic player who could get into the bests. He was a special phenomenon, that’s why he’s missing so much.On Saturday MKB Veszprém’ll play against HCM Contanta in the Champions League. The domestic fans organized a commemoration, they asked all the spectators to light a candle by Cozma’s statue near Veszprém Aréna. It’s a great possibility to tribute to a unique man and handball player.Rest in peace Marian!TEXT and PHOTO: Virág Farkas Marian CozmaMKB Veszpremveszprem ← Previous Story 8th Youth “SportPlus Cup Medjugorje 2013” – Marin Sego official promoter Next Story → Masip had higher salary than the players read more

Column The tragic killings of Afghan women are treated as mere statistics

first_imgHER BODY ridden with bullets and left on the outskirts of Paktika province in Afghanistan, Sushmita Banerjee’s killing was horrifying but, sadly, not surprising.The Indian woman had escaped captivity under the Taliban in 1995 and went on to write a book about her experiences.Authorities in Afghanistan now say they have arrested two men over the killing, in a move that is unusual for cases of violence against women.For well over a year, we have seen many reported cases of beatings, disfigurations, kidnappings and killings of women and girls across the country – particularly in rural areas.Women and girls are targeted by their partners, relatives and armed groups, including the Taliban, sometimes in broad daylight. However, no one in power seems to be paying much attention.For many, silence is the only optionFor many women, the only option is silence. If they dare to report abuse or even try to escape their abusers, they will most likely be killed. And even for the activists who try to help them, speaking out can be fatal.Among the many women I met during my latest visit to Afghanistan was Noorzia Atmar, a former member of parliament whose husband had slashed her throat, nearly killing her. Noorzia finally escaped to a secret shelter where she initiated the paperwork to get a divorce. After many months of negotiations, her husband agreed to it, on the condition that if she was ever killed, he wouldn’t be prosecuted. The court agreed.If this can happen to a woman in a position of authority, how much worse must it be for the millions of women and girls living across rural Afghanistan, out of the public eye?Government pledges ring hollowThe Afghan authorities seem to be doing little more than publicly expressing outrage at the stories that reach the headlines and promising to investigate, prosecute and punish the attackers. But, in most cases, such pledges ring hollow as crimes against women are very rarely properly investigated and those responsible are virtually never brought before the courts.When even judges don’t dare put their necks on the line to protect women, hope quickly evaporates.Besides the Taliban, women suffer abuse at the hands of their own husbands, fathers, brothers and cousins – simply because the men know they can get away with it. They know no one will stop them, and every time a woman is beaten, burned or killed and those responsible – if they are prosecuted at all – might in rare occasions be imprisoned for a few months and then walk away free, it only bolsters the message that such violence is allowed.But there are many things that could be done to prevent more of these horrific crimes and the fear they sow amongst Afghan women and girls.In 2009 Afghanistan enacted a law for the elimination of violence against women, which would make a world of difference if courts across the country would commit to fully implementing it.Basic human rightsBut perhaps even more importantly, things would really start to change if the Afghan authorities would invest the necessary time and resources to educate prosecutors, judges, police and the general public on the fact that abusing women is, simply, illegal and punishable.They all must understand, once and for all, that every woman – no more, no less than every man – has a basic human right to study, work, express her opinions and generally live the life she chooses, free from violence and intimidation.Until that happens, tragic killings such as that of Sushmita Banerjee will continue to be treated as mere statistics. Horia Mosadiq, Afghanistan researcher at Amnesty International. This piece originally appeared on Amnesty’s global human rights blog, LiveWire.last_img read more

Henry braced to be battered and bruised again in Montpellier

first_img“After the game you’re a bit exhausted and battered and bruised, but whenever you put your body on the line and get the win it’s worth it.”Time will tell if that ‘battering’ they took at home to the Tigers will battle-harden Ulster or just soften them up. In any case, evidence from Treviso last week suggests the Top 14 club will be in no mood to pull any punches.“They have a really good team. They’ve had a great start to the season and we’re under no illusion it’s going to be a really tough battle.“If we focus on ourselves and play the way we played against Leicester and hopefully finish off a few of these opportunities we’re creating then we’ll give ourselves a great chance.”Connacht need to back up Saracens display to show real progressSean Cronin was the best hooker in Europe last weekend ULSTER OPENSIDE FLANKER Chris Henry is still easing his body back to full fitness after the attritional Heineken Cup meeting with Leicester, but he’s ready to put it through the wringer again.The northern province head south this weekend for Saturday’s pool 5 meeting in Montpellier hoping to double their winning tally in France at the first attempt.Under their belt already are those four hard-earned points from Ravenhill. The new-look venue hasn’t yet taken the shape of a fortress this season, but chiseling out that 22 – 16 victory brought genuine smiles on top of the winces.“Everyone’s extremely happy after it with plenty of smiles on the faces,” Henry said in an interview with CornerFlagTV.“Obviously it would have been nice not to give them the losing bonus point, but if you said that before the game you’d take that result any day.”He adds: “A game like Leicester, the intensity goes up a notch. It’s the closest thing to Test match rugby.last_img read more

Parades Commission says Northern Ireland can choose a peaceful summer

first_imgDespite the fact that we start from a challenging position, there are some positives from last year to build upon. “We saw agreement between the Orange Order and residents in Crumlin after a dialogue process and the Orange Order in September stating there was no impediment to local Lodges entering dialogue with residents.”Local politicians have also committed to seeking resolutions for sensitive parades in contentious areas such as Ardoyne, added Osborne.The Commission intends to provide “time and space for these conversations to take place”.“These public commitments created an expectation of progress and we hope that those who offered them will engage as we approach the summer.Amidst the difficulties of last year, people came to understand that they had a responsibility to reduce rather than heighten tension, to parade and protest respectfully and to engage with others in a meaningful way.Summer 2013 is the time to shift the focus from confrontation to dialogue and understanding, according to Osborne, who called on local leaders to play their part in ensuring an uneventful marching season.“This summer we want people to make different choices, a choice of engagement, a choice of respect for others, a choice of law and order…if people make positive choices, perhaps there will be less need for the Commission to make decisions this summer.”The Commission added that, along with the PSNI, it has a “very challenging” job in managing “deep-rooted” community relations issues.Last week, a senior Orange Order member said the organisation may no longer give notice of parades given that loyalist flag protesters had forgone the process.Rev Mervyn Gibson told BBC Northern Ireland’s The View that it was considering another tactic.Timeline: How the flags drama unfolded in Northern Ireland THE PARADES COMMISSION in Northern Ireland has reacted to calls that it should intervene in the ongoing demonstrations about the restricted flying of the Union flag outside City Hall in Belfast.Chairman Peter Osborne issued a statement last night to reiterate the Commission’s position, stating it had “no role” in the vast majority of protests. He noted that the method used by most of those aggrieved by the council decision was protest or demonstration, and not parades.“Where people have decided to hold parades to highlight their concerns many have notified lawfully and we have taken decisions,” he said.“One event, albeit with higher profile, has decided not to notify and has, therefore, chosen to act outside the law.“The law is very clear. It is an offence to organise or participate in a parade that has not been notified through the appropriate form to the police. In upholding the law, the police have a number of options open to them, including stopping the parade and gathering evidence for prosecution.”There has been much speculation about an imminent summer of difficulties in Northern Ireland as tensions run high over the flag issue but Osborne said people can still choose a peaceful marching season.The chair believes a turbulent summer is not “inevitable”.last_img read more

Joby Releases GorillaMobile Ori and Yogi iPad Stands

first_imgThe iPad stand market is more than cluttered, but Joby, makers of the GorillaPod flexible tripod and the GorillaTorch flexible lamp, is planning to shake it up a little. In advance of ces in Las Vegas, Joby has announced the GorillaMobile Ori and the GorillaMobile Yogi, two new iPad stands designed for two different types of users. Pricing and availability haven’t been announced, but the two cases will be on display at ces this week. The GorillaMobile Ori is a combination iPad case and stand, and goes from being a firm folio-style case that you can slide into a bag or tuck under your arm to a stand that the iPad sits on top of as if it’s on display. The Ori is made of an aluminum/polypropylene composite material that’s strong and light. The GorillaMobile Yogi features the flexible legs that Joby fans have come to expect in their products, and allows you to clip the stand onto your IPad and then bend the flexible legs to wrap around the back of a car seat, prop up your iPad at just the right angle, or make sure your iPad is stable enough to use on an uneven surface.AdChoices广告last_img read more

ODOT sued over deadly I84 tour bus crash

first_imgPORTLAND — Lawyers representing a survivor and the estates of three people killed in an Oregon tour bus crash in December are suing the Oregon Department of Transportation.The lawsuit says the department was negligent for failing to warn drivers of unsafe conditions and not adequately plowing and sanding snow. The lawsuit also faults the department for not requiring commercial vehicles to take another route and for failing to equip that stretch of the interstate with barriers strong enough to prevent a bus from leaving the roadway.ODOT spokesman Patrick Cooney told The Oregonian that it doesn’t comment on pending litigation.Nine people were killed and 38 injured in the crash on I-84 near Pendleton.last_img read more

14 per cent of staff over 55 are targets of pension scams

first_imgMore than one in ten (14%) respondents aged 55 and over have been targeted by pension fraudsters since the introduction of the pension freedoms in April 2015, according to research by employment benefits consultant Portus Consulting.Its survey of 1,088 workers over the age of 50, including 789 employees over the age of 55, also found that nearly half (48%) of those who suspect fraud have been approached more than once.The study also found:Of the respondents aged 55 and over who believe they have been approached as part of a pension scam, 35% have been targeted up to five times and 13% have been approached more than five times.Just 12% of those who have been approached have alerted the authorities.More than two-thirds (69%) of respondents were offered so-called free pension reviews as part of a scam, while 27% were offered high rates of return from suspect investments.Just under a quarter (24%) of respondents were targeted by scams that offer other products to invest pension savings in without any explanation of what these products are.A third (33%) of respondents aged 55 and over who have been the target of pension scams were contacted by phone, 36% were approached by email and 28% through the post.Steve Watson, commercial director at Portus Consulting, said: ”The pension freedoms are to be welcomed because they give people greater control over how they use their own money.”However, more needs to be done to educate people about pension scammers and also capture and deter these criminals. Employers can also play a role here through their employee benefits programmes.“These figures could be just the tip of the iceberg because our research shows that many people don’t report the fact that they have been targeted.”last_img read more

DOT Plans Sweep To Remove Illegally Placed Campaign Signs

first_imgHeather Fair, Statewide Right-of-Way Chief with DOT: “Signs placed within the state’s public right-of-ways are prohibited, in addition signs legible from the travelway are prohibited by federal and state statute.”   Though the boundaries of the public rights-of-way are not always easily determined on the ground, the laws prohibit all unauthorized signs legible from the traveled way. Not only are all signs placed in the state right-of-way illegal but also signs visible from a state road are prohibited, even if they’re on private property. Facebook0TwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享Due to an increase in calls regarding illegally placed campaign signs, the Alaska Department of Transportation (DOT) will be hiring three part time employees to help with a sign removal sweep.center_img Alaska statutes and regulations address unauthorized signs both within and along the state’s public rights-of-way including parked vehicles displaying such signs and signs on private property. The owner of an illegally placed sign or the people placing illegal signs are subject to a $50 fine per sign collected during the DOT sweep.last_img read more

Navy Asks for Funding to Remove Excess Infrastructure

first_imgThe Navy is looking to eliminate excess infrastructure as available funding for its installations has fallen short of its requirements. The department’s fiscal 2019 budget request includes $153 million to demolish excess infrastructure, Rear Admiral Brian Luther, deputy assistant secretary for budget, told reporters Monday. The request also contains a 12.7 percent capital investment in shipyard depot maintenance, which exceeds the 6 percent legislative requirement. That level of investment demonstrates the department’s commitment to capital investment at its shipyards, fleet readiness centers and Marine Corps depots, Luther said.“The department continues to take risks in funding installations but mitigates this risk by focusing investments on critical components that directly support warfighting operations and ensure the health and safety of sailors and Marines,” he said.The department’s $3.0 billion military construction request reflects a 48 percent increase and funds 33 projects for the Navy and 16 for the Marine Corps. “Nearly half are in direct support of the secretary of defense’s lines of effort to increase lethality with new platforms and strengthen alliances through the European Deterrence Initiative,” Luther said.The other projects are focused on enhancing readiness and warfighting capability. Those include shipyard maintenance projects at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, Maine, to support submarine force structure and maintenance requirements, such as the new dry dock and extended portal crane rail; and warfighting readiness projects, including a pier replacement at Naval Base San Diego, and a causeway, boat channel and turning basin at Naval Weapons Station Seal Beach, Calif.Investment in new platforms and technologies include a submarine propulsor manufacturing support facility at the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard and the directed energy systems integration lab in Naval Base Ventura County, Calif., he said.Navy photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Patrick Semales Dan Cohen AUTHORlast_img read more

Sony announces three super slim PS3 consoles

first_imgThe rumors that Sony had once again redesigned the PlayStation 3 to be smaller and lighter have turned out to be true. A new model has just been revealed ahead of the Tokyo Game Show, and not only is it a slimmer unit, it’s also got more storage on board.It’s not being referred to as the PS3 Super Slim, but that’s exactly what it is coming in at 20% smaller and 25% lighter than the PS3 Slim. I’m guessing it’s also going to consume less power than previous machines, but that detail hasn’t been released yet.There’s actually 3 new models announced, but different regions will only be getting two of the three. There will be a 12GB flash memory console, a 250GB hard drive model, and a 500GB version for those with a lot of data to store.The 12GB PS3 will not be available in the US, where as the 250GB PS3 won’t be available across Europe or Japan. If you do pick up the 12GB model you can expand the storage by adding your own internal SATA hard drive using a mounting bracket.Focusing on the US, Sony has announced two models carrying a 250GB and 500GB hard drive. The 250GB model will be available from September 25, but you’ll have to wait until October 30 for the 500GB unit.To sweeten the deal, and likely entice a few upgrades, Sony has also announced that it will be offering a limited edition bundle of the 250GB machine that includes Uncharted 3: GOTY and $30 worth of DUST 514 content. Apparently that equates to $70 of value in a pack that costs $269.99. The 500GB console will be getting a $299 limited edition, which includes Assassin’s Creed 3 and 30 days of PlayStation Plus membership.All three consoles ship with a DualShock 3 controller, but Sony still isn’t including a HDMI cable and hasn’t embraced any faster wireless standards. What you may also notice in the images is a brand new circular stand for keeping the console vertical. However, it’s not included with the machine.Sony has certainly timed the new console in order to catch the Christmas sales, but it’s intriguing that they are limiting the storage choices by region. Apparently they don’t think a cheaper, limited storage PS3 would sell in the US.More at PlayStation.Bloglast_img read more

Its 2016 and theres a legal battle in Federal Court about MSDOS

first_imgThe MS-DOS operating system now classes as ancient history in the tech world. It was first released in 1981 and had its final release in September 2000. There’s been no support for the OS since the end of 2001. It’s old, dead, and forgotten. Well, almost forgotten. It’s actually part of a bitter legal battle that’s currently raging in Australia.When you find a piece of software that works, you tend to stick with it, right? Well, that’s what the South Australian Government did with a patient records system called CHIRON running on MS-DOS. They started using it in the early 1990s, and today it is still in use at 64 health centers. It’s a crucial system holding important patient data.The problem is, not only is MS-DOS no longer supported, neither is CHIRON by the company that developed it: Working Systems. The license for its use ended last year, but the health centers kept using it because it was vital and they had no drop-in replacement. So Working Systems has taken the matter to the Federal Court and is trying to force the government to cease using CHIRON and move to a modern alternative.It seems ridiculous to me that by choosing to continue to use software that’s no longer supported, the company that developed it can try to legally stop you. Sure, it’s not an intelligent decision. There’s no support so if something goes wrong the patient data could be lost forever. However, it’s the decision of the government if and when to move.There is a plan in place to migrate the records over to a new system called EPAS. But like much of today’s software, it has suffered major delays and costs well beyond what was originally expected. When you’ve got a system that’s been running well for nearly three decades, you’d want to stick with it too, right?The image above shows MS-DOS on board the USS Harry S. Truman aircraft carrier where it is used for food service management software. Anyone know of other important DOS-based systems still in use?Image credit: Dann Berg and Tony Webster on Flickr.last_img read more

Madrassa students to interact with Howrah cops over road safety

first_imgKolkata: Howrah city police is going to organise an awareness campaign in which students from Madrassas will be interacting with policemen, who are experts in traffic management, on a one-to-one basis, at Safe Drive Save Life Park. The move was taken considering it will help Madrassa students learn about road safety in details and they can circulate the message of safe drive save life among more people including their family members.A unique Park has been set up off Foreshore Road and it has been named after this statewide road safety campaign, ‘Safe Drive Save Life’, which was launched by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to check road accidents. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsHowrah city police has so far taken several initiatives to create awareness among people on road safety. A park has been set up beside Foreshore Road through which thousands of people pass everyday. The decorative pieces and paintings in the park, which were done based on the theme ‘Safe Drive Save Life’, attracts attention of all passersby and it creates awareness among people. A senior officer of Howrah city police said around 50 students from different Madrassas in Kolkata’s twin City will be participating in the programme that is going to be held at Save Drive Save Life Park on Saturday. Senior officers of Howrah city police including those who are mainly involved with regular traffic management and road safety issues will be present at the venue. As per the plan, the officers will be interacting directly with the students. First, they will give a brief description on road safety and traffic related matters to the students and subsequently they will also explain the aspects related to traffic management as per the queries of the students present. It may be mentioned that Kolkata Police, district police and all the police commissionerates under it have organised several awareness programmes in schools and colleges. Howrah Police is also involved in organising such programmes and students from different schools are already associated with road safety campaigns. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killedNow, the students from Madrassas are also going to be a part of the campaign. The police officer said the knowledge they will gain during the interactive session on road safety will help them immensely and at the same time they will be able to spread the same message and knowledge among their close ones. This is how more number of people will become aware and eventually start to follow the traffic norms. Zafar Ajmal Kidwai, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Traffic) of Howrah City Police, said: “It is a continuous process. There will be awareness campaigns by students from Madrassas on Saturday at Safe Drive Save Life Park. Students from schools of all other mediums including Bengali and Hindi will also be brought under the programme.”last_img read more

ZSI researchers discover 7 new species of jumping spiders

first_imgKolkata: Researchers from Zoological Survey of India (ZSI), Kolkata, have discovered and described seven species of jumping spiders which are new to science.The species were discovered from the northern part of India with two each from Rajasthan, Uttarakhand, Assam and one from the century old National Zoological Collections (NZC) from West Bengal. Two genera, Colyttus and Mogrus have been recorded for the first time in India. “The jumping spider family (Salticidae) is the most diverse spider family, with their world fauna consisting of 6,088 described species. In India, there are about 250 species of jumping spiders known till date. They are diverse, tiny creatures, easily recognised by their large anterior median eyes. These diurnal predators are well known for their excellent vision, swift reflexes and their ability to jump long distances,” said Dr Vikas Kumar, Officer-in-Charge of the Centre for DNA Taxonomy who along with other members of the Centre, John Caleb, Sumantika Chatterjee, Kaomud Tyagi and Shantanu Kundu carried out the studies. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeTwo species, Epocilla Sirohi and Mogrus Rajasthanensis were discovered from Rajasthan. The species E. Sirohi is distinctive and can be easily recognised by the uniquely long embolus in its copulatory organ. The genus Epocilla presently contains 12 species, of which 11 are known from Asia. The genus Mogrus comprises of 29 species from Asia, and a few species from Africa and Europe. Two more species were described from Assam, Colyttus Proszynskii and Synagelides Brahmaputra. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedThe genus Colyttus is recorded for the first time in India. Most of the members of the genus are inhabitants of rain forests in south-east Asia and similarly, the new species was also found to be dwelling in the rain forest inside Dehing Patkai Wildlife Sanctuary. Synagelides Brahmaputra is named after the river Brahmaputra. The species was collected near Bherjan-Borajan-Padumoni Wildlife Sanctuary. Two new species, Nandicius Vallisflorum and Pellenes Himalaya were described from the Western Himalayas, Uttarakhand. They were found from the alpine meadows of the Valley of Flowers. The species Nandicius Vallisflorum was named after the Valley of Flowers and Pellenes Himalaya after the majestic Himalayas. The study is part of the project — “Biodiversity Assessment through Long-term Monitoring Plots in the Indian Himalayan Landscape” funded by the Ministry of Environment Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC) through National Mission on Himalayan Studies (NMHS). The project is led by the Director and Principal Investigator, Dr Kailash Chandra. All these findings have found its place in leading reputed science journals. One species, Brettus Gravelyi is described from West Bengal. The study was carried out by John Caleb, Shelley Acharya and Vikas Kumar. The specimen was collected in the year 1916 from Peshok, Darjeeling district by Dr Fredrick Henry Gravely, a well-known British arachnologist. The species is known only from the male sex, while the females remain unknown. Additional surveys from the same location are required to understand the species in detail with regard to its biology, life history and habitat preferences.last_img read more

A friendly robotic arm plays tictactoe to help rehabilitate patients

first_imgResearchers at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Israel are building a tic-tac-toe game to help patients with their rehabilitation exercises. The game is played on a grid of boxes and includes “embodied” and non-embodied play. Embodied play means a robotic arm will grab and place a marker – in this case a small cup – and non-embodied play includes bright lights that light up to mark the computer’s spot.The system uses a Kinova arm and cups. The cups are part of the rehabilitation process and help users learn to grasp and manipulate objects after an illness or accident.“Playing Tic Tac Toe with a set of cups (instead of X’s and O’s) is one example of a game that can help rehabilitate an upper limb,” said Dr. Shelly Levy-Tzedek. “A person can pick up and place many cups while enjoying a game and improving their performance of a daily task.”Interestingly the speed of the robot had an effect on the users. A slower robot would make users perform more slowly while a faster robot sped up the game. This could be used to modify the game for individual patients and individual needs. Because the robot never gets tired the rehabilitation staff can pay attention to the minute movements of a patient, catering the speed and type of play as appropriate for their specific rehabilitation regimens.The research paper appeared in Restorative Neurology and Neuroscience.[embedded content]last_img read more

FCS Units in KZN put sexual predators behind barsFCS Units in KZN

first_imgThe persistence of KwaZulu-Natal Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences (FCS) Units in solving sexual-related cases remains a source of comfort for victims.Last month, FCS detectives were able to secure four life sentences in cases that were heard in different courts in the province. Offenders were also sentenced to a total of 306 years’ imprisonment for their criminal activities. This follows the arrest of 369 offenders across the province, as well as securing a total of 27 convictions altogether in various courts.Detectives worked tirelessly to apprehend sexual offenders for cases ranging from rape and attempted rape to kidnapping, sexual assault and other cases. They were able to secure life sentences in three cases that were reported between 2009 and 2014. WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite Ladysmith’s FCS officers are always on the ball, apprehending sexual predators and making sure that cases are thoroughly investigated so that courts can hand down maximum sentences and send a strong message to would-be offenders out there that they will face the full might of the law for their heinous deeds.KZN Provincial Commissioner Lieutenant General Mmamonnye Ngobeni praised the province’s FCS Units for their achievements in securing these convictions. “It remains a source of concern that despite the hard work of police in putting these depraved individuals behind bars, our women and children still remain vulnerable to predators who live among them. We appeal to parents to take special care and ensure that their children are not exposed to such crimes in light of the fact that victims of sexual crimes are most often violated by someone close to them,” she said.last_img read more

Narcoplane crashes in northern Costa Rica cops find 500 kilos of cocaine

first_imgCocaine seems to be falling from the sky in Costa Rica, as cops in the past 24 hours have seized more than a metric ton of cocaine in separate operations throughout the country. Costa Rican police on Monday discovered approximately 500 kg of cocaine near the site of a plane that crashed the previous day, on Sept. 29, 2014. (Courtesy of Public Security Ministry)In the most recent incident on Sunday, a small Cessna aircraft crashed in a sugarcane field in Cañas, 160 km northwest of the capital, in the northwestern province of Guanacaste. Three suspects allegedly fled as police and emergency vehicles responded to the scene, according to the daily La Nación. No one appears to have been seriously injured or killed in the accident.On Monday, police searching the area discovered approximately 500 kg of cocaine hidden in a nearby canal. The drugs were stashed less than a kilometer from the crash site, where a damaged Cessna with a bogus registration number lay on its right side, according to the Public Security Ministry.This is the second time in just over a month that Costa Rican police have discovered private Cessna aircraft being used to ferry cocaine in the northern canton of Cañas. In late August, Judicial Investigation Police (OIJ) raided a Cañas farm and seized a private airplane, 400 kg of cocaine and just under $2 million in cash.Yesterday, police in the northern border town of Peñas Blancas discovered 300 kilos of cocaine hidden in a truck, and a joint Costa Rica-United States patrol nabbed more than 400 kg of cocaine in Golfo Dulce, off the southern Pacific coast, bringing the total haul in the past 24 hours to more than 1,200 kilos of cocaine. Related posts:Costa Rica seized record-breaking 26 metric tons of cocaine in 2014 Costa Rica takes down more suspects in cocaine trafficking network run by Italian mafia Solís put on the defensive as joint US-Costa Rican patrols come up for renewal Beachcombing along the Caribbean drug trail in Nicaragua Facebook Commentslast_img read more