Fourth Highway Improvement Plan Making Roads Bridges Better

first_imgThe 2013-14 edition of the 5-Year Highway Improvement Plan maps out 140 road and bridge projects that will lead to thousands of jobs, millions of dollars to the economy and safer and better travel for Nova Scotians. Since 2009, the province has resurfaced more than 2,500 kilometres of paved road and invested more than $1.1 billion in highway capital construction. “When we launched the plan in 2010, it was the first time Nova Scotians could look ahead to road improvements,” said Maurice Smith, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal. “Since then, we have been working to get the plan together earlier, to be more accountable to Nova Scotians about where tax dollars will go in the next year and give private companies more time to prepare for tenders.” Mr. Smith said increased competition across the province and investments in innovations, such as a new mobile asphalt plant and greater use of pavement preservation techniques, have already resulted in significant savings and will continue to save taxpayer dollars in the long run. This will also allow some capital projects to start ahead of schedule. The plan allows Nova Scotians to learn about major construction projects, repaving, major bridge replacements and maintenance and infrastructure work year by year. It outlines ways to make funding go further, types of roads and how they are prioritized, and a project schedule for the next five years. The province paved or resurfaced more than 600 kilometres during 2012-13, 100 kilometres more than planned. The 2013-14 plan aims to do 700 kilometres of resurfacing. The total highway capital budget for 2013-14 is $245.8 million. Additional operational funding for highway maintenance will be made available as part of the 2013-14 budget. The 2013-14 5-year Highway Improvement Plan is online at Planned provincial road improvements are also available on an interactive map: read more

Weekly Traffic Advisories

first_img HALIFAX REGIONAL MUNICIPALITY: North West Arm Drive Both southbound lanes on North West Arm Drive are closed during repairs to the bridge over the Chain of Lakes Trail beside First Chain Lake. Traffic is being detoured to the northbound bridge where there is one lane for each direction. Repairs to both bridges are expected to be completed by Friday, Dec. 15. -30- CONTINUING WORKlast_img


first_imgGolden Globe winner Stephan James poses with his brother Shamier Anderson and his mother Carmelita Anderson at the 2019 Canadian Screen Awards. Advertisement Canada’s biggest stars in movies and television step out in style for the 7th annual Canadian Screen Awards held at the Sony Centre for the Performing Arts in Toronto on Sunday, March 31.  (Photos by George Pimentel ) Eugene Levy joins his “Schitt’s Creek” co-star and 2019 CSAs winner Catherine O’Hara on the red carpet at the 2019 Canadian Screen Awards in Toronto. Father-son duo and “Schitt’s Creek” co-stars Dan Levy and Eugene Levy suit up at the 2019 Canadian Screen Awards. ET Canada’s Cheryl Hickey sparkles in a black sequin gown at the 2019 Canadian Screen Awards in Toronto. “The Great Darkened Days” star Sarah Gadon shines in gold on the red carpet at the 2019 Canadian Screen Awards. “Schitt’s Creek” actress Annie Murphy glistens on the red carpet at the 2019 Canadian Screen Awards in Toronto. “Mary Kills People” star and CSAs nominee Caroline Dhavernas wows in black at the 2019 Canadian Screen Awards in Toronto. Presenter Jann Arden arrives in a floral dress at the 2019 Canadian Screen Awards in Toronto. “Kim’s Convenience” co-stars and CSAs presenters Simu Liu, Andrea Bang, Paul Sun-Hyun Lee, Jean Yoon and Andrew Phung pose on the red carpet. Presenter Jerry O’Connell has a date night with his wife Rebecca Romijn at the 2019 Canadian Screen Awards. Presenter and “Big Brother Canada” host Arisa Cox wows in a bright pink and red dress at the 2019 Canadian Screen Awards. Presenter and “Will & Grace” star Eric McCormack arrives at the 2019 Canadian Screen Awards. “Schitt’s Creek” actress and CSAs winner Emily Hampshire wows on the red carpet at the 2019 Canadian Screen Awards. Golden Globe winner Stephan James poses with his brother Shamier Anderson and his mother Carmelita Anderson at the 2019 Canadian Screen Awards. “Workin’ Moms” creator and nominee Catherine Reitman steps out at the 2019 Canadian Screen Awards. Nominee Wendy Crewson strikes a pose on the red carpet at the 2019 Canadian Screen Awards in a black tulle gown. “Carmilla” actress Natasha Negovanlis attends the 2019 Canadian Screen Awards in Toronto. “Anne with an E” star Amybeth McNulty glistens in gold at the 2019 Canadian Screen Awards. “Murdoch Mysteries” star Yannick Bisson poses with his wife Shantelle Bisson at the 2019 Canadian Screen Awards. “Baroness von Sketch Show” actresses and Canadian Screen Award winners Aurora Browne, Meredith MacNeill, Carolyn Taylor and Jennifer Whalen pose together on the red carpet in Toronto. “Killjoys” star and CSAs nominee Aaron Ashmore steps out for the 2019 Canadian Screen Awards in Toronto. “Arrow” actor Michael Rowe poses with his parents on the red carpet at the 2019 Canadian Screen Awards. “Private Eyes” star and CSAs nominee Cindy Sampson arrives on the red carpet at the 2019 Canadian Screen Awards. “Cardinal” actress and CSAs winner Karine Vanasse steps out in style at the 2019 Canadian Screen Awards. Actors Susan Kent, Mary Walsh and Jonny Harris pose together at the 2019 Canadian Screen Awards in Toronto. “Wynonna Earp” star and CSAs nominee Melanie Scrofano steps out in a silver gown at the Canadian Screen Awards. Former “Smallville” actress Laura Vandervoort attends the 2019 Canadian Screen Awards in Toronto. “Burden of Truth” actress Kristin Kreuk steps out in a white gown for the 7th annual Canadian Screen Awards. “The Kids in the Hall” co-stars Bruce McCulloch, Dave Foley, Kevin McDonald and Scott Thompson attend the 2019 Canadian Screen Awards. “Blood and Water” stars Selena Lee and Steph Song pose together at the 2019 Canadian Screen Awards. “Corner Gas” star Brent Butt poses on the red carpet at the 2019 Canadian Screen Awards. Presenter and “Bad Blood” star Kim Coates poses on the red carpet at the 7th annual Canadian Screen Awards. By Cat Williams Advertisement LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment center_img Twitter Facebook Login/Register With:last_img read more

First Nations look forward to new relationship with Ottawa chiefs

first_imgThe Canadian PressWINNIPEG – Some First Nations leaders say the federal election awoke a sleeping giant that the incoming Liberal government will have to contend with – starting with an inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women.Voter turnout spiked by up to 20 per cent in some largely Aboriginal ridings. Chiefs said Tuesday the higher turnout helped drive the Conservatives from office after almost a decade and bring about the prospect of a new, respectful relationship with Ottawa.A jubilant Grand Chief Derek Nepinak with the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs called it “a great day.”“I feel a lot of relief from the years of very purposeful oppression that was brought forward from the previous government,” Nepinak said.“Mr. Harper, when he was prime minister, awoke a sleeping giant in our people. That giant is awake and the new Liberal majority government is going to have to deal with a giant in the Indigenous people of these lands.”In the riding of Churchill-Keewatinook Aski, which covers much of Manitoba’s north, chiefs said turnout was up by more than 11,000 voters – an increase of 20 per cent from 2011. Some polling stations on reserves worried the high turnout would lead to their running out of ballots, which prompted last-minute calls to Elections Canada.Elections Canada said Tuesday it hadn’t calculated Aboriginal voter turnout yet.Expectations of a new Liberal government are high. Chiefs have a list of issues they want addressed. At the top is an inquiry into Canada’s estimated 1,200 missing and murdered Aboriginal women.Grand Chief Sheila North Wilson, who represents northern First Nations in Manitoba, said people are looking for an inquiry to be called within the first 100 days of Justin Trudeau’s mandate. The families of those who have lost loved ones must be the driving force, she said.“There are many things that we’re hearing from our own families of why they see these problems,” said North Wilson, who is with Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak. “A lot of it has to do with poverty, lack of education and even just the complete disregard for our people.”Kevin Hart, Manitoba regional chief with the Assembly of First Nations, said his people woke up with a sense of relief and look forward to working with Ottawa. Housing, clean water, equal education funding and resource-sharing for First Nations communities are all top priorities, he said.“Change was needed. Fear-mongering, hate literature and hate campaigns against ethnic groups across Canada failed. True Canadians came out and showed support,” Hart said.Hopes are high among northern Ontario aboriginals as well.Chief Erwin Redsky of the Shoal Lake 40 First Nation on the Manitoba-Ontario boundary said turnout was up in 40 First Nations within the riding of Kenora. Redsky said it was at least 90 per cent on his reserve, which has been under a boil-water advisory for 17 years and has been fighting for a rudimentary all-weather road.Greg Rickford, who was natural resources minister, lost his seat to former Liberal Indian Affairs Minister Bob Nault in a tough three-way race. People were engaged this time around, Redsky said, especially when they heard promises of a new nation-to-nation relationship with Canada.“I asked my wife to pinch me,” Redsky said. “I thought I’d never hear that … We look forward to this new era. The work has just begun.”last_img read more

Algerian Official Attacks Moroccan Diplomat at UN Meeting in St Vincent

Rabat – A Moroccan diplomat was attacked by an Algerian official on Thursday at a United Nations meeting in the Caribbean. Morocco has denounced the act of “physical aggression,” calling it a “serious” incident “against all diplomatic etiquette.”At the meeting of a UN committee on decolonization in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Soufiane Mimouni, the director general of the Algerian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MAE), “physically attacked” the deputy of the Moroccan ambassador to Saint Lucia, a Moroccan official told the French Press Agency (AFP).“Our diplomatic was sent to the hospital,” said the official, “the meeting was interrupted, [and] a complaint was submitted.” Moroccan Minister of Foreign Affairs Nasser Bourita told the press agency that recent years have seen increased tension in the meetings regarding representation of the Sahara, but that such an attack was unprecedented.“Thus transgressing all diplomatic etiquette and customs, on the part of a high diplomat, the third-highest in the MAE, this is serious,” said Bourita. “This type of extreme [violence], to the point of physical aggression, is unique in the history books.”“This reflects the extreme nerve of Algerian diplomacy: that a Algerian representative having travelled to Saint-Lucie, riled up by the questions of our representatives, would take matters into his own hands. It is also more surprising on the part of a country [Algeria] that calls itself simply an observer” of the Sahara.Bourita called on Algeria to “contribute to a solution and assume responsibility in the matter.” read more

UN agency hails 40th anniversary of landmark African refugee convention

Today marks the 40th anniversary of an African refugee convention, which the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNCHR) hails as “groundbreaking” for having paved the way for millions on the continent to receive protection and assistance.Under the 1951 UN Convention relating to the Status of Refugees, a refugee was defined as a person having “a well-founded fear of persecution for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group or political opinion.”The 1969 Refugee Convention of the Organization of African Unity (OAU), the precursor to the African Union (AU), expanded that definition to include “every person who, owing to external aggression, occupation, foreign domination or events seriously disturbing public order.”The pact’s “importance and vitality remain undiminished today,” UNHCR spokesperson Andrej Mahecic said.In Africa today, there are nearly 2.7 million refugees and asylum-seekers. There are a further 6.3 million uprooted within their own countries, with the continent home to almost half of all of the world’s internally displaced persons (IDPs).George Okoth-Obbo, UNHCR’s Africa Bureau Director, acknowledged that there have been and continued to be failures, due to derelict State behaviour and other reasons, to protect the rights enshrined in the pact, but stressed these “cannot be put at the door of the 1969 Convention itself.”He noted that the Convention does not protect those forced to flee their homes internally by conflict or other factors, along with the emerging threat of climate change.To this end, the AU is holding a special summit next month in the Ugandan capital, Kampala, to adopt a regional convention on internal displacement.That agreement will be the first of its kind in the world, Mr. Okoth-Obbo noted. “It is critical that the convention elaborates the primary obligations of States, ranging from the responsibility to prevent displacement itself to responses which should be activated when and where displacement takes place.” 10 September 2009Today marks the 40th anniversary of an African refugee convention, which the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNCHR) hails as “groundbreaking” for having paved the way for millions on the continent to receive protection and assistance. read more

Merchants being misled on credit debit card fees federal watchdog says

A federal consumer watchdog says some credit and debit card payment companies are breaking rules it created to protect retailers, which in turn could be costing Canadians more money.The Financial Consumer Agency of Canada issued a warning to the industry on Wednesday that it will not tolerate payment companies who mislead merchants into paying hidden fees or lock them into confusing contracts.The concerns stem from a code of conduct introduced by the federal government nearly three years ago designed to encourage further clarity in the contracts signed between retailers and credit and debit card companies.But the agency said it found some payment companies, who it did not name, have been misrepresenting the terms of contracts with merchants by advertising and promising rates that they were unable to honour.“Over the past year, we have seen certain practices by some in the industry that undermine the letter and spirit of the code,” said commissioner Ursula Menke in a release.“This guidance is meant to address these issues by providing better disclosure to merchants and eliminating inappropriate sales and business practices that result in increased costs for merchants, and consequently for consumers as well.”Over the past year, we have seen certain practices by some in the industry that undermine the letter and spirit of the codeThe agency said its investigation found that some merchants signed agreements that they later discovered were linked to additional contracts that had different cancellation clauses, penalty fees or costs associated with them.While the merchant was able to cancel the agreement without penalty, the agency said they were still locked into paying additional fees to cancel the other contracts.“In some cases, these penalties were enough to deter a merchant from invoking his or her right to cancel all contracts without penalty,” the agency said in its report.As part of the findings, the consumer agency outlined a summary form for payment companies that would disclose key information from the agreement they make with merchants.The report was met with a positive reaction from the Retail Council of Canada, which lobbies for retailers.Diane Brisebois, president of the retail council, said she was pleased that the commissioner recognized that “retailers have been dealing with unfair and unscrupulous practices from some in the payment card industry.”Payment transaction processor Interac said it would adopt the increased disclosure practices.“We continue to fully support the code of conduct and commend the FCAC commissioner for taking this step to help clarify what is expected of the market when adhering to the Code of Conduct,” said Interac president and CEO Mark O’Connel in a statement.The Canadian Press read more

Goals set by Istanbuls Habitat forum still elusive head of UN agency

Speaking at a joint news conference at UN Headquarters, Anna Tibaijuka, Executive Director of the UN Centre for Human Settlements (Habitat), emphasized the importance of bringing shelter back into the UN strategy for fighting poverty. “The delivery of shelter would not come about by decree alone but would require investment at different levels,” she said. “While progress has been made, much remains to be done.”Ms. Tibaijuka noted that several delegations at the session had called for the honouring of past commitments regarding international development assistance, which would be one of the important sources of funding to break the vicious cycle experienced by many developing countries. Commenting on concerns raised by some non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that they had been left out of the review process, Ms. Tibaijuka said that the Assembly had passed a resolution last December to accommodate Habitat partners in the special session. She said she was not aware of NGOs being excluded, especially since the Assembly had this morning authorized an unprecedented number of them to speak at the session. The Chairman of the Preparatory Committee for the special session, Ambassador German Garcia Duran of Colombia, told the press that negotiations continued on the draft declaration on cities and other human settlements in the new millennium – the main outcome document to be adopted at the end of the session. The declaration would give political strength to the process of implementing the Habitat Agenda adopted at the Istanbul conference. That process, he said, had so far been inadequate. read more

Extreme weather hits Asia Europe as world leaders gear up for UN

Margareta Wahlström, head of the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) said: “Heads of State are expected to make national announcements on both mitigation and adaptation, and we do hope that these announcements will include commitments to disaster risk reduction.”The UN Climate Summit on Tuesday, convened by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, is the largest gathering of leaders on climate change to date, which aims to mobilize action and obtain more commitments from Governments and actors of the civil society to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and invest in more resilience.Ms. Wahlström’s Office said extreme weather events around the globe are setting the scene for the arrival in New York of some 120 Heads of State and hundreds of CEO’s for the Summit, which will take place at UN Headquarters in New York.Over the weekend, UNISDR said in a press release that the worst areas affected by flooding were in Manila, the Philippines, where at least 200,000 people were evacuated after Tropical storm Fung-Wong hit the city.The storm arrived as the Philippines capital was recovering from last week’s Typhoon Kalmaegi, which had left eight people dead and thousands displaced, and amid fears that the situation in Manila may worsen in the days to come.France and Italy saw also heavy rain and flooding over the weekend as well, according UNISDR.It said rains badly hit the department of Var in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region in south-eastern France when the Argens river rose rapidly. Some areas of Var saw between 120 to160 mm of rain last Friday and around 100 mm of rain fell in Nice, south of France.St. Mark’s Square in Venice was also flooded after heavy rains poured into the northern part of Italy. Tuscany also saw some severe weather, and Viareggio is under 50 centimetres of water.UNISDR said these latest events add to the toll floods have already taken around the globe. Earlier this month, China, Pakistan, South Sudan and Uganda were among the countries hit by flooding, which they continue to respond to.Flooding in Bentiu, South Sudan is contributing to worsening malnutrition rates among 46,000 displaced and many remain homeless in Pakistan where the flood emergency is affecting 2.3 million people, resulting in 312 deaths and the loss of 1.7 million acres of crops.UNISDR said the extreme weather patterns may be further indications of the “new normal” that the world will have to deal with, if no accelerated action is taken to keep global warming within 2°Celsius.“The UN Climate Summit is an important step on the road towards adopting a post-2015 framework for Disaster Risk Reduction,” Ms. Wahlström said.She went on to say the new accord will be complementary to new agreements on climate action and sustainable development goals and to the post-2015 framework for Disaster Risk Reduction that will be adopted in Sendai, Japan next year during the Third UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction. read more

Klefbom spoils Quicks return Oilers beat Kings 32

EDMONTON — Oscar Klefbom scored his second straight game winner and added an assist as the Edmonton Oilers defeated the Los Angeles Kings 3-2 on Thursday.Klefbom broke a 2-2 tie with 2:20 remaining in the third on the power play with a blast from the point.Jesse Puljujarvi and Alex Chiasson also scored for the Oilers (12-11-2), who won their second game in a row and are now 3-1-1 under new head coach Ken Hitchcock.Dustin Brown and Jeff Carter replied for the Kings (9-15-1), who had a two-game win streak snapped.L.A. goalie Jonathan Quick made his first start since Oct. 23, missing 15 games with surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his knee.Edmonton started the scoring just 1:21 into the first period as Puljujarvi poked in the rebound of a Drake Caggiula shot past Quick. The play survived a coach’s challenge video review for suspected goaltender interference.The Oilers added to their lead midway through the opening period on the power play when Chiasson, who came to the Oilers on a training camp try-out, scored his 11th of the season on a rebound from his knees.Los Angeles got one back with six minutes left in the first when Brown beat Oilers goalie Mikko Koskinen on a one-timer from the top of the circle for his eighth goal of the season.The Kings tied it up on a two-man advantage with 31 seconds left in the first on a goal by Carter, their first power-play goal on the road this season.It looked like L.A. had the lead early in the third on a goal by Tyler Toffoli, but the play was deemed offside on a coach’s challenge.The Kings conclude a three-game Western Canadian road trip in Calgary on Friday. The Oilers close out a three-game homestand on Saturday against the Vegas Golden Knights.Notes: It was the second of four meetings between the Oilers and Kings this season. The Kings won the first contest 5-2 four days previous… To make room for Quick’s return, Los Angeles assigned goalie Peter Budaj to Ontario of the American Hockey League.Shane Jones, The Canadian Press read more

Ohio State youth contributes to Buckeye blowout of Kent State

OSU redshirt-sophomore wide receiver Michael Thomas (3) sprints away from Kent State defenders on his way to the end zone Sept.13 at Ohio Stadium. OSU won 66-0.Credit: Mark Batke / Photo editorThe Ohio State football team moved on from its loss to Virginia Tech last week in emphatic fashion, defeating the Kent State Golden Flashes Saturday, 66-0.The blowout win allowed for multiple freshmen and young players to get playing time they would not normally get. In fact, 23 redshirt and true freshmen took the field for the Buckeyes, something coach Urban Meyer said he wanted to take away from Saturday’s game.“I wanted to see a quick start, I wanted to see some young players play, even players that are considered starters here,” Meyer said after the game. “There are just so many guys out there from the (redshirt-freshman offensive lineman) Billy Prices to the (redshirt-senior offensive lineman) Darryl Baldwin’s, just want to get them a lot of reps, and we did that today.”Even though he is a starter, J.T. Barrett qualified as one of those young players as Meyer said he wanted to see what his redshirt-freshman quarterback could do following the loss to Virginia Tech.“I wanted to force him to make plays, and receivers — it’s not just him, it’s the whole combination of quarterback/receivers. I thought he played good.”Barrett, who tied the OSU single game passing touchdown record at six, said he feels as though he is improving with each game.“I feel like I’m progressing each week. I’m just trying to get better each week,” Barrett said. “I definitely feel more comfortable every week as I get more reps. Things are starting to slow down for me in the game.”Including the six scores, Barrett lived up to his “distributor” nickname as he completed passes to 11 different receivers and finished with 312 yards passing.Barrett became the first OSU quarterback to amass 300 passing yards in a game since Troy Smith did so in 2006.Senior wide receiver Devin Smith, who exploded for a 50 yard score from Barrett in the second quarter, said after the game that having a plethora of receivers makes the offense a more complete unit.“We have people playing multiple positions, like myself, (senior wide receiver Evan Spencer) and a few other guys that can play,” Smith said. “I think it’s great to have a rotation to keep guys fresh and keep the offense fast.”Another one of those receivers was redshirt-sophomore Michael Thomas, whose 63-yard score in the first half ignited the crowd of 104,404 at Ohio Stadium.Thomas said following the game that the near-capacity crowd motivated him to elevate his play.“It was a great experience,” Thomas said. “Also having that great crowd out there, Buckeye nation was real strong today and it helped us. They give us momentum.”Meyer said he also appreciated the crowd and echoed Thomas’ comments.“I’ve seen places where all of a sudden that stadium is half full,” Meyer said. “There’s disinterest involved. That stadium was packed, and our players fed off of that.”Another one of those players was freshman linebacker Raekwon McMillan, who despite not starting led the team in tackles with seven total, including two sacks.McMillan said post-game that he feels he is starting to settle into his role with the Buckeyes.“I practice hard for the games during the week so the game will be easy,” McMillan said. “I learned from what the guys around me are doing, so I feel like I can play more loose now.”Co-defensive coordinator and safeties coach Chris Ash said that even though young players got to see the field, his expectations for them are the same as veterans.“We wanted to make sure that the expectations were still the same whether it’s the ones, twos or threes out there,” Ash said following the win. “We walked away with a zero on the scoreboard and that is always a great feeling.”The shutout marked the first time the Buckeyes have held an opponent scoreless since a 76-0 victory against Florida A&M last season.The Buckeyes are set for a bye week before taking on Cincinnati on Sept. 27 at 6 p.m. in Ohio Stadium.Watch Lantern TV’s highlight reel of the Ohio State v. Kent State game below. read more

The 5 at 5 Friday

first_imgThis five picture combo shows a building collapsing in a cloud of dust and water while being imploded today, in Porto, Portugal. (Image: Paulo Duarte/AP/Press Association Images)EVERY WEEKDAY EVENING, brings you the five stories you need to know before you head out the door.1. #BAILOUT: The Eurozone’s finance ministers have agreed to extend the payment dates of Ireland’s European bailout loans. The Eurogroup, meeting in Dublin Castle this morning, agreed to extend the maturities of Ireland’s loans from the EFSF and EFSM bailout funds by an average of seven years.2. #CROKE PARK II: Members of the Technical, Electrical and Engineering Union (TEEU) have voted against the Croke Park Agreement. Nearly two-thirds of members rejected the proposals (65.6 per cent). A final decision from public workers on whether to back the proposals is likely to be made next week.3. #RYANAIR: Unions and politicians in Norway have called for a boycott of Ryanair, as two former stewards plan to sue the Irish carrier for unfair dismissal and breaching labour laws. Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary has rejected accusations that his low-cost airline treated its employees like slaves, as Norwegian prime minister Jens Stoltenberg said he would never travel with the no-frills airline again.4. #JOBS: Games company EA have announced that they are cutting a number of jobs at its customer service centre in Galway. While a spokesperson for the company would not disclose the number of jobs that would be lost, understands it is just less than 20. The news comes after the company declared last year that it would create 300 new positions in the expansion of its presence in the county.5. #MORTGAGE ARREARS: A report by the Money Advice and Budgeting Service (MABS) has found the clients in mortgage difficulty are primarily households with children, located in urban areas and headed up by people between the ages of 45 and 65. The report also uncovered that over a third of all MABS clients with mortgages were living in Dublin, Cork or Galway.last_img read more

Candidates pledge Yacolt stability

first_imgAfter seven months rife with turnover in the town’s government, Yacolt’s three mayoral candidates hope to bring stability to Clark County’s smallest incorporated area.Yacolt’s town council has appointed three new council members and a new mayor, James Weldon, in 2011. The changes stemmed from the death of one member (Ron Madler), a member’s becoming town clerk (Cindy Marbut) and Weldon’s taking over for former Mayor Joe Warren, who resigned in March due to unspecified health concerns.Weldon, recently appointed council member Skip Benge, and Jeff Carothers — who unsuccessfully sought appointment to the council three times this year — are the three candidates seeking the mayor’s seat this fall. Unlike in larger communities with city managers, Yacolt’s mayor is responsible for overseeing town operations in the community of 1,566 people.The primary election is Aug. 16. Unless one candidate receives more than 50 percent of the primary vote, the top two finishers will face off in the Nov. 8 election.The Yacolt Town Council appointed Weldon as mayor April 4. Warren, who had served since 2005, stepped down March 7, citing “personal reasons beyond my control.”Warren resigned one week after a state audit reported the town violated state law by purchasing materials from a town employee without a competitive bidding process. He vehemently denied the timing of his resignation had anything to do with the audit.last_img read more

Even more proof that your iPhone and Android are more expensive in

first_img $833 LG G5: $576-689 LG V40: $900-$980 If you generate enough value, then consumers will be ready to pay. Justin Denison, SVP of Samsung Mobile Now playing: Watch this: Expected Sept 2019 Best Buy While there are certain conditions nudging prices higher, this triumvirate of rising costs is making most phones explosively expensive in 2019. These new technologies and designs are pushing prices higher in the name of advancement, but they are also positioning brands to create an ultra-high-end segment that can make each sale more profitable. That’s important in a climate where phone sales are slowing, and people hold onto their devices for three years or more.  The fact that people buy increasingly costly handsets in the top tier underscores the cell phone’s importance as an everything-device for communication, work, photography and entertainment. And as processing power, camera technology, battery life and internet data speeds improve generation after generation, the value people attach to a phone is sure to swell.   “Consumers are prepared to pay a premium for a mobile phone because it is arguably the most important product in their lives,” said Ben Wood, the chief research analyst at CCS Insight. Galaxy S7: $650-695 Share your voice Galaxy S10 Plus: $1,000 Galaxy S9 Plus: $840-$930 Now playing: Watch this: iPhone 8 Plus: $799 8:24 Moto G6: $249 Close up with the Galaxy Fold screen, notch and hinge Mentioned Above Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus (128GB, prism black) How To • How to take badass car photos with your Galaxy S10 Plus CNET may get a commission from retail offers. N/A % change of highest price from 2016 to current model Galaxy S8 Plus: $785-$850 OnePlus 3: $399 Samsung Galaxy Plus Samsung Galaxy Our Galaxy Fold didn’t break. Here’s what’s good and… Galaxy S9: $720-$800 Pixel 2: $649 2018 (starting price) Galaxy S8: $720-$750 Expected Oct 2019 Foldable Phones Tablets Phones Moto G5 Plus (no Moto G5 in the US): $229 Motorola Moto G Expected Sept 2019 S7 Edge: $750-795 iPhone XS: $999 Sprint iPhone 7 Plus: $769 Pixel 2XL: $849 LG G6: $600-720 N/A 4:06 Expected Aug 2019 13.6% N/A LG G7: $750-790 Moto G4: $199 Yep, your phone costs more every year With few exceptions, phone prices from top brands are on the rise. The uptick is immediately noticeable when comparing phone prices from today with the same model released two or in some cases, three, years ago. Apple’s prices have risen at a steady rate for both its standard size iPhone along with the Plus and Max lines, making the iPhone XS Max a luxury spinoff. Samsung’s Galaxy S, S Plus and Note prices are swinging upward too for standard models.  Yes, the Galaxy S10E comes in at a lower $750, but the Galaxy S10 and Galaxy S10 Plus are more expensive now than their Galaxy S9 equivalents were a year ago. 50% But making phones is more expensive now, right? Phones, like all electronics, are composed of parts sourced from various suppliers, and if the cost of those parts goes up, it’s a sure bet the cost of the phones will, too. Demand for more storage over the past few years has triggered price hikes, pushing up the cost of memory and prompting suppliers to invest in building more factories to meet the demand, according to Wood.  Adding more sophisticated cameras — like the iPhone XS’ 3D depth sensing front-facing camera — or more lenses, like the Galaxy S10 and Huawei Mate 20 Pro’s three rear shooters or the Nokia 9 PureView’s five rear cameras, costs more too. And so do materials like bendable screens, glass or ceramic for a phone’s backing, or sturdy aerospace-grade aluminum for the frame. You can bet that the first phone to debut a diamond glass screen (if that ever happens) or the new, smudge-resistant Vibrant Satin Corning Gorilla Glass won’t be cheap. It’s also expensive for companies like Samsung to build a whole new manufacturing process for elements like the troubled Infinity Flex display used on the Galaxy Fold. huawei-p30-pro-10The Huawei P30 Pro cost £899 and converts to $1,135. Angela Lang/CNET Yet while the cost of all these components — called the Bill of Materials, or BOM — can partially explain why high-end phones cost more each year, many experts say that phone-makers are padding their profits. “I certainly accept that some elements of the cost came from the components and the manufacturing process… but not to that order of magnitude,” Wood said. Carolina Milanesi, an analyst with Creative Strategies, agrees. “There is certainly more going into these phones than ever before,” she said in an email. “The BOM is certainly growing for these devices, but I do think that there is a premium margin applied by the brands to their flagship products because they are status symbols.” zte-axon-10-pro-9ZTE’s Axon 10 Pro 5G is one of many handsets ready for the 5G era to begin.  Andrew Hoyle/CNET The 5G and foldable effect Apple and Samsung struggled with stagnant sales that continued into 2019, but the advent of 5G and foldable phone designs gives phone manufacturers more license to prop up costs. 5G phones require completely new technology inside the device, and phones have to be tailor-made to work with a single carrier. That’s at least until 5G networks really get off the ground. In the early days of 5G phones, prices could rise by $200 or $300 per phone, OnePlus told CNET in December 2018. We’re still waiting for pricing on many of the 5G phones that have been announced so far. Tags OnePlus offers some explanation for its rising prices.”As reliance on smartphones has increased drastically over a short amount of time, the increase in quality and components across the industry required to meet high performance demands has also risen,” a OnePlus representative said last August. According to LG, “Key [pricing] factors include the cost of components, competitor pricing, carrier incentives, tariffs, etc.,” Ken Hong, LG’s senior director of global communications, said in an email. “Fact is, these input costs are rising so we’re forced to follow suit.” CNET reached out to all manufacturers mentioned in this story for comment. The “5G” in the Galaxy S10 5G makes this phone cost more than a G. Jessica Dolcourt/CNET Interestingly, the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL cost the same as the Pixel and Pixel XL. However, Google raised the Pixel 3 price 23%, without adding a second camera on the back and making minimal design changes. Google has pushed up the price to match the competition. OnePlus 7 Pro packs top features for less than $700 Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus 2017 (starting price) OnePlus 7 Pro: $670 (128GB/6GB RAM model) iPhone XS Max: $1,099 LG V20: $672-829 Note 9: $1,000 15.4% Now playing: Watch this: 19% iPhone (cheapest) iPhone 7: $649 iPhone 8: $699 23.10% $999 Note 8: $930-960 “If you generate enough value [in the phone], then consumers will be ready to pay,” said Justin Denison, Samsung’s SVP of mobile, last December when Samsung first discussed its 5G phone. Even greater burgeoning costs apply to foldable phone designs, which include the Galaxy Fold, Mate X and a rumored foldable Motorola Razr for $1,500. These phones will have bendable plastic screens that open into a larger display, like a tablet, but fold into a device around the same height and width as today’s phones (though thicker). Compared to these $1,500 and $2,000 devices, a premium 4G phone for $1,000 seems typical. Yet mushrooming costs on the highest-end can still result in more expensive 4G phones in 2019, that don’t have 5G radios and foldable displays. With today’s Galaxy S10, iPhone XS and Huawei Mate 20 Pro nudging prices skyward, other players have reason to follow suit. dollars-money-samsung-s9-3If you want the best of the best, prepare to part with your cash. Angela Lang/CNET Even midtier models can get away with raising their price tags so long as the devices cost relatively less. For example, the OnePlus 7 Pro now costs more than half of what you’d shell out for the Galaxy S10 Plus and iPhone XS, but the relative value is still easier to swallow for a “cheaper” phone with high-end parts. According to Wood, the analyst, it all started when Apple announced the $1,000 iPhone X. “They did the whole industry a favor,” Wood said. “That gave all the other manufacturers some breathing space and I can imagine there was a certain delight in the corridors of Samsung and Huawei and others.” Lifting the price ceiling has one other consequence. Apple and Samsung both introduced the iPhone XR and Galaxy S10E as a $750 palate-cleanser to the starting prices of the iPhone XS ($1,000) and Galaxy S10 ($900). Comparatively, $750 seems like a downright deal. Lowering the cost of entry to an “affordable flagship” is a play to keep cost-conscious buyers within the iPhone or Galaxy family, respectively. one-plus-6t-9OnePlus phone prices are rising, but the phones are still cheaper than rivals’. Angela Lang/CNET Midrange phones are still affordable, thank goodnessAlthough foldable and 5G phones are blowing buyers’ price expectations out of the water, that may not mean that the cost of every phone will rise at such sharp rates. We continue to see fierce competition in the middle and low end where phones like the Motorola Moto G7 and Motorola One Vision, as well as phones like the Huawei Honor 20 Lite. Yes, the prices are rising by percentage, as with the Moto G6 to G7, but since the overall cost is still right about $300, Motorola’s move presents a much less drastic shift than on the high end. Even at that higher-end though, a $1,000 “premium phone” might still cost hundreds less than a cutting-edge 5G device, and possibly half the amount of a foldable phone. moto-g7-plus-analisis-9Phones like the Moto G7 and G7 Plus (pictured) remain firmly in the budget range. Óscar Gutiérrez/CNET Other brands for wallet-watchers to look for include Nokia, Xiaomi, Sony, Oppo and Asus, which help fill the gap worldwide by quietly cranking out basic, affordable phones for cost-sensitive buyers. They each make premium phones as well as midprice devices, although not every phone will be available in every market.  So while the shiniest, most powerful devices are still locked on a path to their highest prices yet, there’s still a strong demand for midrange and entry-level phones aimed at people with tighter budgets or more basic needs. If a $1,000 phone sounds too outrageous, you may need to find beauty in a more modest phone, or get over the sticker shock and accept that the days of a $600 flagship phone are long behind us. $1,000, in fact, is becoming the new normal. Originally published Aug. 5, 2018, and regularly updated. N/A Expected Sept 2019 See It OnePlus 5: $479 / OnePlus 5T: $499 The data from 13 phone models from 2016 to 2019 shows a pattern of sharp price hikes that we expect to heighten in 2019 and beyond (see chart below). Rising prices aren’t unusual on their own. Faster, better components like processors and multiplying cameras cost more to make. The financial load of researching and developing new materials also gets folded into the final product.  And inflation affects the cost of goods outside of tech, too. But R&D spending and inflation don’t tell the entire story your phone’s creeping expense.  iPhone X: $999 iPhone X iPhone Plus/Max Google Pixel 36 Photos News • Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus to be used to film entire Tonight Show episode OnePlus 29.5% Comments See it 18.2% OnePlus 6: $529 / OnePlus 6T: $549 Phone prices are soaring year over year, and trends suggest they’ll only get more expensive. The OnePlus 7 Pro is the latest handset to demonstrate that phone prices aren’t just rising a little more with each model, but that they’re taking advantage of a shift in the current mobile landscape that includes 5G devices and foldable phones to boost prices. For example, OnePlus, whose excellent new phone now sells on T-Mobile, increased the price of its new “Pro” model 22% over the OnePlus 6T it sold in November. Yes, this is a Pro model, but it’s the only one that will sell in the US, and it still costs less than its closest Galaxy S10E and iPhone XR rivals. OnePlus is just the latest instance of phones getting more expensive for both Android and iPhone. Prices were already mounting before 2019, but a shake-up in the smartphone world is seeing foldable phones like the Galaxy Fold and Huawei Mate X, and 5G-ready devices, like the Galaxy S10 5G, pushing phone prices well over the $1,000 mark that’s become the ceiling for premium phones. The Galaxy S10 5G, for example, costs $1,300 at Verizon, a carrier whose 5G network is barely off the ground. If 5G phones punch through the pricing barrier, foldable phones obliterate it completely. Samsung’s foldable Galaxy Fold starts at $1,980 (roughly £1,500 or AU$2,800) for the 4G version, a price that Samsung justifies by virtue of its foldable phone being a luxury device that’s also a true phone-tablet hybrid — though we’ll see what happens to the price in light of the Galaxy Fold’s delay after some reviewers reported screen malfunctions. Pixel: $649 We tested Verizon’s new 5G network Meanwhile, Huawei’s foldable phone, the Mate X, will cost buyers 2,300 euros, or roughly $2,600 — this foldable is still on track for summer. That’s high for a phone swathed in leather and sapphire crystal, and unprecedented for one made of plastic. Huawei, too, positions the foldable Mate X in this new category of hybrid devices. Rumors suggest that a foldable Motorola Razr will come in for the “budget” price of $1,500 or thereabouts (purported foldable Razr renders here).Even 4G “candy bar”-shaped phones in 2019 that don’t bend and don’t have 5G are seeing price inflation. The Galaxy S10 ($900) costs 20% more than the median price of the Galaxy S9 ($850). Likewise, the budget-minded Motorola G7 ($299) rose 20% from the Moto G6 ($249). And that’s for the starting models. Level up your storage capacity and phones become more costly still. If you want an iPhone XS ($1,000) with 512GB storage capacity, you’ll pay 35% more ($1,349).  Moto G7: $299 42.9% Xiaomi ZTE 5G Oppo Asus Google Huawei LG Motorola Nokia Samsung Sony T-Mobile Verizon Pixel XL: $769 N/A Pixel 3 XL: $899 Expected Oct 2019 16.9% LG V30: $800-912 2019 (starting price) 48 Photos iPhone XR: $749 Review • Galaxy S10 Plus braces for Galaxy Note 10 impact Galaxy S10 E US phone prices from 2016-2019 Samsung Galaxy Note 2016 (starting price) LG G series Here’s every iPhone ever made from 2007 to today See It Galaxy S10: $900 LG G8: $820-$850 $999 Google Pixel Plus Mate X foldable phone: Here’s what it’s really like to use $999 Abt Electronics See It Pixel 3: $799 60 Photos 25.8% 0% 10:12 Galaxy S10E: $750 99+ 67.9% LG V50: TBD Note 7: $834-880 LG V serieslast_img read more

Protests loom in Indonesia as Subianto challenges Jokowi win in presidential polls

first_img“If there are any illegal or unconstitutional actions that threaten public stability and security, (authorities) will take firm action,” he added.Subianto has warned that he would launch a legal challenge against the results if he was declared the loser. He had fought a legal battle the last time as well but lost out. He also warned on Wednesday that he would he would launch street protests if the legal challenge didn’t succeed. The powerful tsunami struck Indonesia on Saturday night without warning Closecenter_img Joko WidodoReutersIndonesia’s incumbent President Joko Widodo is set to win another term in office, according to early count by private pollsters. The official results of Wednesday’s presidential election will be released by the election commission only on May 22.CNBC reported that ‘quick counts’ tallied by pollsters showed Jokowi has beaten his rival Prabowo Subianto. Pollsters also said Jokowi’s Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDIP) will also get the most number of seats in parliament.The Indonesian financial markets seemed to have factored in the victory of Jokowi in the elections, rising nearly 2.5 percent on Thursday. The Indonesian rupiah also rose to its strongest level against the US dollar in nearly two months.According to the quick count by pollsters Jokowi got nearly 54 percent of the votes. The polls have marked around 44-45 percent of votes for Prabowo Subianto, the leader of the Great Indonesia Movement Party.Though the so-called quick counts are accurate indicators of results going by the last elections, Jokowi hasn’t yet claimed victory. On the other hand, Subianto, a former military general whom Jokowi had defeated narrowly in the 2014 presidential elections, has claimed internal polls have indicated he has won. Subianto, who enjoys the support of hardliner Muslim fans, said a “real count” from more than 320 polling stations showed he won 62 percent of votes. He also said statistics experts who he consulted assured him that the final tally wound not differ much from his assessment, Jakarta Post reported.Election results are disputed in Indonesia, the world’s third largest democracy. The country emerged from the dictatorship of Suharto only in 1998. Prabowo Subianto, who has vast following in the conservative belts, is known to have ties to the former dictatorship.With Subianto rejecting outright unofficial vote count, Indonesian authorities have issued a warning against mass protests. “I urge everyone against mass demonstrations, whether it’s to celebrate or to express dissatisfaction,” National Police Chief Tito Karnavian said.last_img read more

Set on fire for reporting sexual harassment Nusrat Rafis death sparks protests

first_imgBangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has also promised to bring Nusrat’s killers to justice. Speaking to reporters, she said, “Nusrat’s killers won’t be spared. I personally believe they would have to face exemplary punishment so that none can dare to commit such heinous crimes in future.”She then added, “None of the culprits will be spared from legal action.”At least 14 people were taken into police custody by April 15. On Sunday, two of the main suspects, Nuruddin and Shahadat, confessed to their crimes and said that they planned the girl’s murder along with five other people, Daily Star reports. The police discovered that the girl was attacked by three men and one woman. [Representational image] Creative CommonsNusrat Jahan Rafi, an 18-year-old Bangladeshi girl, died after being set on fire by four men after she refused to withdraw the complaint of her school principal sexually harassing her.In her complaint, Nusrat, who was studying at a madrasa in Feni, said that her school principal, Maulana Siraj Ud Doula, used to touch her inappropriately whenever she was called to his office. She felt uncomfortable and tried telling her teachers but they hushed the matter.When the girl went to the police to file a complaint on March 27, her statement was illegally filmed by the police. In addition to this, the video was also uploaded on Facebook.This increased the risk of the girl getting into danger since her identity was revealed and the school principal was a very powerful man. After she filed her statement and the video was uploaded, the girl and her family started receiving death threats from many of the Maulana’s supporters, Buzzfeed reports. The Maulana was then arrested and many students of the madrasa took to the streets protesting against his arrest. In addition to this, the girl’s family was also threatened with dire consequences if she did not withdraw her complaint.On April 6, Nusrat was called to the terrace of her school where four men in burqas told her to withdraw the complaint. When she refused, she was set on fire after being doused in petrol. She suffered almost 80 per cent burns and succumbed to the injuries on April 10. She was initially admitted to a local hospital and was later shifted to Dhaka Medical College Hospital.This act was condemned by many across the country with the principal, his students and the police called out for the unethical direction in which the case went. TwitterAfter the news came to light, protests were carried out across the nation against the unjustified killed of the 18-year-old girl.A social media campaign with hashtag #JusticeforNusrat was launched with many demanding that the culprits should be brought to justice. Unicef chief Henrietta H Fore took to Twitter to express her support for the movement. She tweeted, “I join the UN family in Bangladesh & all Bangladeshis in calling for justice for Nusrat, who was brutally killed for having the courage to report her abuse. Every girl must be safe at school, supported to speak up & protected from retaliation #ENDviolence.”last_img read more

PNB Scam What lies beyond a fraudulent letter and 2 corrupt officials

first_imgThe Punjab National Bank unearthed a Rs 11,400-crore fraud at its Kalagodha branch in Mumbai.ReutersPunjab National Bank’s $1.8 billion fraud has taken Indian banking industry by storm and investigative agencies are struggling to find out how the largest financial fraud to take place in the country went undetected for years.PNB has cautioned other banks about the mode of the operation of the scam that has already ensnared the country’s other big lenders.Here’s a quick look at the key people and events that aided the PNB fraud to be pulled off:PNB’s Brady House branch, south MumbaiIt all started around mid-January, when three firms – M/s Diamonds R US, M/s Solar Exports, M/s Stellar Diamonds – approached the bank for ‘buyers credit’ to make payments to overseas suppliers.Buyers credit is a short term credit, usually for 90-180 days, provided by international banks or international branches of Indian banks to an importer.Nirav Modi, his brother Nishal Modi, Nirav Modi’s wife Ami Nirav Modi, and Mehul Chinubhai Chokshi were partners in these firms, according to the initial complaint filed by PNB with the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).Indian-born diamond jewellery designer Nirav Modi is the founder of the $2.3 billion Firestar Diamond and was ranked #57 in the Forbes list of India’s billionaires in 2017. His pieces have adorned global icons such as Dakota Johnson, Andreea Diaconu, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley or even PeeCee, among others.Two corrupt bank officialsTwo officials at PNB had fraudulently issued letters of undertaking (LoUs), allowing Nirav Modi group companies to get buyers’ credit from overseas bank branches to pay the sellers, according to media reports.But the officials who had helped them earlier had retired.LoUs are issued by a bank giving some sort of a guarantee on behalf of a company. Other lenders give credit based on the LoU.Under the terms of the LoU, PNB was the guarantor of these loans.However, the surprising fact was the manner in which the transactions were routed. Instead of using the core banking system, bank officials used through SWIFT, the global financial messaging service to get approval.As a result, the higher authorities at PNB were unaware of the fraud.SWIFT or Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication is used to send messages to financial institutions. It’s more like an SMS or WhatsApp messaging service instead of an official mail.Fraud comes to lightNow when the three firms approached PNB in January this year for buyers credit, they were denied.The bank records showed there was no such arrangement between the three firms and PNB. That’s when the bank started investigating.”At this, the firms contested that they have been availing this facility in the past also. But the branch records did not reveal details of any such facility having been granted to the said firms,” acording to the complaint filed by PNB to the CBI.Systemic Failure?The scam highlights the failure of internal mechanism at Indian banks as such transactions could have been detected only by lender’s internal auditors.”The system of internal control in PNB seems to have collapsed in detecting such activities. Legal process may take its own time to fix responsibility on the people involved in such illegal activities,” the All India Bank Depositors Association said in a statement on Thursday.The onus, once again, falls on the Reserve Bank of India to investigate systemic loopholes in state-owned banks and ensure risk management systems are made more robust.last_img read more

US shutdown ends as broken Trump backs down

first_imgSpeaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) walks with House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) after signing legislation during an enrolment ceremony before sending it to US president Donald Trump for his signature to end the partial government shutdown on Capitol Hill in Washington, US, on 25 January 2019. Photo: ReutersPresident Donald Trump agreed under mounting pressure on Friday to end a 35-day-old partial US government shutdown without getting the $5.7 billion he had demanded from Congress for a border wall, handing a political victory to Democrats.The three-week spending deal reached with congressional leaders, quickly passed by the Republican-led Senate and the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives without opposition and signed by Trump, paves the way for tough talks with lawmakers about how to address security along the US-Mexican border.The Republican president’s agreement to end the shuttering of about a quarter of the federal government without securing wall money – an astonishing retreat – came three days after he had insisted, “We will not Cave!”But Trump vowed that the shutdown would resume on 15 February if he is dissatisfied with the results of a bipartisan House-Senate conference committee’s border security negotiations, or he would declare a national emergency in order to get the wall money without congressional approval.The lapse in funding shuttered about a quarter of federal agencies, with about 800,000 workers either furloughed or required to work without pay. Many employees as well as contractors were turning to unemployment assistance, food banks and other support. Others began seeking new jobs.With polls showing most Americans blamed him for the painful shutdown – the longest of its kind in US history – Trump embraced a way out of the crisis that Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi had been pushing for weeks.The shutdown, which pitted Pelosi against Trump, was her first test since assuming the post three weeks ago. She drew praise from fellow Democrats for what they said was an outmanoeuvring of the president.Democrats remained unyielding in their opposition to a wall, one of Trump’s signature campaign promises that they call ineffective, costly and immoral. Trump has said a wall is needed to curb illegal immigration and drug trafficking.Asked by reporters if she could guarantee there will not be another government shutdown in three weeks, Pelosi said, “I can’t assure the public about anything that the president will do, but I do have to say I’m optimistic.”Speaking in the White House Rose Garden on a chilly, sunny winter day, Trump said he would act to ensure that federal workers get their back pay “very quickly, or as soon as possible.”Trump had previously demanded the inclusion of the money to help pay for a wall in any legislation to fund government agencies, but Democrats had blocked him.An administration official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said that stories of law enforcement officials not being able to do their jobs at full capacity helped convince Trump to agree to a short-term solution to re-open the government. The official said the White House ultimately would accept a deal with lawmakers if it includes wall funding, even if it is less than $5.7 billion.”No Choice””We really have no choice but to build a powerful wall or steel barrier,” Trump said. “If we don’t get a fair deal from Congress, the government will either shut down on 15 February – again – or I would use the powers afforded to me under the laws and the Constitution of the United States to address this emergency.”He previously has indicated he was considering an emergency declaration to circumvent congressional funding powers if lawmakers do not fund his wall, an action that almost certainly would be swiftly challenged by Democrats as exceeding his authority under the US Constitution.Trump triggered the shutdown, which began on 22 December, with his wall-funding demand after being criticised by conservative commentators for being willing to sign legislation funding the government without securing wall money.Conservative commentator Ann Coulter lashed out at Trump for capitulating on Friday, calling him on Twitter “the biggest wimp ever to serve as president of the United States.” Trump took to Twitter to say his about-face was “in no way a concession” and that he was simply “taking care of millions of people who were getting badly hurt by the Shutdown.”Top Senate Democrat Chuck Schumer said he hoped the experience would be a “lesson learned” for Trump and his party that it is self-defeating to shut the government over policy disputes. Schumer said Democrats and Trump have “so many areas” of agreement on border security but not a wall.”The walls we are building are not medieval walls,” Trump said. “They are smart walls designed to meet the needs of front-line border agents and are operationally effective. These barriers are made of steel, have see-through visibility, which is very important, and are equipped with sensors, monitors and cutting-edge technology, including state-of-the-art drones.”US president Donald Trump arrives to speak about a deal to end the partial government shutdown in the Rose Garden at the White House in Washington, US, on 25 January 2019. Photo: Reuters”We do not need 2,000 miles (3,200 km) of concrete wall from sea to shining sea. We never did,” Trump added. “We never proposed that. We never wanted that because we have barriers at the border where natural structures are as good as anything that we could build.”Pelosi said she would discuss with Trump “a mutually agreed date” for his annual State of the Union address, which she had effectively forced him to postpone amid the shutdown showdown. A senior White House official said the address will not be on Tuesday, as originally planned, and it is up to Pelosi to reschedule it.The effects of the shutdown had been spreading. Hundreds of flights were grounded or delayed at New York-area and Philadelphia airports on Friday as air traffic controllers called in sick.FBI Director Christopher Wray in a video message to his employees called the shutdown “mind-boggling” “shortsighted” and “unfair.”The deal was reached a day after Wilbur Ross, Trump’s commerce secretary who amassed a personal fortune buying distressed companies, said unpaid federal employees should get a loan if they were financially squeezed.”Broken Man”Trump’s deal to end the US government shutdown without getting money for his border wall drew immediate scorn from some of the prominent conservative figures whose support may be crucial to his 2020 re-election bid.Throughout the month-long standoff with congressional Democrats, Trump again and again asserted that he would not compromise on his demand for $5.7 billion to construct a barrier along the US-Mexico border.On Friday, as federal government operations grew more disrupted, the president did just that.”Trump is a broken man,” tweeted commentator Mike Cernovich, a popular conservative personality on social media with a passionate following of Trump voters.Cernovich said Trump had been outmanoeuvred by Democratic US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, calling her an “alpha.”Conservative provocateur Ann Coulter wrote on Twitter: “Good news for George Herbert Walker Bush: As of today, he is no longer the biggest wimp ever to serve as president of the United States.”The influential conservative news website Drudge Report in a banner headline made a point of saying the deal contained “No Wall Funds.”News site Breitbart, once run by former Trump strategist Steve Bannon, simply posted “Government Open. No Wall.” The Daily Caller, another conservative news website, ran the headline, “TRUMP CAVES.”Some prominent conservatives jumped to Trump’s defence, however. “If Trump fails to get a wall,” wrote Kurt Schlichter, a columnist for conservative news and opinion site Townhall, “I’ll just have to settle for only 90 per cent of what I wanted.”Trump’s decision to agree to a short-term measure that funds the government through 15 February came as opinion polls showed his job approval rating falling to some of the lowest levels of his tenure – and as some Democrats begin to mount candidacies to challenge his re-election.Trump’s promise of a border wall was central to his 2016 campaign, and he viewed the standoff as a way to show supporters that he was trying to follow through.Ford O’Connell, a Republican strategist who is in regular contact with the White House, said Trump will be able to push for wall funding over the next three weeks without the distraction of a shutdown and that his supporters should wait to judge his efforts.Trump also signaled on Friday that if he doesn’t get the result he wants, he may yet declare a national emergency and re-route federal monies to build the wall on his own.”He might take a short-term hit but overall in the grand scheme of things, it’s not a big deal as long as he is ultimately seen as committed to border security,” O’Connell told Reuters.last_img read more

Eos says zinc battery recipe is energy gamechanger

first_img This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. © 2011 New rechargeable zinc-air batteries coming soon ( — Tall order in energy storage: Find the right technology that delivers the holy grail of the grid, a viable solution for energy storage (tough). A startup from Easton, Pennsylvania claims it’s on the fastest path. Eos Energy Storage has a formula for zinc-air batteries that it thinks can eventually be the dominant technology for use in the grid. Eos Energy is on a mission to develop a low-cost, high-energy rechargeable zinc-air battery for utility and transportation applications.Zinc air technology in general has been recognized as an environmentally safe approach with the benefit of high energy densities. What has held the technology back has been low efficiency and short life cycles. Though cheaper, though lighter, than lithium ion batteries, zinc air batteries have run down much more quickly, unsuitable for application on a grid level. The batteries have so far been largely limited to the small button cells used for hearing aids. Eos Energy says it resolved the shortcomings through its advances in electrolyte chemistry and cell design. Its proprietary technology involves the battery architecture, electrolyte composition and management and manufacturing process. Eos zinc air technology has been under development by Eos since 2004.CEO Michael Oster, has said that this is “not your typical zinc-air.” Steven Amendola, an inventor and founder of Eos, is also the founder of Renewable Silicon International (RSi), a silicon processing technology.The company says its batteries beat out lithium ion batteries in energy storage and cost. Their trials show over 2,700 cycles with no performance physical degradation in a one third kilowatt-scale battery. Their goal is to get over 10,000 cycles at full depth of discharge. Their final product is expected to last for 30 years in grid-scale applications.Analysts say that the company’s technology could show promise for grid storage and electric vehicles. With the right pricing and performance, zinc air batteries may compete not only against other energy storage systems but also grid technologies such as gas turbine plants. The company has an impressive list of product benefits, and investors have been responsive. Eos zinc-air battery is environmentally safe, in that it relies on materials that are nontoxic and nonflammable. Oster has said, “You could flush it down a drain; you could drink it.” In an SEC filing, Eos indicated its plans to raise up to $20 million in venture capital.Eos plans to start manufacturing this year and to work up megawatt-scale systems for grid storage in 2013. The Eos rechargeable zinc-air battery would be sold for $1000 per kilowatt for a six-hour battery, or $160 per kilowatt-hour. Zinc generally enjoys status as one of the world’s most plentiful and inexpensive metals, along with its other qualities as being stable, nontoxic and energy-dense. Image: EOS Citation: Eos says zinc battery recipe is energy game-changer (2012, January 4) retrieved 18 August 2019 from More information: Solarnovus Explore furtherlast_img read more

WikiLeaks founder seeks asylum at Ecuador embassy

first_img“His concern was that once he arrived in Sweden he would be held in custody and would not have a chance to seek sanctuary again,” the person said, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the case.The person claimed that Assange had explained his reasons for seeking sanctuary to those who put up bail, but Jemima Khan, a celebrity journalist who supports Assange, said she was caught off guard by the news.“I had expected him to face the allegations,” she said in a message posted to Twitter. “I am as surprised as anyone by this.”It wasn’t immediately clear whether the escape to the Ecuadorean Embassy would invalidate Assange’s strict bail conditions, or whether the 200,000 pounds (roughly $315,000) put up by his supporters would be forfeited.British officials declined to say whether Assange had skipped bail or whether they were now seeking his arrest.Assange will be free from U.K. authorities so long as he remains at the Ecuadorean Embassy, but it’s unclear how he could hope to get from the mission, based in London’s wealthy Knightsbridge neighborhood, to Ecuador itself.The embassy’s buzzer rang unanswered Tuesday, although several times an unidentified figure peeked out from behind the curtain to look at reporters clustered around the building’s entrance. Ecuador has made friendly noises about Assange in the past. In the November 2010, at the height of the media storm over WikiLeaks’ disclosures, its government appeared to offer him sanctuary, and on Assange’s newly-launched television talk show _ which interviewed Correa via videolink earlier this year _ the pair swapped jokes and messages of encouragement.It was during the interview that Assange received an offer of asylum, according to a woman who was present during the shows and familiar with the offer. She spoke on condition of anonymity because she was not authorized to speak to the media.It was not immediately clear if the offer came directly from the president himself, although at one point Correa saluted WikiLeaks and told Assange to take courage.“Welcome to the club of those who are persecuted!” said Correa, whose government has been assailed by human rights and press freedom activists for using Ecuador’s criminal libel law in sympathetic courts against journalists from the country’s biggest newspaper, El Universo.Assange and his allies had been in discussions over a possible attempt to seek sanctuary in Ecuador since last weekend, according to a person familiar with the matter. 5 greatest Kentucky Derby finishes Sponsored Stories New high school in Mesa lets students pick career paths Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family But legal experts said Assange’s flight to the Ecuadorean embassy was a desperate one.U.K. extradition specialist Karen Todner said she couldn’t make sense of the move, while Michael Scharf, based at the Case Western Reserve University School of Law in Cleveland, Ohio, said he didn’t believe Assange could be given asylum status.“I think they are going to end up asking him to leave the premises,” said Scharf.Ecuador’s mission in London said in a statement that Assange would “remain at the embassy, under the protection of the Ecuadorean government,” while his application was considered. Britain’s foreign ministry said it was working with Ecuadorean authorities to resolve the situation, but gave few other details.Aside from Assange’s brief statement, WikiLeaks did not elaborate on its leader’s plans. Nearly a dozen calls, texts and emails seeking further comment from WikiLeaks and its staff weren’t returned.Patino, speaking at a news conference in Quito, the Ecuadorean capital, gave the fullest account of Assange’s reasoning, saying he had personally written to Correa to ask for asylum.Assange, who is Australian, had argued that “the authorities in his country will not defend his minimum guarantees before any government or ignore the obligation to protect a politically persecuted citizen.” Patino said. That may be a reference to Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard, who last month said that her country could not protect Assange from other countries’ justice systems. Associated PressLONDON (AP) – WikiLeaks chief Julian Assange has made a run for the Ecuadorean Embassy in London, seeking asylum in a long shot move that, if successful, would place him in a small, friendly South American country rather than in Sweden facing questioning about alleged sex crimes.Tuesday’s unexpected caper has added a new and bizarre twist to Assange’s increasingly desperate bid to avoid extradition to Scandinavia. Ecuadorean Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino said the leftist government of President Rafael Correa _ an administration often at odds with Washington _ was weighing the request, although he did not indicate when a decision might be made. More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvementscenter_img Comments   Share   Men’s health affects baby’s health too Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates Top Stories Four benefits of having a wireless security system At one point two men emerged from the building; neither addressed the assembled media, but one bore a folio entitled “Diplomatic Law.”Claes Borgstrom, the lawyer representing the two Swedish women with claims against Assange, told Swedish daily Dagens Nyheter late Tuesday that Assange’s latest move was a delaying tactic.“It’s tragic for the two clients that I represent,” he was quoted as saying. “I can’t imagine that this will lead anywhere.”___Solano reported from Quito, Ecuador. Associated Press writers Frank Bajak in Lima, Peru, Paisley Dodds in London, and Louise Nordstrom in Stockholm, Sweden, contributed to this report.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Assange said in a brief statement that he was grateful “to the Ecuadorean ambassador and the government of Ecuador for considering my application.”Assange’s legal options in the U.K. had almost completely run out. Less than a week ago Britain’s Supreme Court re-endorsed its decision to allow the 40-year-old’s extradition to Sweden, where he is wanted over sex crimes allegations. The accusations _ which stem from Assange’s trip to the country in mid-2010 _ have cast a cloud over his online organization’s spectacular leaks of U.S. military, diplomatic, and intelligence material.Ecuador _ where less than one in three people have access to the Web _ may seem an unlikely place for the former computer hacker to seek refuge, but in many ways it’s an obvious choice.“It’s one of the few countries that has given a great opening to Assange’s entire cause,” said Grace Jaramillo, an international relations professor at Ecuador’s FLACSO university.“Correa sees Assange as a critic of the status quo,” he said. “He has been challenging the United States and Correa likes that.”Assange argues that extradition to Sweden is a first step in efforts to remove him to the United States, where he claims to have been secretly indicted over his disclosure of 250,000 State Department cables. He has spent the better part of two years fighting the move through the British courts.last_img read more