Coroners service says three bodies were found after fire in Nanaimo BC

first_imgNANAIMO, B.C. – The bodies of three people have been found in a burning home in Nanaimo, B.C.RCMP say fire crews were called to the home around 12:30 p.m. on Tuesday.Mounties say two adults and a seven-year-old girl were found in the home and their deaths will be investigated by the serious crime unit.The names of the victims have not been released, although police say their family and the local school district have been notified.Andy Watson, a spokesman with the BC Coroners Service, says they have very little information to share about the deaths.The bodies have been removed from the building.—With files from CFAXlast_img read more

Site C was tough decision now its time to make best use

first_imgVICTORIA – He was one of staunchest critics of the Site C dam, but George Heyman found himself in the uncomfortable position this week of supporting a plan to complete the $10.7 billion megaproject.A couple of days after the decision was announced, B.C.’s environment minister said the previous Liberal government left the NDP no choice but to keep building.“I’m obviously not going to talk about cabinet discussions, but I certainly never felt held down with a pistol to my head,” he said in an interview earlier this week.“This was not a decision we made lightly or took any pleasure in making. This clearly was not a project we thought was a good one.”Heyman, a former executive director of the Sierra Club and president of the B.C. Government Service Employees Union, has consistently raised environmental and economic concerns about Site C.Heyman and Energy Minister Michelle Mungall stood at Premier John Horgan’s side for the announcement on Monday. Horgan said it was a gut-wrenching experience, adding that the ashen faces of the three politicians aptly portrayed their emotions.“As the premier said to us, we’ve made a collective decision that we’re supporting it, but that doesn’t mean you have to not show your feelings or emotions or your disappointment,” said Heyman. “He said, ‘I’m doing that and I expect others will too.’ “Horgan said the government had no alternative but complete the hydroelectric dam rather than absorb a $4 billion hit to its bottom line. Cancelling Site C would have jeopardized government plans for more schools, hospitals and bridges, he said.Agriculture Minister Lana Popham said in a Facebook post Tuesday the past few weeks were the most difficult of her career.“I am with so many of you in grieving the loss of agricultural land in the flood zone of Site C,” she wrote.Heyman said the government must now find ways to make the best of the situation.“We’re not going to simply build it and let it go to waste,” he said.There are climate challenges ahead that will involve a lot of electrification of industry, he said.“The challenge for me and I think all of us is to take this project and find a way to shoe horn it into that plan.”Horgan agreed, saying the government must incorporate Site C into its climate objectives.“It now falls to us to make sure the project, now $10.7 billion, comes in on budget and provides an opportunity for us to do more with the energy that we would not have been able to do otherwise,” he said in an interview this week.It will be the third dam on the Peace River in northeastern B.C., flooding an 83-kilometre stretch of valley near Fort St. John. It will provide enough power to light up to 450,000 homes a year.Horgan and Heyman both said the decision to go ahead opened wounds across B.C., including personal ones.“People have deep feelings about this,” said Horgan, who admitted he and his wife argued about Site C. “I’m saddened many people, lifetime friends of mine, are disappointed with the decision I made.”Heyman said: “I’ve had close friends tell me how disappointed they are in the decision.”Others say they will continue to fight Site C. Landowners and environmentalists have asked the auditor general to examine the government’s calculations that the province would incur $4 billion in costs to cancel the project. Indigenous groups have also promised court action, claiming infringement of treaty rights.last_img read more

Edmonton Airport number one in Canada WestJet in top ten of the

first_imgEDMONTON (660 NEWS) – An international ranking of the best airlines and airports is putting an Alberta destination at the top.According to the 2019 AirHelp Score, the Edmonton International Airport was ranked the best airport in Canada and 39th internationally. The Calgary International Airport came in at 59.The annual survey from AirHelp ranked airports on service and amenities, whether flights were on time, and how claims are processed.Paloma Salmeron with AirHelp says that smaller airports ranked better than larger ones like Vancouver and Toronto’s Pearson International.“It’s become quite obvious that people don’t really care necessarily about having a very large and used airport that they can travel from.”The news was also good for Calgary based WestJet, as they cracked the top 10 for best airlines. WestJet was ranked seventh in the world compared to Air Canada and Air Transat who placed 39 and 44 respectively.The survey ranked 72 international airlines and Salmeron says WestJet fared well because of a big improvement to its on-time performance over the past year.“We calculated that around 74 per cent of their flights are flying on time.”FULL RANKINGSAs for who led the pack in the category of best airlines, Qatar Airways was ranked number one while American Airlines and AeroMexico rounded out the top 3.Qatar also laid claim to the highest ranked airport in the world with Hamad International Airport in Doha at number one while Tokyo and Athens took the second and third spots.The Billy Bishop Airport in Toronto had the lowest ranking of any Canadian airport at 124 while Pearson International ranked 108.last_img read more

The First Nation that believes it can stop Kinder Morgan Itll be

first_imgNation to NationAll the Kinder Morgan pipeline expansion talk seems to be about protests and what the prime minister is going to do about the British Columbia government.But lost in the mix is Coldwater First Nation near Merritt, B.C., about a three-hour drive northeast of Vancouver.Coldwater has refused to sign a deal with Kinder Morgan and that matters because for Kinder Morgan to reach Burnaby, and foreign markets with Alberta bitumen, it has to go through Coldwater’s territory.After all, the old pipeline runs directly through the centre of the reserve.And the main issue with the proposed pipeline route is it would run over the community’s aquifer, it’s main source of drinking water.“It’s a huge concern for us that we protect that drinking water for our members and for future generations,” said Chief Lee Spahan on Nation to Nation.Coldwater joined other nations and stakeholders last year in filing for a judicial review of the pipeline’s approval. That is now in the hands of the Federal Court of Appeal that is supposed to make a decision soon.He’s hopeful the court agrees with them, but if not other measures could be taken as members of Coldwater have given him a mandate to protect the water and their future.“If we have to it’ll be our Standing Rock,” he said, referring to the massive protest last year in North Dakota over the Dakota Access Pipeline.His community has turned down a possible deal worth millions in the fight, while Kinder Morgan says 43 deals have been signed with First Nations and Indigenous groups.Kinder Morgan appears to have given a deadline of May 31 for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to complete a deal with the British Columbia government that opposes the pipeline.But for Spahan and Coldwater their fight has been about one thing.“For us it’s not about the politics, but the future of our community and ensuring we have access to clean, safe water,” he said.Meanwhile, the race to lead the Assembly of First Nations is heating up with a surprising name coming forward as a potential candidate for national chief.Mohawk policy analyst Russ Diabo says he’s running to accomplish a few things: Take out incumbent Perry Bellegarde, who is running for reelection, go after Trudeau and fix the AFN.“It’s lost its legitimacy to many of our people,” Diabo said of the AFN, adding he has many ideas to change it that he’ll announce in the future.The election is scheduled to happen in late July in Vancouver.Diabo also took aim at the Kinder Morgan pipeline expansion, which he opposes.But said the grassroots needed a stronger voice.“I would argue the Aboriginal title holders need to be involved in agreements like that where a pipeline spill of that bitumen could affect all the Indigenous harvesters,” he said. “They should have a say in any kind of agreements with oil and gas companies on projects that affect their rights. Shouldn’t be chief and council deciding through a band council resolution.”As protests continued in Burnaby Thursday, with more arrests, a group in Ottawa has been bringing the fight to the doors of Parliament Hill.And earlier this week they shut down traffic in front of the constituency office of Environment and Climate Change Minister Catherine McKenna.Emma Buchanan said her group thinks the pressure of the protests is working but doesn’t take Kinder Morgan’s decision to stop all non-essential construction as a victory.“I think the fear is being put in, they’re a little scared. But I don’t think we’ve won. No, I think this is going to be a long hairy battle,” said Buchanan.n2n@aptn.calast_img read more

RBI may go for 25 bps rate cut to boost economic activities

first_imgNew Delhi: The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) may cut key lending rates by another 25 basis points on Thursday to boost economic activities amid fears of global slowdown impacting domestic growth prospects, experts said. The RBI had reduced the repo rate by 25 basis points in February after a gap of 18 months. A back-to-back cut in interest rate would provide relief to borrowers in the election season. The six-member Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) headed by RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das will meet for three days in Mumbai and announce the decision on interest rate on April 4. It would be the first bi-monthly monetary policy of 2019-20. Also Read – Thermal coal import may surpass 200 MT this fiscalDas has already held meetings with stakeholders including industry bodies, depositors association, MSME representatives and bankers. The industry is pitching for another rate cut as the inflation is well below the RBI’s mandate of 4 per cent and need the for boosting economic growth is pressing. V K Sharma, Head PCG and Capital Markets Strategy at HDFC Securities, said the market has factored in a 25 basis-point cut and a change in stance to accommodative from neutral, adding that the expected increase in liquidity and cut in interest rates auger well for the market. Also Read – Food grain output seen at 140.57 mt in current fiscal on monsoon boostPFB Shanti Ekambaram, President (Consumer Banking) at Kotak Mahindra Bank, said global and local factors will guide future policy action. Consumption has slowed down a bit and the investment cycle is still slow. “It is likely that there could be another 25 basis-point rate cut later in the year, but that would be dependent on inflation and growth data. In addition, the central bank will keep an eye on the post-elections budget, monsoons and oil prices,” Ekambaram added. Director General of CII Chandrajit Banerjee said the inflation trajectory has remained benign which further warrants a reduction in interest rate. “In view of the visible signs of a growth slowdown in the second half of 2018-19, it is requested that the RBI should reduce the repo rate by at least 25 basis points in the upcoming policy and maintain a softening trend in monetary policy,” he said. Banerjee was also said in order that the rate cut be effectively transmitted to banks, a reduction in the cash reserve ratio (CRR) is also recommended so that it frees up banks cash for lending purposes. The MPC, which includes two representatives from the central bank and three external members, will take into account the data on retail inflation, industrial production and global economic outlook while arriving at its monetary policy. Subdued performance of manufacturing sector, especially capital and consumer goods, had pulled down the growth in industrial production to 1.7 per cent in January from 7.5 per cent a year ago. The data on Index of Industrial Production (IIP) for February is yet to be released. Retail inflation based on Consumer Price Index (CPI) continues to remain below 4 per cent. It was 2.57 per cent in February year-on-year. China, which is one of the India’s largest trading partner, recently lowered its economic growth target amid slowing global economy and a effects of trade war with the US. As per the US commerce department, the American economy grew 2.2 per cent in fourth quarter of 2018, lower than the 2.6 per cent estimated earlier.last_img read more

Kovind, Modi greet nation on National Technology Day

first_imgNew Delhi: President Ram Nath Kovind and Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday exchanged greetings on the occasion of National Technology Day. Kovind, in his tweet, said: “Greetings to our scientific community on National Technology Day, marking the anniversary of the Pokhran Tests of 1998. India is committed to using technology to accelerate the developmental process, and ensure a dignified existence for every citizen.” Modi tweeted: “Greetings on National Technology Day! We remember with immense pride the accomplishment of our scientists on this day in 1998. The hard work of our scientists has always ensured a stronger and safer India. May we continue leveraging the power of technology for national progress.” Also Read – 2019 most peaceful festive season for J&K: Jitendra Singh Modi added: “The patriotism and farsightedness of Atal Ji and his team have a major role to play in the success of tests of 1998. Atal Ji’s unwavering faith in our scientists proved valuable during that crucial time. It also demonstrated the difference a strong political leadership makes.” The day holds a significant milestone in the history of country’s technological innovations as India successfully tested nuclear bombs in Pokhran on May 11, 1998 and is commemorated every year by honouring the architects of such innovations.last_img read more

Prince Moulay Rachid to represent Morocco in Mandela’s Memorial Ceremonies

first_imgPretoria – Prince Moulay Rachid arrived this Tuesday in Pretoria to take part in the ceremonies held in the South African capital to pay tribute to the late Nelson Mandela, first president of post-Apartheid South Africa, who passed away last Thursday.The prince was welcomed at the Waterkloof military airport by head of the North Africa department at the South African ministry of foreign affairs and the charge d’affairs at the Moroccan embassy.Prince Moulay Rachid then headed to the 95,000-seat Soccer City stadium where World leaders will pay homage to Nelson Mandela at a mass memorial. King Mohammed VI sent a message of condolences and compassion to Mrs Graça Machel Mandela, widow of former South African president Nelson Mandela and to South African president Jacob Zuma.In the message to Mandela’s widow, the King expresses “deep emotion” for the death of Nelson Mandela, “an emblematic leader of the Anti-apartheid struggle and first president of the first post-segregation south Africa.”“The late Mandela was a man of peace and convictions who tirelessly endeavored for the triumph of the values of peace, dignity and democracy,” he said.The Royal message also recalls that the late Mandela “had established particular relationship with the Kingdom and had respect for Morocco’s role on the African scene.”MWN with agencieslast_img read more

CID investigates allegations against Rishad and Hizbullah

The Criminal Investigations Department (CID) is investigating allegations made against Minister Rishad Bathiudeen and Eastern Province Governor A.L.A.M. Hizbullah.Police media spokesman Ruwan Gunsekera said that two complaints had been made at the Police headquarters against Bathiudeen and Hizbullah. Minister Rishad Bathiudeen has been accused of being involved with the bombers who carried out the Easter Sunday attacks.The Minister however has rejected the allegations. (Colombo Gazette)

Annan urges immediate and unconditional release of all hostages in Iraq

“The Secretary-General is extremely concerned about the fate of all civilians held hostage,” his spokesman, Fred Eckhard, told journalists in New York.”The abductions of two French journalists and two Italian humanitarian aid workers and their Iraqi colleagues are but the latest incidents in a tragic pattern of violations committed against innocent civilians in Iraq,” he added in a statement.The statement appealed “for respect, at all times, for the fundamental principals of human rights and dignity.”Meanwhile, the Security Council was briefed today on the work of the UN Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission for Iraq (UNMOVIC), which has in recent months continued to investigate the discovery of Iraqi weapons-related items in Jordan, Turkey and the Netherlands.UNMOVIC has reported that parts of the Al Samoud 2 missile – proscribed under international sanctions and previously tagged by UN inspectors – had turned up in scrapyards outside of Iraq, raising questions about the ability of the international community to track the country’s clandestine weapons schemes.In another development, Mr. Eckhard said the senior UN envoy to Iraq, Ashraf Qazi, will brief the Security Council on 14 September. read more

Valeant faces new legal challenge as mutual fund files racketeering charges

MONTREAL – Valeant Pharmaceuticals’ legal woes have intensified after a New Jersey mutual fund company filed a securities fraud lawsuit against the embattled drug maker.Lord Abbett & Co. alleges in a lawsuit filed in U.S. federal court in New Jersey on Wednesday that it suffered “massive losses” because it invested when the company’s share price was artificially inflated due to public misinformation.The plaintiff made eight allegations including state-level racketeering, violations of securities laws and fraud against Valeant (TSX:VRX), several former senior executives and accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers. The law firm is requesting a trial by jury.Lord Abbett said in a 156-page statement of claim that the lawsuit stems from a fraudulent scheme to artificially inflate the price of Valeant’s stock through a clandestine pharmacy network (Philidor Rx Services), deceptive pricing and reimbursement, and fictitious accounting.Instead of investing at the level of other firms in research and development, it said the Quebec and New Jersey-based drug maker completed more than 100 acquisitions between 2008 and 2015 for more than US$40 billion.Lord Abbett said Valeant executives then knowingly or recklessly misrepresented its actions.The allegations against Valeant have not been proved in a court of law. The company couldn’t be immediately reached for comment.The company faces a series of shareholder lawsuits and criminal fraud investigations by U.S. authorities including the Department of Justice and Securities and Exchange Commission.Former senior executive Gary Tanner and the former head of Philidor, Andrew Davenport, were charged with four counts of fraud and conspiracy.Valeant shares have plunged since questions about its business model first emerged two years ago, when they traded for more than $300 per share. The Quebec-based company has since faced a string of lawsuits, including one from its former chief executive, as well as swelling debt levels, losses of more than US$2.4 billion and scrutiny over its drug pricing practices.More than US$80 billion of Valeant’s market capitalization was wiped out after its share price collapsed. It fell more than 90 per cent from a peak of US$262 per share on the New York Stock Exchange on Aug. 5, 2015 to US$15 two weeks later. Its stock fell another 4.4 per cent on the Toronto Stock Exchange Friday to $17.63 in afternoon trading. Valeant faces new legal challenge as mutual fund files racketeering charges by Ross Marowits, The Canadian Press Posted Aug 25, 2017 1:00 pm MDT Last Updated Aug 25, 2017 at 1:40 pm MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email read more

Ban lauds awarding of Nobel Peace Prize to international chemical watchdog

Hailing its work on disarmament and non-proliferation, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today congratulated the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) for being awarded the 2013 Nobel Peace Prize. “From the battlefields to the laboratories to the negotiating table, the United Nations is honoured to work hand-in-hand with the OPCW to eliminate the threat posed by chemical weapons for all people and for all time,” Mr. Ban said.“The OPCW has greatly strengthened the rule of law in the field of disarmament and non-proliferation. Thanks in large measure to its efforts, 80 per cent of the declared chemical weapons stockpiles have been destroyed. I strongly believe this success can inspire other parts of the global disarmament machinery to live up to the expectations of the international community.”Mr. Ban stressed that while the OPCW is being recognized nearly 100 years after the first chemical attack, chemical weapons remain a “clear and present danger,” as shown by the crisis in Syria, where an advance team for the UN-OPCW joint mission is overseeing the destruction of the country’s chemical stockpiles.His remarks came ahead of the Security Council’s decision later in the day to formally approve a first-of-its-kind OPCW-UN Joint Mission in Syria following the landmark work carried out by the UN Chemical Weapons Investigation Mission.“The OPCW has a specific task – to eliminate chemical weapons and prevent them from ever re-emerging. But it also has a broad mission – to prove that the inhumanity of war can give rise to the humanity of solidarity and international cooperation,” he said. Mr. Ban also underlined that progress must be complemented by efforts to gain universal adherence to the Chemical Weapons Convention, and he urged all countries to sign, ratify and implement it without delay.In a statement issued earlier, OPCW’s Director-General, Ahmet Üzümcü, said the award will only spur the organisation’s efforts, commitment and dedication.“For over 16 years we have done what was expected of us. But we were always inspired by the true humanitarian spirit that imbues the Chemical Weapons Convention. We were aware that our work silently but surely was contributing to peace in the world.” Mr. Üzümcü said. “A great honour has been bestowed on me and my colleagues. But without the support of the States Parties this would not have been possible.” In an interview with UN Radio, OPCW spokesperson Michael Luhan said the agency’s staff are reacting to the news with a combination of jubilation and quiet satisfaction at being recognized for 16 years of “very quietly, doggedly, persistently” doing away with chemical weapons.“It’s clear and it’s immediate,” Mr. Luhan said about the noticeable change today among colleagues. “Everyone walks taller. Everyone feels it. Everyone shares in the honour of this prize.” The OPCW plans to mint an insignia of the medal to send to everyone who has ever working with the organisation because “it’s not just for Syria: this award recognizes 16 years of quiet, diligent work, doing something unprecedented in the history of arms control, which is to eradicate an entire category of weapons under strict international verification.” Mr. Luhan, who was awakened during the night by a phone call from the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation which had learned that the organisation was tapped for the honour, said while staff are enjoying the global spotlight, it is not expected to last. “Tomorrow we’re all going to get up and put our gum boots on and go back to work,” he noted. “That’s the kind of organization that OPCW is.” read more

UN human rights office draws attention to alarming reports of massacre in

“We understand that a Government inquiry has been launched into the incident, and we urge the Government to ensure that a truly meaningful, independent, thorough investigation is conducted with a view to ensuring accountability,” OHCHR spokesperson Rupert Colville told reporters at the regular UN press briefing in Geneva.According to the Government, Mr. Colville said, nine police officers and 13 civilians were killed in a confrontation when police attempted to arrest the leader of a religious sect called “Luz du Mundo” (Light of the World).“But other accounts of the incident claim that hundreds of followers of the sect were killed,” he said. “There are even accounts suggesting the number may exceed 1,000.”Mr. Colville went on to say that “recent editorials and reports in [Angolan] state media condemning the sect have been very worryingly virulent.”“We understand that some members of the sect and their families may have gone into hiding out of fear of further violence,” he said. read more

In Myanmar UN chief spotlights countrys challenging path towards multiethnic democracy

A Rohingya woman and her child at a makeshift camp outside Sittwe in Myanmar’s western Rakhine State. Photo: IRIN “Today, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and I agreed that the people of Myanmar, whatever their ethnicity, religion or economic status, want better social and economic opportunities, in an environment where everyone is free, equal and secure,” the UN chief told reporters in a joint press stakeout with Ms. Suu Kyi in the capital city, Nay Pyi Taw. The steps you have taken towards peace and national reconciliation will need to be further strengthened, broadened and consolidated. This is the real expectation of the international community.With the coming into effect of the 2008 Constitution and the country’s opening of its doors to democratic reforms, the role of the Secretary-General’s good offices in Myanmar has evolved into one of engagement, encouragement and support for reform, reconciliation and democratization, according to the UN Department of Political Affairs. Furthermore, the landmark elections of November 2015 have transformed the country’s political landscape by bringing Ms. Suu Kyi and her party, the National League for Democracy, into power. “The United Nations has consistently supported Daw Aung San Suu Kyi’s struggle for democracy,” Mr. Ban said, noting that the UN’s support took the form of successive resolutions of the General Assembly, the appointment of his own Special Adviser on the country and the Human Rights Council’s appointment of a Special Rapporteur of the country’s human rights, as well as his own visits and engagement with Myanmar authorities. UN chief calls for more efforts in consolidating peace and reconciliation in Myanmar. Credit: UN News CentreMr. Ban noted that he had visited Myanmar four times since becoming the UN Secretary-General. In 2008, he visited the country to mobilize international assistance in the wake of the devastation left by Cyclone Nargis. In 2009, he encouraged the military leadership to open its doors to democratic change. In 2012, he addressed the parliament at a time when the dramatic changes sweeping Myanmar were inspiring the world. And, in 2014, he participated in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit chaired by Myanmar. “Today,” Mr. Ban said, “I am very pleased and honoured to be back to witness the latest phase in your transition, marked by the peaceful, dignified and enthusiastic participation in the elections last November.” The UN chief went on to acknowledge the leadership of former President U Thein Sein in helping the country move steadily on this path of reform, and commended the new Government led by President U Htin Kyaw for its emphasis on dialogue, cooperation and reconciliation between military and civil society leaders and political and economic stakeholders. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon meets with Aung San Suu Kyi, State Counsellor and Minister for Foreign Affairs of Myanmar, in Nay Pyi Taw. UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe ‹ › “However, the Government also faces great challenges,” Mr. Ban said, stressing that the steps taken so far towards peace and national reconciliation will need to be further strengthened, broadened and consolidated. “This is the real expectation of the international community,” he added. On developments in Rakhine stateMr. Ban said he also discussed with Ms. Suu Kyi, who is also the country’s State Counsellor, the latest developments in the northern state of Rakhine, where tens of thousands of Rohingya Muslims have been living in poorly conditioned camps as a result of their communal conflict with a Buddhist sect. “I conveyed the concern of the international community about the tens of thousands of people who have been living in very poor conditions in IDP [internally displaced persons] camps for over four years,” he said. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon meets with Myint Swe, State Counsellor and First Vice President of Myanmar. UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon receives an Honorary Doctorate, conferred by Tony Tan Keng Yam (right), President of the Republic of Singapore, at the National University of Singapore. UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe “This is not just a question of the Rohingya community’s right to self-identify. The broader issue is that all of Myanmar’s people, of every ethnicity and background, should be able to live in equality and harmony, side by side with their neighbours,” the UN chief continued. “People who have been living for generations in this country should enjoy the same legal status and citizenship as everyone else.” In Singapore earlier today, the Secretary-General received an honorary Doctor of Letters from the National University of Singapore, and met with the country’s President Tony Tan Keng Yam, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, and Minister for Foreign Affairs Vivian Balakrishnan. According to a readout of the meeting issued by his spokesman’s office, the Secretary-General expressed hope that Singapore will ratify the Paris Agreement on climate change before the end of the year, and discussed regional issues, including strengthening the ASEAN-UN partnership, the situation in Myanmar, the issue of the South China Sea, and his efforts on the prevention of violent extremism and on responsibility-sharing in the refugees and migrants crisis. read more

Hey dude theres going to be a Big Lebowski festival in Ireland

first_imgSource: PictureBoxFilms/YouTubeGET YOUR WHITE Russians ready, because a festival dedicated to the Big Lebowski is coming to Ireland.Lebowski Feis is the brainchild of uber-fan Ruairí O’Hagan, and will see Cork’s cinema-in-a-pub at The Beggarman on Gilabbey St being turned into a festival hub for one day.O’Hagan read about The Beggarman’s 35-seater cinema on our own, and said it immediately struck him that it would be perfect for a festival dedicated to the Coen Brothers’ famed cult movie.“I’ve been a massive fan of the movie since I was in college – I watch it once a month to be perfectly honest,” said O’Hagan. “I’d always look enviously at the Lebowski festival in the United States and would think, ‘I’d love to go to that’.”He put the idea on the back burner until he read about the cinema. “A light bulb went off in my head and I thought – why don’t I do the festival there?” He got on to the owner, Scott Duggan, who was “very receptive” to his idea.What’s happening at Feis LebowskiSo, what can Lebowski buffs and new fans expect from the event? “To be honest, I wanted it to be a bit of craic,” said O’Hagan (we’re thinking that means no one will be dunked head-first into a toilet at any stage).There will be two screenings of the film on the night, at 8.30pm and 10.30pm, as well as a Nintendo Wii bowling championship, a DJ playing music from the movie, and a fancy dress competition.“No Irish party would be complete without the obligatory raffle,” added O’Hagan, who promised prizes including items that really tie the room together. We’re hoping for a nice rug – or even a bowling ball polisher.And yes, The Beggarman is of course going to be serving The Dude’s favourite drink, White Russians.The fest has another side to it too – one that Jeffrey Lebowski would no doubt approve of. It’s raising money for three-year-old Cork girl Alicia Savage, who has an extremely rare cancer. She is currently being treated in Boston, and all the money raised by Feis Lebowski will go directly to the Alicia Savage Fund.O’Hagan has met Alicia and her family once. “Seeing Alicia, her story stuck with me and I wanted to do something for her ever since,” he said.Why Lebowski?So, why hold a festival dedicated to the Big Lebowski?“To me, it’s one of the funniest films I have ever seen,” said O’Hagan.You laugh at something you’ve missed every time you watch it, even if you’ve seen it dozens of time before. And you never get tired of John Goodman – he steals the show – or The Dude himself. It’s the performances, the music, the comedy, the very clever writing from the Coen Bros.For more details on the event, which takes place on 26 July, visit its website, or keep up with it on Twitter. Tickets cost €10.Read: Irish supervillain Fowl ranks third in Forbes list of richest fictional characters>Read: Cork publican builds 35-seater cinema upstairs in his pub>last_img read more

Homeland Security Secretary Napolitano resigning

first_imgWASHINGTON — Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, who led the burgeoning Department of Homeland Security through a host of policy changes in the post 9/11 era, is resigning to head the University of California system.Napolitano, just the third person to lead the 10-year-old department, told her senior staff Friday she would be leaving for California. She will become the president of the University of California system, which includes UCLA and the University of California, Berkeley, among other campuses. The University of California also announced Napolitano’s nomination to be the 20th president of the statewide system. It was not immediately clear who President Barack Obama was considering as Napolitano’s replacement.“The opportunity to work with the dedicated men and women of the Department of Homeland Security, who serve on the front lines of our nation’s efforts to protect our communities and families from harm, has been the highlight of my professional career,” Napolitano said in a statement. “After four plus years of focusing on these challenges, I will be nominated as the next president of the University of California to play a role in educating our nation’s next generation of leaders.”Napolitano, a former Arizona governor and attorney general, was appointed by President Barack Obama in 2008. She had led the department through a series of policy changes with respect to protecting the public safety, including a focus on enforcing immigration laws.Under her tenure, DHS implemented a wide-spread policy of using prosecutorial discretion when arresting immigrants in the country without permission, saying her department needed to focus its scarce resources on criminals and those who posed a threat to public safety and national security. She also helped establish a plan to provide temporary relief from deportation for thousands of young immigrants who arrived in the United State illegally and don’t have legal status.last_img read more

Time Inc Launches Extra Crispy a New Brand All About Breakfast

first_img It’s also the publisher’s latest in a string of digital launches and acquisitions as it aims to corner what it considers a massive market—breakfast order sales jumped 30 percent in the U.S. from 2009 to 2015, Time Inc. cites in a news release. The multi-platform brand, essentially built for smartphones and social sharing, is undoubtedly also a bid to reach millennials. “We’re thinking about breakfast as not only the most important meal of the day but also as a new cultural stronghold. Extra Crispy is all about exploring that intersection,” said Turits in a statement, “We’re taking food off its pedestal, making it fun and accessible.” This morning, Time Inc. announced the launch of Extra Crispy, a new digital-only brand devoted entirely to breakfast, brunch, and the growing and increasingly lucrative culture that surrounds it. It’s the second brand to be launched out of Time Inc.’s Brooklyn-based creative lab, The Foundry, following automotive vertical The Drive. “The Foundry is all about identifying emerging audiences and platforms,” said Matt Bean, SVP, editorial innovation. “Extra Crispy allows us to experiment with inherently shareable content—from coffee obsessions to Cronuts and the viral food phenomenon of today.” Danish dairy producer Arla Foods serves as the launch sponsor, coinciding with the company’s expansion into the U.S. market. Extra Crispy itself will be a media sponsor for the upcoming CoffeeCon festival, held June 4th in The Foundry’s backyard in Brooklyn’s Industry City.center_img Articles currently live on include, “The Case for Taylor Ham: New Jersey’s Beloved Mystery Meat,” “How to Coddle the F**k Out of Your Eggs,” and “Meet the Cereal Box Collector Living Out Your Childhood Fantasy.” Meredith Turits, senior strategist, brand development at The Foundry, leads the launch. The former Bustle founding editor joined Time Inc. in November.  Other Extra Crispy staffers include Ryan Grim, as site director. Grim joined The Foundry in March after serving as deputy editor at Tasting Table and managing editor at Vice magazine. Grim’s former colleague at Tasting Table, editor-in-chief Kat Kinsman, has also joined Extra Crispy as senior editor, food and drinks. The site will also make use of a wide network of contributing writers and content creators.last_img read more

Trio of Iditarod leaders neckandneck on final stretch

first_imgDallas and Mitch Seavey’s teams side-by-side in Koyuk. (Photo by Emily Schwing/KNOM)A day-long march up the coast and across the sea ice has boiled down to an honest race for Nome as a father-son duo from Seward battle it out on the Iditarod trail against each other and an Interior musher who has trained tirelessly to cross under the burled arch ahead of the pack.This year’s race could come down to a combination of speed and power among dogs and pure grit and desire among mushers.Download AudioA northerly headwind blew between 30 and 40 miles per hour and scoured the barren tundra along the Bering Sea Coast as Brent Sass used his ski pole to help his dog team glide across the icy trail to Koyuk.“Yeah, I didn’t stop kicking or ski poling or kneeling on the sled,” Sass said.It was an all-day march to the tiny community perched on a hill overlooking the sea, but Sass was in high spirits as his team rolled into the Koyuk in first place.“Pretty impressive, pretty proud of the dogs they’re doing awesome,” Sass said.Dallas (left) and Mitch (right) embrace and share a few words before departing Koyuk. (Photo by Emily Schwing/KNOM)But he was well-aware that holding on to his lead would require more than determination and a ski pole, especially when it comes to his competition.“Those guys might be faster but I’m not going to die easy,” he said.Those guys are Mitch and Dallas Seavey – Less than an hour after Sass arrived, the younger – Dallas – pulled into the checkpoint.Two minutes later, a dog team driven by Seavey’s father, Mitch also skidded into the tiny village.“I’m not sure what I’m going to do,” he told the checker. “Did Brent go through?” he asked. “Is Dallas staying?”When he heard his son was going through, Mitch Seavey opted to do the same.What ensued was a scramble to get out of town.On one side of the ice-covered street was the black team, led by Dallas Seavey, the youthful former wrestling champ, frantic to stray ahead.He thrashed about slamming bags of frozen meat on the ground to break the chunks inside apart. His gear was spread everywhere.He tossed small bits of gear around and rifled through plastic bags of everything from dog booties to handwarmers, stocking up on what he needed, discarding everything else.On the other side, the red team – led by the elder, Mitch Seavey.He moved a little slower, at one point pulling an insulated bucket he uses to hold dog food out of his sled bag so he could sit on it while he transferred gear from his drop bags.”I’m really tired and I don’t like not resting the dogs,” he said.And then the heartwarming climax – father Mitch approached the younger Seavey, the two embraced and quietly shared a few words – muffled by the thick fur ruffs that protected their faces from the fierce Arctic gusts.Then they both turned to face the crowd. It was clear the two had been discussing their individual dog teams – Mitch’s confidence in his animals seemed to falter. Dallas offered a supportive word before he pulled his hook and sped away.Brent Sass along the Iditarod trail on Saturday. (Photo by Emily Schwing/KNOM)When asked what he told his son, Mitch Seavey looked up slyly, and clicked his chicks with a “giddy up” grin.With that, Mitch Seavey’s team took off down the trail, loping after his son’s.The race was on. And it all took place right in front of Brent Sass and his dog team rested.“We’ll see where the race takes us,” Sass said.Sass has the words “Living on the edge,” handwritten on the inside of his left forearm, from elbow to wrist.“Sort of explains my life,” he said.He says the words have become something of a mantra for him after a forest fire this past summer threatened to burn down his house and incinerate his kennel.“I decided Aerosmith was going to be my theme song while I got the place ready to burn down. And I listened to ‘Living on the Edge’ about 1,500 times in a row,” he said. “And then the fire never came, so I was living on the edge.”Two hours later Sass pulled his own snow hook and sped away. It’s very likely he’s among many on some kind of ‘edge’ as the top three teams make their way toward the burled arch.last_img read more

Final Deal on Tehrans Nuclear Programme Can Accelerate Crude Oil Price Slide

first_imgAnalysts have become more pessimistic on the outlook for crude oil as prices have plunged with reports surfacing regarding Iran and six world powers reaching a preliminary agreement on the decade-long dispute over Tehran’s nuclear programme.However, both the parties still have to come out with a comprehensive agreement by 30 June, which is the final deadline. A final deal would lift the international sanctions imposed on Iran allowing the country to export oil.Though the oil exports from Iran will not start flowing into the global markets immediately, the supply from the country could add 1 million barrels per day to already over-supplied market once the sanctions are eased.”The Iran nuclear deal is a massive blow for the oil price and we could see the crude-oil price falling to $30 very easily. This deal actually represents 1 million barrels a day of extra oil on the market so net effect on the supply equation will be nearly 2 million [barrels a day]. Now we will have serious trouble with the storage and the shares for such companies could inflate even higher,” said Naeem Aslam, chief market analyst at AvaTrade, to MarketWatch.Crude oil prices declined by around 50 percent since June, last year, on concerns of global supply glut, which is being aggravated by rising oil production in the US.According to US Energy Information Administration, total commercial crude oil inventories in the country surged to 471.4 million barrels for the week ending 28 March, the highest level in 80 years.”The onus for restoring the oil price back to equilibrium lies squarely on the shoulders of countries like the US and not on the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC),” said Michele Della Vigna, head of European energy research at Goldman Sachs, to CNBC.Iranian oil exports have fallen by more than a million barrels per day following the sanctions by the US and European Union in mid-2012.”If they are going to lift the oil sanction, that would be definitely bearish,” said Phil Flynn, senior market analyst at the Price Futures Group in Chicago, to Bloomberg.OPEC is expected to hold a meeting in June and a decision to keep cartel’s output unchanged could become another headwind for oil prices to rise.last_img read more

In the land of Tibet

first_imgA home in Tibet is a beautiful tale of longing and love of a daughter for her mother. Tsering Wangmo Dhomoa, Tibet’s first poetess to be published in English wrote the book as a tribute to her deceased mother.After loosing her mother in a car accident on a highway in India, far from her country and her family, Tsering decided to take handful of ashes back to her mothers homeland to a nomadic village in East Tibet. The book is about her journey weaved with her mothers memories and their dreams; as they had only each other as family and refuge. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’The launch and the first reading of the book took place in the Capital where book lovers from all age groups gathered to hear selected sections from the book by the author herself. Later, an interactive session took place between the author and the audience where she answered many queries related to the book and also shared her experiences about writing the book. ‘Though my mother is not alive but her absence is always lingering around me. It was her dream that someday I should publish a book,’ said Tsering.last_img read more

Mark Tully launches PRSIs Samvaad Series

first_imgPRSI – Delhi Chapter launched the Samvad-Series for the fraternity of fellow professionals by Sir William Mark Tully on May 10, 2019, at the SCOPE Convention Centre, Delhi. The launch was followed by a lecture on ‘Creative Listening’.Mark Tully, who is known for his convictions and commitments on whatever he undertakes; opened the talk with references from Indian mythology and scriptures. He emphasised that India and Indians are known for skillful communications, and good communication is the foundation of great public relations. He dwelled upon how art of listening is associated with development of self. Tully elaborated that it is listening that connects you with the inner-mind, intellect and soul. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfHe referred to radio as one of the medium that inculcates habit of listening among the masses and mentioned that listening gives you an opportunity to draw inferences from the speakers talk. His narrations were highly appreciated by the audience and were supported with clapping. Tully touched upon Samvad in the society in general and political context particularly. He highlighted how over a period of time Samvad has been dominated by acquisitions and cross-acquisitions rather than constructive and convincing arguments and cross arguments. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveHe emphasised how creative and effective listening has been adopted by Mahatma Gandhi, Mother Teressa and other great leaders of the world in bringing together the masses and build nations. He once again drew attention of PR professionals for deeply understanding this to meet the professional intent in developing and communicating their message to the masses in a more efficient and effective manner. This was the first lecture in the series of Samavad. While the Samvad Logo was unveiled by Sir William Mark Tully, Executive Committee Members joined him on the stage. Tully complemented the team PRSI-Delhi Chapter for this yeomen service to the society. Earlier, the welcome address was given by Chairman, PRSI-Delhi Chapter, Naresh Kumar. Shari Pallab Bhattacharya, Executive Director (CC), ONGC introduced Sir Willaim Mark Tully to the audience and GS Bawa introduced the Samvad Series and gave the punch line “Productivity through Effective Samvad”. The program was summed up with the felicitation of the dignitaries on the dais and a vote of thanks by the SS Rao, Secretary, PRSI-Delhi Chapter.last_img read more