Students to Pick Book Award Winners

first_imgYoung people across Nova Scotia will improve their literacy skills and become better critical readers as they choose which books will win the Hackmatack Children’s Choice 2012-13 Book Awards. The Hackmatack program provides students in Grades 4 to 6 in Atlantic Canada with the opportunity to read from a selection of Canadian authors and vote for their favourites. Education Minister Ramona Jennex delivered English and French sets of the 2012-13 fiction and non-fiction nominated titles to a group of students at Rockingham Elementary School in Halifax today, Nov. 6. Schools across the province will be receiving the books this week. “When the students join together to read and talk about books, they are developing their critical reading skills and leadership abilities in addition to their literacy skills,” said Ms. Jennex. “There are some great books this year, and I am looking forward to seeing which books the students choose.” Each year the Hackmatack selection committee nominates a list of Canadian children’s books for young people to read. On April 1 they vote for their favourite. The winners are announced in May. Every fall the Department of Education provides elementary schools with two sets of the English titles selected for the Hackmatack Children’s Choice Book Awards program. Schools in the Conseil scolaire acadien provincial and schools that offer early French immersion also receive two sets of the French titles. For more information on the program visit www.hackmatack.ca.last_img read more

Boris Johnson tops first round of poll for British PM

first_imgLondon: Boris Johnson Thursday secured his position as the frontrunner in the race to succeed Theresa May as British Prime Minister as he won the highest number of votes in the first round of the leadership poll. The former Cabinet minister received 114 votes in the first round of a secret ballot of Tory MPs held in the House of Commons, followed by UK foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt in second place with 43 and environment secretary Michael Gove third with 37 votes. Also Read – ‘Hong Kong won’t rule out Chinese help over protests’ Three contenders Mark Harper, Andrea Leadsom and Esther McVey were knocked out of the race after failing to secure the minimum requirement of 17 votes. It leaves seven candidates in the fray for the second round of voting next week, including former Brexit secretary Dominic Raab in fourth place with 27 votes, home secretary Sajid Javid fifth with 23, health secretary Matt Hancock sixth with 20 and international development secretary Rory Stewart in last place with 19. Also Read – Pak Army chief accompanies Imran at key meetings in China The two most popular MPs from among the seven will be put to the wider Tory party members in a final vote later this month, with the winner of the contest to succeed May in Downing Street expected to be announced in the week of July 22. “Thank you to my friends and colleagues in the Conservative and Unionist Party for your support. I am delighted to win the first ballot, but we have a long way to go,” said Johnson, after the results were announced by the Conservative Party’s 1922 Committee, in charge of the election process. A large number of supporters of fellow pro-Brexiteers McVey and Leadsom are now expected to fall in behind Johnson, who was widely expected to sail through the first round of voting.last_img read more

Saudi Historian Says Driving Poses Rape Threat to Female Drivers

By Kristina FriedRabat – In an interview on Saudi TV, Saudi historian Saleh al-Saadoon explained his interesting take on why the driving ban for women in Saudi Arabia should be enforced. According to him, women should not be allowed to drive for their own protection. He claims that the long distances between in cities in Saudi Arabia pose a threat to female drivers, asking “what will become of her” if her car were to break down. When the host questions this, saying that women drive in other countries all over the world, al-Saadoon responds with a statement that is both ridiculous and frightening. He explains to the host that those women “don’t care if they are raped by the roadside, but we do.” He goes on to say that getting raped is “no big deal for them beyond the damage to their morale.” The host is understandably shocked, and she asks al-Saadoon what rape is “if not a blow to the morale of the woman.”But according to al-Saadoon, the effect of rape on the family and religious identity of the woman is more important, and this is apparently the reason why women in Saudi Arabia care if they are raped. He doesn’t specify whether or not Saudi Arabian women agree with him. He then proceeds to tell the other guests, both of whom are looking on in complete disbelief, one even rolling her eyes at the inanity of his statements, that they need to “get used to what society thinks.”Al-Saadoon then goes on to explain that women in Saudi Arabia should be happy that they cannot drive, because they are driven around by their husbands, fathers, brothers, and male chauffeurs, and are treated “like queens”. The host at this point loses her composure a little, and asks why women should feel safer with male chauffeurs, who are just as capable of rape as soldiers on the side of the road.Al-Saadoon agrees that this is a problem, and so to bring his point home and prove that it really has absolutely no basis in reality, he proposes a solution to the problem – to “bring in foreign female chauffeurs to drive our wives…to replace the male ones.” As the host finally succumbs to laughter, he continues on, oblivious to her derision, and asks her “are you with me on this?”We laugh at this man and the absurdity of his statements, because they are ridiculous, but while activists all over Saudi Arabia such as Loujain al-Hathoul and Maysa al-Amoudi, two women who were arrested in December and detained for 73 days after attempting to drive into the Kingdom from neighboring UAE, are putting their lives and wellbeing at risk over the fight for gender equality, it is extremist individuals such as al-Saaldoon who are holding Saudi Arabia back in the global quest for equal rights. read more

Morocco Seeks to Boost SouthSouth Ties as Basis to Promote Peace

Jakarta- Morocco attaches great importance to the development of South-South relations as a vital basis to promote peace and security in the world, Foreign Minister Salaheddine Mezouar said Wednesday in Jakarta.Morocco Seeks to Boost South-South Ties as Basis to Promote Peace, Security, Says FMThe objectives of the partnership advocated by Asian and African countries are in line with the action taken by Morocco, under the leadership of King Mohammed VI. This action aims in particular to develop South-South relations as a vital basis to promote peace and security in the world, Mezouar told MAP, on the sidelines of his participation in the Asia-Africa Summit. The Minister noted that this summit, which coincides this year with the 60th anniversary of the Bandung Declaration and the 10th anniversary of the establishment of the Asia-Africa strategic partnership, is an opportunity to breathe a new dynamism to the principles of Bandung, notably brotherhood, solidarity, stability and respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity.He added that the evolution of international news confirms the importance of these principles and the need to work for their dedication, noting that this theme is highlighted in the agenda of the summit.Held under the theme “Strengthening South-South Cooperation to Promote World Peace and Prosperity”, the summit is meant to share experience and strengthen partnerships, discuss strategies to overcome common challenges and boost economic development in both continents.The Asia-Africa Summit is also an opportunity to reflect on the means to foster cooperation between Africa and Asia in various fields and ensure a better future, according to the spirit of the strategic Asian-African partnership signed in 2005 in Bandung. read more

Canadian dollar rises slightly amid US strength mixed commodities

Canadian dollar rises slightly amid U.S. strength, mixed commodities AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email by Linda Nguyen, The Canadian Press Posted Mar 26, 2014 7:36 am MDT TORONTO – The Canadian dollar climbed more than half a cent Wednesday amid reports showing a strengthening of the U.S. economy and anticipation of possible action from China’s leaders to encourage growth.The Canadian dollar gained 0.61 of a cent to 90.22 cents US.The U.S. Commerce Department reported that orders to factories for durable goods rose in February by the most in three months, but a key category that reflects business investment fell 1.3 per cent, the second setback in three months.It’s believed that the weakness in business investment may have been due to severe winter weather conditions in the United States last month, which may have caused some to put modernization and expansion plans on hold.Overall, orders for durable goods rose 2.2 per cent after a 1.3 per cent drop in January. The increase was driven mainly by a surge in orders for commercial aircraft, a category that tends to fluctuate sharply from month to month.Joel Naroff, chief economists at Naroff Economic Advisors, said he expects economic growth to slow sharply in the January-March quarter, reflecting the disruptions caused by the harsh weather, before recovering in coming months.“The rebound could be huge once spring actually appears,” Naroff said.Overseas, European Central Bank president Mario Draghi said Tuesday that monetary policy should support the economies of countries that use the euro.“This is a clear sign that the ECB will continue to hold its finger over the rates button,” IG strategist Evan Lucas said in a commentary.“The bank is looking to find a way to chase out funds locked up in wealth products that will then be redirected to areas of the economy that are looking for growth funding.”Meanwhile, investors are anticipating that Chinese leaders will introduce stimulus measures after a preliminary reading of China’s manufacturing, released Monday, showed activity at an eight-month low in March.Last week, the Canadian dollar was under pressure as the U.S. Federal Reserve said it could start raising short-term interest rates as soon as next year. At the same time, Bank of Canada governor Stephen Poloz said interest rate hikes in Canada could be further away than first thought.Commodities were higher as May crude on the New York Mercantile Exchange climbed $1.07 to US$100.26 a barrel.June bullion fell $8 to US$1,303.40 an ounce while May copper dipped four cents to US$2.97 a pound. read more

US consumer prices climbed in May

FILE – In this Wednesday, May 6, 2015, file photo, cars line up as an attendant pumps gas at a station in Portland, Ore. On Thursday, June 16, 2016, the Labor Department reports on U.S. consumer prices for April. (AP Photo/Don Ryan, File) US consumer prices climbed in May by Martin Crutsinger, The Associated Press Posted Jun 16, 2016 6:33 am MDT Last Updated Jun 16, 2016 at 11:00 am MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email WASHINGTON – U.S. consumer prices rose a moderate amount in May, driven up by rising energy costs and the biggest increase in shelter costs in more than nine years.Consumer prices increased 0.2 per cent last month following a 0.4 per cent April increase, the Commerce Department reported Thursday. Energy prices rose for a third straight month, but food costs fell.Core inflation, which excludes volatile food and energy, was also up 0.2 per cent in May.The Federal Reserve indicated Wednesday that it is still concerned about low inflation. The central bank left its key policy rate unchanged in a range of 0.25 per cent to 0.5 per cent. After moving the rate up by a quarter-point in December, the first rate hike in nearly a decade, the central bank has delayed any further increases because of concerns about tepid economic growth and inflation that is stuck at ultra-low levels.Over the past 12 months, overall inflation has risen a modest 1 per cent, reflecting in part the fact that energy prices are down 10.1 per cent over that time period. Core inflation is up 2.2 per cent over the past 12 months.The Fed back in December had indicated it expected to raise rates four times this year. But it lowered that expectation to just two rate hikes in March. And this week, the Fed revealed that the number of Fed officials who believe there will be only one rate hike this year has risen from one to six.Energy prices rose 1.2 per cent in May, with gasoline prices up 2.3 per cent. Even with the increase, gas pump prices are still 16.9 per cent below where they were a year ago.Food prices dropped 0.2 per cent in May are up just 0.7 per cent over the past year.The rise in core inflation in May reflected a 0.4 per cent increase in shelter costs, the biggest one-month gain since February 2007. Rents have been rising in recent months.Hotel and motel costs were up 0.7 per cent. The cost of medical care increased 0.3 per cent in May, while clothing costs were up 0.8 per cent. read more

Ryan GOP will work on repealing replacing health law

Ryan: GOP will work on repealing, replacing health law House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wis., accompanied by House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy of Calif., meets with reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2017, to discuss efforts to replace the Affordable Care Act, following a closed-door meeting with the GOP caucus. (J. Scott Applewhite/Associated Press) by Alan Fram, The Associated Press Posted Jan 9, 2017 8:17 pm MDT Last Updated Jan 10, 2017 at 12:00 pm MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email WASHINGTON – Republicans will work on unraveling and replacing the health care law at the same time, House Speaker Paul Ryan said Tuesday as GOP leaders struggled to align their zeal to rapidly erase one of President Barack Obama’s proudest achievements with Congress’ legislative and political pitfalls.Ryan, R-Wis., spoke to reporters amid growing concern among Republican lawmakers about erasing Obama’s overhaul —which expanded coverage to 20 million people — without having an alternative to show voters. Republicans have been divided for years over how to replace the statute, and the process of crafting replacement legislation they can unify behind is likely to take months or longer.“It is our goal to bring it all together concurrently,” Ryan said.“We will pass as much as we can” initially, Ryan said. He said Republicans would then produce a second bill to “show you the full scope of what a real replacement effort looks like.”President-elect Donald Trump has said he supports erasing Obama’s law and replacing it simultaneously. Congressional leaders had said in recent weeks that they would quickly repeal the statute and with a delayed effective date, and then work on replacing it.According to Rep. Dennis Ross, R-Fla., Ryan told Republicans Tuesday that “he had a conversation yesterday with Donald Trump, and they’re on the same page.”As if on cue, both of Congress’ top Republicans used a similar phrase on Tuesday.“For people across the country, repeal means relief,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said on the Senate floor.And at a closed-door meeting Tuesday, Ryan told House Republicans, “Repeal is relief,” according to Rep. Mark Walker, R-N.C.GOP leaders have made dismantling Obama’s treasured health care overhaul their premier 2017 priority. But at least six GOP senators and some House members have expressed qualms about repeal without having a substitute.The Senate and House are expected to approve a GOP-written budget this week that will serve a crucial procedural purpose — blocking Democrats from using a Senate filibuster to derail a future bill dismantling the health care statute. That’s important because filibusters take 60 votes to halt in a chamber that Republicans control by only a 52-48 margin.Republicans plan to then write legislation erasing much of the health care law and adding some new elements they prefer, perhaps including expanded use of health savings accounts.But Senate rules limit the provisions that can be put into a bill that’s protected against a filibuster. That means Republicans would need a second, subsequent bill to fully rewrite the health care law, and that measure would need at least eight Democratic votes to pass the Senate.Even if Congress passed repeal rapidly, Republicans say they would phase it in, perhaps over two or three years. Republicans don’t want to be vulnerable to Democrats already accusing them of preparing to tear down the statute without knowing how or if they’ll replace it.“Turn back before it’s too late,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said on the Senate floor late Monday as Democrats lambasted Republicans with five-and-a-half hours of speeches. “It will damage your party, and it will hurt millions of Americans, far more importantly.”The Affordable Care Act, signed into law in 2010, has required people to obtain coverage. It also created subsidies to help lower-earning people buy policies and expanded Medicaid, but the overhaul has been troubled by rising costs for many consumers and markets that some insurers abandoned.The burgeoning Republican divisions come as the GOP-led Senate pushed toward a final vote this week on a budget that would prevent Democrats from using a filibuster to block a later repealing Obama’s overhaul.Republicans voicing a desire to work on repeal and replacement together include Sens. Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker of Tennessee, Susan Collins of Maine, Ron Johnson of Wisconsin and Tom Cotton of Arkansas.The budget gives congressional committees until Jan. 27 to produce legislation annulling much of the health care law, although consequences for missing that deadline are minor.Corker, Collins and three other GOP senators introduced a budget amendment delaying that target date until March 3. Corker said that would provide “additional time to get the policy right.”Besides health care, senators are focused this week on confirmation hearings for Trump’s Cabinet picks.In Tuesday’s initial hearings, committees were examining Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., Trump’s selection for attorney general, and retired Marine Gen. John Kelly, his choice for homeland security secretary. Seven others were set for hearings this week.Also Tuesday, a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing explored spy agencies’ conclusion that Russia meddled in the U.S. election by hacking and distributing Democratic party emails to help Trump win the White House.___AP Congressional Correspondent Erica Werner contributed to this report. read more

Ban condemns attack on TurkishSyrian border

According to media reports, a minibus was bombed on Monday in the buffer zone between Turkey’s Cilvegozu border crossing and Syria’s Bab al-Hawa post, killing 14 people and injuring 28 more.“As the bloodshed in Syria continues unabated, the threats to peace and security in the region are increasing,” Mr. Ban’s spokesperson said in a statement issued last night.“The Secretary-General reiterates his deep concern over the spillover of the Syrian crisis into neighbouring countries. He renews his call for all parties to refrain from using violence, exercise restraint and move toward a political solution.”Mr. Ban underscored that using violence against civilians is unacceptable and expressed his condolences to the families of the victims and wished those injured a speedy recovery.“Syria is self-destructing,” Mr. Ban told the Council on Foreign Relations on Monday. “After nearly two years, we no longer count days in hours, but in bodies. Another day, another 100, 200, 300 dead.”Yesterday, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, told the Security Council that the number of civilians killed in Syria since the uprising against President Bashar al-Assad began in early 2011 is likely approaching 70,000 – up almost 10,000 from the start of the year.In addition, more than 4 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance, including 2 million who have fled their homes and are now living without basic services. The international community has committed more than $1.5 billion to help provide humanitarian assistance to those affected by the crisis. Supporting reconstruction of critical infrastructure, such as water pumping stations, and providing essential relief supplies like medicines are among the top four priorities inside the country, along with helping people who have fled their homes and the communities hosting them. The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNCHR) said today it completed its second aid delivery into north-west Syria. Seven trucks carried 1,000 tents and 15,000 blankets to the Bab al-Hawa area near the Turkish-Syrian border. The previous aid convoy to northern Syria occurred at the end of last month and delivered 2,000 tents and 15,000 blankets to the A’zaz district.“These are complex operations and not without risk, but the humanitarian needs of the displaced civilians in these areas require action,” said High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres. “The moral imperative to help is clear.” read more

Dan Alon sobering survivors story at hit in Providenciales

first_imgFacebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Recommended for you Related Items:#AnightwithDanAlon, #DanAloninTCI, #DanAlonOlympicMassacresurvivor, #magneticmedianews #MagneticMediaNews#AnightwithDanAlon#DanAlonOlympicMassacresurvivor#DanAloninTCIcenter_img Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppTurks and Caicos, March 17, 2017 – Providenciales – Dan Alon and his story of the attack on Israeli Olympians at the Games of 1972 in Munich, Germany was a sobering hit for those that turned out last night at the Brayton Hall for the rare and unique encounter.Among those in the audience were the Governor, His Excellency Dr John Freeman and his wife Corina; Premier Sharlene Robinson and her husband, Lorne; Sponsors of the event; special guest, the TCIs First Olympian, Delano Williams and Anglican Priest, Fr. Tellison Glover, who expressed sentiments likely shared by all who attended the event put on by the Provo Jewish Community.“Like everyone else, glued to every word that he said, and I thought it was so powerful, and to listen to someone express the indignity and the horrible events that took place then, and how very tragically, terrorists killed Israelis, something that impacted an entire country.  And to even notice how, from a historical point of view, the time frame in which it had occurred, just after the Holocaust, and the fact that they had to suffer something again just after that, I mean is just a very chilling thing to hear.” TCI exposed to terror attack survivor from 1972 Olympicslast_img read more

Cops arrest 8 Occupy Portland protesters reopen street

first_imgPORTLAND POLICE BUREAU NEWS RELEASEThe Portland Police Bureau arrested 8 individuals on October 13, 2011, in an effort to reopen Main Street in Downtown Portland. The names of those arrested and the charges follow:30-year-old, Brandon T. Lee: Interfering w/Peace Ofc.; Discon II/ Obstruction32-year-old Brad Mathew Whisler:Discon II/ Obstruction; Interfering w/Peace Ofc.32-year-od John Wade Saunder, Discon II/ Obstruction; Interfering w/Peace Ofc.22-year-old Ashley Lynn Jackson: Discon II/ Obstruction; Interfering w/Peace Ofc.34-year-old Keller Dean Henry: Discon II/ Obstruction; Interfering w/Peace Ofc.41-year-old Jacquelyn Beatrice Miller: Discon II/ Obstruction; Interfering w/Peace Ofc.29-year-old Joshua DavidMacnayr: Discon II/ Obstruction; Interfering w/Peace Ofc.; Improper Positioning on Hwy24-year-old Andrew N.Barnick: Discon II/ Obstruction; Interfering w/Peace Ofc.Police arrested eight people before dawn Thursday and reopened a downtown Portland street blocked during the past week by protesters supporting the Occupy Wall Street movement.Officers moved in quickly and traffic was flowing a half-hour later.Many of the protesters had decided the day before to go along with a request by Mayor Sam Adams to give up the street that divides two downtown parks where a settlement of more than 300 tents and tarps sprang up.Camping in city parks is illegal, but Adams said there were no plans to break up Occupy Portland.“We are not moving against the camps,” Adams said Thursday in a story by The Oregonian.He said he and other mayors dealing with such occupations are making “practical day-to-day decisions about keeping the peace, protecting people’s legal rights to freedom of expression and at the same time keeping this city and all cities moving.”Adams crossed a street from City Hall to one of the parks on Wednesday afternoon to tell protesters it was time to reopen the street. The closure has disrupted traffic for thousands of people, including riders along several bus lines that were rerouted.last_img read more

Transportation chief has concern about Seattle tunnel

first_imgSEATTLE — The head of Washington state’s Transportation Department told state lawmakers Wednesday she’s had concerns about a highway tunneling project under downtown Seattle since the digging began last July — and has asked the operators for information, including a plan to regain lost time.In her note to legislators, Lynn Peterson said she has concerns about operations and critical systems with the tunneling machine named Bertha, The Seattle Times reported. The Transportation Department has discussed the concerns frequently with contracting team Seattle Tunnel Partners and this week sent a formal letter, she said.The new Highway 99 tunnel is part of the project to replace the aging Alaskan Way Viaduct on the Seattle waterfront. Drilling has been delayed by extra machine testing last winter in Japan, by a labor dispute in August and, since Dec. 6, by a blockage. The $80 million drill was made by Hitachi.Seattle Tunnel Partners plans to send a crew to the machine’s cutting face to look for obstructions and damage. The work will be done in compressed but breathable air. The machine is stuck 60 feet deep.Four vertical shafts drilled last week failed to show exactly why Bertha stalled. Officials say the machine hit a steel pipe but that’s believed to be only part of the problem.last_img read more

Boil conserve water notice issued for Monroe County

first_imgKEY WEST, FLA. (WSVN) – Officials have asked residents to boil and conserve water in Monroe County.As the county reopens to residents and business owners after Hurricane Irma, officials are asking residents to boil water used for drinking and cooking.Officials are also asking residents to conserve water whenever possible.A dusk-to-dawn curfew also exists for all of the Keys while the area recovers from the storm.For more information on recovery efforts in the Keys, click here.Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.last_img

Checking in with Iditarod mushers Baker and Burmeister

first_imgNoah Burmeister in Galena handling his dogs while children watch. (Photo by Zachariah Hughes/KSKA)Mushers and their teams are making their runs down the Yukon River. KNOM’s Emily Schwing caught up with two mushers who have roots in Western Alaska mushers to find out how their races are going.Download AudioKotzebue musher John Baker pulled a tired team into the Galena checkpoint and declared his eight-hour layover almost immediately.  The former Iditarod champion says it was clear his team needed some down time to recover from a few minor problems.“Like harness rub and little things – just unexpected things that slow them down,” Baker said.He says his team is moving slower than he expected, but he’s not worried, because there are still days of racing ahead. He’s happy to have flat long river miles ahead.“I like the river, it’s so much like home, I enjoy being on the river,” he said.Baker says the most fun he’s had on the trail was during his 24-hour layover in Cripple. Baker joined two Norwegians, at least one fellow past champion, and a handful of other mushers for some down time at the remote checkpoint. “We helped each other with whatever the other was doing, even helped each other feed dogs and whatever,” Baker said. “We just had a wonderful time in Cripple.”Parked right next to Baker’s team for their eight-hour layover was Noah Burmeister team. The young musher says he’s raised a few eyebrows this year.“Nobody knows what to think about me right now,” Burmeister said. “I think everybody is kind of shocked, because I haven’t raced dogs or raced the Iditarod in 10 years and when I did race, I was running puppy teams, so nobody knows what type of dog driver I am. I think everybody’s getting their eyes opened up.” Burmeister says a few minor bumps along the way have him 45 minutes behind his schedule.“I busted the tongue off the trailer and had to stop and fix that and one of the cross braces on the handlebars broke,” he said. “Something’s gonna break out there. It’s juts a matter of figuring out where and when.”Burmeister, like many mushers was using a trailer to ferry dogs up the trail, but he was one of the only mushers to drop it in Galena.“… Just to start moving a little bit easier and less baggage…,” he said.Joking aside, both Burmeister and John Baker are proving themselves formidable among this year’s tough competition.last_img read more

QA Legislative aide lobbied for amendment that could benefit son in sex

first_imgThe main doors of the Alaska Capitol face the Dimond Courthouse. (Photo by Skip Gray, 360 North – Juneau)A legislative aide used his connections to try to affect a state law in a way that could benefit his son, who state prosecutors said sexually abused a 12-year-old girl when he was 18. News reporters Kyle Hopkins and Austin Baird of KTUU reported on the lobbying.Baird spoke with me about what they found. Baird said it took months of interviews to get people to talk about it on the record. This transcript is edited for length and clarity.BAIRD: This is involving a longtime legislative staffer, Tim Grussendorf, who’s worked with the legislature since 1990. Currently he’s an employee of Sen. Lyman Hoffman and the Senate Finance Committee. And exactly what he was working on was an effort to amend sex-crime laws. His son Ty Grussendorf is accused of sexual abuse of a minor and he was working on amendments that could have directly benefited his son’s case.KITCHENMAN: How did lawmakers react to Tim Grussendorf approaching them?BAIRD: There were very mixed reactions. A couple lawmakers who now say they did not get a full scope of the details of this case – some were working with him on a version of an amendment that could have potentially had a very direct impact on that case. And that would be Rep. Cathy Muñoz from Juneau, a Republican, and a Democrat from Sitka, Rep. Jonathan Kreiss-Tomkins. How far along those talks got? No easy way to tell. But there was an amendment to look into this issue further, and that did end up in Senate Bill 91, the sweeping crime-reform bill that we heard a lot about all year long. And all that that does is ask the Alaska Criminal Justice Commission to look more closely at the sentencing standards for sex crimes.KITCHENMAN: How did Ty Grussendorf’s lawyer describe what happened?BAIRD: So, Ty Grussendorf was 18 years old in 2013 when he had a series of sexual encounters with a girl that was 12 years old at the time. Charges were filed in 2015. Ty Grussendorf’s lawyer, Julie Willoughby, in a court filing described the sex encounters as quote “mutually satisfying sexual adventures,” and argued that this girl who was in the sixth grade at the time had solicited Ty’s attention.KITCHENMAN: So what were the grand jury charges?BAIRD: The grand jury charged several counts of sexual abuse of a minor, and those are felonies that carry potentially decades in prison – and do have a hard mandatory minimum sentence attached to them if Ty Grussendorf is convicted. And those grand jury charges actually were tossed out by Judge (Philip) Pallenberg, who’s in Juneau and was considering that case (based on the grand jury hearing inadmissible hearsay evidence). But John Skidmore, the Criminal Division director of the Department of Law, he does say that the department is still actively pursuing this case, and it’s not an incident where it’s perhaps double jeopardy, because it never reached the point of a trial or anything like that. So the Department of Law is able to continue pursuing charges in this case.KITCHENMAN: What do advocates for rape victims say about this?BAIRD: One victim advocate that I would point to — Sen. Anna MacKinnon – is an Eagle River Republican and a former director of the nonprofit Standing Together Against Rape. She says she was aware of Grussendorf’s campaign to change the law. And her quote on this was: “I don’t want to disparage somebody trying to advocate for their son, which is fine, but it has to be in the seat.” She’s referring there to the place where people testify before legislative committees, on public record. She says: “Step up, do it in the hot seat, not behind closed doors.”KITCHENMAN: Did you look at whether Tim Grussendorf crossed ethical lines, and if so, what did you find?BAIRD: Certainly Tim Grussendorf says that he did not cross any ethical lines. And as far as whether or not he did – I’m not an attorney and it’s very tough to say. The organization that would look into that is the Alaska Select Committee on Legislative Ethics, and the problem with us trying to figure out if a complaint has been filed or anything like that – those are all kept private, so we really can’t say. And they couldn’t tell us if there has been a complaint all the way up until they find wrongdoing. So, there’s probably still a while before we would know even if there was a complaint filed, and this was an ethical violation under legislative rules and also Alaska statutes. So we don’t know yet for sure. And, really, we won’t know unless there does end up being a formal ruling from the ethics committee.last_img read more

CEIG inspects solar installation at HMR depot

first_imgUppal: The Chief Electrical Inspector to Government of India (CEIG) for Hyderabad Metro Rail Project, DVS Raju inspected the 1MWp Solar Installation at HMR – Uppal Depot and related 0.54/33 KV power evacuation substation.Hyderabad Metro Rail Project has planned approximately 8MWp captive solar plants in Metro depots and on station rooftops to meet 15% of the total electrical consumption. As on date, 3MWp has been commissioned and another 1MWp is ready for commissioning. Also Read – Warrant issued against Renuka Chowdhury in cheating case Advertise With Us This plant has been developed on RESCO model by M/s. Ampsolar Generation Private Limited, through a power purchase agreement with L&TMRHL. Upon successful inspection and grant of sanction from the CEIG, the operational solar plant capacity in Hyderabad Metro Rail premises at Uppal Depot shall be 4MWp which shall generate approximately 18000 units energy per day and shall form 8% of the total energy demand. DVS. Raju, CEIG, stated, “It is a great initiative to tap renewable potential to reduce carbon footprint.” Also Read – Parts of Hyderabad witness heavy rainfall Advertise With Us Mr. KVB. Reddy, MD & CEO, L&TMRHL said, “This shall be a milestone in achieving sustainability objectives of the project; and installation activities on other sites are in full swing and it is expected to achieve 8 MWp capacity of solar installation by the end of the year.With this solar plant commissioning, both Uppal & Miyapur depots shall become power surplus.”last_img read more

Opposition disputes Turkey vote as EU urges probe

first_imgCap: Supporters of the `No` march to submit their petition to call for the annulment of a referendum that approved sweeping constitutional changes boosting President Recep Tayyip Erdogan`s powers, claiming blatant vote-rigging had swung the result, on April 18, 2017 in Istanbul. Photo: AFPTurkey’s opposition on Tuesday demanded the annulment of a contentious referendum that approved sweeping constitutional changes boosting President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s powers, claiming blatant vote-rigging had swung the result.The European Union also urged a probe into the poll fraud claims after international observers voiced concerns, but both US President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin called Erdogan to offer congratulations.Critics fear the changes will lead to autocratic one-man rule, but supporters say they simply put Turkey in line with France and the United States and are needed for efficient government.The ‘Yes’ camp won Sunday’s poll with just 51.41 percent of the vote but the result has been challenged, with angry protests staged in parts of Istanbul and other cities.The changes, most of which are due to come into force after November 2019, are some of the most far-reaching in Turkey since Mustafa Kemal Ataturk established the modern state in 1923 on the ashes of the Ottoman Empire.Bulent Tezcan, deputy leader of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), formally requested that the Supreme Election Board (YSK) cancel the result.The opposition is particularly incensed by a last-minute move by the YSK to accept ballot documents in envelopes without an official stamp.“This is was a vote without legitimacy,” Tezcan said.Hundreds of people, some brandishing flares, marched through the anti-Erdogan Istanbul district of Besiktas in a new protest against the result, an AFP photographer said.Meanwhile, in Kadikoy on the Asian side of the city, women banged drums and pans in a similar protest, with slogans like “We will not be scared, we will not be silent”.‘Transparent investigations’ -CHP chief Kemal Kilicdaroglu said the government and the YSK had “staged a coup against the national will”.The joint mission of the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) and the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) said the YSK move on the stamps “removed an important safeguard”.They also said the campaign-which saw the ‘Yes’ camp dominate the airwaves-was conducted on an “unlevel playing field”.EU Commission spokesman Margaritis Schinas called on Turkish authorities “to launch transparent investigations into these alleged irregularities found by the observers”.In an interview with CNN, Erdogan denied claims Turkey was headed to dictatorship and that the new system was tailor-made for him.“This is not a system belonging to Tayyip Erdogan. I am a mortal being, I can die any time,” he told the channel.The final results are due to be published in around 10 days and it is in this period that the YSK will consider the objections. Then the opposition can appeal to the constitutional court.Keen to meet Trump -The new system will dispense with the prime minister’s post and centralise the entire executive bureaucracy under the president, giving Erdogan the direct power to appoint ministers.But the ‘Yes’ vote has even wider implications for Turkey, which joined NATO in 1952 and in the last half-century has been engaged in a stalled bid to join the European Union.Erdogan reaffirmed he would now hold talks on reinstating capital punishment-a move that would automatically end Turkey’s EU bid-and would call another referendum if the bill did not get enough votes in parliament to become law.German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel said that if Ankara were to bring back the death penalty, the move would be “synonymous with the end of (its) European dream”.In contrast with the EU’s muted reaction, both Putin and Trump called Erdogan to congratulate him on his victory.Erdogan told CNN he would be happy to have a face-to-face meeting with the new American leader “and take our relationship forward”.‘Goal is to win’ -In a blow to the president’s prestige, the ‘No’ campaign notched up the most votes in Turkey’s three biggest cities: Istanbul, Ankara, and Izmir.Analysts have said the ‘No’ camp’s performance was impressive especially given that the election was held under a state of emergency first imposed after July’s failed coup.But Erdogan, a one time semi-professional footballer, told CNN: “It does not matter if you win 1-0 or 5-0. The ultimate goal is to win the game.”Meanwhile, parliament agreed to extend the state of emergency-already in place for nine months-for another three months to July 19.last_img

Hungarys Orban says barrier on border with Serbia possible

first_imgBUDAPEST, Hungary (AP) — The Hungarian government will consider “all options,” including a physical barrier on the southern border with Serbia, to stem the increased flow of migrants, the prime minister said Friday.Prime Minister Viktor Orban said that “migration is dangerous” and that the government will hear the interior minister’s recommendations on the issue next week.Hungary has received more than 50,000 asylum requests so far this year, compared to 43,000 in 2014 and 2,157 in 2012. About 70 percent of the refuges now are from Afghanistan, Syria or Iraq. New Year’s resolution: don’t spend another year in a kitchen you don’t like New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Top Stories Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall Four benefits of having a wireless security system Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Clean energy: Why it matters for Arizona Sponsored Stories Orban said the governments of Hungary and Serbia would hold a joint session in early July, including discussions on migration.“I don’t consider it right that they send the refugees to us,” Orban said on state radio. “We think they should be stopped within Serbia.”Orban said the European Union should fund facilities outside its borders where migrants wishing to come to Europe can stay until their cases are evaluated.“The problem needs to be handled outside” the EU, Orban said.Human rights groups have been critical of the government for its anti-immigration billboard campaign, as well as a provocative questionnaire on the issue sent out to voters. It links migration and terrorism and asks whether they agree with the government on supporting Hungarian families instead migrants.“The billboards are part of a hate campaign trying to turn the popular mood against migrants and intimidate the tens of thousands of foreigners living in Hungary,” said Gabor Gyulai, refugee program coordinator of the Hungarian Helsinki Committee.Orban said Friday that the billboards with messages like — “If you come to Hungary, you cannot take away Hungarians’ jobs” — were meant to deter human traffickers and economic migrants. Comments   Share   last_img read more

Brisbanes Emporium Hotel wins Best Luxury Accommodation in Queensland

first_imgSource = Kath Rose & Associates 2012 Queensland Tourism Awards shine light on best of the bestWhen luxury service, facilities, design and approach are called for, Brisbane’s Emporium Hotel is never found wanting. Last night at the 2012 Queensland Tourism Awards this independently owned and operated shining star was awarded best of the best – taking the title of Best Luxury Accommodation in Queensland. It is the third time the hotel has won the title, winning in 2008 and 2009, and according to owners and the couple behind the design and concept of the property, Anthony & Francine John, this year’s win is the most exciting. “Delivering consistent world class luxury accommodation and service takes incredible commitment and training and we are so very proud of the team” said Tony John. “Led by General Manager Peter Savoff, they take the concept of ‘hospitality’ always to a new level. It is a highly competitive time in the tourism industry; no more than in the top end of the accommodation sector and we must also thank our guests and supporters who fill our hotel,” said Tony John.“As Brisbane continues to position itself as Australia’s leading world city, such as being the “opening night city of choice’ for some of the world’s leading productions and entertainers, it is important a luxury hotel in Brisbane can exceed international guest expectations. This we do, and will continue to do as a shining light for Queensland,” he said. The stunning win comes on the back of a highly successful year for the hotel. “Just this week we celebrated officially achieving Silver Certification with EarthCheck, a badge that took more than three years to earn and positions the hotel as a leader in the unique worldwide group of sustainable tourism operators who bear the internationally recognised EarthCheck Certification Standard,” he said. This year Emporium Hotel also won – for the fourth time – Best Boutique Hotel in Australia, at the prestigious Hospitality Management (HM) Awards for Excellence and Best Deluxe Hotel, 5 Star+ 2012 Queensland Hotels Association Awards for Excellence. The hotel is ready for Summer 2012/13 with the recently announced Summer Daze at Emporium Hotel – featuring luxury overnight accommodation in a King Suite including a choice of either a bottle of French Sparkling, or two of the famous Emporium Hotel Summer Cocktails, or complimentary Valet Parking. From only $229 per room per night, the package is valid from 15 December 2012 through to 31 January 2013 and is the ultimate way to unwind, relax and enjoy Queensland’s gorgeous summer days.last_img read more

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