Sale of Marriage Licences Up

first_imgMinister of Justice, Hon. Delroy Chuck, says tourism has contributed to an increase in the sale of marriage licences.Speaking at the Ministry’s quarterly press briefing on October 11, the Minister noted that a total of 4,943 marriage licences were approved by the Ministry of Justice’s Criminal, Civil and Family Law Unit, for the first six months of the fiscal year.Mr. Chuck said that the cost of a marriage licence is $4,000, which is equivalent to less than US$40.00, and he would be requesting that the fee be adjusted by the Ministry of Finance to reflect the global cost of a marriage licence.A marriage licence authorises a Marriage Officer to conduct marriage ceremonies. In Florida, in the United States, the licence is priced at US$93.50, which is equivalent to J$12,582.00.“We are earning, for the Government, a fair amount of money from marriage licences here at the Ministry of Justice, but the fee is too small,” he said.The Minister highlighted that the sale of marriage licences can be ramped-up to generate more revenue for the country, and suggested that the Ministry of Tourism explore this lucrative opportunity.last_img read more

Swire Welcomes New AHTS Vessel ‘Pacific …

first_img此页面无法正确加载 Google 地图。您是否拥有此网站?确定 zoom Shipowner and operator, Swire Pacific Offshore Operations (Pte) Ltd (SPO), welcomes another new anchor handling tug supply vessel, Pacific Discovery to its existing D Class fleet. This vessel is owned by SPO and built by DDW-PaxOcean Asia Pte Ltd (DPA).On 8 October 2013, about 80 representatives from the SPO team and DDW-PaxOcean Asia Pte Ltd (DPA) gathered at the shipyard of DDW-PaxOcean Tuas yard to witness the launch and naming ceremony of Pacific Discovery. The event was graced by Lady Sponsor, Mrs Lisabeth Roberts, the wife of Mr Peter Roberts, a former director of Swire, instrumental in establishing SPO and guiding it through its early years. Other dignitaries included Chairman of Swire Pacific Offshore, Mr J.B. Rae-Smith, Managing Director of The China Navigation Company, Mr Tim Blackburn, Chief Operating Officer of DDW-PaxOcean Asia Pte Ltd (DPA), Mr Simon Cheong and Executive Director of DDW-PaxOcean Shipyard Pte Ltd, Mr William Choo.“The launch of Pacific Discovery is another important milestone for the Company, particularly in respect to the development of our deep water anchor handling capability. The three sister D Class vessels already delivered have enjoyed a successful entry into service and are living up to expectations in respect to safe and high quality operating performance. By the end of 2015, all eight vessels from the series will be in operation, serving our customers across the world. We are confident that our modern and diversified portfolio of vessels and marine services will be well positioned to meet the changing business needs of the global oil and gas industry effectively,” says Managing Director, Mr Neil Glenn.Pacific Discovery is designed and built with advanced technical capabilities to support the latest generation of semi-submersible rigs. Equipped with DP2 systems and a maximum bollard pull of 230 tonnes, Pacific Discovery also boasts a clear deck space of 650 square metres. The main propulsion engine powers the vessel with 17,864 Brake Horsepower (BHP) certified to IMO Tier II standards. The large capacity 500 MT RRM Brattvagg winches, latest dynamic positioning technology, enhanced station keeping with independent drop down azimuth thruster, anchor recovery frame (ARF) and travelling cranes provide the vessel with added flexibility, versatility and safety. Please refer to Appendix A for the Fact Sheet of Pacific Discovery.By the end of 2015, SPO will have eight vessels in its D Class fleet. Vessels in the series delivered to date include Pacific Defiance (February 2013), Pacific Diligence (April 2013) and Pacific Dolphin (August 2013). Pacific Dove and Pacific Duchess have been launched and will be delivered by the end of 2013 and by early 2014 respectively. The two remaining vessels in the series, Pacific Dispatch and Pacific Dragon are scheduled to be delivered by the end of 2014. Swire Pacific Offshore, October 10, 2013 Print  Close My locationlast_img read more

Federal government boosts funding in latest homelessness strategy

first_imgOTTAWA (NEWS 1130) – The Trudeau government is releasing more details about its plan to tackle homelessness in Canada.The minister for social development says beginning in April, the feds will be ramping up the amount of cash handed out to communities struggling with a homelessness problem. It will increase the number of communities receiving the funding the following year.By 2022, the federal government plans to spend $237-million to address the issue, which is double the amount that was allocated when the Liberals first took office.It is all part of a 10 year, $2.2-billion strategy, called ‘Reaching Home.’The government is also expected to soon introduce legislation in parliament to set an official poverty line for the country, and set out a goal of slashing the poverty rate in half by the year 2030.The law would also create a council on poverty to advise the minister and require annual reports to Parliament on the government’s progress.Ottawa is promising dedicated funding for the territories and says there will also be new spending targeting Indigenous Peoples.-With files from the Canadian Press and Sonia Aslamlast_img read more

Golfer Fred Funk Supports Fisher House Foundation

first_imgFred Funk, one of the most recognizable names and personalities in professional golf, is partnering with Stryker and Fisher House Foundation to help support our military families by making the same Stryker GetAroundKnee hat that he wears on tour available for golf fans.For every hat purchased Stryker will donate 100% of the net proceeds directly to the Fisher House Foundation to support our injured or sick military veterans and their families. Fisher House is a non-profit organization that provides a home away from home that enables family members to be close to a loved one during hospitalization for an illness, disease or injury. Hats may be purchased by visiting www.getaroundknee.com.In 2012, Fisher House served more than 19,000 military families by donating “comfort homes,” built on the ground of major military and Veteran’s Affairs medical centers. These homes enable family members to be close to a loved one at the most stressful times–during the hospitalization for an unexpected illness, disease or injury. Since 1990, Fisher House has been able to offer over 4.7 million days of lodging to military families, resulting in savings of more than $200 million to families in lodging, and transportation costs. There are currently 60 houses in operation to date.For its part, Stryker has had a long history of supporting our nation’s military though education, residency programs, products, and donations and is a leading supporter of the Society of Military Orthopaedic Surgeons (SOMOS), so the Fisher House sponsorship just made sense.“Our partnership with Fred Funk and Stryker is extremely important to Fisher House Foundation and to the tens of thousands of military families that we serve annually,” says Derek Donovan, Vice President of Fisher House Foundation, and Colonel, USMC (Ret.), who joined the Foundation in 2007 following 26 years of active duty service in the United States Marine Corps. “We know that Americans want to support our military men and women, and we’re delighted that through the sale of Fred’s popular hat, we can help to make this happen,” adds Donovan.Whether it’s the stress and fatigue from travel to and from events on tour, or even his recovery from knee replacement surgery, Fred understands the importance of having family around for support. A 20-year veteran of the sport and current member of the Champions Tour, Funk underwent a total knee replacement with Stryker’s GetAroundKnee in November 2009 which enabled him to get back out on the course and back to competing.Funk’s return to golf post-knee replacement has been an inspiration to golf fans around the world and he’s picked by the Champions Tour as a top player to watch for the past 2 years. A perennial fan favorite Funk continues to receive the support of fans that have been eager to wear his same hat. What started out as Funk tossing a few hats to fans post-round has grown into a program poised to give back in a big way through the Stryker/Fisher House partnership.“I’ve always been extremely grateful for our service men and women. That’s why I’m excited to partner with Stryker and Fisher House to support such a great cause,” says Funk. “I know firsthand how important family can be when recovering from physical challenges. When I was recovering from my knee surgery a few years ago, I was fortunate to have the strength and support of my family, who was there to encourage me every step of the way and get me back into the game that I love,” adds Funk.For more information about how to purchase a Stryker hat to support America’s military families, please visit www.getaroundknee.com.Source:PR Newswirelast_img read more

Music has to be a character in the film

first_imgVivek Agnihotri’s directorial The Tashkent Files raises questions about the mysterious death of Former Indian Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri. Besides the controversial plot and a strong star cast, which includes Naseeruddin Shah, Mithun Chakraborty, Pankaj Tripathi and Vinay Pathak, it’s the music that’s receiving immense appreciation. ‘Satya Manik Afsar’ – team which composed the attention grabbing background score of The Tashkent Files – spoke to Millennium Post about their experience of composing music for the film. Content driven movies like The Tashkent Files aren’t dependent on music and background score unlike the commercial cinema. How difficult is it to compose something which would not only compliment a film with a strong story/plot but also catch attention of the audience? Content driven movies also need music, it all depends on sound design of a movie. According to me, music has to be a part /character of any movie because a well balanced design of sound takes you to the time and space of the story. We get involved into the film not only because of visual, but the music playing in the background holds your mind into the space. Nothing is difficult to compose if the director you are working with is clear as to what is required. Was there any brief given to you by makers on the background score? Vivek Agnihotri told us that the BGM is very important to him and he wants the background music to be one of the characters of the film which is not seen but is there as an emotion. He mostly knew where and what all he wanted and briefed us perfectly time to time, as a result you can see the film grips you totally. Do you feel pressurised while working on a sensitive project like The Tashkent Files, where different people might have subjective opinions? When there are different minds working to make a project successful, it’s normal to have a lot of pressure. But the best part is, we finalise on a common ground only after a lot of discussion. Talking particularly about TTF, there were other factors to consider as well. Satisfying a director like Vivekji, and getting the correct theme for a subject like Shastriji, was indeed very challenging. How important is box office collection for you? Certainly Box office is very important for any project; more than us it is important to the producers and financiers of the film. Because if they will earn then only there will be more films and more work for everyone involved in film trade. What is next on your plate? To name a few, Neil Nitin Mukesh, Karan Singh Grover Jackie Shroff and KK menon starrer Firkie in which we have a song with Ustad Rashid Khan. Also, there is a children’s film Decent boy. Both the movies are in their post production stage right now, and should be released by July/ August. Few more projects are at disscusion stage and of course our regular Ad-films, TV shows and short films for digital platforms keep happening.last_img read more

Ban Kimoon seeks to reenergize Middle East peace process at Quartet meeting

20 February 2007United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon meets in Berlin tomorrow with key international partners seeking to broker peace between Israel and the Palestinians in what his spokesperson said today “is illustrative of the Secretary-General’s desire to reenergize the process.” The meeting of the diplomatic Quartet, comprising the UN, the United States, Russia and the European Union (EU), the second such session this month at principals’ level, will discuss the Palestinian unity government accord reached in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, and yesterday’s talks between US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. Besides Mr. Ban and Ms. Rice, the others participants are Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, EU High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy Javier Solana, European Commissioner for External Relations Benita Ferrero-Waldner, and German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, representing the EU Presidency. In a weekend interview (MP3) with UN Radio, Mr. Ban said he hoped that with the establishment of National Unity Government by the Palestinians the vision would soon be realized where Israeli and Palestinian people can live in peace and prosperity side by side. This is the two-State goal of the Quartet’s Road Map peace plan, launched several years ago, which originally set the end of 2005 as the target date for such a solution. “With the National Unity Government we hope that the Palestinian Authority and Israel will further engage in a peace process between the two parties,” Mr. Ban said in the interview. Ever since Hamas won elections early last year and formed a Government, Israel stopped handing over tax and customs revenues it collects on behalf of the Palestine Authority, and international donors suspended direct aid, calling on Hamas to commit to non-violence, recognize Israel and accept previously signed agreements between Israel and the Palestinians. The Quartet reiterated these principles following the Mecca unity government accord in which Hamas, Mr. Abbas’s Fatah and independents will share portfolios. read more

Sri Lanka will engage with the diaspora

The Sri Lankan Government has reiterated that it will engage with the diaspora and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs intends to take the lead in organizing a diaspora festival where persons of Sri Lankan origin from around the world in all possible fields could participate and explore means to work closely with Sri Lanka including in reconciliation and development efforts.This was stated by Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera who just concluded a visit to Germany which was was focused on renewing relations with Germany, Sri Lanka’s largest trading partner in Europe, the Foreign Ministry said today. The Foreign Ministry said that the visit, which was his first as Foreign Minister, was focused on renewing relations with Germany, Sri Lanka’s largest trading partner in Europe, and resetting ties through greater cooperation in diverse fields including technical and vocational training for Sri Lanka’s youth, and expanding trade and investment. Emphasizing that Sri Lanka is an important partner for Germany in the region, Foreign Minister Steinmeier, assured Minister Samaraweera that steps would be taken to explore trade and investment opportunities. He also expressed Germany’s commitment to support projects for social cohesion and small and medium enterprises.Minister Samaraweera appreciated the continued German bilateral assistance for projects in Sri Lanka, including the German Technical Training Institute in Kilinochchi and other development projects in the country.Foreign Minister Samaraweera also held discussions with officials from the Friedrich-Naumann-Stiftun and Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung and addressed the German Council on Foreign Relations on the topic, ‘Contours of a New Sri Lanka’. He also discussed possible future cooperation between the German Council on Foreign Relations and the Lakshman Kadirgamar Institute for International Relations and Strategic Studies. (Colombo Gazette) At the invitation of his counterpart, the Federal Foreign Minister of Germany, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera visited Berlin from 21st – 23rd May 2015. Minister Samaraweera’s meetings included detailed discussions with Federal Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Vice President of the Bundestag Edelgard Bulmahn, Head of the German South Asian Group of Parliamentarians Niels Annen, the Committee for Economic Cooperation and Development of the German Bundestag chaired by Dagmar Gabriele Wöhrl and the Parliamentary State Secretary for Economic Cooperation and Development Hans-Joachim Fuchtel.Welcoming Minister Samaraweera to Berlin as one of the architects of change in Sri Lanka, Minister Steinmeier recalled their last meeting in March 2015, in Geneva, and reiterated the German Government’s commitment to support the Government and people of Sri Lanka in the ongoing efforts to strengthen democratic institutions, political and economic consolidation and reconciliation in the country. Minister Samaraweera noted that the new Government’s policy is to create sustainable growth by unlocking Sri Lanka’s long untapped economic potential through foreign direct investment, trade and tourism and rule-based systems. Highlighting Sri Lanka’s free trade agreements with India and Pakistan, he encouraged German businesses to explore the possibility of using Sri Lanka as a gateway to South Asia and the Indian Ocean. Speaking of people-to-people contact, and the large number of tourists from Germany who visit Sri Lanka every year, the Minister stated that “Sri Lanka has long been a paradise for German tourists and that we want Sri Lanka to now be a paradise for German investors”. Minister Samaraweera briefed Foreign Minister Steinmeier as well as the dignitaries that he met during his visit, regarding the Government’s achievements related to the ‘100-day Reform Programme’ in establishing good governance, the rule of law, strong democratic institutions, reconciliation, sustainable economic development, and in creating a new political culture devoid of divisive politics.He explained that the objective of the Government is to work together with the opposition even after the general election to shed divisive politics and unite in addressing issues of national importance including framing national policies that are necessary for the nation’s stable and sustainable development in the long-term, with prosperity for all. He emphasized the priority accorded by the Government to the achievement of the twin objectives of ‘reconciliation and development’ and the preservation of the multi-ethnic, multi-cultural, multi-religious and multi-lingual nature of society including ending impunity and corruption as articulated by the President on 19 May.Stating that the Government recognizes the importance of engaging with the diaspora, the Minister said that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs intends to take the lead in organizing a diaspora festival where persons of Sri Lankan origin from around the world in all possible fields – business, the arts, literature, culture, academia and sports – could participate and explore means to work closely with Sri Lanka including in reconciliation and development efforts. read more

Teen killed seven injured as vehicle rams into wall

A student of Royal College Colombo was killed in the accident.The Police said the students were travelling in the vehicle which crashed into the wall. (Colombo Gazette) An 18 year old boy was killed and seven students sustained injuries following an accident in Rajagiriya today.The Police said a vehicle had skidded off the road and crashed into a wall in Madinnagoda in Rajagiriya killing the 18 year old boy and injuring several others.

UN chief condemns killing of blue helmets in DR Congo as violence

His spokesperson, Stephane Dujarric, said on Thursday that one Tanzanian and six Malawian ‘blue helmets’ were killed during joint operations carried out by the UN stabilization mission and the Government’s forces, known by the French acronym FARDC, against the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) armed group in the east of the country, North Kivu’s Beni territory.“Initial reports indicate that ten additional peacekeepers were wounded and another one is missing,” said Mr. Dujarric.  The Secretary-General expressed his deepest sympathy and heartfelt condolences to the peacekeepers’ families and the Malawian and Tanzanian Governments and their people.He also wished a prompt recovery to the wounded and conveyed his strong support to the Malawian and Tanzanian contingents, which continue to protect local populations against attacks of the ADF and other armed groups.According to news reports, MONUSCO, as the UN Mission in the country is known, and FARDC have been conducting a joint military operation as the ADF is spreading terror in the country’s east, threatening hopes for trouble-free elections on 23 December.The Secretary-General called on all armed groups to stop their destabilizing activities that continue to add to the population’s suffering and further complicate the Ebola response. “He calls on them to disarm immediately,” stressed his spokesperson.“The Secretary-General encourages the Congolese authorities to continue taking the necessary measures to apprehend and bring to justice the perpetrators of attacks against civilians, national security forces and peacekeepers in the DRC,” concluded Mr. Dujarric.Press statement from the Security Council praises blue helmets’ braveryIn a Press statement, the UN Security Council expressed its strong support for the Malawian and Tanzanian contingents, which council members said  “continue to operate in an exceptionally difficult environment to protect local populations against the attacks of the ADF and other armed groups.”The statement “praised the bravery of the peacekeepers engaged in this joint Operation and paid tribute to those killed in action, who made the ultimate sacrifice in the service of peace and stability in the DRC, and to their comrades wounded during this operation.”They condemned “all armed groups” active in the DRC: “They further reiterated their demand that all armed groups cease immediately all forms of violence, immediately and permanently disband and lay down their arms.” read more

Brocks CCOVI helps Grape and Wine crowd educate its senses

Brock’s Cool Climate Oenology and Viticulture Institute (CCOVI) raised a glass to celebrate its 20th year partnering with the Niagara Grape and Wine Festival on Saturday, Sept. 16.Continuing the long-standing tradition, CCOVI hosted three of its popular Educate your Senses wine and cheese seminars in Montebello Park in downtown St. Catharines, with some of the sold-out sessions attracting wine lovers from across Ontario, the U.S. and even Australia.CCOVI will offer three more seminars at the festival on Saturday, Sept. 23.Barb Tatarnic, CCOVI’s Manager of Continuing Education and Outreach, said the institute is proud to celebrate the important milestone.“With two decades of bringing quality educational opportunities to the local community through outreach offerings like the Educate Your Senses seminar series, we have solidified our commitment both to the community and the grape and wine industry,” she said. “Over the span of 20 years we’ve poured more than 10,000 glasses of VQA wine to festivalgoers and brought education and VQA wine excellence together, one glass at a time.”Brock alumni and Peller Estates winemaker Jason Roller (BSc ’04) got the seminars started Saturday, followed by Ed Madronich, President of Flat Rock Cellars, and winemaker Gavin Robertson, Niagara College Winery.Each seminar features discussions with local winemakers, who pour two wines for the audience to sample alongside cheese pairings provided by Real Canadian Superstore.The seminars are hosted by Christopher Waters, VINES Magazine editor and CCOVI continuing education instructor. Waters introduces attendees to some of Niagara’s top winemakers, including alumni of Brock’s Oenology and Viticulture program, as they share the experiences and stories behind their wines.“It’s a chance to meet talented winemakers and winery principals who will share insights into what they do in a casual, intimate and entertaining tasting seminar,” said Waters. “The guests can find out what truly goes into making the wine in their glass, directly from the winemakers themselves.”CCOVI hosted its first sanctioned festival event (Cool Climate Reds — a guided tasting) back in 1997, and Waters launched the Educate Your Senses seminars, alongside now-St. Catharines Mayor Walter Sendzik, two years later.The institute has been a part of the festival ever since, hosting many unique events and providing thousands of festival attendees with the opportunity to sample VQA wines from the nearly 160 winemakers who have participated in the Educate Your Senses seminars.Waters said the enduring partnership between CCOVI and the Niagara Grape and Wine Festival promotes the best of the local wine industry.“A milestone like 20 years is a sign of increased maturity for CCOVI and the wine festival,” he added. “The series provides an added level of sophistication and enjoyment to the festival’s line-up, which makes for a better experience for those looking to get the most out of the Montebello Park experience.”Educate your Senses Schedule, Saturday, Sept. 23:2 p.m. Chris Protonentis, Coyote’s Run3 p.m. Brock alumni Richie Roberts, Fielding Estate4 p.m. Marc Bradshaw, StrewnLocation: Roy T. Adams Bandshell, Montebello Park, St. CatharinesCost: $3.50 per token, two tokens per seminar. Brock alumni will receive a free wine glass with registration and receive half off the seminar cost. Tokens are available for purchase at Montebello Park throughout each weekend. Registration for seminars will be at the Roy T. Adams Bandshell only. Seminars run rain or shine. read more

Bajan PM eases squeeze for pensioners

PM Mia Mottley(Barbados Nation) Prime Minister Mia Mottley has thrown a lifeline for pensioners feeling the squeeze under Barbados’ domestic debt restructuring programme.On Tuesday, she announced that pensioners 60 years and over who had matured Government savings bonds would get a lump sum of $20 000 “in cash” tomorrow and a further $30 000 by March next year.Overall, Government would ensure that those with up to $250 000 invested recoup their money in four years, slashing the uncertain 15-year period that was first announced.“In March next year, we will come again and give them another payout and we hope to pay them another $30 000. We are also going to take the rest of their holdings to the extent that they have up to $200 000 in debt. We will transfer $200 000 of that 15-year-instrument into a four-year bond which will amortise monthly,” Mottley said in an interview with moderator David Ellis on Starcom Network’s Down To Brass Tacks. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedB’dos Gov’t puts temporary freeze on borrowingJanuary 14, 2019In “latest news”Barbados PM given ultimatum to ease tax squeeze or face national shutdownJuly 13, 2017In “latest news”Regional leaders congratulate new Barbados PMMay 25, 2018In “latest news” read more

Yearend Deadline for Railroads Threatens Ag Shipments

first_imgRail service and ag shipments could soon come to a halt if Congress fails to extend safety deadlines.The Class I railroads, which are the seven largest rail companies in the country, are required by Jan. 1, 2016 to fully implement Positive Train Control (PTC), which is a technology to remotely monitor and control train movements.  All of the Class I railroads have indicated that they are unable to meet this deadline, and if Congress does not extend the deadline, the railroads may cease shipments of anhydrous ammonia and possibly all grain shipments due to liability issues.The Rail Safety Improvement Act of 2008 mandated the installation of PTC across most Class I rail lines by the end of 2015, including lines carrying 5 million or more gross tons every year, lines that handle any poisonous-inhalation-hazardous materials or any lines with “regularly scheduled intercity passenger or commuter rail services.”The railroads and industry stakeholders are urging Congress to extend the Jan. 1 deadline; however, there is no indication yet on when or through what legislative vehicle Congress would be able to pass an extension.There are some members of Congress who want to investigate the progress the railroads have made on PTC implementation and what the appropriate duration should be, before they agree to an extension.  They want to keep the pressure on the railroads to accelerate implementation as much as possible.The issue could be addressed in a long-term highway bill that is expected to be considered this fall, but stakeholders are concerned that the highway bill will carry into December or even into 2016.Some of the “must pass” legislative vehicles that could be an option to carry a PTC extension would be a Continuing Resolution (CR) to keep government agencies funded or a short-term extension of the highway bill.last_img read more

Weather Eye Days in the 80s thunderstorm risk in forecast

first_imgClouds were steaming up over Clark County from the south on Wednesday, which was evident by the afternoon temperatures. At 4 p.m., Eugene, Ore., was 66 degrees. I had 86 degrees here in Salmon Creek. Further north, it was 87 degrees in Seattle.The clouds just surpassed the Columbia River, while the Puget Sound region had full sunshine. The pesky upper-level, low-pressure system off California will slowly move northward over the next few days and increase the chances of rainfall in most areas.We will see highs through the weekend around 80 degrees depending on how much sunshine we get. Also, there is the risk of scattered thunderstorms just about anywhere through Sunday. For sure, there will be thunderstorms and gusty winds over and east of the Cascades, which may ignite new wildfires.I see no big heat wave on the horizon for the next week or so. That means any chances of 100 degrees or better will have to occur during the last half of the month. Thirty two years ago, we were in the midst of a hot spell. From August 6-10, 1981, I recorded highs of 100 degrees or higher.We may just escape any 100-degree highs this year but time will tell. The past few evenings, it has been warm at night. At 10 p.m. Tuesday, I still had 80 degrees registering on my weather station.last_img read more

Murkowski Concerned About Border Policy

first_imgSen. Murkowski said that while they respect the goal of enforcing the law, she is uncomfortable with the consequence of children torn from their parents’ arms. Sen. Murkowski: “If we’re talking about young children here, young families and a forced separation for an indefinite period of time, I have concerns about it.”  Attorney General Jeff Sessions has said that the policy, enacted in April, was put in place to bolster border patrol efforts and crack down on illegal immigration. The Trump administration announced a zero-tolerance border policy, where immigrants face criminal prosecution for unlawful border entry. Charging immigrants who improperly enter the U.S. with a crime has for many resulted in their children being taken away by the federal government and sent to government shelters. Facebook0TwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) said during a press conference on Thursday that she is ‘troubled’ by the practice of removing a child from their parent when caught crossing the border illegally.last_img read more

Scientists find a way to add the smelly thorny king of fruit

first_img Smart home devices come of age at CES: Did this category just mature a little?How to get girl scout cookies: Not available in durian flavour, sadly. This speedy composter turns food one day into fertilizer… 1:14 Share your voice Tags Now playing: Watch this:center_img Don’t bin your durian seeds! Scientists from Singapore have found ways to use them — in your candy, for example. NTU Singapore Singaporeans have a deep affection for durians despite their notoriously foul stench. Now local researchers just gave the island state reason to love the “king of fruits” even more.Scientists at Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University have found a way to extract gum from durian seeds and turn it into a food stabiliser and — with further processing — probiotic powder. The team demonstrated the process — first washing the seeds, then slicing and boiling them before adding a solution to harvest the gum — at a media briefing Thursday morning. Their findings were published in the journal Frontiers in Sustainable Food Systems last September.Food stabilisers are an ingredient used in many food items — including gummies, sweet carbonated drinks and mayonnaise — to bind and ensure that “various ingredients that do not mix well can gel harmoniously,” according to Professor William Chen, director of the school’s food science and technology programme. These are typically harvested from Africa-imported acacia trees, but with climate change affecting seasonal harvests, alternative and more sustainable sources have to be explored, Chen added.image-1This isn’t jam. It’s an ingredient companies can use to bind other ingredients in your gummy bears and mayonnaise, amongst other food items. NTU Singapore Singaporeans devoured six million durians within the first six months of last year. Their seeds, which are about three to four centimeters wide and make up 20 to 25 percent of the entire fruit, are typically binned along with their thorny shells. Estimating that 3,600 tonnes of seeds are thrown away every year, Chen said he saw an opportunity to turn them into a “plant-based, all-natural” food stabiliser that is also vegetarian-friendly.This isn’t the first attempt at giving food by-products a new lease on life. Researchers from the National University of Singapore created an alcoholic beverage out of tofu whey, a liquid waste created when making beancurd. Earlier, Chen himself also found a way to turn what could otherwise have become a brewer’s waste into “valuable liquid nutrient” that can be used to grow beer yeast.What Singaporeans know and love as the “king of fruits” are shunned by many, though, for its unique smell and taste that can be a reminder of gym socks or even sewage. But the harvested gum bore neither smell nor taste after extraction (yes, I sniffed it and put some in my mouth).Durian seed gum also contains elements that enable it to become a nutrient support for probiotics, a good bacteria that help people maintain a healthy digestive system. By fermenting the gum with added bacteria cultures then spray drying to eliminate moisture, Chen and his team was able to make a light pink-coloured probiotic powder.During trials, the researchers discovered probiotic activity in commercial stabilisers were significantly reduced after five weeks, while that in durian seed stabilisers remained steady for two months. This suggests durian seed gum is 20 percent more effective at improving the lifespan of powder-based probiotics, hence extending shelf life to as long as 120 days. Post a comment 0 Sci-Techlast_img read more

Frauds scams and schemes cost Alaskans millions last year

first_img(Photo illustration by Flickr user photosteve10)In 2016, Alaskans lost $2,745,716 to financial frauds and scams. And that’s just from the people who filed complaints. Officials suspect many more residents were victims but never contacted authorities.Listen nowFederal Trade Commission data show that last year, 3,031 complaints were filed in Alaska, about a third of them in Anchorage.Now, the FTC is making a big push to raise awareness about online and phone scams and is highlighting how minority and immigrant communities across the country are targeted. The FTC said poorer people are more frequently victims of such schemes, as are minorities and immigrants, who tend to be more vulnerable and report scams less frequently.Local groups and New American Media, a national consortium of multicultural news organizations, hosted a stakeholder round-table conversation on Monday. Federal, state and local officials discussed the kinds of fraud schemes they see.“Alaska is very much a victim state, and what that means is we don’t really have a lot of fraudsters in Alaska,” Ed Sniffen, the state’s Deputy Attorney General, said. “The fraudsters are in other places and they pray on people here in Alaska.”Sniffen said the Attorney General’s office receives hundreds of complaints ranging from sophisticated impersonation schemes to Nigerian email scams.The most common way Alaskans are tricked into giving money or sensitive personal information is called an “imposter scam.” A person might be told over the phone that they missed jury duty, or failed to file their taxes properly, and is then invited to clear up the problem by giving their credit card or social security number. Last year, 482 complaints over impostor scams were filed in Alaska. Fake lottery and sweepstakes schemes are also prevalent.Detective Michele Logan has worked with the Anchorage Police Department’s Financial Crimes unit for 15 years, and sees thousands of scams that are reported to APD. Bringing forth charges is almost impossible, because their jurisdiction only extends over the municipality.“Most of these scams come from different areas of the country or the world, and we cannot physically go and arrest someone with these scams,” Logan said. “Unfortunately we get the reports of these scams after someone has been scammed, and it’s a sad phone call when I have to explain to someone ‘we can’t get your $50,000 back,’ or ‘your $300,000 back.’”You can find more information here.last_img read more

Virginia Ali Owner of Bens Chili Bowl Embraces 60 Years of Change

first_imgBy Lenore T. Adkins, Special to the AFROFor decades, Ben’s Chili Bowl owner Virginia Ali ate a beef hotdog daily that she slathered with mustard, onions and of course, the restaurant’s famous chili.But nine years ago, when Ali turned 75 and the doctor told her she was at risk of having a stroke because her cholesterol had shot up to 240, Ali knew she had to change her diet.Virginia Ali at the original Ben’s Chili Bowl on at 1213 U St. Northwest. (Photo by Lenore Adkins)She stopped eating the hotdogs and opted for oatmeal, salads, fish, fruits and veggies. Then she started walking a half hour every day for two months. When she returned to the doctor for her follow up visit, Ali was happy to see that her cholesterol had fallen to 186 — all without medication.“It can be done,” Ali told the AFRO.The story of Virginia Ali, 84, is also the story of Ben’s Chili Bowl, which she opened with her late husband, Mahaboob “Ben” Ali, 60 years ago this week.The couple met in the 1950s — she worked as a teller at Industrial Bank, now one of the last surviving Black-owned banks in the country. Ben Ali, who originally hailed from Trinidad, was working his way through Howard University’s dentistry school at a local restaurant. He often conducted business at Industrial Bank and went to his future wife’s window.Washington, D.C. was segregated then and Shaw was filled with Black doctors, lawyers, accountants, sanitation workers and even winos, Ali recalled. At the time, the bustling area, then known as “Black Broadway” served as the entertainment center for African Americans.“We had a cross section of people,” she said. “We just had so many amazing businesses in the community that were owned by African Americans.”On Aug. 22, 1958, the couple opened Ben’s Chili Bowl at 1213 U Street, the site of a former silent movie theater called the Minnehaha. The Ali’s simply wanted to own a business that would give them the means to raise their children and had no idea it would become such a huge success that has spawned locations all over the area.When life took a turn for the worse in Shaw, Ben’s Chili Bowl weathered the storm right along with it.In 1968, Ben’s Chili Bowl was one of a few businesses the city allowed to remain open during the three days of uprisings that followed Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination- a period Ali called “a time of fear” and “a time of sadness.” Many African-American residents fled and Black-owned businesses closed up around them, never to return. Today, Industrial Bank, Lee’s Flower and Card Shop and Ben’s Chili Bowl are the only Black-owned businesses remaining on U Street from those days.Ben’s Chili Bowl stayed open even after the heroin and crack epidemics gripped the neighborhood.In the late 1980s when Metro started constructing the U Street Metro Station in front of the restaurant, Ben’s remained open — with only Virginia Ali and one other employee working. She had the contractor make “This Way to Ben’s” signs that directed people to enter through the back of the restaurant.  Ali remembers most of her customers in those days were the construction workers and people who were looking for their “fix,” and that other businesses didn’t survive the construction.Despite the difficulties Shaw faced over the last 60 years, Ali said she never considered moving Ben’s out of the neighborhood.“I certainly felt like this is the national capital, at that time the capitol of the world,” Ali said. “It’s going to come back. I just had no idea it was going to take 20 years.”Virginia Ali in a booth at the original Ben’s Chili Bowl location on U Street Northwest. (Photo by Lenore Adkins)Shaw is in the midst of a revitalization that has attracted high-end condo buildings and White residents to the gentrifying neighborhood. Ali continues to welcome locals, people who went there with parents and grandparents back in the day, former employees and tourists from all over the world. Even former president Barack Obama and Serena Williams have dropped in.Ali credits the completion of the Metro station with ushering in the neighborhood’s rebirth, and while she misses the days when Shaw was a close-knit community in which everyone knew who you were, she has come to embrace its changes.“People were afraid to come because of the drugs and the violence that was happening.” Ali said. “So now we’ve got a thriving community, economically strong, businesses of all kinds and in our city, we have people from every corner of the globe, we have restaurants from all over the world, we have a young generation of people moving … in here that are highly educated. I’m very positive about what the future’s going to be like — I think it’s going to be great.”These days, Ali still works at Ben’s daily but her three sons Kamal, Nizam and Haidar as well as her two daughters-in-law run the business. Ben Ali, the restaurant’s namesake, died in 2009 at the age of 82.The company has spawned a Ben’s Chili Bowl on H Street, at Nationals Park, at Ronald Reagan National Airport and in Arlington. In 2008, the sons opened Ben’s Next Door, a restaurant and bar adjacent to the original Ben’s.  The original location attracts more than 250,000 customers a year, said Bernard Demczuk, the restaurant’s historian.When it comes to preserving Black culture in the neighborhood, Ali said the older generation has to teach young people in the home about their history and remember the role Blacks played in the city’s development.“We’re still here, the bank is still here, the flower shop is still here and we’re doing what best to hold onto what little culture we can,” Ali said.last_img read more

Chicago Awaits 2 Historic Hearings in Fatal Police Shooting

first_imgBy DON BABWIN, Associated PressCHICAGO (AP) — Three Chicago police officers will learn this week whether a judge thinks they lied about the 2014 killing of Laquan McDonald to protect another White officer who shot the Black teenager 16 times. That officer, meanwhile, will learn how long he may spend in prison.Officer Jason Van Dyke was convicted by a jury in October of second-degree murder and 16 counts of aggravated battery — one for each bullet he shot McDonald with. He’s due to be sentenced Friday by Judge Vincent Gaughan.in this Dec. 14, 2018, file photo, former Chicago police Officer Jason Van Dyke, left, appears for a hearing at the Leighton Criminal Court Building, in Chicago. (Antonio Perez/Chicago Tribune via AP, Pool, File)Judge Domenica Stephenson is set to deliver her verdict Thursday to the three officers accused of lying about the shooting, which sparked large protests and accusations of a cover-up after dashcam video of the confrontation emerged 13 months after it happened.The video, which city officials refused to release until ordered by a judge, showed Van Dyke firing round after round into the 17-year-old, and it conflicted with the officers’ accounts, which stated that McDonald aggressively swung a knife at police and kept trying to get up even after he was shot.Van Dyke is believed to be the first Chicago officer convicted in a fatal on-duty shooting of an African-American. The other three — officers Thomas Gaffney and Joseph Walsh and detective David March — are thought to the first to be charged with trying to cover up an on-duty shooting.Although their case has not garnered as much attention as Van Dyke’s, many view it as more significant because it challenges the code of silence that critics have long accused the police department of using to cover up its messes.“This is a criminal prosecution for officers participating in a code of silence, doing what they’ve always done, what’s expected of them,” said Craig Futterman, a University of Chicago law professor who helped secure the release of the video. “But here the message is if you lie, if you cover up, you can go to jail.”Christy Lopez, a former Justice Department attorney who helped lead an investigation of the police department after the McDonald shooting, said it’s noteworthy that the trial was held in Chicago, where Mayor Rahm Emanuel famously acknowledged the department’s code of silence after the release of the video.The prosecution of the three officers “gives me optimism that other cities and police departments will come to the same realization that Chicago has and think of police abuse as a systems issue,” Lopez said.Attorneys for the officers accused of lying about the shooting ridiculed the decision to charge them, telling the court during the trial that the officers merely wrote what they observed or, in March’s case, what the other officers told him they saw. They said there was no evidence that the officers conspired to get their stories straight.“The state wants you to criminalize police reports,” McKay bellowed at one point.Robert Weisskopff, a retired Chicago police officer who once headed the lieutenants’ union, expressed worry that the case will cause other officers to be less forthcoming.“What cops on the street are going to start writing is, ‘We came, we saw, he’s dead,’” he said.“Why would you do any more investigation if you thought you could lose everything if what you believed was true turns out not to be?”Jim Pasco, executive director of the National Fraternal Order of Police, said officers already shaken by the prosecution of six Baltimore police officers in the 2015 arrest and death of Freddie Gray — all were acquitted — echoed that sentiment.“What’s the incentive to disclose everything you know if you fear it will be used against you?” he said.The city isn’t planning the same show of force for Van Dyke’s sentencing that it deployed on the day of the verdict in his trial, when metal barriers lined the street outside the courthouse and dozens of uniformed officers stood every few feet. There are no plans to cancel high school sporting events or nervous parents talking about keeping their kids home from school, like there were on that day.Although police were not expecting a large turnout of protesters for Van Dyke’s hearing, Black community leaders said they would pay close attention to the sentence. The Rev. Marshall Hatch, a prominent Black minister on the city’s West Side, said the hopefulness that the Black community felt after Van Dyke was convicted will evaporate if he receives a light prison sentence or even walks free.“It will be like he got away with murder, absolutely,” he said.Estimates of the sentence Van Dyke might get have varied wildly: The murder charge carries a prison term of four to 20 years, but Gaughan also could just give Van Dyke probation for that count. The aggravated battery charge carries a sentence of six to 30 years behind bars and does not allow for probation alone.Walsh, March and Gaffney, who is the only one of the three still with the police department, each face charges of official misconduct, conspiracy and obstructing justice. The misconduct charge carries a maximum prison terms of five years. The obstruction charge carries a maximum three-year term. The maximum sentence for conspiracy cannot exceed the sentence for the underlying offenses.last_img read more

Free Pirate Bay Bundle packages 101 overlooked indie games

first_imgThanks in large part to the Humble Indie Bundle (and, of course, Steam Sales), the indie games scene is as large and popular as it has ever been. Various bundles have popped up since Humble Bundle not only showed that there is a deep desire to play indie games, but that there is a ton of money to make in making those games readily available. Every now and then, though, a new bundle forgoes the (usually meager) price tag and packages a bunch of games for free. This time around, that games bundle is named after what is perhaps the most infamous site on the internet that forgoes price tags: the Pirate Bay.Don’t worry, though, the Pirate Bay Bundle isn’t skirting payment for which starving indie game developers are sorely asking. Instead, the bundle is named after the platform through which the free package is being delivered. The bundle consists of 101 free indie games, chosen by Moshboy for being worthy of attention, but have yet to see any form of limelight, however brief.Many of the games are browser-based, and thus, online affairs, but Moshboy managed to convince the developers to package offline versions into the bundle. As Moshboy puts it, the package consists of a wide variety of games, created by people you’ve never heard of, celebrated game developers, or are the results of game jams.While the bundle may not consist of hot indie properties like Don’t Starve, or fun games with extremely limited access like Killer Queen, there are sure to be some gems included in the torrent. If you want to see what kinds of games are included in the bundle without committing to a free download, you can check out Moshboy’s Underrated Indie Games YouTube series, which focuses on the kinds of games that are now available in the Pirate Bay Bundle. You can also check out each game individually, and watch the trailer above.You can grab the torrent over on the Pirate Bay. If you’re into the indie scene, be sure to give this bundle a look, because — if anything — it’s a drastically different representation of what the indie games scene looks like when it doesn’t have the support of Valve or Humble.last_img read more

First trial run held for IndoBangla container train service

first_imgKolkata: The first trial run of the container train between India and Bangladesh was held in Kolkata on Tuesday morning.Manasi Banerjee, one of the senior-most employees of CONCOR, flagged off the train in presence of Harindra Rao, General Manager, Eastern Railway and Kalyan Rama, CMD, CONCOR (Container Corporation of India Limited). Suchitto Kumar Das, Additional General Manager, Eastern Railway and Basudev Panda, Divisional Railway Manager, Sealdah, were also present. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsSpeaking on the occasion, Rao said that the passenger and goods train services are being regularly run between the two countries. This is for the first time that a container train from India will run between India and Bangladesh. The need for container service between these two countries has been felt by the exporters, as it has certain benefits like substantial time saving, safe transit, cost effectiveness and single window solution. It will also make trade safer and significantly organised in comparison to capacity constraints of the sea and land routes. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killedHe further said that this container service will have a wider impact on bilateral trade and will lead to further boost in the peace and harmony between the two neighbouring countries.The first container train to Bangladesh, consisting of 30 wagons, carries 60 containers of soyabean extract and will run via Majerhat-Naihati-Ranaghat-Gede in India and Darsana-Ishurdi-Bangabandhu West in Bangladesh. Bangabandhu West in Bangladesh is 117 km from Dhaka but much closer to industrial hubs around Dhaka.last_img read more