Category: fofabvlic

  • China vows military action if Taiwan sea claims opposed

    first_imgSingapore: China’s defense minister warned Sunday that its military will “resolutely take action” to defend Beijing’s claims over self-ruled Taiwan and disputed South China Sea waters. Speaking at an annual security conference in Singapore, Gen. Wei Fenghe did not direct the threat at the US but loaded his address with criticism of activities by Washington, including support for Taiwan and leading so-called freedom of navigation operations in the strategic waterways that China virtually claims as its own. Also Read – ‘Hong Kong won’t rule out Chinese help over protests’Wei said the People’s Liberation Army would not “yield a single inch of the country’s sacred land.” China’s ruling Communist Party maintains that Taiwan is part of China, and has used increasingly aggressive rhetoric toward the democratic island, which split from the mainland amid a civil war 70 years ago. It opposes Taiwan’s independence and formally says it seeks a “peaceful reunification” while refusing to rule out the use of force if necessary to achieve that goal. Also Read – Pak Army chief accompanies Imran at key meetings in China”The PLA has no intention to cause anybody trouble but it is not afraid to face up to troubles. Should anybody risk crossing the bottom line, the PLA will resolutely take action and defeat all enemies,” Wei said. Relations between Beijing and Taipei have deteriorated since Taiwan elected a pro-independence president, Tsai Ing-wen, in 2016. China has since increased diplomatic pressure, cut off its contacts with the island’s government and discouraged travel there by Chinese tourists. “China must be and will be reunified. We find no excuse not to do so. If anyone dares to split Taiwan from China, the Chinese military has no choice but to fight at all costs, at all costs, for national unity,” Wei stressed. “We will strive for the prospect of peaceful unification with utmost sincerity and greatest efforts, but we make no promise to renounce the use of force.” Wei was addressing defense chiefs, officials and academics at the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore. US Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan, who spoke to the same gathering on Saturday, was not present at Wei’s speech. Shanahan called China’s efforts to steal technology from other nations and militarize man-made outposts in the South China Sea a “toolkit of coercion” and urged it to stop activities the U.S. perceives as hostile. China is pitted against smaller Southeast Asian neighbors in multiple disputes over island reefs, corals and lagoons in the South China Sea, where it constructed seven outposts equipped with airstrips, radar and missile stations that Shanahan said Saturday could become “tollbooths” in one of the world’s busiest waterways. Beijing is currently firming up a pact with four rival claimants, containing norms and rules aimed at preventing a shooting war in the disputed waters. On Thursday, China’s Defense Ministry dismissed a report that Australian navy pilots were hit by lasers earlier in May while exercising in the waters claimed by China. And on Sunday, Beijing closed off an area near Paracel Islands, which is also claimed by Vietnam and Taiwan, for military training exercises. Wei said China built “limited defense facilities” but much of it was aimed at improving services and infrastructure for people living there.last_img read more

  • Prosecutors seek prison time for former bank execs

    first_imgDOVER, Del. — Prosecutors are seeking prison time for four former executives of the only financial institution criminally charged in connection with the federal bank bailout program.The four former of Wilmington Trust in Delaware face sentencing next week for fraud and conspiracy. They are requesting probation.Former bank president Robert Harra Jr. and former chief financial officer David Gibson face between nine and 11 years in prison under sentencing guidelines. Former chief credit officer William North and former controller Kevyn Rakowski face seven to nine years.Prosecutors Tuesday asked for prison terms of eight years for Harra and Gibson, six years for North and five years for Rakowski.Prosecutors say the defendants lied about Wilmington Trust’s massive amount of past-due commercial real estate loans before the bank was hastily sold in 2011.Randall Chase, The Associated Presslast_img read more

  • Haiti UN mission reports more successes in anticrime offensive

    16 March 2007Close on the heals of the capture of one of Haiti’s most notorious criminal armed gang leaders, United Nations peacekeepers and Haitian police have reported new successes in their crackdown on violent crime in Port-au-Prince, the capital, dismantling one group, arresting three dozen more suspects and seizing weapons caches. In one of the latest operations, 32 suspects were arrested in the Linteau 1 and Ti Ayiti quarters of the capital’s Cité Soleil neighbourhood, one of the violence-ridden country’s most dangerous areas, leading to the dismantling of the Blade Nazon and the seizure of arms and ammunition. The operation was launched after UN troops on patrol came under fire. In a second operation in Ti Ayiti on Wednesday based on a tip-off, another gang member was captured and more weapons seized. The same day, five people were arrested in a sweep in Martissant.Noting that local tip-offs led to the capture of notorious gang leader Even Jeune, who terrorized Cité Soleil and was for months being pursued by UN and Haitian police, the UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) has appealed to local communities for information on any criminals who may have sought refuge in their region.“We ask the people of the provinces to be vigilant and to continue to give us information on any person, any act or any behaviour that may be suspect,” UN police spokesman Fred Blaise told a news conference in Port-au-Prince yesterday.Meanwhile MINUSTAH, set up in 2004 to help re-establish peace in the impoverished Caribbean country after an insurgency forced President Jean-Bertrand Aristide to go into exile, is continuing its humanitarian and social programmes in Cité Soleil in connection with the clean-up of the gangs, organizing children’s sports in Linteau 1, and providing meals, water, first aid and school supplies. read more

  • After drowning new rules Mexico City canals see dropoff

    MEXICO CITY — Dozens of brightly painted boats known as “trajineras” with names like “Victoria” and “Yolanda” idled at the Nativitas dock in Mexico City’s famed Xochimilco canals, lashed together with thick ropes.By this time on an early Friday evening, dozens of them should have launched with tourists and party groups, but instead the pole men who ply the calm, murky waters for about $25 an hour sat chatting. Some sipped tequila from plastic cups as they commiserated about how lousy business is these days.“I haven’t made any money in two days,” said Jorge Alberto Velasco Álvarez, who on a good day used to earn about $15-$20. “We need more people so we can work.”But the drowning last Sunday of a young passenger on a boat full of partiers prompted city officials to implement alcohol and other safety restrictions for the canals that took effect this weekend. At least so far, the new rules stand to have a dramatic impact on what is at times a party-hard atmosphere.The new regulations include limiting boats to one 1-litre bottle of hard alcohol or three beers per person, and banning people from standing or jumping from boat to boat. Amplified music is prohibited in favour of mariachis and “norteño” artists who perform for 150 pesos (about $7.50) a song. Boat capacity is capped at 18, and there is to be no roping of multiple vessels together while on the canals.Officials say the aim is to encourage a more peaceful atmosphere for families and tourists and crack down on rowdy and dangerous behaviour by those — particularly young people — who sometimes treat the trajineras like floating nightclubs, drinking to excess, dancing on tables and even brawling among themselves.“This is going to be aimed directly at the young people,” city tourism official Edilberto Ramírez Vázquez said.He said about 400 city employees have been deployed to the various docks that feed the canals to enforce the rules.Workers say business has fallen off by about 80% since the drowning, with some people perhaps unnerved by the accident and others put off by the anti-partying measures.That is a blow to the livelihoods of thousands of boatmen, owners and those on the margins who sell tourists food, drink, flowers and trinkets.“There are a lot of people hurting,” said Luis Garcia, a 29-year-old who has been poling one of the estimated 1,200 trajineras in Xochimilco for a decade.It’s not the first deadly accident on the canals. At least six passengers have drowned in Xochimilco since 2005, according to a count by the newspaper Milenio.But the latest one was caught on cellphone video: Two young men on a boat that launched from Nativitas try to step from one trajinera to another. One makes it and begins dancing on the platform, but there is a sudden splash and the other one is in the water. Workers try to rescue him, but he never surfaces.Reportedly nicknamed “Chema,” the young man was found the next morning floating over a half-mile (about 1 kilometre) away.After the video caught fire online, borough officials called a news conference and announced the crackdown.Under the new rules, boat owners will also be required to provide life jackets starting Oct. 1, though passengers can sign waivers not to use them. A handful of vests were draped over railings at the dock Friday, but not a single person was seen wearing one on the boats.Enforcement seemed spotty. Some passengers said they weren’t told about the new rules or offered life jackets. At least three trajineras cruised with music playing from stereos, though at moderate volume. There were no big groups of young people to be seen, despite it being a popular day and time for partiers.“They probably have to get accustomed to the fact that this is going to be a different environment,” said Sandra Barón, one of dozens of Xochimilco borough officials keeping an eye out for drunkenness and now-outlawed stereos.“This is not a disco,” she said from her vantage point on a bridge, flanked by a policeman. “It is a traditional atmosphere. That is what is trying to be recovered.”Workers were supportive of the goal of cracking down on young, hard-core partiers, derisively referred to as “juniors,” who sometimes start throwing bottles in a drunken bacchanalia. But some also questioned the apparent emphasis on dockside controls.“The problem isn’t what we have here, the problem is out there. … We want more police security,” said Velasco Álvarez, who would like to see at least five police boats with a half-dozen officers in each one, rather than the two boats currently deployed. “We are the ones who put ourselves at risk because it’s just one of us (pole men) and they are 20 to a trajinera.”Others speculated it will be hard to enforce things like the alcohol limits, as partiers often buy bottles beforehand and bring them onboard in backpacks. Workers also wondered whether the borough’s enforcers may vanish in a few weeks after the publicity around the drowning fades.“I think the measures were a bit foolish,” said Berenice del Monte, a 29-year-old beverage boat owner.For now she has had to cut back staff from five to two because she cannot afford to pay everyone. She is no longer allowed to sell “caguamas,” the Mexican equivalent of 40-ounce beers, or “micheladas,” beery cocktails seasoned with tomato juice, lime and chili, served with salt around the rim.Teresita Cortes Castillo, a 58-year-old Colombian tourist making her first visit to Mexico City along with her 15- and 21-year-old daughters, said she was all for attempts to limit alcohol consumption. Still, she was disappointed that the canals weren’t more lively — or more sonorous.“Look around, everything is so sad,” Cortes said, gesturing at the handful of trajineras touring near hers. “It’s a very happy culture, so the music is missing.”Finally a boat passed by with people singing along to a popular Mexican song playing from some sort of amplified system. Cortes knew the words and joined in, blowing a kiss and waving to the other boat.“Viva Mexico!” a man called out to her. “Viva Colombia!” she shouted back.Peter Orsi, The Associated Press read more

  • German official serving with UN Kosovo mission promoted to top post

    Mr. Rücker was previously UNMIK’s Deputy Special Representative and Head of the Economic Reconstruction component. He has also held several positions in the German Foreign Ministry.Mr. Rücker would replace Mr. Søren Jessen-Petersen of Denmark, whose term ended earlier this year.The UN has run Kosovo, an Albanian-majority Serbian province, since international forces drove out Yugoslav troops in 1999 amid ethnic fighting.

  • Parents protesting child talent recruiting scam in Calgary

    Parents protesting child talent recruiting scam in Calgary by Cindy White Posted Apr 29, 2016 1:29 pm MDT Last Updated Apr 29, 2016 at 1:45 pm MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email Some parents who lost money in a child talent recruiting scam are planning a protest in Calgary this weekend.They’ll be outside the Hyatt Regency Saturday, where a company has been advertising auditions for Disney shows.Leah Brownridge of the Better Business Bureau tells 660 NEWS, it really doesn’t get many complaints about this kind of thing, just two last year. Although, there were five complaints in 2014.She has some advice for parents; don’t be pressured into paying big money up front.“If a talent agency is demanding to charge any kind of fee, whether they label that as a consultation fee, a registration fee, an administration fee, something like that — be wary of that,” says Brownridge.She also says you should check the professional affiliations or credentials. The Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists has information about talent agencies on its website.Brownridge says remember, talent agencies are not employers.They represent clients and try to get them work and can’t guarantee jobs. Thinkstock read more

  • Mercosur suspends Venezuela for failure to follow rules

    by Hannah Dreier, The Associated Press Posted Dec 2, 2016 10:22 am MDT Last Updated Dec 2, 2016 at 1:40 pm MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email Mercosur suspends Venezuela for failure to follow rules CARACAS, Venezuela – South American nations suspended Venezuela on Friday from the Mercosur trade group over what they said was its failure to comply with the commitments made when it joined the group in 2012.Argentina’s foreign ministry said in a statement that Venezuela had failed to meet a Thursday deadline to adopt certain standards required for membership. The foreign ministers of the four founding members— Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay and Paraguay — notified Venezuela’s government of the decision in a letter.Mercosur accepted Venezuela as a member when South America was dominated by leftist governments in an effort to link the region’s biggest agricultural and energy markets.But the socialist-run Venezuela fell afoul of its neighbours as it cracked down on the opposition and conservative governments assumed power in Argentina and Brazil. Venezuela’s regional influence also waned as the country cut back on oil shipments once provided to allies at cut-rate prices.This strong rebuke from Venezuela’s one-time friends could open the door to stronger action from countries and regional blocs. The head of the Organization of American States for months has threatened moves against Venezuela for its increasing authoritarianism. Some U.S. Congress members have called for sanctions and other forms of pressure.Venezuela’s Foreign Minister Delcy Rodriguez said Friday she had not been informed of the suspension. She rejected the notion that Venezuela had failed to conform to the trade group’s rules.“Venezuela does not recognize the null action carried out under the law of the jungle taken by the officials who are destroying Mercosur,” she said.Earlier in the week, Venezuela’s opposition coalition threatened to walk away from ongoing dialogue with the socialist government. The Vatican-mediated talks were intended to head off a growing political crisis as critics of President Nicolas Maduro allege he has become a dictator and call for him to resign.Venezuela has arrested hundreds of opposition activists in recent years and stifled opposition media. A local human rights group counts 100 political prisoners still in jail. This fall, the government killed an effort stage a recall referendum against Maduro.___Hannah Dreier is on Twitter at Her work can be found at read more

  • SG Flensburg wins in Denmark – THW Kiel beat Wisla Plock

    1. THW Kiel7601214:191(23)12 German SG Flensburg made a big step to the two leading position at the end of the Preliminary Group at VELUX EHF CL by win in Denmark against Aalborg 27:26.Aalborg Handball – SG Flensburg-Handewitt 26:27 (13:14)Aalborg Handball: Kappelin (21/2 saves) – Pedersen, Slundt (4), Krejberg, Tvedten (6/1), Hald, Bagersted (3), Mensah Larsen (4), Mork, Bugge (2), Jakobsson (6), C. Jensen (1), Barud, HolmenSG Flensburg-Handewitt: Andersson (15 saves) – Karlsson, Nenadic (6), Eggert, Glandorf (7), Mogensen (7), Svan (1), Weinhold (1(1), Wanne (1), Gustafsson (1), Radivojevic, Knudsen (3)Result: 1:1 (3.), 2:3 (7.), 4:4 (10.), 8:4 (15.), 9:5 (16.), 10:6 (17.), 10:9 (20.), 11:11 (23.), 13:12 (27.) – 15:14 (32.), 16:15 (33.), 16:18 (35.), 17:20 (41.), 19:21 (44.), 19:23 (47.), 20:24 (49.), 21:25 (52.), 24:25 (55.), 26:26 (59.)STANDINGS: 2. SG Flensburg-Handewitt7511216:199(17)11 6. HK DROTT Halmstad7016206:258(-52)1 1. HSV Hamburg7601231:193(38)12 5. Naturhouse La Rioja7124204:226(-22)4 THW Kiel used the chance to get back to the first place in the Group with win over Polish Orlen Wisla Plock 34:25 (16:11).THW: Sjostrand, Palicka – Sigurdsson 2, Sprenger 3, Ekberg 1, Klein 2, Toft Hansen 3, Wiencek 1, Zeitz 1, Jallouz 1, Palmarsson 8, Jicha 6/4, Vujin 6.Wisła: Sego, Wichary – Wiśniewski 3, Zrnić, Góralski, Nikcević 1, Kwiatkowski, Toromanović 4, Nenadić 9/2, Kavas 2, Piechowski, Lijewski 5, Eklemović 1, Milas.STANDINGS: 6. Dunkerque HB Grand Littora…7106163:185(-22)2 3. Aalborg Handball7403209:184(25)8 2. KIF Kolding Kobenhavn7502173:165(8)10 3. KS Vive Targi Kielce7403206:188(18)8 4. RK Gorenje Velenje7304227:233(-6)6 5. FC Porto Vitalis7205161:188(-27)4 4. Orlen Wisla Plock7304188:188(0)6 ← Previous Story Carlos Ortega after Russians: I am not satisfied with attack Next Story → Berlin to host the 2014 EHF Cup Finals! aalborghandballSG FlensburgTHW KielWisla Plock read more

  • En Australie des perroquets saouls tombent du ciel

    first_imgEn Australie, des perroquets saouls tombent du cielChaque année au mois de mai, un étrange phénomène se répète dans la région de Darwin, en Australie. Comme ivres morts, des perroquets tombent du ciel, sans doute empoisonnés par une plante, ou intentionnellement par des habitants de la région.Comme l’année dernière et la précédente, plusieurs perroquets ont été retrouvés morts dans la région de Darwin, rapporte le Herald Sun. Ce phénomène se produit tous les ans au mois de mai, et à chaque fois, les perroquets se livrent à un étrange spectacle, comme s’ils étaient ivres, avant de tomber du ciel ou des arbres.À lire aussiL’étrange maladie qui rend ivre sans boire une goutte d’alcoolPour Stephen Cutter, un vétérinaire de l’Ark Animal Hospital de Darwin, les loriquets, une espèce vivant en Australasie, sont victimes d’une intoxication. “Il s’agit sûrement d’une plante qui contient de l’alcool ou des toxines”, estime-t-il. Toutefois, il envisage une autre hypothèse, celle d’un empoisonnement volontaire organisé par des habitants de la région importunés par le bruit et l’agressivité des perroquets. “Je sais qu’il ne sont pas très populaires. Ce sont d’adorables animaux, mais ils peuvent être méchants quand ils sont sauvages”, explique Stephen Cutter.Le mystère de cette hécatombe du mois de mai est donc irrésolu, et les services vétérinaires s’attendent à découvrir d’autres victimes dans les jours à venir.Le 24 mai 2011 à 16:49 • Emmanuel Perrinlast_img read more

  • NAWEC Finance Director Ordered To Produce Financial Report

    first_imgBy Mamadou Dem Commission Counsel Amie Bensouda, yesterday asked Mr. Amat S Cham, the Finance Director of NAWEC, to avail the ‘Janneh’ Commission with the audited financial report of the Company starting from 2010 to date. Mrs. Bensouda made the application yesterday, when Mr. Cham was continuing with his evidence on matters relating to the Company among other matters. In his testimony, Cham dwelt on the composition of the liabilities of NAWEC, noting that there was a capacity charge which was supposed to cover the cost of investment. According to him, they had been receiving invoices from Global Trading Group until when they were asked by the office of the former president to stop paying for the capacity charge. He however said he did not know the reason why they stopped them from paying the capacity charge which he said was dated May 21 2010; that the Managing Director of NAWEC also wrote to the office of the former president for confirmation. Mr. Cham adduced that they did not receive a letter from the Ministry of Finance dated 18 November, 2014 that was sent to Global Trading Group indicating that the sum of $10.8million capacity charge should not be paid; that there was a letter dated 18 December 2014, written by the Ministry of Energy to the Secretary General who did not respond.At this juncture, a letter dated 15 September 2015, was shown to him, in which the Ministries of Energy and Finance were asking for a capacity charge. In response, he said he was not aware of the said letter, but noted that it was signed by the Minister of Energy and Finance. Commissioner Abiosse George put it to him that NAWEC reconciled with Euro Africa Group before the bond was signed, and he answered that there was a directive that they should not pay for the capacity charge; that they also got a letter from the office of the former president indicating that they should pay the liabilities. At that juncture, Commissioner Saine interjected and asked him the basis for which NAWEC asked not to pay the capacity charge. He responded that he did not know, and that there was no correspondence as to why the capacity charge was stopped, but that invoices kept coming; that none of the cost of discount was part of the bond and that NAWEC was supposed to pay all liabilities to Global Trading Group before the agreement was signed. Again, Counsel Bensouda asked Cham about the total cost of the discount of cheque. In response, he told the Commission that they would do the calculation; that according to the documents, he found out that Global Trading Group was interested for NAWEC to discount the cheques. He further testified that he was not aware of the extension of fuel supply by Euro Africa Group after the expiration of the agreement in 2012. It was put to him by Counsel Bensouda, that there was a 17% mark for a construction of a plant, which was not built. In response, Cham said he was not part of the arrangement; that he was hearing about it from the Commission. Cham told the commission that the cost of the plant was not captured in the books of NAWEC, noting that the monies left in the account, was to buy fuel among other expenses. Commissioner Saine then asked him why GNPC continued supplying fuel to NAWEC. In response, Cham said they should check the records; that NAWEC paid GT Bank 50% discount. Asked why the office of the former president was intervening, he responded that the office was overseeing NAWEC. At that point, documents relating to some correspondences and other relevant documents, were tendered and admitted as exhibits. Counsel Bensouda asked him to find out the total cost NAWEC paid for capacity charge starting from 2005 to date. Mr. Charm however responded that he did the total calculation, but was not in a position to tell the Commission the total figure at that point. Hearing continues today.last_img read more

  • BPs Hayward to leave as CEO Russia job in works

    first_imgNEW ORLEANS — Tony Hayward, who became the face of BP’s flailing efforts to contain the massive Gulf oil spill, will step down as chief executive in October and be offered a job with the company’s joint venture in Russia, a person familiar with the matter said Monday.The person spoke on condition of anonymity because an official announcement had not been made by the British company’s board, which was meeting Monday in London to decide Hayward’s fate. The decision is the board’s to make, and it was unclear if it had formally done so.It’s not yet clear what Hayward’s role will be with TNK-BP. He left the board meeting Monday without speaking to reporters, climbing into a silver Lexus that sped off.BP owns half of the oil firm, which is Russia’s third-largest.It was once run by American Bob Dudley, now the odds-on favorite to replace Hayward as BP CEO. After Hayward made a series of missteps, including telling reporters he wanted his life back as Gulf residents struggled to deal with the spill, Dudley took over as BP’s point man in dealing with it. He was in London Monday with other board members.Hayward was called back to London a month ago after a bruising encounter with a Congressional committee and has since kept a low profile.last_img read more

  • Lovot is Japans effort to spread love via robots

    first_img Tags Lovot moves around on two wheels and wiggles its cute little arms — which are actually more like wings.”The Lovot is not a useful robot that will do tasks for human beings,” Groove X noted in a release. “It begs for attention and gets in the way of those it lives with, and at times will shy away from people it does not know. It is adorable just by being there.”A bit like a delicate pet or Sony’s robot dog Aibo then. 0 14 Photos 6:55 Post a comment Share your voice Sony Aibo Robot Dog 2:29 But Lovot can also transmit live footage from the camera on its head. This allows it to serve as a surveillance device or baby monitor and track how much sleep you’re getting. It doesn’t require a constant internet connection either. But it’ll need to get online for software updates, application linkage and data backup.”Though it is not alive, Lovot is warm,” the company said, with a suggestion that you should hug the little bot.Lovot is being sold in pairs for 598,000 yen (around $5,300, £4,210 or AU$7,400) initially, and should start getting in owners’ way and warming their hearts around fall or winter 2019. Single units will be available for 349,000 yen in 2020. Those looking for Lovot’s companionship can preorder one now.center_img Now playing: Watch this: Hot tech toys for 2018: Including robots… that poo.Robots for every home: In just five years?  Lovot, the love robot, offers a warm hug of friendship… My week living with Aibo, Sony’s robot dog Smart Home Tech Industry Lovot is designing for cuddling. Grrov A Japanese robotics company unveiled a creation designed simply to love you on Tuesday.Groove X’s Lovot, whose name is a combination of “love” and “robot,” has been in development for three years and looks more like a plush toy than a robot.The temperature-based camera sitting on its head is used to track motion and body language, while its soft covering hides sensors that detect your touch. Its big expressive eyes even have dilating pupils. Now playing: Watch this: Robotslast_img read more

  • 28 killed in Nigeria Shabaab attack

    first_imgPeople react and walk among rubbles following an attack outside an hotel in Mogadishu, Somalia. Photo: AFPTwenty-eight people were killed Wednesday when Al-Shabaab fighters attacked a popular Mogadishu hotel, setting off two car bombs and opening fire on security guards, according to the city’s main ambulance service.The attack, claimed by the Al-Qaeda-aligned Shabaab insurgents, began when a car loaded with explosives rammed the gate of the Dayah Hotel near the Somali parliament and state house.Security sources said at least four gunmen then entered the compound and exchanged fire with security guards, but they were shot dead before reaching the main building where guests were staying. They were not counted among the 28 dead.A second massive blast went off after ambulances and journalists had already rushed to the scene, leaving seven reporters with minor injuries, according to the National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ).They included an AFP photographer who suffered shrapnel wounds to his shoulder and leg, an Associated Press photographer and a reporter working with Al-Jazeera television.“The number of casualties we have recorded today is 28 dead and 43 wounded. This is what we have confirmed with our teams but there were also other ambulances which carried some casualties (but) I don’t know how many,” said Dr Abukadir Abdirahman Adem, head of the ambulance service.Somalia’s Security Minister Abdirisak Omar Mohamed told reporters there were 10 people killed and 51 wounded in the attack.“We commend the security guards of the hotel who fiercely fought the Shabaab attackers to defend the hotel,” he said.AFP images showed security forces and civilians milling about outside the devastated hotel—its windows and doors blown out—after the first explosion, when a second car exploded with a massive blast, sending thick plumes of smoke into the air and sending people fleeing.Gunfire rang out from the hotel as civilians and rescue workers carried away the injured.The Shabaab group claimed responsibility in a statement distributed on its Telegram messaging account.“The mujahideen fighters have attacked a hotel and have managed to enter the hotel after detonating a car loaded with explosives,” it said.The Shabaab is fighting to overthrow the internationally-backed government of Somalia and regularly stages deadly attacks on state, military and civilian targets in the capital and elsewhere in the war-torn country.Election date setThe attack—the deadliest so far in Somalia in 2017 — came shortly before the country’s election commission announced that a long-awaited presidential vote would take place on 8 February.The date has been pushed back numerous times amid delays in a vote for lawmakers, who were finally sworn in in late December.Somalia has not had an effective central government since the 1991 overthrow of president Siad Barre’s military regime, which ushered in more than two decades of anarchy and conflict in a country deeply divided along clan lines.The clan rivalries and lawlessness provided fertile ground for the Shabaab to take hold and seize territory, frustrating efforts to set up a central administration.After a series of transitional governments were formed abroad, a previous parliament was chosen by 135 clan elders and set up in Mogadishu in 2012.Somalis were promised a one-person, one-vote election in 2016.But political infighting and ongoing insecurity due to the presence of Shabaab meant Somalis were handed a “limited” election, in which 14,025 specially picked delegates voted for 275 parliamentary seats distributed according to clan.Another 72 seats in a new upper house were shared out according to region.The 2016 process is seen as taking the country a step closer to a universal suffrage election now planned for 2020.last_img read more

  • Trump alleges social media censorship of Republicans

    first_imgDonald TrumpUS president Donald Trump on Saturday accused social media platforms of “totally discriminating” against users with right-wing views while dubbing mainstream news outlets CNN and MSNBC “sick.”The president’s comments come after several top social media platforms including Facebook and Spotify curbed or banned accounts of far-right conspiracy theorist Alex Jones.”Social Media is totally discriminating against Republican/Conservative voices,” Trump said in a series of morning tweets.”Speaking loudly and clearly for the Trump Administration, we won’t let that happen. They are closing down the opinions of many people on the RIGHT, while at the same time doing nothing to others.”The president called censorship “a very dangerous thing & absolutely impossible to police,” adding that “if you are weeding out Fake News, there is nothing so Fake as CNN & MSNBC, & yet I do not ask that their sick behaviour be removed.””Let everybody participate, good & bad, and we will all just have to figure it out!”Jones, whose site InfoWars has accused victims of the 2012 Sandy Hook school shooting of being “actors” in a plot to discredit the gun lobby, violated Facebook’s hate speech policies, the social network said.Facebook said the pages were taken down for “glorifying violence, which violates our graphic violence policy, and using dehumanizing language to describe people who are transgender, Muslims and immigrants, which violates our hate speech policies.”Twitter — Trump’s favored medium, where he boasts some 53.8 million followers — meanwhile opted to allow Jones to keep using the platform but in a limited capacity, removing his ability to tweet for an unspecified period of time.Some reports suggested his account was put in “read-only” mode for a week, meaning he cannot tweet or retweet.last_img read more

  • Ghost Rider and Helstrom Are Your Next Marvel TV Shows

    first_img ‘Avengers: Endgame’ Director Explains Thanos’ Faceoff With Captain America‘Marvels’ Expands Marvel’s Podcast Universe Stay on target In case Avengers: Endgame successfully tricked you into thinking that Marvel content is taking a break, don’t worry, no one is ever really gone. Not only are there still plenty of MCU movies in the works (like Spider-Man: Far From Home in just a couple of weeks) but there are also plenty of Marvel shows on tap for streaming TV services.The biggest Marvel streaming shows are handled in-house by Marvel Studios and are coming to Disney+ to make that new service all the more essential. They’ll star characters like Falcon, Winter Soldier, Hawkeye, Scarlet Witch, Vision, and Loki. But the separate Marvel TV division still has its own projects in the works, specifically for Hulu because unlike sexy Netflix Disney has a stake in that platform.Your next two Marvel streaming shows coming to Hulu are Ghost Rider and Helstrom. Instead of the underrated Nic Cage version of the Johnny Blaze character, Ghost Rider will presumably follow Gabriel Luna as Robbie Reyes, who first appeared in Agents of Shield (set to conclude after two more seasons). He kept the flaming vengeful skull head but traded the motorcycle for a muscle car.Helstrom though we aren’t so sure about. Apparently the comic is about Omen-esque brother and sister Daimon and Ana Helstrom whose father is a Satan moonlighting as a serial killer. Seems a little redundant to have this and Ghost Rider be two separate shows, especially since the sibling also punish criminals. If Marvel is looking to make more supernatural horror they’ve already got a perfectly nice Blade just sitting there.Ghost Rider and Helstrom will join other Hulu Marvel shows like Runaways and The Offenders animated project. Look for them all in 2020. And for more on Marvel read our spoiler-filled thoughts on Iron Man in Avengers: Endgame and see how you can help the creator of Rocket Raccoon.last_img read more

  • Sterile neutrinos and the search for warm dark matter

    first_imgThese two figures show how intergalactic structures at high redshift look in cold dark matter (left) and warm dark matter (right) models. The size of the simulated region corresponds to 3.3 million light-years. In warm dark matter models, the structures are more diffused. Credit: Matteo Viel Matteo Viel, a research fellow at the Institute of Astronomy in Cambridge, England, believes that particle physics and cosmology could be more compatible as scientists work toward understanding the origins and the nature of our universe. Citation: Sterile neutrinos and the search for warm dark matter (2006, September 1) retrieved 18 August 2019 from And, with an international team that includes scientists from France and Italy, as well as a theorist from CERN in Switzerland, Viel has produced a paper that may just do that. It is titled “Can Sterile Neutrinos Be Ruled Out as Warm Dark Matter Candidates?”, and it addresses the possibility of a less-standard view of the universe. It was published in Physical Review Letters on August 17.“We know that dark matter is one of the main constituents of our universe,” Viel tells “The most popular view is that this dark matter is mostly cold. And while some things can be explained by cold dark matter, there are some things, especially on a smaller scale, that are better explained by a dominance of warm dark matter.” Things, the Letter explains, like pulsar velocity kick, universe re-ionization at a high redshift. Warm dark matter, in the form of sterile neutrinos, could even possibly help with grand unification theories in particle physics.Viel and his colleagues studied a subset of data taken from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) to find differences in warm and cold dark matter. The subset included quasars that show the absorptions of the photons emitted by a distant source by the intervening neutral hydrogen which populate intergalactic structures. Using the SDSS data, Viel and his peers used computers to model different scenarios using warm and cold dark matter to get an idea of what objects in a forming universe might look like.Two figures show how intergalactic structures at high redshift look in cold dark matter (left) and warm dark matter (right) models. The size of the simulated region corresponds to 3.3 million light-years. In warm dark matter models, the structures are more diffused.“Among all warm dark matter particles,” says Viel, “there are neutrinos. Neutrinos come in two kinds: active and sterile. We quantify the impact of the sterile neutrinos on intergalactic structures when the universe was about 10% of its present age.”The problem, though, arrives in the fact that a group in Ohio, using observational data, discovered an upper limit to neutrino mass that is smaller than Viel and his group’s lower limit. This means that the findings are incompatible. So, does this result rule out sterile neutrinos as warm dark matter candidates? “Yes,” says Viel, “and no.”In a standard neutrino production scenario, there is leptonic symmetry. In such a universe, sterile neutrinos could not be dark matter candidates. But Viel and his team explored some new possibilities, including leptonic symmetry, and discovered that sterile neutrinos are still good candidates for warm dark matter. “What we need now,” he says, “are further parameters — tighter constraints — to study.”This is where a combination of particle physics and cosmology could really help. “This is really a work that lies between particle physics and cosmology,” he explains. By collecting higher resolution data on intergalactic structures, better constraints could be developed for particle physics experiments in the laboratory. “If we can find better constraints, the physics community can tailor experiments in those ranges that cosmologists have found. It is important for these communities to interact, bring data and share models of the universe.”“There are infinite numbers of consequences in the development of the universe, depending on warm or cold dark matter,” says Viel. “If we can get tighter constraints on even one property of sterile neutrinos, through some direct detection experiments or by observation, it would be an enormous improvement of our understanding of the universe.”By Miranda Marquit, Copyright 2006 Explore further Deceptively simple: Minute marine animals live in a sophisticated symbiosis with bacteria 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.last_img read more

  • Royal Caribbean launches biggest sale yet for 2015

    first_imgWith their record breaking cruise season well and truly underway, Royal Caribbean has launched one of the biggest sales of the year with three great offers available for new cruise bookings made by 5 December 2015.All new worldwide bookings (excluding China) booked by 5 December 2015 will receive up to 50 per cent off the cruise fare of the second guest.Plus there are added bonuses on top of this great new offer, depending on where you cruise:Australia, New Zealand, South Pacific, Transpacific & Asia Repositioning voyages – guests who book an Oceanview stateroom during the sale period on any cruise between 1 January and 23 April 2016 will also receive a free upgrade to a Balcony stateroom.Europe, Caribbean, Alaska, Asia voyages – new bookings on international sailings of five nights and longer departing from 10 December 2015 will receive up to US$300 onboard credit per cabin (Interior stateroom bookings receive US$100; Oceanview US$200; Balcony & Suites US$300).Fares start from AUD$1,499 for the first guest and AUD$749.50 for the second in an Oceanview stateroom – including free upgrade to Balcony stateroom – for an eight-night South Pacific cruise onboard Radiance of the Seas.Sailing roundtrip from Sydney and departing 31 January 2016, the cruise visits South Pacific gems including Noumea, New Caledonia; Lifou, Loyalty Islands and Isle of Pines, New Caledonia.The sale coincides with the maiden arrival of Australia’s newest and largest cruise ship, Explorer of the Seas, which arrives at her first port of call in Australia, Fremantle, on Friday 13 November.A nine night South Pacific cruise onboard Explorer of the Seas starts from AUD$1,799 for the first guest and AUD$899.50 for the second, including a free upgrade to a Balcony stateroom when you book an oceanview. The cruise departs 21 March 2016 from Sydney, roundtrip. Book your Royal Caribbean cruise here Source = Royal Caribbean Internationallast_img read more

  • Sabre and PAWA signs strategic technology agreement

    first_imgSabre Corporation has been selected by Pan Am World Airways Dominicana (PAWA) as the airline’s leading technology provider. PAWA will leverage the breadth of Sabre’s leading technology portfolio, which includes the SabreSonic Customer Sales & Service Reservations system, Revenue Optimiser and Revenue Integrity solutions, as well as Sabre’s Market Intelligence solution. This will enable the carrier to offer a reliable, efficient and profitable international air transport service that drives tourism and economic growth.Core to PAWA’s technology transformation is migrating to the SabreSonic reservations system, an integrated Software-as-a-Service platform enabling personalised sales and service, including passenger check-in, inventory and departure control as well as retailing and e-commerce solutions.“The SabreSonic reservations system and other software will deliver new capabilities and flexible technology that will enhance our ability to provide the best possible customer experience. Sabre’s integrated product suite and strong IT expertise will help our airline meet the growing demand as we grow to other markets,” said Gary Stone, President and CEO of PAWA.Greg Gilchrist, SVP and Chief Customer Officer, Sabre Airline Solutions, said, “We are excited to work with PAWA, a growing airline in the Caribbean. By delivering Sabre’s unique capabilities, we will support PAWA’s goal to offer great service that will expand tourism across the region. We look forward to growing with them as they open new markets.”last_img read more

  • Evans Bank Settles Redlining Suit With New York

    first_img Financial holding company Evans Bancorp, Inc., recently announced a settlement agreement has been reached with the New York State Attorney General for alleged discriminatory mortgage practices.Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman said in a press release that Evans Bank made a “trade area” map, or places in Buffalo where the bank focused much of their lending, that did not include much of the city’s African-American-dominated East Side from 2009 to present, allegedly violating the Fair Housing Act.Despite their creditworthiness, African-Americans were not included.The bank, accused of redlining, or denying mortgage loans to predominantly African-American neighborhoods in Buffalo, New York, has agreed to establish an $825,000 settlement fund to promote homeownership and affordable housing, the Attorney General explained. The settlement requires that Evans revise its lending area to include the East Side neighborhoods and other areas previously excluded from the bank’s lending area, and to encourage lending activity in the East Side and other previously excluded areas.“It is essential that all New Yorkers, regardless of the color of their skin or the racial make up of their neighborhoods, be afforded equal access to our banking systems – and the basic benefits of obtaining a mortgage,” Attorney General Schneiderman said. “That we continue to see systematic racial and housing discrimination in New York in 2015 is shocking. I will not stand for it.”Evans Bank dismissed the allegations that they participated in redlining mortgage lending practices and that the lawsuit was not based on substantial and specific evidence.”Throughout the course of this matter, no specific incidents were ever claimed, described, or identified and, as such, we believe the underlying lawsuit was based on unsubstantiated information and Evans would have eventually prevailed in court,” said David J. Nasca, president and CEO of Evans Bancorp.He added, “We firmly believe that Evans did not violate any state or federal laws regarding our residential mortgage practices. The decision to enter into this settlement reflects our desire to concentrate on our core business without distraction and continue to focus on projects and initiatives that will improve the quality of life and economic well-being of the community at large.”The settlement will end the New York lawsuit, which was brought about a year ago, by a joint Stipulation of Discontinuance in Federal Court filing from both parties.Additional Settlement Agreement Terms for Evans Bank:Administer, over a three-year period, a $100,000 grant program to encourage homeownership in Buffalo’s East Side neighborhoods.Over a two-year period, invest $200,000 in advertising and marketing designed to reach potential applicants and residents of the complaint area.Pay $50,000 to the New York State Attorney General for costs and fees.Revise its commercial and consumer loan policy, and any other applicable policies or summaries of policies that specifically reflect to the complaint area; and eliminate any minimum dollar requirement for mortgages contained therein. Any necessary training of Evans employees regarding such revisions shall be provided in accordance with the agreement.Click here to view Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman’s complete announcement. September 11, 2015 556 Views in Daily Dose, Government, Headlines, News Discriminatory Mortgage Practices. Evans Bancorp New York State Attorney General 2015-09-11 Staff Writercenter_img Evans Bank Settles ‘Redlining’ Suit With New York Sharelast_img read more

  • Your browser does not support the audio element

    first_img Your browser does not support the audio element. Even before the Arizona Cardinals were officially eliminated from the playoff picture against the Washington Redskins in Week 15, the season’s results had changed perspective for general manager Steve Keim.The evaluation of his roster wasn’t only about the young players stepping in for injured veterans and their on-field production — it became an easy way to evaluate the locker room mood for a team with little to play for. The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo – / 40 On a defensive unit that earned a 23-0 shutout win against the New York Giants on Sunday, the Cardinals have so far proved their sense of urgency wasn’t lost with the lack of a playoff appearance.“We’ve dealt with enough adversity this year with the injuries, with some of the losses,” Keim told Doug & Wolf Tuesday on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station. “So we just have to make sure, again, we use this season and in particular our issues that we’ve dealt with as learning things where we can look back and we grow from it, instead of having the attitude of ‘woe is me.’“That’s something I’ve believe in wholeheartedly not only in a scouting side of it but hopefully as an organization in general; just where we can look back and again find out where we missed, where we made mistakes and how we can put our best foot forward and improve.”Several veterans, especially on defense, have made it clear they’re not mailing it in.Defensive tackle Frostee Rucker and linebacker Karlos Dansby both earned Keim’s praise following the win over the Giants. Safety Antoine Bethea, who recorded two interceptions and nearly added another against the Giants, also grabbed the general manager’s attention beyond his on-field production this year. Keim added that $LB Deone Bucannon, who has picked up his play after an offseason ankle injury, arguably played his best game as a pro.Offensively, the scouting process hasn’t been as easy.Losing running back David Johnson, quarterback Carson Palmer, swapping backups Blaine Gabbert and Drew Stanton, and dealing with the offensive line turn-style hasn’t made it easy, “but at the end of the day, there are still one-on-one battles these guys have to win,” Keim said.The general manager pointed out that any sweeping changes won’t be limited to free agents. Players under contract also better be showing well in the locker room and on the field over the tail end of the season, which wraps on Sunday against the Seattle Seahawks.“Without a playoff berth to play for, sometimes in this business sometimes you question what the urgency is. That’s what I’m extremely proud of is our guys came out in front of our home crowd and stepped up and answered the bell,” the GM said of the win over New York.“We just got to make sure we make good, sound decisions (in the offseason). Really, it starts with the mental preparation and the urgency and the attitude that you play with.” Top Stories Arizona Cardinals inside linebacker Deone Bucannon (20) forces New York Giants wide receiver Roger Lewis (18) to fumble during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 24, 2017, in Glendale, Ariz. The Cardinals recovered the football. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin) LISTEN: Steve Keim, Cardinals GM 15 Comments   Share   Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impactlast_img read more