TORONTO – Toronto can no longer accommodate new waves of refugees and asylum seekers in its shelter system and needs federal and provincial help dealing with the situation, the city’s mayor said Tuesday as he called for immediate support.John Tory asked for financial and housing assistance, saying he detailed his requests in an “urgent” letter sent to Ottawa this week.“We’ve been seeing an increasing number of refugees and asylum seekers looking for somewhere to live temporarily within our shelter system while they get settled,” he said. “And the city has gone to what I would very genuinely describe as heroic efforts to help.”But Toronto has reached its limits, Tory said.“We need help,” he said. “We just don’t have the resources to do it alone.”According to a report from the city manager, the number of refugees and asylum claimants using the shelter system went from 459 in 2016 — accounting for 11.2 per cent of the total system — to 3,209 as of June 20, 2018 — 45.8 per cent of the system.Some of those people are being housed in hotels, but that program intended to expand the shelter system is now also at capacity.Some 600 people are also currently being housed in college dormitories as an expansion of the system — with another 200 expected to join them — but they will be forced out on Aug. 8 as schools prepare for students to return.Without increased support, Tory said, there will be nowhere for those refugees and asylum seekers to go.He said he hoped his federal and provincial counterparts will help find other places refugees and claimants can temporarily stay while looking for a more permanent home. He noted that the southwestern Ontario town of Leamington, for instance, had said it was open to welcoming newcomers.Tory added that neither provincial nor federal governments have provided the city with direct funding to assist with the cost of housing asylum seekers and refugees, though Toronto is expected to receive recently announced federal funding for the matter.“Whatever timetable they’re on now, we need the governments to speed up notifying us of tangible, actual steps they’re going to take to be in partnership to look after these people,” the mayor said.In a written response to Tory’s letter, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Ahmed Hussen reiterated the federal commitment to providing $50 million across Canada towards temporary housing for asylum seekers — $11 million of which is earmarked for Ontario.“This funding represents an initial response to the financial pressures outlined, and further funding towards Toronto’s request will be discussed as part of ongoing discussions,” he wrote in the letter obtained by The Canadian Press.Hussen added that federal officials had been in communication with provincial counterparts to prepare to establish a “triage centre to manage flow” of irregular migrants and alleviate housing pressures in major cities, particularly Toronto.The federal minister did not provide a specific timeline for that system, but said that if it comes into place it should also help with the existing strain on the shelter system.“With a triage system in place, a joint approach to address the pending loss of college residence spaces could be established well in advance of the early August deadline,” he wrote. “I will ask my officials to reach out to yours and their counterparts in Ontario on a trilateral basis in order to have a better sense of Toronto’s needs and pressures.”Hussen also invited Tory to join meetings of an intergovernmental task force on irregular migration.A spokesman for premier-designate Doug Ford said the matter was a “pressing issue” for Toronto and Ontario.One observer said temporary shelter for refugees and asylum seekers is only part of a long-term solution.“It’s a stopgap,” said Penny Gurstein, the director of the University of British Columbia’s School of Community and Regional Planning and Centre for Human Settlements.The root of the issue, she suggested, is a lack of affordable housing in areas that also offer employment and language services for new immigrants. There should be a continuum of supports that include — but are not primarily composed of — temporary shelter, she said.“You need housing to move forward in your life. You need stable, secure, affordable housing,” Gurstein said. “If we can’t provide it in these cities, that’s a big issue.”
(Vancouver lawyer Stephen Bronstein seen entering court. APTN photo) By Paul Barnsley and Kathleen MartensAPTN InvestigatesVANCOUVER – Vancouver lawyer Stephen Bronstein’s representation of survivors of sexual and/or physical abuse at Indian Residential Schools will be reviewed by investigators.The order came down on Feb. 22 from B.C. Supreme Court Justice Brenda Brown. Included in the order was a clause that ended the publication ban against naming Bronstein that Brown put in place on Jan. 18. A ban still exists on reporting specific details before the court of complaints made by clients or on the identity of the clients who made the complaints.APTN does not know what is before the courts. All of the information it has turned up was obtained through independent sources not involved in the court process.The lawyer and his law firm – Bronstein & Company – will be required to provide information to investigators employed by Crawford Class Actions Services, the company retained by Justice Warren Winkler, the Ontario judge charged with monitoring the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement (IRSSA). Justice Brown is one of eight judges across the country that represent Justice Winkler on regional matters.Bronstein has now been named as the lawyer who allegedly worked with Ivon Johnny, a convicted murderer who, it’s alleged, extorted money from survivors he signed up for the Independent Assessment Process (IAP) of the IRSSA.After two-and-a-half days of negotiations, last Friday Bronstein’s lawyer Mark Andrews signed an agreement that his client will abide by the conditions of the court order.The order made nine demands of Bronstein which must be met by March 15:– The lawyer must provide “any record of communication” between Bronstein and Johnny to the court monitor investigators.– The lawyer must provide “any agreements made between Mr. Johnny and Bronstein & Company with respect to services to be provided, and remuneration, expenses or other monies to be paid to Mr. Johnny.”– He must provide a description of all services provided to Bronstein & Company by Johnny.– He must disclose all “remuneration and other monies paid” to Johnny.– He must disclose “any such agreements with other persons” who have worked as form fillers for the firm.– Bronstein must disclose all services provided by those “other persons” and how much they were paid.– Bronstein must turn over all information related to “loans made by Bronstein & Company to IAP claimants secured by repayment from settlement funds” if any exist.– He must provide any information that might show “whether the advance of loans was ever used by Bronstein & Company for recruitment of clients.”– He must turn over any information in his possession – if any exists – related to “any arrangements consensual or otherwise made between Mr. Johnny and any Bronstein claimant with respect to Mr. Johnny receiving any form of benefit, remuneration or share of a claimant’s award or settlement.”Court monitor investigators have been given clearance to interview Bronstein and Johnny.An independent lawyer or “practice advisor” must be hired – and paid – by Bronstein to develop a plan to complete existing IAP cases and to “re-certify” any claims in which Johnny participated. That plan must be in place by April 11, the judge ordered.Three parties signed the order: Andrews for Bronstein & Company, and lawyers for Canada and Crawford. Dan Ish, the chief adjudicator of the IAP Secretariat, did not sign it. He wanted the judge to order a full-scale investigation.“I don’t think it goes far enough,” he said of the negotiated agreement.Other parties, including the Assembly of First Nations, have not yet stated their positions. The AFN did not have a lawyer present for the negotiations.The hearing that began Feb. 20 in Vancouver was marked by an unusually high level of secrecy. Allegations against the lawyer were to be presented to the judge who would then provide direction on how to proceed. Parties were expecting the judge to order a full-scale investigation like she did before in the case of Calgary law firm Blott & Company, and its affiliated form-filling company Honour Walk, who were eventually banned from the IAP.But not this time. Brown urged everyone to try and resolve the issue or at least narrow the scope of the probe. The judge did not explain her reasons but cited the “extensive” and expensive nature of ordering a full investigation.The review was sparked by complaints that residential school survivors in several B.C. communities near Williams Lake were being intimidated and threatened to hand over some of their compensation money to the convicted killer. APTN has learned it’s alleged Johnny dealt with at least 284 people.“Mr. Johnny scared a lot of people,” Ish said.Parole Board documents show that Johnny, 62, was on parole at the time. He told the board he worked for a lawyer distributing and collecting compensation application forms using a truck the lawyer bought him.He denies allegations he extorted funds from residential school survivors, forced them to drop their lawyers to sign on with his, or exaggerated their claims of abuse to receive more compensation.The compensation is paid by Canada for serious physical and sexual abuse suffered by children who were forced to attend residential schools.Johnny’s full parole was revoked by a parole board last month after the extortion allegations became public. Justice Brown also suspended him from participating any further in the IAP.
CALGARY – The Alberta Energy Regulator says there were hundreds of pipeline safety incidents in the province last year but the rate has improved significantly in the past decade.In its annual report on pipeline performance, it says incidents fell by nearly half, from 800 in 2008 to 417 in 2017, despite the total length of provincially regulated pipelines growing by 11 per cent to 426,000 kilometres.Twenty-six of the incidents in 2017 resulted in high consequences — which could include more than 200,000 litres of liquids released, the release of poisonous hydrogen sulphide gas, impacts on flowing water or injuries to wildlife.That’s down from 29 in 2016, as the total number of incidents dropped by six per cent in 2017 from the previous year.About 80 per cent of incidents had low consequences, which means less than 20,000 litres of liquid spilled and it affected less than 100 square metres of land and no water bodies.Incidents are defined by the AER as leaks from faulty fittings or installation, releases from auxiliary equipment, damage from something hitting the pipeline even if no leak results, minor leaks and ruptures.The AER says nearly two-thirds of pipeline incidents resulted in less than 1,000 litres being released.It says internal corrosion remains the leading cause of pipeline failure.
WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump is calling on the Federal Reserve to begin cutting interest rates, saying the economy will take off like a “rocketship” if the Fed begins loosening policy.Trump, speaking with reporters on the South Lawn of the White House, says that he believes the central bank “really slowed us down” with the four rate hikes it imposed last year. Trump says those were unnecessary because there is “very little, if any inflation.”“I think they should drop rates and I think they should get rid of quantitative tightening. You would see a rocket ship,” Trump said.Trump has announced he intends to nominate to conservative political allies — Stephen Moore and former 2012 GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain — for two current vacancies on the seven-member Fed board.Martin Crutsinger, The Associated Press
OTTAWA — The federal government has confirmed that it intends to sign the controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal at a meeting next week in New Zealand.But when it comes to ratification of the 12-country treaty, the Liberals are still perched squarely atop the fence.“Just as it is too soon to endorse the TPP, it is also too soon to close the door,” International Trade Minister Chrystia Freeland wrote Monday in an open letter posted on her department’s website.“Signing does not equal ratifying…. Signing is simply a technical step in the process, allowing the TPP text to be tabled in Parliament for consideration and debate before any final decision is made.”Only a majority vote in the House of Commons would ensure that Canada seals the deal, she added. She has also requested a thorough, transparent study of the agreement by parliamentary committee.In recent weeks, Freeland has conducted public consultations on the wide-ranging accord, which — if ratified — would also set new international rules for sectors beyond trade. Those other areas include intellectual property, which worries some experts.“It is clear that many feel the TPP presents significant opportunities, while others have concerns,” Freeland wrote.“Many Canadians still have not made up their minds and many more still have questions.”‘Real coup’ for Canadian wineries buried in TPP deal will combat ice wine counterfeits overseas$4.3 billion TPP compensation for Canada’s dairy industry is not a done deal: Trade Minister Chrystia FreelandThe minister has already indicated the massive accord, which includes major economies such as the United States and Japan, cannot be renegotiated.Freeland said each country has up to two years to consider ratification before making a final decision. She pointed out that by signing the deal Canada will keep its status as a potential full partner in the agreement.Trade ministers from the TPP’s partner countries have been invited to sign the deal on Feb. 4 in Auckland.The former Conservative government announced an agreement-in-principle on the pact in October during the federal election campaign.At the time, then-prime minister Stephen Harper hailed the TPP as a deal that would give Canada access to a massive market of nearly 800 million people.Harper warned Canada couldn’t afford to pass up on the agreement, a deal that came under heavy criticism in part because the talks took place in secrecy.The treaty can take effect if it’s ratified by half the participating countries representing 85 per cent of the proposed trade zone’s economy.It remains unclear, however, whether U.S. lawmakers will ratify the accord.On Monday, Conservative Leader Rona Ambrose urged the government to support the TPP to help Canada’s limping economy.“Right now when Western Canada is hurting… the Trans-Pacific Partnership offers huge opportunities, particularly in the business services sector and the agricultural sector,” Ambrose said in Ottawa.In a recent interview with The Canadian Press, Freeland recalled hearing people on both sides of the TPP debate express their views during her cross-Canada consultations.For example, she said she heard from groups representing farmers in Alberta and the Port of Vancouver that were very strongly in favour of TPP, a deal that would open up new foreign markets for many Canadian firms.On the other hand, Freeland also heard concerns from Canadian and U.S. academics at a recent event at the University of Toronto. Several trade experts who addressed the conference criticized the TPP’s provisions on intellectual property and warned they would be harmful for Canada.Freeland has said Canada must remain deeply connected to the global economy, particularly since the country boasts just the 11th-biggest economy in the world.“We are strongly in favour of free trade,” she said in the interview. “Having said that, we’re not the government that negotiated the TPP.”
Highfive_SP.jpg The integration provides new features in both the Highfive and Slack app, allowing them both to work better with each other. Regardless of which side you’re on when initiating a meeting, users can simply click the phone icon within the Slack app to create, invite, and launch a Highfive meeting. This doesn’t just save effort of alt tabbing to Slack and pasting a link, it’s a more natural and intuitive way to invite your Slack team to your video meeting. The result is that it becomes a lot easier and more natural to make the jump from chat to video when it’s appropriate. While video meetings in the workplace are still a relatively new thing for many workers, we do seem to have settled on a most commonly accepted way to initiate a video call. We tend to use our team chat applications. It’s less obtrusive than a phone call, and more likely to get a quick response than an e-mail. 3 Problems Still Facing Voice Services Alexey Aylarov September 04, 2019 Interconnectivity, teleconference audio quality, and robocalling issues are still impacting voice services. Video Communication Must Improve, Even as It Hits Its Stride Michael Helmbrecht September 12, 2019 Video conferencing at work has boomed. Now we need to fully deliver on its promise. See All in Video Collaboration & A/V » Tags:News & ViewsVCaaSHighfiveintegrationvideo conferencingVideo Collaboration & A/VSponsored PostTeam Collaboration Tools & Workspaces Articles You Might Like Log in or register to post comments Getting on video quickly to resolve those quick ad-hoc issues that can block a project can make the difference that gets your project completed on time. If your team is ready for the productivity power of video, be sure to make it easy for them to use their team chat to get there. Learn more about Highfive! You need a quick, face-to-face chat with a remote team member. What’s is the best way to make this happen? Do you just press a “start call” button and pop up on their screen? Do you send an email first? A phone call? A text? What is the social etiquette for handling this in today’s digital world? How do we “knock on the door” politely before walking into someone’s virtual meeting room? Meetings Made Easy: One Video Platform or More Beth Schultz September 09, 2019 Standardizing on a single platform or enabling platform-agnostic collaboration are two ways to go about reducing friction in the meeting room. What’s Up in AV? 4 Trends to Watch Jimmy Vaughan August 02, 2019 A look at some of the problem-solving solutions I saw at the recent InfoComm 2019 event. Don’t Get Ripped Off with Video Conferencing Pricing Chris Heinemann July 30, 2019 Financially, the cost of video conferencing isn’t just high, it’s unpredictable. It’s time for a different approach. Team chat applications have become the home base for today’s working teams. The incredible rise of services like Slack are testament to the power of team chat, which is revolutionizing the way we communicate, and is an essential component of a modern project management workflow. It doesn’t, however, replace video. Face-to-face meetings, either in-person or via video, are better for difficult conversations and complex topics. When you need a face-to-face meeting with a remote team member, text chat just doesn’t cut it. Highfive recognizes today’s new team dynamic, where team chat is the hub of project communications. While it’s already simple enough to cut and paste a Highfive meeting link into any team chat, this integration provides an even simpler and more intuitive workflow. With this in mind, Highfive seamlessly integrates with Slack, a leader and pioneer in the enterprise team chat space.
“Painfully and belatedly, the international community is trying to do more to prevent and punish genocide and crimes against humanity,” Mr. Annan says in a prepared message, released today, to Sunday’s International Conference of Survivors of Holocaust and Genocide. He notes that tribunals are hard at work convicting at least some war criminals, while the Statute of the International Criminal Court is gaining more ratifications. “At last, the world is seeking an end to the culture of impunity,” he says.In the past decade, in Rwanda and the Balkans, “we have witnessed mass killings, ethnic cleansing, the systematic use of rape as a weapon of warfare, and other atrocities visited upon men, women and children solely because of the ethnic, religious or national group to which they belonged,” the Secretary-General recalls. Rwanda, he notes, “has much to show the world about confronting the challenge of recovery.” The country is working hard to tackle the legacy of the past, “demonstrating that it is possible to reach beyond tragedy and rekindle hope.”Mr. Annan also points out that genocide shaped the UN’s founding. “The men and women who drafted the Charter did so as the world was learning the full horror of the Holocaust perpetrated against Jews and others by the Nazi regime, giving added urgency to the task of building an institution intended not only to preserve world peace, but above all to protect human dignity.” Noting that Conference participants would aim to transform trauma into action to prevent a recurrence of war crimes, he pledges that the UN “will continue to be your close partner in this vital effort.”
At the same time the UN World Food Programme (WFP) said that for three months it had been unable to deliver food to hundreds of thousands of people within Darfur because of insecurity. The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) voiced deep concern over heavy fighting on Saturday between the Sudanese Army and rebels within a few kilometres of the Ouré Cassoni refugee camp on the Chadian side of the border.“Although no one in or around the camp was harmed refugees and humanitarian workers were certainly alarmed by the gunfire and bombardment just across the border,” UNHCR spokesperson Jennifer Pagonis told a news briefing in Geneva.“With the deterioration of the security situation, it is now urgent that the relocation take place and we are preparing plans accordingly. We will have to put in place some emergency measures, such as moving refugees to existing camps or to temporary transit sites until a proper site is actually developed. This could take several months.” She said Chadian authorities had granted the agency permission to survey open land near the town of Biltine. “Meanwhile, UNHCR and its partners continue their normal activities in the camps with some limitations, including the necessity of travelling to the camps under armed escort,” she added. The warning was just the latest by UNHCR over the deteriorating situation threatening some 213,000 Sudanese in Chad who have fled three years of fierce fighting between the Government, allied militia and rebels. At least 200,000 people are estimated to have been killed in the conflict and a further 2 million displaced within Darfur. Just last week, the agency warned that its operations in Chad were threatened by armed groups which continue to target humanitarian workers in Chad and steal their vehicles.Today Ms. Pagonis said that while most of the 12 UNHCR-run camps in eastern Chad are at least 50 kilometres from the border, Ouré Cassoni is only 5 kilometres and Am Nabak, 18 kilometres from the frontiers. The camps respectively host 26,300 and 16,500 people. WFP spokesperson Christiane Berthiaume told the Geneva briefing that in September the agency was unable to distribute food aid to 224,000 persons; in July it could not deliver to 470,000 people and in August to 358,000. WFP is hoping for a good harvest, but the same insecurity which prevented distribution of food has also stopped farmers from being able to work in their fields and gather the harvest, she said. The agency’s target is to distribute food aid to 3 million people in Darfur every month. The Sudan operation is now its largest because it covers 6 million people throughout Africa’s largest country.
“We are more than ready to kick-start all the emergency works,” said Jose Assalino, Director of the International Labour Organization (ILO) office in Kathmandu.“We will build on existing progress. We have been working [in the country]. Employment and social protection is part of the priority number one of the [ILO] country-program signed with Nepal in 2013,” he added. Mr. Assalino said that the agency has been working on national employment policy and social security law in Nepal prior to the earthquake and has stayed active during the early recovery period. The country’s ILO office will stay committed to responding to whatever work lies ahead. Currently, the ILO has programmes in partnership with the Government and the World Bank in 33 districts of Nepal. These districts include all those that were most affected by the earthquake.“The ILO is working to give jobs to the people, in all those districts, to work on a permanent basis,” Mr. Assalino said in his message. “This gives us a very good platform to build the concrete actions that you want to do now to respond to the situation.” The work is more than “just short-term cash for work,” he said. The ILO’s efforts are also focused on the long-term, which means that successes will last based on a comprehensive maintenance program and better training. This will require the deep involvement of the Government at the national level and local level. He also emphasized the importance of ensuring sustainability and strong basis to upgrade activities.There are currently 69 ILO engineers in the field in 33 districts. There are also 3,200 workers in the fields, working with this 33 district administrations with staff.“We need those local administrations so it’s not something isolated in the field, an agency deploying a couple of staff to do some work in the field, we are fully integrated in the government system and this puts us in a position that I can tell you nobody else has in Nepal in this moment,” he said. On 25 April, a 7.8 magnitude earthquake shook Nepal, killing thousands while limiting access to food and leaving some 3.5 million in need of food assistance. An estimated 8 million people across the country’s Western and Central Regions are affected by the disaster, including its largest cities, Kathmandu and Pokhara.
Skype has been in the news a lot recently, mainly due to rumors of it being acquired a few months before a planned IPO. We thought Facebook and Google may pounce on the company for as much as $4 billion, but then Microsoft turned up, put $8.5 billion on the table, and walked away with their very expensive prize.Now Microsoft own the most popular VoIP service out there, and surely plans to make it an integral part of their operations and products going forward. At the same time, one researcher has decided he wants to make Skype open source by reverse engineering the protocol the service uses.In fact, he claims to have already achieved that reverse engineering feat on a new skype-open-source blog. The source code has been posted for versions 1.x/3.x/4.x of Skype as well as details of the rc4 layer arithmetic encoding the service uses.While his intention may be to recreate Skype as an open source platform, it is doubtful he will get very far without facing an army of Microsoft lawyers. Skype is not an open platform, and Microsoft will want to keep it that way. Posting reverse engineered code online is not going to go down well in Redmond and this is surely a blog that will disappear shortly.In terms of this code working as an open source client for Skype, the chances are very slim it will function correctly, if at all. These are old versions of Skype, and all Microsoft need to do is detect and stop them connecting to the service. Even if this was the latest version, Skype could apply an update that deems it unusuable until further work is done to figure out what was changed in the official version.At best, the code available for download will give an insight into how Skype is put together for any interested parties. Unfortnately, that may form a few security risks for Skype if holes are found that can be exploited.The remaining question to ask is what’s the point of doing this reverse engineering? Skype is a free-to-use service for the most part. You do pay for non Skype-to-Skype calls, and have to use the official software, but is that really enough to make users desire an alternative?Update: Skype has now been in touch and issued the following response:This unauthorized use of our application for malicious activities like spamming/phishing infringes on Skype’s intellectual property. We are taking all necessary steps to prevent/defeat nefarious attempts to subvert Skype’s experience. Skype takes its users’ safety and security seriously and we work tirelessly to ensure each individual has the best possible experience.Read more at skype-open-source
Sida : la greffe de cellules-souches apporte un nouvel espoirPour la première fois au monde un homme aurait guéri du Sida et cela trois ans après avoir bénéficié d’une greffe de cellules-souches, expliquent plusieurs scientifiques allemands. Voila une nouvelle qui devrait apporter un immense espoir aux malades du Sida : plusieurs chercheurs allemands ont annoncé qu’un malade américain touché par le Sida aurait guéri de la maladie et cela quelques années après avoir bénéficié d’un traitement par greffe de cellules-souches. Les résultats de cette recherche ont été publiés cette semaine de la revue Blood. Pour autant, les chercheurs expliquent que si ce bon résultat ouvre la porte à de nouvelles perspectives de traitement, ils ne peuvent pour autant pas être généralisés à l’ensemble des malades. L’homme qui a été déclaré comme guéri était porteur du virus du Sida depuis 10 ans et avait déclaré en 2007 une leucémie. Traité par greffe de cellules-souches à partir d’un donneur “aux caractéristiques génétiques rares”, l’homme est aujourd’hui guéri de son cancer, mais également du Sida.Pour autant, les spécialistes du Sida sont dubitatifs, expliquant que si ce traitement a fonctionné sur ce patient particulier, il n’empêche que 30% des bénéficiaires d’une greffe de moelle épinière n’y survivent pas, un chiffre trop élevé pour prendre le risque. Ainsi, la directrice du programme d’essais cliniques VIH dans le Rhode Island explique à l’AFP : “Il faut beaucoup plus de recherches pour essayer de reproduire ce résultat sans mettre des vies en danger. Les anti-rétro viraux sont efficaces pour contrôler le virus, il ne serait pas déontologique de soumettre des malades à un traitement aussi extrême”. Ce nouveau traitement serait donc trop risqué pour pouvoir être réitéré, mais montre bien qu’un traitement contre le Sida est possible.Le 16 décembre 2010 à 11:21 • Emmanuel Perrin
Saturday was like a typical day in June in terms of weather with morning clouds and afternoon clearing. Today through Tuesday, however, will feel more like a day in July. Yep, winter weather lingering all spring, then a quick flash of spring and now off to summer. Crazy weather.As usual, and as predicted here, the Hazel Dell Parade of Bands had perfect weather for the event. Cloudy skies and cool temperatures for the marching folks with a dash of bright sunshine to help keep spirits up with the sounds of the marching bands. What a day here in Clark County.It appears to be dry all week with maybe some cloudiness at times and cooler later on in the coming days. Of course, the upcoming weekend is Memorial Day, and sometimes the weather reverts backward toward winter with chilly rains. Hopefully it show restraint and offers a fair holiday. Stay tuned for exact details in Tuesday’s column.I opened with a comparison of a typical June day with morning clouds and afternoon sunshine. That is usually the norm for us. In fact, by percentages, June averages more cloudy days than May. Of course, this year all bets are off due to the craziness of it all.As the temperatures rise into the 80s today with clear skies, take a good look at the local mountains. They are as white as they ever are for the latter half of May. Mount Hood will be an outstanding pictorial backdrop for the Rose Festival in Portland. Patrick Timm is a local weather specialist. His column appears Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays. Reach him at http://patricktimm.com.
Lighthouse Pointe at Grand Lucayan on Grand Bahama Island Reopens Recommended for you Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Independence Festival coming to Taino Beach Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppBahamas, September 12, 2017 – Grand Bahama – The process for the restoration of utilities, as well as certain infrastructure in Grand Bahama has begun.With the remnants of Hurricane Irma quickly pulling away, Grand Bahamians, like many Bahamians who were adversely affected by the major devastating storm, have begun to put together the pieces, and bring normalcy to their lives.In a two-hour press conference at the Emergency Operation Centre, led by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, K. Peter Turnquest and by Minister of State for Grand Bahama, Senator Kwasi Thompson, officials and representatives from all of the relevant agencies revealed their respective plans for the restoration of Grand Bahama.Because Grand Bahama did not suffer the full impact of Hurricane Irma on Sunday, September 10, 2017, it was revealed by all who addressed Monday’s press conference that restoration will not be as difficult and prolonged as it was following hurricane Matthew last year October.“God is good, and we could all agree that Grand Bahama and most of the densely populated part of the country dodged a bullet this time,” said Deputy Prime Minister Turnquest.“The memories of (hurricane) Matthew is fresh in our minds and so we certainly want to acknowledge and give God thanks for having spared us from a devastating storm.”According to officials from the various agencies and corporations, power, water and other utilities are expected to be restored within a short period of time. Minister Turnquest pointed out that Grand Bahama International airport will be re-opened by Tuesday, September 12, 2017. Related Items:#magneticmedianews, grand bahama Grand Bahama International Airport Will Reopen Today Speakers at the press conference.
Retail had the biggest loss at 900 jobs. Oil and gas declined by 500 jobs over the year, and professional and business services lost 300 jobs. Alaska’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate dropped for the third time this year. July’s rate of 6.9 percent was down from 7.1 percent in June and down four-tenths of a percentage point from the beginning of the year. Facebook0TwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享July employment was down by an estimated 0.3 percent, or 900 jobs, compared to July 2017, according a report released by the Department of Labor and Workforce Development. Construction employment grew by 300 through increased activity in Anchorage, and especially on the Kenai Peninsula. The comparable national unemployment rate was 3.9 percent, down one-tenth of a percentage point from June, according to the report. The lowest rates were in the fishing-centered Aleutians East and Bristol Bay boroughs, each at 1.7 percent. Summer tourism pulled rates in Skagway and the Denali Borough down to 3.0 percent.
Claudia Prieto Are you a big fan of rising reggaeton queen Karol G, hailing from Colombia and shaking up the genre with a fresh sound, or are you rooting for 15-year-old Angela Aguilar, one of the youngest-ever Latin GRAMMY nominees, who is continuing her family’s tradition as a Regional Mexican singer? Are you mesmerized by Brazilian Anaadi’s sultry Portuguese-language vocals and jazz-inspired beats, do you love Columbian group LosPetitFellas’ take on Latin alt-rock or are you digging Mexican Nana Mendoza’s R&B-infused beats? Are you a fan of Chilean singer/songwriter Benjamín Walker’s fresh blend of pop with Chile’s traditional trova style, or are you betting on another singer/songwriter, El David Aguilar, a longtime indie music-maker in his native Mexico? Or do you prefer the smooth vocals of Dominican artist Álex Ferreira, Christian Nodal, another young traditional Mexican singer who’s been making mariachi music from a young age or Colombo-Venezuelan Claudia Prieto’s upbeat take on Latin folk music? Facebook News Poll: Who Do You Think Will Win Best New Artist At The 2018 Latin GRAMMYs? El David Aguilar Benjamín Walker Email Angela Aguilar Anaadi Nana Mendoza Who Will Win Best New Artist At The Latin GRAMMYs?Ana YglesiasGRAMMYs Nov 5, 2018 – 11:59 am Last year Dominican singer/songwriter Vicente García had a big night at the Latin GRAMMY Awards, taking home the high honor of Best New Artist along with two other wins, for Best Singer-Songwriter Album and Best Tropical Song. This year the excitement continues to build, especially after the 2018 nominees were announced on Sept. 20. Now another great class of musicians are waiting to learn who will be crowned this year’s Best New Artist: Angela Aguilar, Anaadi, El David Aguilar, Alex Ferreira, Karol G, LosPetitFellas, Nana Mendoza, Christian Nodal, Claudia Prieto and Benjamín Walker are all in the running. Who would you like to see win the title this year?Polls Who Do You Think Will Win Best New Artist At The 19th Latin GRAMMYs? Twitter LosPetitFellas Choices Christian Nodal Alex Ferreira Karol G Who Will Win Best New Artist At The Latin GRAMMYs? poll-who-do-you-think-will-win-best-new-artist-2018-latin-grammys Let us know who you would pick for Best New Artist at the 19th Latin GRAMMYs with our above poll and don’t forget to tune in to the show on Nov. 15, airing live on Univision.19th Latin GRAMMY Awards: 19 Things You Didn’t KnowRead more
An effort to bring renewable energy to western Alaska was recognized Tuesday by the federal government. The Ocean Renewable Power Company was named the 2016 Outstanding Stewards of America’s Waters for its ability to bring hydropower to the Bristol Bay village of Igiugig.Download AudioThe Power system on station in Kvichak River (Photo courtesy of ORPC)The Kvichak River flows out of Lake Illiamna and into Bristol Bay. It helps support the world’s largest sockeye salmon run in the world. More recently, it’s been helping fuel the nearby village of IgiugigRandy Alvarez has lived in Igiugig for over thirty years. He was born and raised in Naknek, another small town in Bristol Bay. As a longtime resident, Alvarez is familiar with the fact that fuel is often two or three times as expensive in the bush as it is on the road system. He’s also keenly aware because of his job.“I’ve commercial fished since I was old enough to go in the boat with my father and I still do it. I’m planning on doing it as long as I can,” Alvarez said.But it was a big surprise to his fellow fishermen when Alvarez got behind a project that would test an underwater turbine in the Kvichak.“Putting a turbine in the river was a big concern for a lot fishermen,” said Alvarez.But it wasn’t going to the be first time the turbine was used in Alaskan waters. The first prototype was tested in the Tanana River near Fairbanks.“That river is very silty,” Alvarez said. “Not only is it silty, it has lots of woody debris in it and other challenges.”Monty Worthington is the Ocean Renewable Power Company’s director of project development in Alaska. He says debris did what it does best—it got stuck. Worthington says silt made it so they couldn’t see what else besides water was moving through the underwater blades. So Worthington’s team turned to Bristol Bay’s Kvichak River.Local contractors and ORPC team members in front of RivGen (Photo courtesy of ORPC)“The Kvichak River is fairly unique in Alaska in that it’s a large, fast-flowing, and clear river,” said Worthington.The turbine, or RivGen, as Worthington calls it, was lowered into the Kvichak for its first test run from August until September of 2014. Randy Alvarez said they placed the turbine very strategically.It was about 20 feet of water where they put it in. They put it in the deepest part of the river so that ice and anything floating downriver on top, or even boats could go over the top of it.”RivGen is outfitted with five underwater cameras. The crew kept a close eye on all the underwater action during its first test run. They didn’t see any salmon getting stuck, so it was put back to work the following summer. Alvarez explains the second test run was from July until September, overlapping with the more than a million sockeye running up the Kvichak.“After two years of studying it, it didn’t have much impact at all, which was a great relief to us,” Alvarez said. “It showed that we can have it and not worry about it chewing up our salmon.”Those results earned the Ocean Renewable Power Company this year’s Outstanding Stewards of America’s Waters Award, but the real reward won’t be known until the next phase of the project, when Worthington begins work on a commercial turbine. Alvarez says a commercial RivGen could cut Igiugig’s energy bill in half,“Forty years ago, it was different. It didn’t cost much money to live in villages. Now, it’s expensive,” said Alvarez. “So we need the jobs and we need cheaper electricity.”
By Trevor Ohlssen, via Wikimedia CommonsThe Trump administration decided this week to allow big-game hunters to bring back tusks and other trophies from elephants killed in two African countries. And then, late Friday, President Trump tweeted that he’s putting that decision on hold to review it, leaving the trophy ban in place for an indefinite period. It seems to be a nod to popular demand. Word that Trump was ending the ban sparked outrage from some quarters. But Alaska Congressman Don Young wants that ban over turned. Young says the only way to save the elephant is to hunt it.Listen nowYoung says he’s all for saving elephants, but he’s been to Africa seven times and says every country he’s been to has a surplus.“So if we don’t hunt them, they will hunt them and kill them for food, and sell the ivory,” Young said in an interview Thursday.The African elephant is still listed under the Endangered Species Act.Young says American hunters pay big bucks to take an elephant, and their fees are often the only money an African country has to pay game wardens and improve conservation. Young spoke from his Washington, D.C. office, where the walls are covered with hunting trophies.Rep. Don Young is in Washington, D.C. office. Photo: Liz Ruskin“As a hunter we pay the concessionaire, the government, $55,000 to shoot an elephant, we take the tusk and they get the $55,000,” Young said.Masha Kalinina of the Humane Society International says in Zimbabwe, the going rate to shoot an elephant varies from $30,000 to $50,000.“You hear that sum and it seems like it’s so much money, but then there’s no record of how that money is actually spent,” she said.Kalinina says there isn’t enough transparency to ensure the money actually goes to conservation. She agrees Zimbabwean wildlife managers are dependent on trophy hunting fees for their budgets. She thinks the arrangement could pressure them to put money ahead of saving elephants. Kalinina says the country was already unstable, and just this week there were reports of a military coup.“It’s constantly ranked as one of the most corrupt in the world. There is poor rule of law and enforcement,” Kalinina said. “And all of this contributes to the fact that we cannot expect there to be sound wildlife management at this time.”The U.S. says Zimbabwe is better at transparency now. The government had planned to issue trophy import permits for elephants taken in Zimbabwe between 2016 through 2018.Don’t expect Don Young to apply.“I have no desire to shoot an elephant,” Young said. “Although they say it’s the most exciting hunt of all.”Young take trophies seriously. He’s been trying for years to allow some 41 polar bear hunters, including two Alaskans, to import trophies from legal hunts in Canada before 2008, the year the bear was listed under the Endangered Species Act.Put big game trophy decision on hold until such time as I review all conservation facts. Under study for years. Will update soon with Secretary Zinke. Thank you!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 18, 2017
Share Ronald Martinez/Getty ImagesMcKayla Maroney stands on the podium at the 2012 Olympic Games in London. She says a team doctor molested her for years, including during the Olympics.Editor’s note: This story contains graphic language.As women around the world tell their stories of sexual harassment and assault using the phrase “#MeToo,” one prominent voice added her own harrowing account.McKayla Maroney, a member of the U.S. women’s gymnastics team that won gold at the 2012 Olympics in London, says she was abused for years by former USA Gymnastics team doctor Larry Nassar.“I had a dream to go to the Olympics,” she writes in a statement posted to Twitter, “and the things that I had to endure to get there, were unnecessary, and disgusting.”#MeToo pic.twitter.com/lYXaDTuOsS— mckayla (@McKaylaMaroney) October 18, 2017“Dr. Nassar told me that I was receiving ‘medically necessary treatment that he had been performing on patients for over 30 years,’ ” she writes. “It started when I was 13 years old, at one of my first National Team training camps, in Texas, and it didn’t end until I left the sport.” She says the abuse continued in London during the 2012 games.Michigan Attorney General/APFormer USA Gymnastics team doctor Larry Nassar. Michigan Attorney General/APMaroney says the scariest night of her life happened when she was 15 years old, when the team traveled to Tokyo. She says Nassar gave her a sleeping pill to help her sleep on the flight, and when she awoke she was alone with him in his hotel room, “getting a ‘treatment.’ ” She does not describe his specific actions.“I thought I was going to die that night,” she writes.Maroney retired from gymnastics in 2016, at age 20. She sprang to fame with strong routines at the 2012 Olympics, and her look of dissatisfaction at her silver medal performance in the vault final gave rise to the “McKayla is not impressed” meme.Her story of molestation by Nassar echoes the accounts of many others. More than 125 women have sued the former team doctor, alleging abuse.Attorneys representing Nassar had no comment on Maroney’s accusations.In July, Nassar pleaded guilty in federal court to three counts related to child pornography, for which he could be sentenced to 22 to 27 years in prison. Sentencing in that case is scheduled for Dec. 7, the same week as jury selection in his trial on state charges in Michigan.Nassar faces almost two dozen charges of sexual assault in two different Michigan counties, the Lansing State Journal reports. From 1997 until he was fired last September, Nassar was a sports medicine doctor and faculty member at Michigan State University.He has pleaded not guilty to the assault charges; many of the civil charges are in mediation, according to The Associated Press.In court, Nassar’s attorneys have defended his actions — including breast massages and digital vaginal and anal penetration for up to 20 minutes as a time — as helpful medical treatments, according to the Journal.Maroney’s accusation against Nassar comes amid sweeping allegations of sexual harassment and misconduct by film executive Harvey Weinstein and others. She says she wants people to know that the problems are not only in Hollywood.“Things have to change,” Maroney writes, and she has some suggestions for how to make that happen:“One: Speaking out, and bringing awareness to the abuse that is happening.“Two: People, Institutions, Organizations, especially those in positions of power, etc. need to be held accountable for their inappropriate actions and behavior.“Three: Educate, and prevent, no matter the cost.“Four: Have zero tolerance for abusers and those who protect them.”She ends with one more piece of advice: “remember, it’s never too late to speak up.”
Few underground cities in the world are sculpted entirely out of rock salt. That’s the magic of Poland’s fantastic Wieliczka Salt Mine, near the city of Kraków. A famed tourist attraction, a site of worship and even weddings, a gripping gallery of artistic reliefs, everything in Wieliczka is carved from salt blocks.Mining operations stopped in 1996, but for many centuries in the past Wieliczka was the most significant cog in the local region’s economy.Inside the mine. Photo by Dino Quinzani CC BY-SA 2.0Salt was recognized as a precious resource in medieval times for its preservative properties, and this led to increased exploitation of it. Mines such as Wieliczka were worth gold.In fact, by Renaissance times, it seems there wasn’t any other more lucrative business in Europe than this mine.Underground cutaway view of the Wieliczka Salt Mine. Illustration made by Willem Hondius. Photo by Willem Honidus CC BY-SA 4.0Royals regularly visited the venture, but it was miners who spent days and nights here, endlessly intruding the earth, creating new shafts and digging out new caves.But they also sought comfort. The story of the mine’s lavishness begins with the miners.Underground Saint Kinga Chapel, Wieliczka Salt Mine, Poland.Sculptor-miners began adorning the caves with figures of salt ever since the 13th-century. This gave a breath of life to the place where they were supposed to spend all the sunny hours of the day.It’s hard to imagine the vastness of the place. It’s said Wieliczka today contains about 2,000 chambers which may take full two months to go around each and every one of them.Underground Michalowice Chamber, Wieliczka Salt Mine, Poland.The mines descend through nine levels. At its lowermost, the site reaches about 1,000 feet below the surface.Over the centuries, the miners turned some of the chambers into chapels and embellished them with church iconography.Underground corridor with wooden machine for pulling mine carts, Wieliczka Salt Mine, Poland.Altars were raised where workers could also pray and stay connected with God up in the heavens, even though they were so deep inside the earth.The site also wears the name Underground Salt Cathedral of Poland and is today both a National Historic Monument of the country and a protected UNESCO site.Inside the mine.Its most famous chamber is undoubtedly the Chapel of St. Kinga, the most marvelous of all chapels.Nestled at roughly 330 feet below the surface, the Chapel of St. Kinga is among the largest underground church structures in the world.People also refer to it as the “crown jewel” of the Wieliczka mine.One of the lakes in the mine. Photo by Daniel.zolopa CC BY-SA 3.0The chapel venerates St. Kinga, a patron saint of all salt miners and her relics are laid to rest here.St. Kinga’s figure relates to that of 13th-century Princess Kinga from Hungary who went on to be a Polish bride. She wedded the young Polish prince Bolesław the Pious.Saint Kinga, carved from rock salt. Photo by Bill Tyne CC BY-SA 2.0Legend has it, it was the new bride who brought salt from Hungary to Poland as part of her dowry.She first tossed her engagement ring in the mine shafts of Máramaros, then traveled to Krakow with a group of miners.A mine cart at Wieliczka Salt Mine, Poland.Before reaching the foreign city, Princess Kinga asked the miners to start digging. They did so and suddenly stumbled upon something quite solid.It was a lump of salt. Inside the lump–the ring that belonged to the Princess, whothen became the patron saint, keeping the salt miners safe and sound during their duties in the underground.Saint Kinga’s Chapel depicting when a miner finds her ring. Photo by BélaBéla CC BY-SA 3.0Her figure occupies a special place inside the Wieliczka St. Kinga chapel, which is otherwise entirely covered with prominent biblical reliefs.She is in the center of the chapel’s high altar, sculpted by Tomasz Markowski one of the three men who did most work in this sacred corner of the mines. Next to St. Kinga’s figure are also the figure carvings of St. Joseph and St. Clement.Saint Kinga of Poland’s altar in Wieliczka. Photo by Noaśka CC BY-SA 3.0 plLavish chandeliers made of salt crystals hang from the chamber’s ceiling and warmly lighten up the entire interior.Decades of work were needed to complete the St. Kinga chapel, which by the end of the 19th-century was found in a part of the mine that was still active.Saint John Chapel in Wieliczka Salt Mine, Poland.Much of the chapel’s furnishing was done by Antoni Wyrodek. His reliefs were mostly inspired by the New Testament. He was also inspired by Leonardo da Vinci’s Last Supper piece, so he carved his own version out of salt inside the chamber.Beautiful scenes by other artists inside St. Kinga chapel include the Nativity scene. In the chancel, four different types of salt consist the depiction of the papal cross which here stands as a symbol of Wieliczka, Bochnia, Sieroszowice, and Kłodawa–Poland’s four major salt mines.Chapel in the main hall of the Wieliczka Salt Mine.In 1999, a sculpture of Pope John Paul II was also added in this chapel. He is worshipped as the only Pope in Papal history whose origin is Polish.A Holy Mass is regularly held each Sunday at St. Kinga’s Chapel. The chamber is also used to carry out wedding ceremonies.Wieliczka salt mine, Kraków, Poland.Besides this chapel, plenty of other rooms at Wieliczka are in full flow today.Some of the saline chambers accommodate health facilities. There is one that can help people who struggle with chronic allergies.Other chambers are used by contemporary artists to display their works of art. Bars, restaurants, conference rooms, are also found in the area.Read another story from us: Iron Age Chariot Burial Site Found – Complete with Horse and RiderPerhaps there are no more miners around, but life is greatly thriving in the depths of Wieliczka.