Malaysia shuts schools after hundreds affected by toxic waste dump

first_imgKuala Lumpur: Malaysia has closed 34 schools after hundreds of people fell ill when toxic waste was dumped into a river, the education minister said Wednesday, warning the situation was getting worse. A lorry is believed to have dumped the waste in southern Johor state last week, sending toxic fumes across a wide area and causing those affected to display symptoms of poisoning such as nausea and vomiting. About 300 people, many of them children, received medical treatment after inhaling the fumes and scores have been admitted to hospital, according to official news agency Bernama. Reports said it was unclear what type of poisonous gas had been emitted near the industrial town of Pasir Gudang. Education Minister Maszlee Malik said he visited the area and saw scores of students being brought by ambulance to a makeshift emergency centre. He then decided to order the immediate closure of 34 schools. “Unfortunately, the situation has become more critical,” he said in a statement. “The education ministry views this seriously as it involves the lives of students and teachers and school workers.” A man suspected to have been involved in dumping the waste will be charged in court as soon as Thursday, the environment minister said. He faces up to five years in jail if found guilty of breaking environmental protection laws.last_img read more

Presidential Commission grills Susil on payment

The second matter under investigation is an alleged financial loss caused due to an advertising firm by the name of ‘Media Factory’ not paying dues owed to ITN for televised ads. ITN had issued a letter dated 27 January 2015 claiming what was due to them and Media Factory had settled the outstanding amount in full. ITN has under signature accepted that the payment has been received.A financial loss of Rs. 24 lakhs allegedly caused by an advertising firm by the name of ‘Special Solutions’ not paying their dues to ITN is the third matter under investigation.Rajapaksa’s office said that they have been made to understand that all outstanding amounts due to ITN with regard to the transaction have been paid by the said advertising firm. Rajapaksa’s office had said earlier that the former President appeared before the Commission to Probe Serious Acts of Corruption in response to a letter sent to him by the commission. This letter mentions five matters which are under investigation by the commission. “It should be borne in mind that when advertisements are repeated many times, all media organisations broadcast a certain proportion of them free of charge as an incentive to advertisers,” Rajapaksa’s office had said. Rajapaksa’s lawyers had yesterday objected to sitting judges of the Supreme Court from being part of the Commission but the Commission today rejected the objections and continued with the sittings. The Presidential Commission of Inquiry on Fraud and Corruption (PRECIFAC) questioned former United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) General Secretary Susil Premajayanth today on the unpaid bills to ITN for the last Presidential election.Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa was also present during the hearing after the Commission had rejected the objections raised by his lawyers over the composition of the Commission. The fourth matter under investigation is the allegation that up-front payment was received for advertisements promoting presidential election candidate Maithripala Sirisena, but that these advertisements had not been aired and Rs 86 lakhs had been returned thus depriving ITN of an income the institution should have received. This is an internal administrative matter of ITN.The letter sent by the Commission to the former President also states as the fifth matter under investigation the allegation that Maithripala Sirisena had been charged twice the usual amount for advertising thus discriminating between two equal presidential candidates. This too is an internal administrative matter at ITN.Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa contested the January 2015 presidential election as the candidate of the UPFA. Rajapaksa’s office said that the presidential candidate of a major political party cannot possibly supervise the advertising campaign carried out on his behalf. His office said that campaign advertisements are given to media organisations by the advertising firm retained by the candidate’s political party. The candidate or even his political party very often has no direct contact with the media organisations over advertising. (Colombo Gazette) The first matter that is under investigation by the Commission is the appointment of Anura Siriwardene as the Chairman/CEO of Independent Television Network at a time when the position was not vacant.“This appointment is not made by the President but officially by the Secretary to the Treasury as the Treasury owns the majority of the shares of ITN. This appointment had been made after the former Chairman left that position,” Rajapaksa’s office said. read more

Law Forum Panel helps Brock students understand legal industry

More than 45 Brock students attended the Law Forum Panel Oct. 1, as part of the ‘Thinking About Law’ series offered by Career Services and the Department of Political Science, with sponsorship from Kaplan Prep Test.The series is a collaborative effort by Lisa Kuiper, Career Services employer development co-ordinator, and Diane Leon, Political Science undergraduate advisor, to address their students’ requests for information about law school, the LSAT examination, and the career of law.The four panellists included two Brock graduates from the sociology and political science programs who returned to share their experiences and career advice with current students, and two members of Kaplan’s faculty:Shannon McHugh: Associate lawyer, Sullivan Mahoney LLP (BA ’07)Alexandrina Valova: Associate lawyer, RZCD Lay Firm LLP (BA ’08)Irene Kim: Faculty manager, Kaplan (Boston College Law School 2003)Tristan Harcourt: Faculty, Kaplan (University of Toronto economics grad, current student at University of London law school)Moderator Matthew Hennigar, Associate Professor of Political Science at Brock, engaged panellists by asking a wide range of questions.Questions were then opened to the floor, where students inquired about panellists’ personal experiences, opinions on applications, selecting law schools, and studying for the LSAT.“This forum is intended to give students an idea of what it takes to pursue a career in law and where they could land with their career after law school,” said Kuiper. “At the same time, it provides students with the insight that just because you go to law school and/or pass the bar exam, (it) does not mean you have to be a lawyer. There are many career opportunities that exist that would require a background in law.”Kaplan faculty member Tristan Harcourt informed students that he has no interest in becoming a lawyer, but noted he enjoys the skills he has developed at law school, such as reasoning, the ability to be analytical, research and the capability to communicate well orally.Harcourt now utilizes his skills in teaching students how to study for the LSAT.The panellists agreed students need to know themselves, what is important to them, and what they want out of their career before they pursue a career in law.The panellists said studying law requires discipline and that study habits become more intense in law school.Students in attendance agreed the best part of the forum was the panellists sharing their personal experience and career advice, and felt the Law Forum Panel should be offered every year to students who are thinking about law school.The panel provided current students with the ability to foresee what would be required of them when pursuing a career in law and to make the best career decisions while pursuing a career in law.Other upcoming sessions offered by the ‘Thinking About Law’ series include: How to Write a Personal Statement for Law School, LSAT Practice Test, and Law School Class Experience.All sessions will be posted on the CareerZone event calendar as they are confirmed.For more information about the ‘Thinking About Law’ series, contact Lisa Kuiper, Career Services employer development co-ordinator, or Diane Leon, Political Science undergraduate advisor. read more

Sears 3rdquarter loss widens as sales weaken at its Kmart and Sears

AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email by Anne D’Innocenzio And Michelle Chapman, The Associated Press Posted Nov 21, 2013 4:22 am MDT Sears 3rd-quarter loss widens as sales weaken at its Kmart and Sears stores HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill. – Sales declines at Kmart and Sears stores led to a widened loss in the third quarter for parent company, Sears Holdings Corp. The ailing department store chain also was hurt because it had to do some heavy discounting to get shoppers to spend.Sears is the latest retailer catering to lower- and middle-income shoppers to post disappointing results. Several, including Wal-Mart, also have cut their outlooks for the upcoming holiday shopping season because of the uncertain economy. But Sears faces additional pressures: The retailer hasn’t adapted as bigger, nimbler rivals have lured away customers over the years.For the three months that ended Nov. 2, Sears lost $534 million, or $5.03 per share. That compares with a loss of $498 million, or $4.70 per share, a year earlier.Revenue fell 7 per cent to $8.27 billion, mostly because it had fewer Sears and Kmart stores operating. Revenue at stores open at least a year — an indicator of a retailer’s health — dropped 3.1 per cent.At Kmart, sales at stores open at least a year fell 2.1 per cent due to declines in consumer electronics and toys were partially offset by increases in clothing and seasonal and outdoor living products. At Sears, the figure fell 4 per cent as it suffered a decline in most categories, including consumer electronics, tools and home appliances.On the news, the company’s shares slipped 23 cents to $61.47 on Thursday morning.To improve its business, Sears is shifting away from its focus on running a store network into a business that is members-focused, where its most loyal shoppers receive incentives to buy. The company said that transition has weighed on results as it continues to do traditional promotions while investing in its membership loyalty program called Shop Your Way.At the same time, Sears has been trying to restore profitability. Last year, Sears announced plans to cut costs, reduce inventory, sell off some assets and spin off others. Those moves helped it reduce net debt by $400 million and generated $1.8 billion in cash from the asset sales in the latest fiscal year.And last month, Sears said it’s considering separating its Lands’ End catalogue business and Sears Auto Center businesses from the rest of the company. The retailer also plans to continue closing some unprofitable stores. And it’s selling some store leases in Canada.Eddie Lampert, a hedge fund billionaire and Sears’ chairman and CEO, acknowledged on Thursday during an interview with The Associated Press that he thought the company would be profitable by now.But he said that Sears is making progress toward building its Shop Your Way program, which now accounts for 70 per cent of sales, up from 65 per cent in the second quarter. He noted that the company is using data to make targeted offers to its Shop Your Way customers. Online, sales have been up 17 per cent so far this fiscal year.“The focus is less on selling products and just running stores,” he said. “But serving members first.”Lampert also said he often visits stores and is proud of them. But he said they aren’t perfect. “Are there parts that could be better? Absolutely,” Lampert said.But some analysts say that the company needs to concentrate more on making its stores more inviting.Brian Sozzi, CEO and chief equities strategist at Belus Capital Advisors, posts photos of select Sears stores on his website that show dirty floors and depleted inventory.“They’re the most irrelevant big box retailer and the most irrelevant store anchor in the mall,” Sozzi said. read more

Seattle becomes first US city to give Uber Lyft and other drivers

by Phuong Le, The Associated Press Posted Dec 14, 2015 4:33 pm MDT Last Updated Dec 14, 2015 at 7:20 pm MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email Seattle becomes first US city to give Uber, Lyft and other drivers the right to unionize SEATTLE – Seattle on Monday became the first city in the nation to allow drivers of ride-hailing companies such as Uber and Lyft to unionize over pay and working conditions.Supporters erupted into cheers after the City Council voted 8-0 in favour of the legislation, which is seen as a test case for the changing 21st century workforce. The companies strongly oppose it, and several council members acknowledged there would be legal challenges ahead but said it was worth doing.The measure requires companies that hire or contract with drivers of taxis, for-hire transportation companies and app-based ride-hailing services to bargain with their drivers, if a majority shows they want to be represented. Drivers would be represented by non-profit organizations certified by the city.Seattle has been a national leader on workers’ rights, such as gradually raising the minimum wage to $15 and requiring most employers to provide paid sick leave.“My intent is to make sure that the people, the drivers, the workers in our community continue to have access to good wage jobs,” Councilmember Mike O’Brien said. He added innovation can continue to happen, but it shouldn’t be done at the expense of workers.Many drivers in Seattle are immigrants who depend on full-time work, but some make less than minimum wage and lack basic worker rights, such as sick leave and protection from retaliation, he said.The National Labor Relations Act does not extend collective bargaining rights to independent contractors.San Francisco-based Uber and others say federal labour law prevents cities from regulating collective bargaining, and the ordinance would violate federal antitrust laws. Opponents also argue it would be costly for the city to implement, it would violate drivers’ privacy since their information would be given to the organization, and it would stifle the growth of the on-demand economy.In a response to a request for a comment on the legislation, Uber said in a statement Monday it is “creating new opportunities for many people to earn a better living on their own time and their own terms.”San Francisco-based Lyft urged the mayor and council to reconsider the measure and listen to those who seek the flexible economic opportunity the company offers.“Unfortunately, the ordinance passed today threatens the privacy of drivers, imposes substantial costs on passengers and the city, and conflicts with longstanding federal law,” Lyft’s statement said.Charlotte Garden, an assistant law professor at Seattle University, said it’s a “virtual certainty” that the ordinance will be challenged in court if it’s enacted.“I anticipate that other cities will consider similar measures, but they may wait to see whether the ordinance survives review by a federal court,” she said.Mayor Ed Murray told the council in a letter Monday he supports the right of workers to unionize but has concerns about the bill. Murray worried about the unknown costs of administering the measure.Murray said after the vote that he wouldn’t sign the legislation but under the City Charter it will still become law.Uber has about 400,000 drivers nationwide with about 10,000 in Seattle. Its rival, Lyft, also has thousands of drivers in Seattle but declined to give a specific number.Legal experts have been mixed on how the bill would be challenged in court, including whether the ordinance violates antitrust laws because it would allow drivers to get together and set rates.Uber is facing a class-action lawsuit in federal court in California over worker classification. The plaintiffs named in the suit say they are Uber employees, not independent contractors, and have been shortchanged on expenses and tips.Uber and Lyft say drivers have flexibility in deciding when they work and how many hours, and many chose to drive to supplement their income. But drivers don’t have a say in rate changes, can be deactivated at will and don’t have access to worker protections such as sick leave and minimum wage laws, Dawn Gearhart, a representative with Teamsters Local 117.Under the proposed ordinance, the city will give certified non-profit organizations a list of eligible drivers at each company, and the groups must show that a majority of drivers of each company want representation. The organizations would then bargain on behalf of those drivers.“This is amazing,” said Saad Melouchi, 30, who drives for Uber. “I’m so happy for myself and for other drivers.”He said he would like to bargain over safety, living wage and other issues.Some for-hire drivers who spoke at the public hearing urged the council to hold off on the legislation, saying they didn’t have a voice in the process.The Teamsters Union Local 117 also celebrated the vote, while the National Right To Work Legal Foundation criticized it as a violation of drivers’ rights. read more

UN envoy on Middle East peace condemns stabbing attacks in Israeli settlements

“These tragic incidents only highlight the urgent need for all leaders to work together against the spiral of violence and the targeting of civilians,” UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Nickolay Mladenov said in a statement.“The volatility of the current situation only serves the hate-filled agendas of extremists on all sides. I encourage all parties to promote calm and refrain from inflammatory statements and retaliatory actions,” he added, voicing increasing alarm at the continued attacks in the occupied West Bank taking place almost on a daily basis.The stabbing attacks took place within the past 24 hours in the settlements of Otniel and Tekoa, resulting in the death of Dafna Meir, a 39-year-old mother of six, and seriously injuring Michal Froman, a pregnant woman in her 30s.“Nothing justifies the murder of a mother in front of her own children,” Mr. Mladenov said. “My thoughts are with the families and friends of all victims of violence.”

In phone call UN chief offers congratulations and support to Palestinian President

According to a readout of a telephone call issued by a UN spokesperson, Mr. Guterres said he was encouraged by the recent progress in allowing the Palestinian Government to take up its responsibilities in Gaza and welcomed Egypt’s efforts to achieve this goal. He emphasized the continuing need to urgently address the humanitarian crisis in Gaza, particularly with regard to the electricity crisis, and improved access to and from the territory. The Secretary-General also reiterated that the UN stands ready to continue working with Palestinian authorities and the region to support the Government in assuming its responsibilities in Gaza. The readout of the Secretary-General’s phone call comes as media outlets are reporting that Egyptian-facilitated talks in Cairo have led to a breakthrough in the talks among Palestinian parties on administration in the Gaza Strip.

Four Offseason Moves That Will Reshape The NFC

Jordan Matthews11.09.64.50 YARDS/RECAIR YARDS/TGTDROP RATE On Tuesday, we looked at four players who changed teams during the offseason and could tip the scales of balance in the AFC. Now, we turn our attention to the NFC, where last season’s division champions — the Dallas Cowboys, Green Bay Packers, Atlanta Falcons and Seattle Seahawks — all appear vulnerable, while several of the also-rans they bested have made significant additions.NFC East: Alshon Jeffery, WR, EaglesOpportunity: The Dallas Cowboys were the class of the NFC East last season, going 13-3. But a spate of off-field issues and the potential of regression for second-year quarterback Dak Prescott may open up an opportunity for Philadelphia. Despite finishing last in the division at 7-9, the Eagles were among the best teams in the NFL according to Football Outsiders’ Defense-adjusted Value Over Average, finishing fourth in the league (Dallas finished second).What needed to be addressed: Last year’s No. 2 pick of the NFL draft, Carson Wentz, took the league by storm — at least until fans, media and opposing defenses figured out that he was relying so heavily on the screen pass. According to TruMedia, Wentz threw more passes to or behind the line of scrimmage in 2017 than all but three other quarterbacks. And the Eagles ranked 29th in yards per completion last season.Potential impact: Jeffery and fellow free-agent acquisition Torrey Smith will add serious field-stretching ability to Philadelphia’s dink-and-dunk passing attack. Jeffery averaged an outstanding 15.8 yards per reception in 2016; since Jeffery became a full-time starter in 2013, only Julio Jones and T.Y. Hilton have averaged more yards per reception over more receptions. He also provides Wentz with a much more reliable catcher of the ball: Jeffery had the 14th-lowest drop rate of 87 qualifying NFL receivers in 2016, while Eagles WRs Jordan Matthews, Dorial Green-Beckham and Nelson Agholor ranked 59th, 81st and tied for last, respectively. Nelson Agholor10.110.59.10 Source: TRUMEDIA Question mark: At age 27, Jeffery already has a history of nagging muscle pulls and soft-tissue injuries. He also served a four-game suspension for performance-enhancing drug use in the middle of last season as a member of the Bears, making his gameday availability an ongoing concern.NFC North: Jarrad Davis (R), LB, LionsOpportunity: The Lions were just over half a game of head-to-head football away from claiming the NFC North crown when they squandered a 14-7 lead against the Green Bay Packers — and a 9-4 start to the season. They finished the year with three straight losses to fellow NFC playoff teams, including that Week 17, winner-take-all home game against the Packers. This spring, Detroit seriously outspent Green Bay in free agency, eyeing a possible first division title since 1993.What needed to be addressed: Detroit had the worst defense in the NFL last season, according to DVOA. Their pass coverage was an absolute disaster, allowing opponents to be 38.1 percent more effective than average through the air — by far the worst in the NFL. But none of the Lions’ major signings were on the defensive side of the ball.Potential impact: Davis, whom Detroit drafted with the No. 21 overall pick this spring, has been the unquestioned starter at middle linebacker since his first day on the team, according to the Lions’ official site. Head coach Jim Caldwell told the Detroit Free Press he expects Davis to “quickly” make an impact. Davis’s college defensive coordinator, Randy Shannon, described Davis as an amalgam of three linebackers Shannon coached at the University of Miami: Jonathan Vilma, Jon Beason and Ray Lewis. Those three boast 19 Pro Bowl appearances between them. If Davis’s athleticism and attitude are as advertised, he’ll fill a sizable portion of the hole in the middle of Detroit’s defense.Question mark: There’s no such thing as a can’t-miss rookie. Projecting a college player’s impact on an NFL unit is closer to superstition than art, let alone science. Further, Detroit’s problems with depth and quality up front were just exacerbated by pass-rusher Armonty Bryant’s latest suspension; it’s hard for linebackers to make impact plays when opposing quarterbacks are unpressured and tailbacks have free passes to the second level of the defense.NFC South: Adrian Peterson, RB, SaintsOpportunity: In 2016, the defending NFC champion Carolina Panthers finished 6-10, good for last place in the NFC South. Meanwhile, the Atlanta Falcons improved from a lackluster 8-8 in 2015 to winning the NFC for themselves last season. Somehow, in all the churn around them, the New Orleans Saints have finished 7-9 for three consecutive seasons. But with the Falcons losing the architect of the offense that took them to the Super Bowl, Kyle Shanahan, to the 49ers, the division could be there for the taking.What needed to be addressed: Saints tailback Mark Ingram had the fourth-highest per-carry rate of yards before contact in 2016; he didn’t run into a defender until he’d run an average of 3.26 yards. After the crack of the pad, Ingram was solid, averaging a 14th-best 1.82 yards after contact. But he can’t compare to Peterson:If Ingram needed any guidance learning how to make defenders looks silly, he now has the perfect mentor — albeit one who wants to steal his job. From 2011, the year Ingram entered the league, through 2016, Peterson had the highest average after-contact yardage rate of any back with at least 150 carries.Potential impact: Peterson’s historical lack of effectiveness out of shotgun alignments seemingly makes him an odd fit for Sean Payton and Drew Brees’s spread-style offense, but the Saints actually used shotgun formations at the eighth-lowest rate of any team in the NFL last year, according to Football Outsiders. Moreover, New Orleans ranked fourth in average yards-per-play when under center, roughly the same as in the ‘gun, and had one of the smallest gaps in efficiency between the two alignments. Though they still passed 63.4 percent of the time, the Saints are a strong fit for Peterson’s skill set. No wonder Peterson told Bleacher Report earlier this month that he was impressed by Payton’s passion about the dimension the veteran running back would add to the Saints’ offense.Question mark: Peterson is a 32-year-old running back with 11,747 of the hardest-earned yards in recent NFL history already on his odometer. The jury is out on how effective he could be moving forward.NFC West: Haason Reddick (R), LB, CardinalsOpportunity: At this time three years ago, the NFC West was one of the two best divisions in football. The San Francisco 49ers and Seattle Seahawks had a death grip on the rest of the NFC, but the Arizona Cardinals were right on their heels. Since then, attrition has taken a toll on all three squads; a Cardinals team that went 29-9 with Carson Palmer under center from 2013 to 2015 finished second in the division last year at 7-8-1.What needed to be addressed: A host of defenders from recent years left in free agency this past offseason. The Cardinals lost Calais Campbell, Kevin Minter, Alex Okafor and Tony Jefferson, who finished first, third, seventh and 10th, respectively, on the team’s defense in Pro-Football-Reference.com’s Approximate Value from 2013 to 2016.The Cardinals boasted a top-three DVOA defense in three of those four seasons, but to keep that up, they’ll need the best of whoever is left — including Karlos Dansby, who returns at age 35 after three years elsewhere. Arizona desperately needs a young impact defender who can run, cover and hit at all three levels of the defense.Potential impact: Reddick, a Temple product who put up an outstanding combine performance, has the size and athleticism to run with the Cardinals’ outstanding secondary. The 6-foot-1, 237-pound No. 13 overall pick was among the top-performing linebackers in the 40-yard dash (4.52 seconds), vertical jump (36.5 inches) and broad jump (133 inches). General manager Steve Keim told the media that he expects Reddick to have a “huge” impact, according to the team’s official site — and Reddick’s timetable to contribute has since been accelerated, with linebacker Deone Bucannon slated to start the season on the Physically Unable to Perform list.Question mark: As with Davis, measurables and fit alone don’t guarantee anything in the NFL. Reddick will have to prove that his knack for playmaking in the AAC can translate to the NFL. Dorial Green-Beckham10.910.16.90 Carson Wentz is getting an upgradeHow new Eagles wideout Alshon Jeffery’s 2016 performance compared with that of Philadelphia’s receiving corps. Alshon Jeffery15.813.11.10% read more

Illegal boat voyage to TCI deadly for 60 Haitians

first_img Recommended for you Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppProvidenciales, 13 Apr 2015 – More Haitians are expected to be found dead after a boat load of them, said to be TCI-bound sank on Friday. Some 21 bodies washed ashore in the North of Haiti, which is home to that nation’s second city – Cape Haitian. The US Coast Guard says many as 40 are feared dead. There was reportedly an attempt to return to shore in Haiti when the boat encountered rough seas; the boat ran aground on a reef and went down. Gulf News of the Americas is reporting that: “In the past six months, the US Coast Guard said it has intercepted 309 Haitians at sea. That is a much lower rate than the previous 12-month period, when 1,103 Haitians were rescued, according to the Coast Guard.” Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Bahamas PM warns “Price Gouging is a criminal offense” 108 Haitians intercepted thanks to radar Related Items:boat, cap hatian, illegal, sink, US coast guard UWI, Caricom, FCO to aide in removal of Mega One Tritonlast_img read more

A Costly Palin Revolt at Us

first_imgUs Weekly’s Sarah Palin “Babies, Lies and Scandal” cover—as timely as it may have been—appears to have backfired.As many as 10,000 people are said to have cancelled their subscriptions to the Wenner Media title last week after the issue hit newsstands, according to a report on MSNBC.com that cites a “well-placed” industry source. Some of those who supposedly called in their cancellations did so before even receiving their copy in the mail, the report said.A Wenner spokesperson did not return a FOLIO: request for confirmation and/or comment. If there’s any truth to this report, what does this mean for Us? According to the first half 2008 statement Wenner filed with the Audit Bureau of Circulations, the average yearly subscription to Us sells for $64.87. That, times 10,000 equals about $650,000 in lost revenue.Of course, the actual figure depends on whether the reader signed up for a 12- or 18-month subscription and how far into a subscription they were before they cancelled.It may turn out to be a bump in the road. Us reported 1.9 million in total average paid circulation during the first half—1.03 million from subscriptions, 869,364 from newsstand. Subscriptions were up about 14 percent from the same period last year.last_img read more

Galena elder Sidney Huntington dies at 100

first_imgGalena elder Sidney C. Huntington passed away on Tuesday in Galena.  He was 100.The son of a Koyukon woman and a white gold miner, Huntington became an expert trapper, fisherman, boat builder and carpenter in the middle Yukon and Koyukuk valleys of the Interior.  He went on to serve 17 years on the Board of Game during the 1970s and ’80s, and ran a successful fish processing business out of Galena for many years.Sidney Huntington on the trapline, 1958. Photo: Alaska State Library, Keller Family Photo Collection.Shadows on the KoyukukIn his later years, Huntington became a strong advocate for public education in rural Alaska – helping to found an independent school district for Galena in the early 1970s.His daughter Agnes Sweetsir says that his promotion of education for the Bush should be his lasting legacy.“On his death bed this past couple weeks, he said that he did the best he could with a third-grade education,” she said. “He wanted people to know that, that was important to him.”His life is immortalized in the popular autobiography “Shadows on the Koyukuk.”Huntington was also well known for ardently promoting a serious work ethic among rural residents, and denouncing government assistance programs.Those beliefs rubbed off on many of Huntington’s family and friends, including daughter Betty Huntington.“He taught us to work hard and I always talk about that,” she said. “People always laugh that I get to work 10 minutes early and leave late, and that was just the way he was.”Sidney Huntington is survived by his wife of 72 years, Angela.  He raised roughly 30 biological and adopted children.The funeral service will be Friday at 10 a.m. at the school in Galena that bears his name.last_img read more

EXCLUSIVE We used to make hockey sticks from wood in jungles Indian

first_imgDeep Grace Ekka in actionHockey IndiaThe state of Odisha has always been a major force in Indian hockey. It’s distinctive mark has been the number of high-quality defenders it has produced. Continuing that glorious tradition is Deep Grace Ekka. The 25-year old girl has played a key role in making the Indian women’s hockey team a major force in the world.Her strong defending and determination to not let attackers from the opposition through has seen her rise to be one of the senior players in the side with more than 180 caps. In an exclusive interview with Akshay Saraswat of International Business Times, India, she talks about the role of a full back in the team as well as the great love of hockey that still exits in the hinterland of her state. She also describes the ways in which, despite lack of proper equipment, young players in Odisha continue to remain attached to their favourite sport.You are from Odisha. This state has a great tradition of producing top-quality defenders for the Indian team. What is the reason for this?Deep Grace: As far as I am concerned, I wanted to become a goalkeeper. But my coach at that time asked me to play as a defender because my brother was also playing as a goalkeeper.As a defender, what is more important, having good skills or being physically strong?Deep Grace: Obviously, it is necessary to be strong because attackers from foreign teams are physically very tough. So to stop them, one needs to be strong. And when it comes to skills, they matter more when it comes to creating an outlet for the ball. That’s because for giving the ball an outlet, you sometimes have to play the scoop, or use a hit or a slap. Skills become important then. Hockey IndiaSince the Indian teams play a very aggressive brand of hockey these days, are you also expected to move forward when the team presses for a goal. Or are you asked to stay back in order to check a counter-attack?Deep Grace: Mostly, I stay back, as the last defender. It’s not my role to go too far up the pitch. That’s because the more I can control things at the back, the better it is. I have to guide the defenders on the left and right flanks as well as those who are ahead of me, regarding how far ahead or back they should go. So, it’s on the basis of this that I play and train with these players.And how important is the communication with the goalkeeper? Do you have a good understanding with Savita, especially when there is an attack from the opposition?Deep Grace: So, Savita is, obviously, behind me. If she has to pass on some information, she tells me and I guide the players ahead of me. Sometimes, however, the pressure is so high that players ahead of me are too caught up. At such times, it is not possible to talk to each other. Hence, you have to take the decision yourself.Captain Rani told us that the coach is especially focussed on improving the defence of the team. As a senior defender, what are the biggest changes that you see in the defensive structure of the side in the last year and a half?Deep Grace: Earlier, what used to happen was that, when the team went on an attack, players used to charge forward without looking back as to whether we had any supporting attackers or not. That’s probably why we were having difficulties in scoring goals. We were able to score just 1-2 goals and often had to be content with penalty corners. We have been practicing with this aspect in focus: How much should we move forward and when we need to stop. We are practicing on these aspects and are improving.Tell us about yourself. How did you get acquainted with hockey and decide to become a professional player?Deep Grace: There were many players, senior to me, who belonged to my village. So, I knew they play hockey but didn’t know much about how good a sport hockey is. We used to play hockey in our village, like most others, just for fun. Then later on, I went through the trials to get admission into one of the hostels for hockey players. Then, I joined the hostel and kept moving higher through the grades. I started feeling that this is a good sport. TwitterAnd were you always playing as a defender or did you play in other positions as well?Deep Grace: Initially, I was playing in the left-half. Earlier, we used to have half-backs and then the defenders. But now, there are three defenders. Later, I was chosen to play as a defender. I wasn’t that fit, during my time in the hostel and wasn’t able to do much running. So, I was chosen to play in a position where I don’t need to run much. So, I was given the role of a defender.When you used to play hockey in your village, what kind of facilities were there? The ground where you played, was it just an open space or a proper field?Deep Grace: No, it wasn’t a proper ground but just an open space. We used to go there and play after school. Though we played in school as well, but there wasn’t much space. So, we played just for our own fun.Where did you get the sticks from?Deep Grace: We used to make our sticks from the wood available in the jungles. Then later on, when my brother came to the hostel, he starting giving his own stick to me.So, your brother is also a hockey player?Deep Grace: Yes.He played till which level?Deep Grace: He only participated in the camp but hasn’t played at the international level.How old were you when you first played hockey?Deep Grace: 14-15. Deep Grace with the Indian captain RaniTwitterBefore that, you had no interest in the game?Deep Grace: I was playing other games. Anything, be it football, kabaddi, we were playing lots of sports but hockey was difficult because getting a stick wasn’t easy. That’s why we didn’t know much about how to play this game. We would just hold the stick and try to play.Is the culture of hockey still strong in Odisha? In other states, youngsters mostly want to play cricket. Is it the case in Odisha that young people still like to play hockey?Deep Grace: In our village, every house has hockey players only. It’s not like that some people play cricket or other sport. In recent times, some youngsters have started playing football. But mostly, it is still hockey that everyone likes.The Odisha state government is also giving a lot of support to hockey. A lot of tournaments are being played there. Do you think that would help the sport in your state?Deep Grace: Yes, definitely, it will help. For example, when we win a game, we get the prize money. When young players in hostels see that, they also get motivated. So, for them also, it is a good thing that our government is supporting the game so much.Students, who are in hostels, suffer from lack of money, especially to buy the equipment. If by seeing other hockey players do well financially, the youngsters also want to learn the game, it is good. They would feel that if we also work hard, we will also get such rewards. Deep Grace (far right) with Odisha chief minister Naveen PatnaikTwitterWhat is the current state of infrastructure for hockey in Orissa?Deep Grace: Presently, it is quite good. There are good tournaments being played in the state, so it is good.Bhubaneswar has good facilities but what about small towns and villages? Do they also have good enough arrangements for players?Deep Grace: It’s not that great. But now, even we can help. If children in a certain village want to play hockey but don’t have sticks and other equipment, if we help them, it will be good.What other improvements would you like to see in hockey infrastructure of Odisha?Deep Grace: So, for instance, in villages, kids are very keen to play hockey, they are passionate about the game but it is difficult to play on the grounds that are there. That’s because there is no proper grass covering or even a good turf. If some proper grounds are made, that would be good.And if I ask about the current crop of players from Odisha, are we going to see only defenders from the state in the national team or are their strikers and midfielders also that will emerge?Deep Grace: Strikers, midfielders, they could all emerge. But for that, the hard work that youngsters have to put in while living in hostels, it is only that which would help bring about their emergence.Lastly, in your state, do you get easily recognised as an international hockey star?Deep Grace: Yes, I do get recognised but not that much. Because I am from a village.last_img read more

Sonic Mania is Getting a Vinyl Soundtrack

first_imgStay on target Hands-On: ‘Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020’ Seems FineLive-Action ‘Sonic the Hedgehog’ Delayed to 2020 For many retro game fans, Sonic Mania is one of the year’s most anticipated titles. Unlike Sonic Forces, Sonic Mania is a complete throwback game with old-school graphics and sounds. Classic Sonic the Hedgehog games always had great music, and Sonic Mania — with its mix of new and remixed songs — will have memorable tunes as well. You can listen to the songs while playing the game, or, you can listen to them on a classic vinyl record.This vinyl is being manufactured by Data Disks (in partnership with Sega). It will have select tracks from composer, Tee Lopes. The vinyl disk will come housed in a heavyweight gatefold sleeve with UV spot varnish. It will feature exclusive artwork both outside and inside the sleeve. The vinyl will come in Sonic Blue, Classic Black, and limited edition variants. For those who don’t own record players but still want to buy this vinyl, the package will include a download code in lossy and lossless formats.We’re proud to announce the Sonic Mania vinyl album in partnership with @datadiscs! Pre-orders go live Mid-July. pic.twitter.com/wNXenpcR49— Sonic the Hedgehog (@sonic_hedgehog) June 23, 2017The Sonic Mania vinyl soundtrack is yet another great physical item that compliments the game. The collector’s edition comes with a 12-inch Sonic the Hedgehog figurine that’s standing on top of a replica Sega Genesis console. It also has a small Sonic Mania cartridge with a golden ring on it. Both of these items just make Sonic Mania even more desirable than it already is.You can pre-order the Sonic Mania vinyl soundtrack from Data Disks in mid-July. Sonic Mania will (finally) be released on August 15 for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC, and Nintendo Switch. Expect Sonic Forces on PC, PS4, Xbox One, and Switch sometime in the fall.Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey.last_img read more

BP petrol stations cant take card payments

first_imgGet the biggest Daily stories by emailSubscribeSee our privacy noticeThank you for subscribingSee our privacy noticeCould not subscribe, try again laterInvalid EmailBP petrol stations across the country are currently unable to accept card payments. A number of petrol stations have shut early due to the fault – while others are only accepting cash. Speaking shortly after 9pm a BP UK spokesman said: “Our UK retail sites are currently unable to take card payments We are working to rectify this as a matter of urgency & would like to apologise for any inconvenience this has caused our customers. The majority of our sites are accepting cash payments but a few stations have shut.” It is unclear what is causing the problems or when the issue will be resolved. The company operates a number of petrol stations across Stoke-on-Trent, North Staffordshire and South Cheshire. Read MoreWere you on the A500 this weekend? Well EIGHTY drivers have been caught speeding A Highways England spokesman said: “We’ve been advised that all BP fuel stations across the UK are experiencing issues accepting card payments. Currently they’re only able to accept payments for fuel in cash only. “This is affecting all motorway service areas with BP fuel stations.”last_img read more

PEOPLE Transat winner announced for Grand Paradise Samana contest

first_img Share TORONTO — Robyn Lindsay of Trent Travel in Lindsay, Ontario has been named the winner of Transat’s latest travel agent contest, claiming the grand prize of a seven-night vacation for two at the four-star Grand Paradise Samana in the Dominican Republic.The contest was launched in December 2016 on Travelweek.ca. The prize also includes flights, hotel and transfers.Located in beautiful Samana Bay, the popular resort has recently completed an extensive multi-million-dollar renovation and boasts 50 villas, three pools, five restaurants, six bars, a disco and playground.“I am very excited to win this trip to the Grand Paradise Samana as I sell Samana as a destination often but have never visited myself!” said Lindsay.For more travel agent contests, go to travelweek.ca/contests. For more information on the Grand Paradise Samana, go to transat.com/en-CA/south/dominican-republic/samana/hotels/grand-paradise-samana. Travelweek Group Posted by Tuesday, January 24, 2017 center_img Tags: Contests, Transat << Previous PostNext Post >> [PEOPLE] Transat winner announced for Grand Paradise Samana contestlast_img read more

Tourism Australias Best Job winners arrive

first_imgThe winners of Tourism Australia’s ‘Best Jobs in the World’ began arriving in Australia this week.The competition managed to attract 330,000 applicants from 196 countries after it launched in March of this year.French online marketer Elisa Detrez starts her position as Queensland’s Park Ranger this week, while Irish dot.com entrepreneur Allan Dixon begins his job as the Northern Territory’s Outback Adventurer.English costume designer Richard Keam will become Western Australia’s Taste Master at the end of August, followed in September by Brazilian Roberto Seba as Victoria’s Lifestyle Photographer.Greg Snell and Andrew Smith; South Australia’s Wildlife Caretaker and New South Wales’ Chief Funster respectively, are due to start their new jobs in December 2013.American singer-songwriter Cameron Ernst will also become Virgin Australia’s High Flyer this month.“This has been an extraordinary competition, and these are no ordinary jobs… together, they capture the broad appeal of our country and demonstrate why there really is nothing like Australia,” Tourism Australia managing director Andrew McEvoy said.“During this time they’ll come face to face with our magnificent landscapes and scenery, unique nature and wildlife, cosmopolitan cities, amazing food and wine, and a lifestyle the envy of the world – and they’ll be getting paid for it.”Each of the ‘Best Job’ winners has been provided a six month employment contract in Australia.Source = ETB News: P.T. Six-month employment experiences for international winners. last_img read more

Best Western unveils beachfront hotel in sunkissed Okinawa

first_imgBest Western® Hotels & Resorts has opened an idyllic beachfront property in Japan that combines all the key elements of a tropical seaside vacation.Located on the main island of Okinawa, where the warm, shallow waters of Nago Bay lap gently against the golden shore, Best Western Okinawa Kouki Beach creates the perfect setting for guests seeking sun, sea and sand.Set in a modern 10-story building – painted white and positioned just meters from the shoreline – Best Western Okinawa Kouki Beach features a collection of light, bright rooms with balconies that offer spectacular views across Nago Bay’s shimmering aquamarine seas, as far as Minna Island and the Motobu Peninsula.Guests have a choice of room categories, ranging from the 30m² Standard Rooms to the 60m² Deluxe Rooms, all of which come equipped with fast and free Wi-Fi, flat-screen TVs with international satellite channels, ceiling fans and mini-bars. The hotel is also ideal for families, with the larger rooms sleeping up to six guests and featuring private cooking facilities.The most spectacular dining options; however, can be found at the hotel’s beachfront restaurant, Kouki. From sumptuous buffet breakfasts overlooking Nago Bay to the most romantic evening dinners, served on the sandy shore in front of the hotel, this is the perfect place to enjoy delectable Japanese cuisine and international favorites. Other facilities at the hotel include a laundry, massage services and a business center, and guests are offered Best Western’s legendary service in both Japanese and English languages.During the day, a selection of water sports is available on Nago Bay, or alternatively guests can explore the many visitor attractions on this popular tourist island, such as Churaumi Aquarium, the remains of Nakijin Castle, Busena Marine Park or Nago Pineapple Park. And by night they can unwind with a cooling cocktail while watching the sunset over the ocean from the hotel – the perfect way to end a fulfilling day.“Okinawa has always been a tourism hotspot for Japanese travelers, and an increasing number of international visitors are now starting to discover this idyllic topical island,” said Olivier Berrivin, Best Western Hotels & Resorts’ Managing Director of International Operations – Asia. “With multiple international flights now landing in Okinawa, including new direct charter services from Singapore, this tropical paradise is more accessible than ever before.“With its absolute beachfront location, spacious rooms and the world-class service that only Best Western can ensure, Best Western Okinawa Kouki Beach is sure to become a popular seaside retreat for both Japanese and international travelers alike. I am confident it will be an excellent addition to our Asian portfolio,” Mr. Berrivin added.Japan is one of Best Western’s largest Asian markets, and the launch of Best Western  Okinawa Kouki Beach marks the next step in the company’s nationwide expansion strategy, following the recent opening of Best Western Rembrandt Hotel Tokyo Machida.In Okinawa Prefecture alone, Best Western now operates three hotels – Best Western Okinawa Onna Beach, Best Western Naha Inn and Best Western Okinawa Kouki Beach – and this latest opening takes the company’s Japanese collection to 14 unique hotels and resorts all across the country, stretching from the snow-capped peaks of Hokkaido in the north to the tropical beaches of Okinawa in the south. Source = Best Western Hotels & Resortslast_img read more

FDIC Files Suit Against Former Georgia Bank

first_imgFDIC Files Suit Against Former Georgia Bank October 11, 2011 440 Views Share in Government, Origination, Secondary Market, Servicingcenter_img Even as fewer banks fail nationally, the “”FDIC””:http://www.fdic.gov/ recently filed suit against former 11 directors and officers of the institution for which it now serves as receiver, with the goal to collect $23.92 million in damages from the defendants. [IMAGE]Citing negligence and oversight failure, the federal agency filed suit against Alpha Bank & Trust, an Alpharetta, Georgia-based bank closed by state regulators in 2008. The FDIC claimed $214.5 million in approximate costs to the Deposit Insurance Fund, which it said resulted from a swath of bad commercial real estate loans, 11 in total, along with two other loans the bank made to unqualified borrowers.[COLUMN_BREAK]According to the suite, the defendants signed off on 13 of the loans made by the bank to a number of borrowers “”despite plainly inadequate, incomplete, or outdated financials of the borrowers and/or guarantors”” without regard for the ability to repay by any one borrower.””Defendants approved the Loss Loans despite underwriting deficiencies and loan policy violations that were or should have been readily apparent to even a casual reviewer,”” the FDIC alleged in the complaint. The FDIC accused the former directors and officers of violating statutory limits, scrimping on borrower financial information, neglecting improper appraisals, and looking the other way when it came to a borrower’s “”questionable character,”” among other allegations.Numbering 11 in all, the former directors and officers include ex-chairman James Blackwell, onetime president and CEO Joseph Briner, former EVP Robert Skeen III, and David Michael Sleeth, who served as the CFO.Greg Hernandez, a spokesperson for the FDIC, declined to comment for the story given the pending legislation.The suit tracks a pledge by the FDIC to pursue culpable former bank officials. Agency directors signed off on suits to recoup over $2 billion from some 80 former directors and officers from failed institutions last year, according to the “”_Los Angeles Times_””:http://articles.latimes.com/2010/nov/10/business/la-fi-fdic-lawsuits-20101111. Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Bank Failure FDIC Investors Lenders & Servicers Processing Service Providers 2011-10-11 Ryan Schuettelast_img read more

Fed Survey Home Price Growth Expectations Cool

first_img August 14, 2018 767 Views Fed Survey: Home Price Growth Expectations Cool in Daily Dose, Data, Featured, News Consumers Credit Debt Home Prices homes HOUSING loans New York Fed 2018-08-14 Radhika Ojhacenter_img Consumers expectations of home price growth cooled slightly in June while the percentage of consumers who think credit will become easier to access over the next year declined, according to the July 2018 Survey of Consumer Expectations, released Tuesday by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.After climbing to a recent survey high of 3.9 percent in June, the median home price change expectation declined to 3.7 percent. The dip in July still leaves the number elevated from its trailing 12-month average, which is 3.4 percent. When it comes to credit access, the Federal Reserve said, “Perceptions of credit access compared to a year ago improved slightly, while expectations for year-ahead credit availability deteriorated, with a slightly smaller proportion expecting improving conditions.” In July, 19.65 percent of consumers surveyed said they believe it will be easier to gain access to credit in a year, while 30.53 percent said it will be harder. In June, 21.69 percent of respondents said they thought it would be easier to access credit a year down the road, while 30.62 percent said it would be harder. The percentage of consumers who said credit is easier to access today than a year ago in July was 23.68 percent, compared to 23.58 percent in June. The percentage who said it is now harder to obtain access to credit dipped from 27.96 percent in June to 27.13 percent in July. Expectations of household income growth rose just slightly in July, while expectations of earnings a year from now decreased over the month. Median household income growth is expected to be around 2.8 percent, according to the July survey, up 0.1 percentage points from a month earlier. Consumers expect earnings growth one year into the future to be about 2.4 percent as of July, down from 2.7 percent expected in the June survey. The Federal Reserve Bank of New York pointed out that this puts the percentage just below “its 2.5 percent -2.7 percent range since November 2017,” adding that, “The decline was broad-based across income groups, but largest among younger (below age 40) respondents.” When it comes to paying off debts, consumer optimism increased in July. Consumers believe the probability they will miss a minimum debt payment sometime in the next three months is about 11.8 percent, down from 12.4 percent in June. Since the start of the survey in June 2013, the lowest perceived probability of missing an upcoming debt payment has been 10.7 percent, while the highest was 17.2 percent. July’s number sits near the lower end of this spectrum. Consumers are continuing to expect increases in taxes with the median expectations of year-ahead changes in taxes, assuming the same income level, reaching 2.2 percent in July after rising steadily since February when it reached a low of 1.5 percent. Consumers expect to spend a little less moving forward in July than they reported expecting to spend in the June survey. Median household spending growth is expected at 3.2 percent, down from 3.3 percent a month earlier but still a little stronger than its 12-month trailing average of 3 percent. Also notable in the Fed survey, the share of consumers who expect stock prices to be higher 12 months in the future fell to its lowest level since October 2016, reaching 40.3 percent in July. Sharelast_img read more

Okpalaugo visited with the Seattle Seahawks and al

first_imgOkpalaugo visited with the Seattle Seahawks and also had interest coming from the New York Jets before inking a contract with the Cardinals.The Fresno State Bulldog product entered the 2013 NFL Draft and went undrafted. He joined the Miami Dolphins in camp but did not make the final roster. Okpalaugo also spent time on the Minnesota Vikings practice squad in 2013 and briefly was with the Dallas Cowboys in 2014.The Cardinals were in the bottom third of the NFL in total sacks last season and recorded 36 over the course of the regular season. Eight came from midseason signee Dwight Freeney, who is a free agent this offseason.As of now, there are lingering questions at outside linebacker. Markus Golden enters his second season following an impressive rookie campaign, but Okpalaugo joins a group of question marks that include the Cardinals’ 2015 fifth-round pick, Shaq Riddick, and undrafted 2015 rookie Zack Wagenmann. Miami Dolphins defensive end Tristan Okpalaugo (66) pursues Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Matt Scott (5) during the second half of an NFL preseason football game in Jacksonville, Fla., Friday, Aug. 9, 2013. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack) Making a quick effort to add another option to improve their pass rush, the Arizona Cardinals signed former Canadian Football League linebacker Tristan Okpalaugo to a one-year deal Friday.Over the last two seasons, the 6-foot-5, 258 linebacker played in 31 games for the Toronto Argonauts and recorded 65 tackles and 23 sacks. He was the CFL East Division’s most outstanding rookie after collecting 12 sacks in 17 games during the 2014 season. Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact Top Stories Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Comments   Share   The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelolast_img read more