Ackerman says taking bull by the horns helped city rise in best

first_imgFORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – Mayor Lori Ackerman woke up on Tuesday to see the Energetic City climb 145 spots since last year on Money Sense magazine’s best places to live in Canada.Ackerman explained that when she found out that Fort St. John was ranked the best place to live in B.C. and 15th best in Canada she was ecstatic.“To see that Fort St. John has made this significant standing as the number 15 in Canada and number one in B.C. place to live is pretty phenomenal,” said Ackerman. Ackerman added that much of the city’s improvement has been due to city council taking the bull by the horns in ways of recruiting more workers and listening to resident feedback.“We’ve done a lot of public consultation over the last decade. We have listened to what the people have wanted and quite often over different council meetings we have gone to the public and asked ‘what do you want?’”Ackerman mentioned that they have focused heavily on community economic development because when there is a beautiful community, the economic development will develop itself. Making sure cores services stay maintained such as water, sewers and lights was a key point for the city.“We have to continue to demonstrate leadership and environmental responsibility. We are on the world stage with our passive house and to be able to showcase Fort St. John for just that one amenity is significant.”Ackerman went on to say that the city would soon unveil a community plan to focus on the community’s vision and work hard on making the city even more livable in the winter.last_img read more

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Security Council urges Iraq to fulfil pledges to Kuwait stemming from 1990

17 December 2010The Security Council today called on Iraq to fulfil the commitments it has made to find Kuwaiti or third country nationals, property and archives lost in Saddam Hussein’s invasion of his small neighbour more than 20 years ago. In a press statement the 15-member body welcomed “the latest positive steps” by the Iraqi Government on the more than 360 people still listed as missing, including continued excavations in Ramadi and support for an exploratory mission to Nasiriyeh. But it noted that limited progress had been made on clarifying the fate of the Kuwaiti national archives that disappeared during the invasion and its aftermath when Iraqi troops were driven out by United States-led forces, and welcomed Iraq’s commitment to establish an Inter-Ministerial Committee to coordinate efforts to find the archives and other properties.“The members of the Security Council urged the Government of Iraq to establish this Committee without delay, and called on both parties to translate statements of goodwill into tangible outcomes that will lead to the resolution of a larger set of outstanding issues between the two countries,” the statement said.The statement followed a briefing by Gennady Tarasov, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s High-Level Coordinator for the issue of missing Kuwaiti and third-country nationals and the repatriation of Kuwaiti property, on Mr. Ban’s latest report on the issue.“The members of the Security Council supported the Secretary-General’s call for Iraq and Kuwait to continue to act in the spirit of the confidence and cooperation building process, which should contribute to the further strengthening of their good-neighbourly relations and enhancing of regional stability,” it added.The Council supported Mr. Ban’s recommendation to extend financing for Mr. Tarasov’s activities for a further six months “to build on the present momentum.” read more

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Myanmars human rights abuses burden region with exodus of refugees – UN

“There is clearly an extra-territorial dimension,” the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar, Tomás Ojea Quintana, said in Kuala Lumpur at the end of an eight-day fact-finding mission to Malaysia, one of the affected countries with some 84,800 registered refugees and asylum-seekers and a large number still unregistered. “Despite the promise of the transition in Myanmar, the human rights situation remains grave.” Other countries in the region also host a considerable number of refugees, asylum-seekers and migrants from Myanmar. “Countries in the region have a particular interest in persuading the Government of Myanmar to take necessary measures for the improvement of its human rights situation,” Mr. Quintana added. “These measures are an urgent matter for the new Government, and the international community should ensure that Myanmar fulfils this responsibility.” Mr. Quintana met with a wide range of individuals who had fled Myanmar to Malaysia, the organizations that serve these communities, and different ethnic groups, particularly the Chin and Rohingya communities.   “I talked to many people who had recently left Myanmar fleeing forced labour, land and property confiscation, arbitrary taxation, religious and ethnic discrimination, arbitrary detention, as well as sexual and gender-based violence,” he said. These included a man who left Chin State after 15 years of portering and forced labour for the military; a prominent Chin woman religious leader coerced to read a statement at a televised event denying restrictions on religious freedom despite her own views; and a young man who left Northern Rakhine State after he was denied the necessary travel permit to attend university and was arrested for trying to bypass the restrictions.Another young man left Shan State after years of forced labour, when the military confiscated his family’s farm and his brother was arrested and subsequently killed; he himself was also arrested but managed to escape.Mr. Quintana will present his latest report to the Geneva-based UN Human Rights Council next month.When a new president and vice-presidents of Myanmar were elected earlier this month by the newly-convened parliament, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon had voiced hope that the move would lead to the formation of a more inclusive civilian government broadly representative of all parties “relevant to national reconciliation and more responsive to the aspirations of the people.” 24 February 2011Human rights violations in Myanmar are burdening other countries in the region, with an influx of refuges fleeing a host of abuses from forced labour and land confiscation to arbitrary detention and sexual violence, a United Nations expert warned today. read more

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UN General Assembly President says courage needed to reform global credit rating

“I believe the United Nations could play a role in helping to establish the basis for an objective and reliable international rating system,” Vuk Jeremic told the Assembly’s thematic debate on the role of credit rating agencies (CRAs) in the international financial system. He said that in a recent report to the Assembly, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon had proposed the “creation of a United Nations observatory of credit rating service providers,” which would, among others, “certify credit rating products and build consensus on [common] standards for rating methodologies.”“I sincerely hope Member States will seriously consider this proposal, and that today’s participants will examine its merits in the time to come,” Mr. Jeremic said, adding that such an initiative could foster a more coherent global response to the problems associated with international financial intermediation, while ensuring that adequate investment can reach worthwhile, creditworthy development projects throughout the world. He said that the main objective of credit rating agencies is to “reduce informational asymmetries between lenders and borrowers, by determining the ability and willingness of potential borrowers to meet their debt servicing obligations.” In making such assessments, those agencies lower the cost of intermediation, thus supporting economic and development activities.Yet, as the role of CRAs has expanded, the scope of the criticism of the industry has followed suit. A number of concerns have been voiced as to the extent to which they can have a serious impact on financial stability. “For example, some say that they didn’t exactly foresee Mexico’s 1994 devaluation, which had profound consequences throughout Latin America, nor did they adequately assess the financial conditions that led to the Asian tumults of the late-1990s, Mr. Jeremic said, adding that in the latter case, some have argued that the CRAs subsequent over-reaction—its steep downgrading of the sovereign debt of Asian countries most affected by the crisis—only made matters worse. Similar critiques were levelled during the recent Eurozone crisis. Governance issues have also been raised, with certain commentators making the point that lending and borrowing incentives were distorted by the CRAs, such as the “issuer-pays” model of remuneration, leading to the creation of too much cheaply-available credit prior to the 2008 global economic crisis.“Such differing points of view underscore the need for an objective review of the future role of the CRAs in the global financial system,” the Assembly President said. Each economic cycle is unique; and each downturn produces new surprises—two important reasons why CRAs may remain as vulnerable to making mistakes as the rest of the financial services industry. “Nonetheless, the status quo is hardly sustainable. It is incumbent for us to consider how one can improve the way CRAs operate, or at least discuss how to mitigate the potential consequences of lapses a CRA could make in the future,” he said.Delivering a statement on behalf of the Secretary-General, Wu Hongbo, Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs said the role of credit rating agencies has expanded with financial globalization, reflecting the growing need to determine whether, and at what cost, governments and companies can access international financial capital. The Secretary-General has just returned from the G20 Summit in St. Petersburg, where leaders adopted a Declaration calling on national authorities and standard-setting bodies to accelerate progress in reducing reliance on credit rating agencies. They also called for further steps to enhance transparency and competition among them.“There are several broad challenges that the international community needs to tackle in order to ensure that credit ratings make a positive contribution to the stability of the international financial system and encourage the investment needed to promote sustainable development,” her said, noting the need to correct methodological flaws, improving transparency, guarding against conflicts of interest and enabling developing countries to benefit more from credit ratings. read more

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France Is Rich With Offense But Is Winning With Defense

England0.89 Portugal1.10 Pogba has much more rarely gotten into the final third to create, passing instead more from deep and wide areas. This has kept him from being particularly dangerous in the attack, where his shot involvement has dropped by 4.6 shots attempted or assisted per 90 minutes with Manchester United to 2.8 for France. But in this disciplined, defensive role, the midfielder has found ways to affect the game, most recently with six attempted tackles and two penalty area clearances against Belgium. Pogba has been asked to trade his usual attacking production for defense, and so far, the plan has worked.The one man on France who doesn’t seem limited by these tactics is Kylian Mbappe. With Pogba playing deep, Mbappe has been asked to move the attack through the final third. He has attempted 52 take-ons, most in the tournament — a rate of about 10.6 per 90 minutes. Mbappe is a dangerous dribbler, but for Paris Saint-Germain last season, he averaged 6.4 take-ons per 90. If you’re hoping for excitement from France, wait for Mbappe to get on the ball. He will be looking to beat a defender or two, and that will be the primary danger France poses in open play. Otherwise, Les Bleus will be focus on defending.Will this strategy work against Croatia? Deschamps has to trust that his attack will produce goals even while outnumbered in the final third, while the midfielders trail the play. If Mbappe cannot progress the ball for his teammates, a long and scoreless match is possible.Croatia has thus far excelled in long matches, surviving extra time three times to reach the final. Its strength is its skilled midfield, where Luka Modric, Ivan Rakitic, Marcelo Brozovic and Mateo Kovacic all rate among the world’s best passers. Over time, opposition teams lose the legs to press Croatia, and the midfielders can find space to work. England successfully pressed Croatia in the first half and kept possession about even at 47 percent to 53 percent, but Croatia dominated the ball 64 to 36 percent in the second half, when it scored its equalizer.In the final, Croatia is likely to depend on its defense (seventh in the World Cup in the chart above) to hold back a more talented opponent. France will likely refuse to commit numbers to the attack and hope its skill wins out. If France can notch an early goal, it’s hard to see Croatia finding a comeback as it did against England. But France’s strategy has the same weakness that was discovered by Portugal in the final of the 2016 Euros. If the opposing team’s defense is solid, Les Bleus do not have the kind of swarming, overwhelming attack that can be counted on to pick up a needed goal. And if the match is running late and Modric starts to find himself with an extra yard of space in midfield, the possibility of an upset — and a first-time World Cup winner — starts to look a lot more likely.France is rightly favored, and its defense, strengthened by some conservative tactical choices by Deschamps, has been impregnable. But the final of the Euros showed what happens when this French approach fails, and if Croatia’s defense can hold back Mbappe and the French forward line to start, its midfield has the skills to pull off a late upset.Check out our latest World Cup predictions. Spain1.02 Brazil0.56 Senegal0.64 Sweden1.00 TeamExpected goals allowed France0.61 Three players exemplify how the French approach works. First is N’Golo Kante. He may be the world’s premier open-play defender. Kante has averaged about 7.5 tackles or interceptions per 90 minutes since 2014-2015, most in the world among players with at least 8,000 minutes played in league and Champions League play those four seasons. Brazil’s Casemiro, at 7.04, is the only other player with more than 7. Kante’s talents prevented Leicester City’s open attack from leaking goals during the Foxes’ miracle title campaign, and they then helped Chelsea rebound to a title after falling out of the top four the previous season. He is the primary reason that France so rarely concedes good chances. But instead of giving Kante the job of cleaning up midfield himself, as he often does for his club teams, Deschamps gives him added protection with the deployment of Paul Pogba.Pogba is a great playmaker who does much of his best work in more advanced areas. With France, Pogba is reserved, and his forays into the final third are limited. The blue wallTeams with the fewest expected goals allowed per match in the 2018 World Cup Uruguay0.50 Source: Opta Sports Croatia1.00 France entered the European Championships in 2016 with perhaps the most talented squad, and Les Bleus beat fellow tournament favorite Germany in the semifinal. A final matchup loomed against a less-heralded Portugal, which had never won the tournament. Portugal had played a defensive style that bottled up the midfield and limited opposition attacking opportunities.Sound familiar?In this World Cup, France knocked off two former champions from South America before winning its semifinal over Belgium, the next-best team remaining in the tournament according to FiveThirtyEight’s Soccer Power Index. Croatia, like Portugal in 2016, has never won a major tournament and got to the final through a comparatively easy draw. In the 2016 final, Portugal managed to stymie France and won its first ever European championship on an extra-time strike. Will this international final see another upset and first-time winner, or will the French golden generation bring a second-ever cup home?Croatia is a clear underdog — as it was in the semifinals against England — and there’s reason to believe the task ahead is even more difficult than it seems. SPI rates France as a solid 59 percent favorite to win. Through the tournament and even in qualifying, as Mike Goodman pointed out before the games started, it has been clear how France would choose to play. Despite an incredible blend of world-class attacking talent, Les Bleus set up first to prevent opposition chances and win on defense. And they have. France has conceded just four goals in six matches — three of which came against Argentina in the round of 16. And Didier Deschamps’s team has even better underlying numbers, with about 0.6 expected goals conceded per match. Australia0.76 read more

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PH to consolidate Minnesota Iron Range operations in new service centre

first_imgAccording to local paper, the Duluth News Tribune, P&H Mining Equipment is to close its main Minnesota Iron Range offices in Mountain Iron, Buhl and Hibbing after construction of a new $16 million, 82,000 ft2 building off US Highway 53 on the town of Virginia’s north side. The building should open next summer and will include office space and a giant service floor and crane for equipment repair and service.The centre will repair and service the company’s mining equipment that is used across the Range, but also serve as a service center for equipment from all over the world, Jon Anderson, regional manager for the company, said. The company will move 56 existing Iron Range jobs to the new building and add about 16 positions to service the company’s equipment sold to a booming Iron Range taconite industry. Kraus-Anderson Co. in Duluth will manage construction of the facility, which could be open by June 2012. Along with Alberta oil sands, Wyoming coal and US copper, the Iron Range remains one of P&H’s key hub markets in North America.last_img read more

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In Pictures US marks 911 anniversary

first_imgFamilies of the victims who died at the World Trade Center in New York read the names of each person at the memorial that has since been built where the Twin Towers once stood.A separate memorial was held outside Shanksville, Pennsylvania where United Flight 93 crashed after passengers and crew tried to overpower the hijackers.The finishing touches to the new World Trade Center tower and a museum dedicated to the attacks are currently underway.One World Trade Center is now the tallest building in the Western hemisphere, its spire reaching to 1,776ft (541m). We pray for the memory of all those taken from us – nearly 3,000 innocent souls.Our hearts still ache for the futures snatched away, the lives that might have been. A SERIES OF memorials took place across America today to remember the 3,000 people that lost their lives on 11 September 2001.President Barack Obama held a moment of silence on the front lawn of the White House in Washington DC and later attended a memorial outside the Pentagon, where he laid a wreath. Speaking at the memorial he said:last_img read more

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Three arrested after €18 million of drugs seized

first_imgGARDAÍ HAVE ARRESTED three males and seized drugs with an estimated street value of up to €1.8 million following a planned operation in Co Kildare and Dublin this afternoon.Gardaí from the Garda National Drugs Unit, assisted by officers from the Organised Crime Unit, searched a van and a car in Castlewarden, Co Kildare.They seized cannabis herb with an estimated street value of up to €600,000 (pending analysis). Three males, aged 31, 40 and 50 years, were arrested at the scene.In a follow-up search of a business premises in the Cookstown area of Tallaght, gardaí said a further quantity of cannabis herb with an estimated street value of up to €1.2 million (pending analysis) was discovered.The three men are currently detained under the provisions of Section 2 of the Criminal Justice (Drug Trafficking) Act 1996 at Clondalkin Garda Station.last_img read more

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DoD gives Android stamp of approval but only on a Dell Venue

first_imgIf you’re bummed by how long it takes for updates to make their way to your Android device, be thankful that you’re not playing by Department of Defense rules. The DoD has been big on BlackBerry devices in the past, but now they’ve sanctioned Android…to a certain extent, anyway.The extent: a Dell Venue running Android 2.2.That’s somewhat convenient, since the Venue still ships with 2.2 and not one of the more up-to-date Android versions that you’d find on most other current phones. Nevertheless, if you’re forced to adhere to DoD standards and you’ve been hankering for an Android device you can actually use, the Venue’s not a terrible option.It’s at least got a 1GHz processor, a 4-inch display, and an 8MP rear shooter — which puts it in the same ballpark as the original (and long-outmoded) HTC Incredible. It doesn’t hold a candle to today’s top-of-the-line Androids, but when security is a top concern you can’t always expect to be using hot new hardware.And that outdated OS isn’t quite ready to rock out of the box — there’s actually a complete Android hardening guide which needs to be followed. Some tinkering needs to be done, such as shutting down access to the Android Market and other third-party app stores. Users also won’t be loading any classified information onto their Venues, which presumably means no email access either. Ultimately, it seems like it’d be a whole lot easier for the DoD to roll a modified, pre-approved ROM for Android devices that it could flash before deploying them. Maybe once the CyanogenMod crew is done working on their ICS ROM they could lend a hand.More at Security Weeklast_img read more

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Real Madrid to rival Premier League sides for Napolis Piotr Zielinski

first_imgReal Madrid are reportedly both keen on Napoli midfielder Piotr ZielinskiThe Poland international has also been linked with moves to both Manchester City and Liverpool, despite only recently signing a new long-term contract at Napoli.Zielinski is believed to have a new buy-out clause of €120m inserted into the deal.Now Calcio Mercato claims that Real have stepped up their interest in Zielinski after learning that both City and Liverpool have made contact.Sergio Ramos, Real MadridZidane reveals Sergio Ramos injury concern for Real Madrid Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Zinedine Zidane has put Sergio Ramos’ availability for Real Madrid’s trip to Sevilla next weekend in doubt after withdrawing him against Levante.The Premier Leagues sides are both desperate to sign the 24-year-old and are determined to take the fight to Real for his services next summer.Zielinski joined Napoli from Udinese in the summer of 2016 and managed seven goals and three assists in 47 appearances across all competitions for the Italian giants last season.The versatile midfielder has also added six goals and eight assists for Poland in 37 games.last_img read more

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Donaco boss Joey Lim takes threemonth leave of absence for health and

first_img Load More Donaco ready to reset after horror year sees losses widen in FY19 on Cambodia impairment charge Ben Lim is currently a director of Donaco Singapore Pte Ltd and is a major shareholder of Genting’s property development arm, Genting Development Sdn Bhd. He also holds a 17.4% stake in Donaco International with his brother.“The Board is very pleased that Ben Lim has agreed to step up as a senior executive and lead the company through this period of transition,” said Chairman Stuart McGregor. “We also congratulate Joey Lim on recognising his need to focus on his personal wellbeing and health, and wish him all the best for a speedy recovery.”The company said that Joey Lim will continue to perform a reduced role during his absence, focussing on key strategic issues for the company. He will subsequently take a US$8,450 per month paycut which will be paid to Ben Lim instead. RelatedPosts Donaco to file multiple appeals after arbitrator rules in favor of Thai vendors in Star Vegas land lease dispute Donaco International Limited’s Managing Director and CEO, Joey Lim, has temporarily stepped down from his leadership role in order to deal with health and personal matters.The Australian-listed company announced on Thursday that Lim has requested a leave of absence for three months, with his position to be filled in the interim by his brother, Ben Lim. Donaco will also commence an international search to recruit a professional Chief Operating Officer and Deputy CEO “to enhance and strengthen the current management team at both of the company’s casino properties” – Star Vegas in Cambodia and Aristo in Vietnam. Donaco’s US$190 million Singapore court case against Thai vendors delayedlast_img read more

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Womens legal rights handbook gets update publishes online

first_imgThe Women’s Legal Rights Handbook is available online and at women’s shelters and advocacy organizations across the state. (Image courtesy of ANDVSA)The Alaska Women’s Legal Rights handbook was first published more than 30 years ago. The latest edition, which was released last month, is 240 pages long and includes information on victim’s rights, employment, reproductive rights, safety planning and more.Download Audio“It just gives women a broad overview on a broad array of legal topics that they could confront at any time in their life. And it’s great that we’re able to offer it online now, too, because anyone can access this at any time,” says Christine Pate, a legal advocate with the Alaska Network on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault.The organization Pate works for published the most recent edition of the handbook. She says the handbook is for anyone in the general public who is affected by domestic violence or sexual assault. But she knows that some people might ask why it is specifically a “women’s” handbook.In a 2010 survey, 59 percent of Alaskan women reported experiencing intimate partner violence, sexual violence or both at least once in her lifetime.Anyone can be a victim of domestic violence and the new handbook acknowledges violence in same-sex relationships. Pate says the information in the handbook is useful to any victim, but it is written using female pronouns.“A lot of the issues that are addressed here, women are the primary victims of sexual assault, domestic violence and it’s also our experience, and I think research shows that women, especially when there is a legal problem in perhaps a family law case, have less access to resources,” Pate says.In communities off the road system with little or no law enforcement, the hurdles to leave an abusive situation are different. Ariel Herman, a training coordinator at ANDVSA, says that doesn’t mean you can’t prepare.“It’s going to be different contextually depending on if you’re in a village or in Juneau or Anchorage but the idea of being ready to leave is something that we can all talk about no matter where our context is,” Herman says.The handbook includes a seven-page outline for creating a safety plan. It includes a section where the victim can write down important telephone numbers to their local police department or district attorney’s office.“Where can you go, who can you talk to? Not everyone feels comfortable talking to the police, so who else can they contact? And also we recognize that not every community has police,” Herman says. “Your kids, do they know how to use the phone or radio in your community to know who to talk to?”There’s a checklist for what the victim should consider taking with her before leaving. The list includes practical items such as Social Security cards for herself and her children, birth and marriage certificates, medications, credit cards, a checkbook, a copy of her divorce papers or protective order. There are also things a victim might not think of in an emergency: jewelry, photo albums, a child’s favorite blanket or toy, pets.For a victim whose abuser has left the home, there’s another list to prepare her if he returns: Change the locks, install outside lighting and purchase rope ladders to escape from second floor windows. Those are just a few of the safety measures listed. There are also tips on how to protect the privacy of phone and email communications.“The safety plan unfortunately cannot prevent all abuse and that’s because the abuse is not in the control of the victim or the victim’s advocate,” Herman says. “It is in the control of the abuser.”The last page of the handbook includes phone numbers for domestic violence and sexual assault programs across the state. Most women’s shelters and advocacy organizations have hard copies of the handbook; ANDVSA.org has a digital version.last_img read more

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ProKhalistan protestors evicted from IndiaNew Zealand match

first_imgManchester: A group of Sikh protestors chanting pro-Khalistan slogans and sporting “Punjab Referendum 2020” T-shirts was evicted from the Old Trafford stadium during the first World Cup semi-final between India and New Zealand here. Holding banners with political messages, the spectators were demanding a referendum on creating an independent homeland of Khalistan in Punjab on Tuesday during the match which spilled over to Wednesday due to inclement weather. Greater Manchester Police said two of the men were arrested for causing disruption and later released. Also Read – EAM Jaishankar calls on European Parliament President David Sassoli Advertise With Us “Two males were arrested for a breach of the peace, both have subsequently been released without charge,” said a police statement. The group appeared to be similar to the one seen at the Edgbaston Cricket Ground in Birmingham during India’s World Cup match against England on June 30. They had been forced to leave the stands by ground security at the time. The ICC distanced itself from the incident. “We can confirm a small group of fans were asked to leave Old Trafford during the first innings today for breaching the ticketing terms and conditions by undertaking a political protest,” an ICC spokesperson told PTI. Also Read – This is why Denmark, Sweden and Germany are considering a meat tax Advertise With Us “We do not condone any sort of political messages at the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup and initially asked the group to stop the protest so they could remain in venue, when they refused they were asked to leave,” the spokesperson added. Earlier, anti-India banners were unfurled from planes over the Headingley ground during India’s last league stage match against Sri Lanka on Saturday. The BCCI had strongly objected to it, prompting authorities to declare Old Trafford air space a “No Fly Zone”. It followed an earlier incident when a banner reading “Justice for Balochistan’ was flown over the same ground in Leeds during the game between Pakistan and Afghanistan.last_img read more

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UPDATE Cause Of Fire At Deer Park Petrochemical Facility Under Investigation

first_imgDavid J. Phillip/APFirefighters battle a petrochemical fire at the Intercontinental Terminals Company Monday, March 18, 2019, in Deer Park, Texas.Updated on Wednesday, March 20, 2019 at 6:50 p.m.The cause of the massive fire at the Deer Park petrochemical storage facility is currently under investigation and Harris County and the City of Houston continue monitoring air quality. The fire was extinguished as of early Wednesday morning, according to a press release from Intercontinental Terminals Company (ITC).Firefighters put out all tank fires as of 3 a.m. on Wednesday, using spray foam and water to cool the tanks and prevent them from reigniting. The fire erupted on Sunday, and as of Tuesday afternoon eight of the facility’s 15 tanks were still ablaze.Rachel Moreno, a public information officer with the Harris County Fire Marshal Office, confirmed that there was a flare up on Wednesday afternoon but it was contained. Firefighting crews, including the county’s hazardous materials team, remained at the site on Wednesday afternoon.Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo said at a news conference held at 4:30 p.m. that the county’s Emergency Operations Center was still activated and experts were monitoring air quality on site and across the county using “extremely conservative estimates to decide what the threshold would be for dangerous levels or air quality.”Hidalgo said federal and state agencies are studying the environmental impacts of the fire.Sampling for benzeneMayor Sylvester Turner said the City of Houston is also monitoring the air quality. He said they’re sampling for benzene and 50-plus other volatile organic compounds (VOCs).The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) conducted air quality tests throughout the Houston area, both on the ground and from a small airplane, and “measured no levels of hazardous concentrations,” said agency official Adam Adams. The EPA also reviewed data collected by ITC, Harris County and by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ). Those data didn’t show hazardous concentrations of volatile organic compounds, Adams said.The TCEQ said in a statement that the benzene levels it found near and around the storage facility don’t pose a health concern. The agency, along with the EPA, are waiting for test results of water samples to determine any potential impacts from the foam used to fight the fire on waterways next to the storage facility, including the Houston Ship Channel.The Harris County Public Health Department said in a statement that based on current health-related data from multiple sources, “there continues to be a low health risk for the general public.”Residents are concernedBut some residents who live near the storage facility said Wednesday they don’t have confidence in the air quality test results. “Everything has been wrapped up in this nice perfect bow in saying that there were no problems. Every air quality was perfect. Every wind was perfect blowing it away. And if everything was so perfect, why did it happen?,” longtime Deer Park resident Terri Garcia said.Bryan Parras, an organizer in Houston with the Sierra Club, said some residents who live near the facility have experienced various symptoms since the fire, including headaches, nausea and nose bleeds.He said his environmental group has concerns not just about the air quality, but about potential impacts to the environment and the fishing industry if chemicals from the storage facility or foam used to fight the fire leaked into the Houston Ship Channel, which leads to the Gulf of Mexico. “This issue isn’t over just because the fire is out. We want systems in place that will protect our communities,” Parras said.ITC released a report on air quality written by the Center for Toxicology and Environmental Health (CTEH), a company they hired. The report said that the VOCs and other materials that were detected “have been below levels that would represent a public health concern.”AccountabilityHidalgo was asked whether Harris County will sue ITC and said “the county, as well as the state and federal levels, are exploring all options and there will be accountability.”ITC said no serious injuries have been reported as a result of the incident, but the cause of the fire still remains unknown. “As soon as it is safe to get our personnel in the tank farm, we will begin a root cause investigation,” said Richardson. Because of the incident, multiple school districts canceled classes and after-school activities on Wednesday, including Channelview ISD, Deer Park ISD, Galena Park, La Porte, Sheldon, Pasadena ISD, and YES Prep East End and Southeast. HISD schools were open, but as a precaution, school officials said outdoor practices and activities in the immediate area of the Deer Park facility were canceled.You can read the report by CTEH here: Sharelast_img read more

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Taking a glimpse into the journey of Tagore

first_imgThe National Gallery of Modern Art, New Delhi, Ministry of Culture, Government of India is organising an exhibition entitled ‘Gurudev: The journey of the maestro’. The event is being organized to commemorate the birth anniversary of Rabindranath Tagore – which falls on May 7. Rabindranath Tagore was fascinated by the worlds of literature, art, music, and dance at an early age. His expression in visual vocabulary is an enormous contribution towards the shaping of the modern art in India and setting a flow for the powerful expressive visual language in context to Indian art. His early paintings included doodles, rhythmical and lyrical lines as well as curves on his manuscripts to scribe out the unnecessary lines or words. These beautiful patterns went on to become his trademark in the art world. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfEach of his visual expression is very individualistic in nature. But for an outline, to enter in his visual world mainly consisting of paintings, one can see them broadly in two major categories. One of which is that of his observations and dialogues with nature and the other being the human – the portrait heads and the figures – which drift in nature or are emerging out of a space.Speaking about the exhibition Adwaita Garanyak, Director General, NGMA said, “I am elated that NGMA is presenting this exhibition at Jaipur House. These artworks of versatile genius give a glimpse of Tagore’s precious contributions to the visual language. I wish to thank Ministry of Culture, Government of India for supporting our endeavors and acknowledge the sincere efforts of the entire NGMA team towards the successful execution of this project.”The exhibition is on view for the public May 8 onwards from 11 am – 6.30 pm, except Mondays and national holidays.last_img read more

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Aman Venice housed in a magnificent 16thcentury

first_imgAman Venice, housed in a magnificent 16th-century palazzo on the Grand Canal, has unveiled a striking new bar with unobstructed views of the canal and the palazzo’s private garden. Glamorous yet intimate, with rich period details and elegant contemporary furnishings – not to mention the largest selection of gin in the city – The Bar is the ideal setting for afternoon tea, a cocktail or a late night tipple. Adding yet another sumptuous venue to this historic palazzo in the heart of Venice, The Bar has a high-ceilinged, spacious allure for convivial gatherings underpinned by an intimate charm for discreet meetings and romantic tête-à-têtes.Designed by architect Gian Giacomo de Grigi for the Coccina family of Bergamo in 1550, the palazzo is a gracious reminder of a bygone era with historic art and architectural features straddling the Renaissance, Baroque and Rocco periods, and a unique destination unto itself. A sweeping staircase rises from the entrance hall through two levels to the Piano Nobile, traditionally the main living and entertainment area of the palazzo where The Bar now resides. Here one also finds the Ballroom, the Salon and the Yellow and Blue Dining Rooms. Each of these venues subtly reflects the Neo Renaissance and Rococo heritage of Michelangelo Guggenheim, chosen by the Papadopoli brothers in the early 1800s to transform their newly acquired palazzo into one of the most significant examples of these styles in Venice. An Aman since 2013, the palazzo retains many of these features crafted by the era’s leading artists, from Tiepolo painted ceilings to dramatic fireplaces by Sansovino. The Bar itself features a regal chandelier and an ornate fresco by 19th-century artist Cesare Rotta, its walls lined with lustrous red silk, give the space its previous name, the Red Room.Warm and inviting, with bar seating as well as generous clusters of tables and chairs, The Bar basks in late afternoon sunshine as the sun sets over the floating city, and is softly lit at night exuding an inviting siren-song ambience to passing guests. Serving tea and light meals as well as an extensive drinks menu and late night snacks, the venue is sure to become known for its impressive gin selection and its refreshing cocktails incorporating this juniper-based spirit alongside traditional Venetian liqueurs. Gin lovers will be treated to a plethora of classics as well as new cocktails: The Aman Old Fashioned is concocted with home-made vanilla bourbon, while the Saffron Delight features homemade saffron syrup. Providing a fresh take on Venetian Cicchetti (small plates akin to Spanish tapas), the accompanying food menu comprises international classics with an Italian influence. Dishes of note are the reinvented mac and cheese tortellini and the fresh, locally-sourced tiger prawns in citrus butter, while sweet treats include a decadent red velvet cake and classic tiramisu. Dining at Aman Venice is already a must for gastronomes visiting the city. Both guests and nonresidents of the hotel are welcome to experience the ever-changing seasonal menus of the Yellow and Blue Dining Rooms, helmed by Andrea Torre and renowned Michelin-starred chef David Oldani, Aman Venice’s creative culinary consultant.Open daily from 12:30pm until 1am, The Bar now serves as the perfect pre- and post-prandial gathering point.last_img read more

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Moodys upgrades RCBs rating to Ba1cr

first_imgBy Stelios OrphanidesMoody’s Investors Service said that it upgraded the RCB Bank’s long-term counterparty risk assessment by a notch to Ba1(cr) after it filed the island’s sovereign credit rating to Ba2, also by a notch a week before.The rating company affirmed the bank’s short-term not prime(cr) counterparty risk assessment, it said on Friday. “The bank’s b2 baseline credit assessment, b1 adjusted baseline credit assessment, B1 long-term deposit ratings and Ba2 long-term counterparty risk ratings as well as its non-prime short-term deposit and counterparty risk ratings remain unaffected by this rating action”.Moody’s added that after it applied its “advanced loss given failure analysis” to determine the counterparty risk assessment, “the cushion provided to obligations captured by the counterparty risk assessment by more junior liabilities accounts for around 19 per cent of RCB Bank’s tangible assets”.While this exercise showed that the counterpart risk assessment would be three notches above the bank’s b1 baseline assessment, the rating was ultimately capped at one notch above Cyprus’ sovereign credit rating, Moody’s said.“Although RCB Bank’s operations in Cyprus are small, the bank is subject to local regulations and its ratings are constrained by the Cypriot sovereign ratings,” Moody’s continued.You May LikeFitness Engage10 Vitamins to Take to Stay FitFitness EngageUndoAP +The 12 Cheapest Cars To Own And OperateAP +UndoPOM Industries LLCPOM Pepper Spray – Next Generation of Performance, Quality and SafetyPOM Industries LLCUndo Russian opposition leader Navalny hospitalised for allergic reactionUndoState Legal Service condemns attack on attorney-generalUndoModi versus Wild: Indian PM to join Bear Grylls in wildernessUndoby Taboolaby Taboolalast_img read more

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