TORONTO – A Conservative member of the Ontario legislature is apologizing to Premier Kathleen Wynne for comments made in a radio interview after the premier’s lawyers warned he could face a defamation lawsuit.Lawyers representing Wynne sent a letter Wednesday to MPP Bill Walker asking that he publicly retract and apologize on the air for statements made to Toronto radio station AM640 on Monday.The letter alleged Walker told the radio station Wynne was under investigation and facing charges in connection with an upcoming Election Act bribery trial for two Liberal party members, when in fact the premier is slated to testify in the trial.It said his statements “could be the subject of a defamation action” and warned against making any further comments along those lines.In a statement released Wednesday evening, Walker said he made a mistake while discussing Wynne’s plan to testify at the upcoming trial.Wynne’s lawyer said later Wednesday that Walker was expected to be interviewed on the radio station again on Thursday. He said Walker’s comments would be monitored “to ensure our demand for a retraction and apology is fully satisfied.”Pat Sorbara, the premier’s former deputy chief of staff, faces two bribery charges under the Election Act, and Gerry Lougheed, a Liberal fundraiser, faces one charge.“I misspoke by implying that the premier is under investigation and facing charges. The premier is not, in fact, under investigation or facing charges,” he said.“I regret the error and apologize for it without reservation.”In their letter, they said Walker’s radio statements “appear to have been made with the intention to harm the reputation of Ms. Wynne,” who they said has co-operated with investigators in the case.“Despite the inaccuracy of your statements, your status as an MPP increases the likelihood that these falsehoods will be repeated by others, increasing the potential harm to the premier’s reputation,” the letter read.“Accordingly, you will be held accountable for any damages arising from your defamatory statements and their repetition by others.”Wynne previously sued former Conservative leader Tim Hudak and another Tory MPP after the pair said she oversaw — and possibly ordered — the destruction of documents related to two cancelled gas plants.That lawsuit was resolved in 2015, though it is not known whether it was settled or withdrawn.
Advertisement Courtesy of Mongrel MediaFilmmaker Dilip Mehta admits he is still completely baffled by Sunny Leone, the subject of his latest documentary, Mostly Sunny. “I think the film has done her wonderfully because she’s come across as a strong woman, as an independent-thinking woman (and) good for her. “They’re looking at her and saying maybe there is an alternative. Maybe what our parents have told us in life may not necessarily be true for us anymore — that you can make your own choices and possibly even succeed.” Indeed, despite her lascivious start in the adult industry, Leone has truly become an ambassador of female empowerment in India. Today however, Leone has inexplicably become a Bollywood sensation by transitioning to mainstream movies — an unthinkable transformation in a traditional culture that channels an extreme kind of conservative parochialism. “She is spearheading a movement,” said Mehta of Leone’s influence in India. “There must be (others) but none who have her acumen at making money and her history. And her history’s remarkable. “I wanted to do it because it was a vehicle for (female empowerment), plus, it was an introspective vehicle for me to look at India. India today is not the country I grew up in and I felt it’s an interesting time to do such a film and use her as the vehicle.” “Her parents’ generation, they have shunned her because of her choices,” insisted the talented brother of Canadian auteur Deepa Mehta (Midnight’s Children).“It’s a strange choice of words but the younger generation are really tickled pink by Sunny Leone because they find her liberating, they find her fresh and almost label her as a feminist.” Not only does she continue to be feted in Bollywood circles but her success has pushed a pseudo-liberation movement. Perhaps most compelling though is how her story is inspiring the next generation of Indian women. “Here is a former porn star in India, which is steeped in tradition,” offered Mehta about the real-life Bollywood star of Mostly Sunny, opening in most cities Friday. “Even after spending two and a half years doing the film, I just don’t get how India has accepted her with open arms.” Twitter Advertisement On the screen, Leone’s acting ability also quickly won her an admirer in Mehta. Advertisement Courtesy of Mongrel MediaSunny Leone is the subject of documentary Mostly Sunny. “I was floored by her honesty,” he said of her work in the film. “My approach was to distance myself in one sense by being a fly on the wall. Login/Register With: Filmmaker Dilip Mehta may have intimately studied the main character of his latest documentary, but he admits he’s still completely baffled by Sunny Leone. LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment The truth is Sunny Leone’s success itself is a bit mysterious. Born in Sarnia, Ont., Sunny shot to fame at just 19 years old when she plunged herself into the porn industry and quickly rose to be crowned 2003’s Penthouse Pet of the Year. “Who are we to cast dispersions and judgment?”By: Steve Gow Facebook
Dennis WardAPTN NewsIndigenous leaders who represent more than 130 communities involved in the oil and gas sector were on Parliament Hill Thursday to speak out about two proposed bills they say will leave their “communities in poverty.”Members of Aboriginal Equity Partners and the Indian Resource Council were in Ottawa to express their dissatisfaction with the proposed Oil Tanker Moratorium (Bill C-48) and the proposed Impact Assessment Act (Bill C-69).They say the legislation will prevent communities, who are conducting or trying to conduct “responsible oil production” on their territories, from receiving “the full value of our resources.”“No moratoriums, no killing pipelines, no bills that are guaranteed to lead to endless court challenges,” Bruce Dumont said during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday.Dumont, former president of the B.C. Metis Nation, said the federal government needs to find a balance between the economy and the environment.Former B.C. Metis Nation President Bruce Dumont said efforts to protect the environment are costing Indigenous communities with fossil fuel resources money.He said dozens of oil and gas-producing communities are losing “$200-million each year in royalties, compared to 2012, due to the price deferential and a lack of pipeline access for the products.“That computes to about $18,000 per family, per year.”The leaders, who gathered to speak out about the pending legislation, say the media and politicians are portraying Metis and First Nations as “anti-development.”“I want you to think of the consequences of that,” Dumont said in front of a small group of reporters at the press gallery.“Our neighbours in rural communities of Saskatchewan, Alberta and B.C. who are rig workers, drillers, truckers, think we are the problem — that we are killing their jobs, their livelihood and their ability to support their families. We also have families to support.”Those speaking against the two bills acknowledge the relationship with the resource sector has not been perfect but argued it has provided “opportunities to exercise self-determination.”Indian Resource Council CEO Stephen Buffalo said he’s concerned about Bill C-69’s proposed expansion of public participation in standing.Buffalo believes only those directly affected by a project should be able to participate.“We don’t want to open the door for big environmental NGOs to delay or disrupt projects in our territories,” he email@example.com@DennisWardNews
“There is a penalty system in place and again, it’s identical to the Alberta legislation,” Eyre said.“This is really about export permits for truck and for track, anything that would in our case, Saskatchewan’s case, be transporting natural gas, oil, refined products, would be subject to the export permits legislation.”The proposal does not mention British Columbia specifically, but Saskatchewan has said it is supporting Alberta in a dispute with B.C. over the Trans Mountain pipeline.The expansion of the pipeline to the West Coast has been approved by the federal government, but B.C. is fighting it in the courts.Eyre said that $2.6 billion has been lost from the sector in the province along with $200 million in royalties.She acknowledged that there are issues with the bill and current trade agreements, but that Saskatchewan needs to defend its rights. REGINA, S.K. – The Saskatchewan government has introduced legislation that would allow the province to control its oil and gas exports, similar to a bill recently tabled in Alberta.Once passed, the law would establish a permitting process for people or corporations looking to export energy products outside the province.Energy Minister Bronwyn Eyre said the lone difference is that Saskatchewan has a sunset clause in place until Jan. 31, 2019. “The nature of the Canadian constitution is it applies across Canada. We’ll have a look at that legislation and we’ll make that determination about how to protect British Columbians from unconstitutional legislation that targets British Columbians.”Saskatchewan Opposition NDP Leader Ryan Meili said that his party is still looking over the bill and seeking out opinions regarding the legality of the measure.“We heard some actors like the Canadian Fuels Association posing that this could potentially cause problems for workers in different areas of the economy,” Meili said.“I think any time you’re starting to introduce trade barriers between provinces, however, that is done, there’s potential serious consequences and those need to be explored and understood,”Eyre said the bill is a last resort and will only be used if the pipeline continues to be stalled.“This is not something that we want to do, we don’t want to find ourselves in this position,” she said.(THE CANADIAN PRESS) “There are issues with the constitution in terms of who will step up here to protect the resource sector and constitutionally speaking, again, we trump that because we have that responsibility over our energy sector,” Eyre said.“That’s the law and that’s in the constitution.”B.C. Attorney General David Eby said Monday that the government will review the Saskatchewan law to determine if it discriminates against his province.“We’ve reviewed the Alberta legislation and if it’s based on that legislation it’s as unconstitutional in Saskatchewan as it is in Alberta,” he said.
United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan today reiterated his condemnation of all hostage-takings and acts of violence against innocent civilians following the killing of two Pakistani nationals Thursday in Iraq. “Such acts are utterly unacceptable and are aimed at undermining Iraq’s political and economic reconstruction,” said a statement issued by Mr. Annan’s spokesman. The spokesman said the Secretary-General was dismayed and saddened to learn of the brutal killing of the two contractors, who had been held hostage for several days, and conveyed his deepest sympathy and condolences to the Government of Pakistan and to the families of the victims.
Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedSterling Products Limited takes Ice-cream magic to EnmoreNovember 7, 2018In “Business”Igloo Ice Cream donates footwear to Wakapoa studentsSeptember 7, 2014In “Local News”Huge profit losses due to Essequibo power outagesDecember 12, 2013In “Local News” A customer enjoying an Igloo ice cream cone from the new location.Local ice-cream pioneer, Sterling Products Ltd. (SPL) has opened a new outlet to make its premium Igloo Ice Cream available to customers near Stabroek Market Square in the heart of Georgetown.The new outlet was launched on March 1, 2019 and is strategically located on the upper-story of the KFC fast-food restaurant adjacent to Stabroek Market.It provides a cool, clean and comfortable getaway where customers can enjoy delicious, refreshing Igloo ice-cream above the hustle and bustle of the market square.CEO of SPL, Mr. Ramsay Ali said the new outlet is part of the company’s ongoing expansion in order to meet customers’ demand for Igloo ice cream. He added that the new branch will serve an extended range of top-quality ice creams, including exciting new flavours and variants to delight both adults and children.He noted that the array of ice cream flavours available at the Stabroek parlour is intended to deliver the best quality value to a broad spectrum of customers, catering for those who are inclined to stick to old favourites, as well as those who are tempted to try out tantalizing new varieties.While the Stabroek outlet will be fully stocked with standard ice cream flavours, it will also offer newly-created varieties including pistachio, strawberry-cheesecake, cherry-vanilla, mint-chocolate, midnight-cookies-and-cream, maple-almond, marshmallow, fudge brownie and piecrust.He added that the company is constantly seeking to add value for customers by creating new flavours and enhancing the taste, all under the strictest hygienic conditions. He disclosed that SPL invested about US$1M in the last half of 2018 to enhance quality and expand production.Additionally, Sterling Products Ltd. continues to conduct customer service training to its employees to ensure that visitors to Igloo outlets are pleased with all aspects of the service offered. Employees are paid competitive salaries and enjoy comfortable working conditions, so that they are happy to work with the company, Ali asserted.Sterling Products Limited was established in Guyana some 62 years back (1954) under IS0 9001 quality management.The Igloo ice cream continues to move from strength to strength in the Guyanese market by producing a high-quality product that is unmatched for sheer accessibility and ease of purchase, like the newest outlet above KFC near Stabroek Market square overlooking the Demerara River.Prior to the launch of the Stabroek Market branch, SPL launched a branch at Enmore branch in 2018. [Extracted and Modified from Sterling Products Press Statement]
A Guyanese businessman living in Barbados was on Sunday morning shot and killed during a robbery at Beckles Road, Barbados.He has been identified as 46-year-old Eton “Junior” Lyken, 46, the owner of Eton Bakery and Variety Store.Based on reports received, the now dead man and another person were having a conversation in a car when they were pounced upon and ordered out of the vehicle by a lone gunman who was at the time wearing a mask.As the two men exited the motorcar, they were reportedly held at gunpoint and relieved of their jewellery, cash and other valuables.It is believed that the Guyanese businessman attempted to fight off the bandit but instead, he was shot to the head once. The bandit then left the scene.Lyken reportedly died instantly. His reputed wife, Mia Kirton, was quoted in Barbados Today saying that her husband always looked out for others and she is still trying to come to grips with the manner in which he died.“I still can’t believe it. I still can’t believe it. I would really like justice to be served because a man dead for no reason. Someone who use to help out any and everybody. Junior use to pick up people from off of the road and help them. He would pick up people off of the road to come and work. And I use to tell Junior be careful who you picking up off of the road, because everybody you smile at ain’t you friend”, she told the Barbadian newspapers.Lyken left Guyana several years ago and opened up a business and lived comfortably with his reputed wife and three children up to the time of this demise.The Barbadian authorities have launched an investigation. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedCops nab 3 suspected bandits in Ruby BackdamJune 24, 2019In “Crime”Wakenaam businessman shot dead by bandits on Robb StApril 19, 2016In “Crime”Update: Mayhem in Montrose as gunmen shot dead during shootout with PoliceDecember 16, 2014In “Crime”
Students who wrote the National Grade Six Assessment (NGSA) earlier this year will be able to access their results on July 3, 2019. The results are expected to be released by Education Minister, Nicolette Henry at a press briefing.Along with the announcement of the top performers, persons can view their score online with the presentation of a candidate number among other details.The two-day examination was written on April 17 and 18, covering four key subject areas. This year saw an increase in the candidates from 14,551to 14,715.This exam is extremely key, since the results would determine which secondary institution these students would be placed at. Prior to this, the students had to write the National Grades Two and Four Assessments back in 2012 and 2014 respectively.A percentage of the marks from all three assessments will be calculated to determine the overall performance of each student. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedNGSA results to be released next weekJune 30, 2016In “Local News”National Grade Six Assessment results to be released on June 11May 31, 2015In “Business”2017 NGSA results out todayJune 30, 2017In “Local News”
The latest feasibility study on RNC Minerals’ jointly-owned Dumont nickel-cobalt asset in Quebec, Canada, has identified the potential for both electrification and automation of the open-pit haulage fleet at the project.The DFS, completed by Ausenco, showed that initial nickel production at Dumont could come in at 33,000 t/y, before ramping up to 50,000 t/y in a phase two expansion. This would result in some 1.2 Mt of nickel in concentrate output over the 30-year life, with an initial capital expenditure estimate of $1 billion.This initial investment would be paid back with a $920 million after-tax net present value (NPV, 8% discount) and 15.4% post-tax internal rate of return, factoring in a nickel price of $7.75/Ib (>$17,000/t) and a US$/C$ exchange rate of 0.75, the company said.Dumont, as envisaged in the DFS, would use conventional drilling and blasting, with loading by a combination of hydraulic excavators and electric rope shovels into trucks ranging in size from 45 t to 290 t. The process plant will be constructed in two phases. Phase one will have an initial average throughput of 52,500 t/d using a single SAG mill and two ball mills for grinding, desliming using cyclones, conventional flotation and magnetic separation, to produce a nickel concentrate also containing cobalt and PGEs. Phase two throughput will be doubled to 105,000 t/d in year seven by mirroring the first line.Around 42 Mt of overburden will be pre-stripped prior to start-up of operations. The life-of-mine plan excavates 2,100 Mt of material, including 1,000 Mt of ore, over an open-pit life of 24 years. After open-pit operations cease in year 24, 398 Mt of stockpiled ore will remain to support continued production through year 30.One of the noticeable changes to the previous feasibility study from 2013 was the electrification of the fleet in the mine plan.The company, which jointly owns Dumont with Arpent Inc, currently plans to increase the electrification of Dumont by incorporating trolley assist on the planned main ramps. RNC said this will reduce cycle times, and reduce diesel consumption by over 35% (approximate reduction of 450 million litres over the life of mine), which, in turn, will cut greenhouse gas emissions by 1.2 Mt of CO2 equivalent, the company said.And, among three “additional upside opportunities” listed in the DFS highlights was the use of haulage automation, which could potentially improve the NPV by some $75-115 million, the company estimated.RNC said: “As autonomous equipment has been employed in open pits for over a decade and the global fleet currently approximates a combined 400 units of haul trucks and blasthole drills, automation is rapidly becoming proven technology.”As a result, the company engaged an industry expert, Peck Tech Consulting, to assess the suitability of Dumont for automation.“Based on Peck Tech’s prefeasibility-level assessment, the implementation of an Autonomous Haulage System could reduce the peak truck fleet by 20% and reduce site-wide all-in sustaining costs by over 3%,” RNC said.“Further potential could be achieved with an Autonomous Drilling System (ADS),” the company added, saying it is continuing discussions with various mining equipment suppliers to understand the impacts and benefits in greater detail.
IRELAND’S FOOD WATCHDOG has warned the public not to eat any mushrooms they find growing in the wild, saying wild mushrooms in fields or gardens could pose a risk of food poisoning – even when cooked.The Food Safety Authority of Ireland has issued the warning to mark the start of the mushroom foraging season, saying the National Poisons Information Centre of Ireland has reported a number of recent cases of food poisoning relating to mushroom consumption.There have already been seven such cases this year, in addition to the 22 cases recorded in 2011.The authority’s director of consumer protection Ray Ellard said it would be “extremely difficult for the amateur mushroom hunter to identify the safe mushrooms growing in the wild, as opposed to the poisonous varieties”.“Cooking does not kill the potentially toxic chemicals that can be found in some wild mushrooms,” Ellard said.“Eating a wild poisonous mushroom, raw or cooked, can result in people becoming very ill and indeed in some cases, can be life threatening.”The authority has particularly warned parents of children who may play in gardens or fields to be vigilant, in case their kids accidentally ingest any poisonous foodstuffs.It has suggested that mushrooms found in the wild should only be eaten after consultation with an expert mushroom forager, and not to consult books or websites which may not be in a position to give authoritative guidance on whether the food is safe to eat.
Asked if he thought that his use of the words “laissez faire” were wrong, Adams responded: “Well I am not going to be engaged now in a thesaurus discussion. I’ve made it clear that it was never my intention to cause offence or to hurt the families.”Asked if he thought the IRA doing were their duty when they gunned down Harry Breen whilst, as one witness quoted in the report said, he was holding a white handkerchief, Adams said he was “not going to deal with that”.“The war’s over. I made it clear that these officers were courageous officers doing their duty,” he said.Dismissing questions about truth and honesty as “silliness”, Adams also questioned who had been hurt by his remarks when he was asked if he would withdraw them as they had caused hurt.Micheál Martin“Who was hurt? Micheál Martin?,” he said adding: “We can can go over this and over this and over this. I’ve already said it was not my intention to cause any further hurt to the families.”“I stand over the accuracy of the fact that these officers were at risk, and I draw that from the report. I didn’t make it up. It’s in the report.”Adams was also asked if he thought Sinn Féin’s support would be damaged by the events of recent days. He said he had “great confidence in the Irish people to discern these issues and to make up their own minds.“Irish people are not fickle or stupid,” he said.Responding to Adams’s comments this afternoon, Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin said that the Sinn Féin TD should withdraw them, saying they reflect “very badly” on him.“I just felt that it was a terrible thing to say, a terrible way to put it and I wanted to just reiterate, on the floor of the house, that this was a premeditated murder of two police officers doing their duty,” he said.First published 1.08pm Gerry Adams: ‘Laissez faire’ comments reflect what is recorded by Smithwick TribunalRead: ‘Insulting, offensive, quite outrageous’: Sinn Féin criticised over Smithwick response Updated 2.45pm SINN FÉIN PRESIDENT Gerry Adams has again defended his response to the Smithwick Tribunal report, insisting his comments were “accurate” and based on the report adding that it is “nonsense” to suggest he was blaming two RUC officers for their own deaths at the hands of the IRA.Adams has been heavily criticised in recent days for suggesting that Harry Breen and Bob Buchanan had a “laissez faire” attitude towards their personal safety when they were murdered by the IRA in south Armagh 24 years ago.“Read those parts of the report that deal with that and you’ll see that my remarks were accurate. But in terms of causing hurt, that was never my intention to cause hurt, I don’t need reminders from anyone that there are victims,” Adams said today at Leinster House.He was responding to the death of Nelson Mandela who he described as a “remarkable human being” who was one of his heroes.Adams dismissed as “nonsense” the suggestion that he was blaming the men for their own deaths, saying: “I mean that was never in question that the IRA killed them and it was a brutal killing, but it was in the middle of a war.“I also have commended these officers, these RUC officers Buchanan and Breen as men who were doing their duty as they saw it, in the same way as it is my belief the IRA volunteers were doing their duty as they saw it.”He said the people needed to stop “re-fighting the war”.‘Re-fighting the war’“We keep re-fighting the war and some people fight and re-fight the war at the behest of their editors and some people from the safety of the plinth or the seats in the Oireachtas. The war is over, we should be fighting for peace,” he said.
Jack Dorsey who is the founder and Executive Chairman of Twitter is also the CEO of a company he founded called Square. Square offers individuals and small business owners the ability to use their smartphones to take credit card payments without any contracts or monthly fees. Just a simple 2.75% per swipe is charged to process a credit card and all that is required is an application which is free to download an a credit card reader which plugs into a smartphone’s audio jack.Square’s business model is quite a threat to traditional credit card terminals used by most businesses. One of the largest providers of those terminals is VeriFone which back in March went on the attack accusing Square of poor security due to their card reader’s inability to encrypt credit card information. VeriFone even went as far as sending a copy of a credit card skimming application they wrote for use with Square’s reader to major credit card companies including Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express. So what was the response? It was probably not one VeriFone was expecting.Visa this week announced that it was making a strategic investment in Square though an exact dollar amount wasn’t disclosed. It seems Visa’s interest in Square is the fact that the company has the potential to currently tap into the 27 million businesses and individuals who currently don’t accept credit card payments. On the same day the investment by Visa was announced, Square also announced that it would adopt the mobile acceptance best practices just released by the credit card company. This is another set of great news for Square who just recently got a boost from Apple who has decided to offer the company’s credit card reader online and in Apple retail stores.Read more at Visa and the Wall Street Journal.Brian’s OpinionWhen VeriFone went on the attack so strong against Square their real intention was so transparent. After all, businesses switching to Square’s simplified smartphone model of accepting credit card transactions would be bad news to Verifone and other traditional credit card terminal companies just like it. It just tickles me to think what VeriFone executives must be thinking today now that Visa has put their full support behind Square.To put it bluntly, VeriFone clearly underestimated the reaction by Visa to Square’s business model. It makes absolutely no sense for Visa to continue to stick with traditional credit card terminals alone when they know the new smartphone-based system offered by Square puts the ability to process credit cards into the hands of small businesses and individuals who don’t take them now. That means Square could be Visa’s gateway to reach millions of new customers and process millions more in credit card transactions.When Apple announced it would offer the Square credit card reader online and in stores I thought that endorsement was just the kind needed for Square to really take off. Now that Visa’s on board as well I expect Square’s customer base will skyrocket much to the displeasure of VeriFone. If VeriFone was really smart they would quit trying to crush Square and attempt to buy the company, but I would imagine that Jack Dorsey wouldn’t accept such a deal purely out of principle at this point.
Le requin-baleine : un champion de la géométrie appliquéeAustralie – Publiée le 25 novembre dans la revue Functional Ecology, une étude de scientifiques britanniques, menée sur le requin-baleine, montre que le plus grand poisson du monde joue efficacement sur sa flottabilité et ses angles de déplacement pour économiser son énergie.Une flottabilité négative : contrairement à la plupart des poissons, les squales ont tendance à couler. C’est pourquoi le requin-baleine (Rhincodon typus) peut descendre vers le fond sans aucune dépense énergétique. Pour remonter, il doit en revanche battre de la nageoire caudale, mais il privilégie alors de faibles angles d’ascension, qui lui permettent de remonter sans grand effort en glissant majestueusement comme à l’horizontale, et optimise sa dépense énergétique en cas de remontée plus verticale. À lire aussiUne femme meurt après avoir été mordillée par son chiotC’est en munissant des requins-baleines de capteurs et d’accéléromètres, qu’une équipe de chercheurs a obtenu ces résultats, au terme de quatre années d’étude à Ningaloo Reef, à l’ouest de l’Australie.”Nos résultats démontrent que la géométrie joue un rôle crucial dans les stratégies de déplacement d’animaux évoluant dans les trois dimensions. L’utilisation d’une flottabilité négative a une large part dans la capacité de requins océaniques à localiser des sources de nourriture imprévisibles, et à se déplacer de l’une à l’autre efficacement”, conclut Adrian Gleiss, de l’université de Swansea, au Royaume-Uni. Le 28 novembre 2010 à 18:38 • Emmanuel Perrin
SEATTLE — The Legislature had the right to eliminate state employee pension increases that were approved during the stock market boom of the 1990s, the Washington Supreme Court said unanimously Thursday in two decisions that save the state billions of dollars but leave many public employees feeling cheated.In twin rulings on identical legal issues, the court found that lawmakers were within their rights in 2007 when they repealed a “gain-sharing” benefit that paid employees more when investment returns on pension trust funds exceeded expectations, and in 2011 when they repealed automatic cost-of-living adjustments for certain retirees.In each case, the Legislature had reserved the right to eliminate the benefits in the future, the court said. Both decisions reversed lower-court rulings.“I don’t think having to take away these benefits was something anyone enjoyed,” said Sen. Barbara Bailey, an Oak Harbor Republican who chairs the Legislature’s Select Committee on Pension Policy. “But had we not done this, or had it not been upheld, the cost to the state would have been in the billions.”Public-sector unions and others who sought to maintain the benefits did not dispute their cost. But, they argued, the state had dangled the promise of the pension enhancements in the late ’90s when officials persuaded tens of thousands of workers to give up their costly defined-benefit retirement plans for cheaper plans. The cheaper plans reduced the defined benefits by half while adding a mix of defined contributions and gain-sharing, which occurred when investment returns exceeded 10 percent for four straight years.
WILMINGTON, MA — Wilmington Apple is asking weekly questions to the seven candidates running in contested primaries for the Wilmington/Tewksbury State Representative seat (19th Middlesex).Below, in her own words, are the responses to this week’s questions from candidate Erika Johnson (D-Wilmington).#15) What you will do at the State House to ensure that our local police and fire departments have what they need to adequately protect us? Do you support a fire substation in North Wilmington? Did you/do you support the construction of the new center fire station in Tewksbury that was approved last year?I have the utmost appreciation and gratitude to the police and fire departments in Wilmington and Tewksbury. Personally, I cannot thank them enough for their swift response and their kind nature toward my grandmother, who lives in an memory-care facility in Wilmington, anytime she has needed their help.We must be sure that our public safety officials are properly trained, have the resources they need to stay safe and are supported by local and state government. Therefore, if elected, I will fight to be sure all of these are upheld through increased local aid and helping to secure grants for programs and equipment.I want to thank the Wilmington Firefighters Local 1370 for hosting Coffee with the Candidates this past Saturday. It was a great opportunity to learn what concerns Firefighters have and for whoever is elected, how we can best support them. One firefighter brought up how several of his fellow firefighters were forced to move out of Wilmington because they cannot afford it with their current salary and increasing cost of insurance. While compensation is not directly in the purview of State Representative, I am so saddened to hear this, our First Responders deserve to be compensated at a rate that allows them to live in the communities they protect and not worry about how they’ll be paying their bills.In terms of the North Wilmington Substation, I live in North Wilmington and I worry about response time by first responders being so far from the Public Safety Building. I fully support studying the feasibility of the North Wilmington substation, which while adding costs, will decrease response times in certain neighborhoods and allow for an expansion of services.Additionally, I am in support of the new Tewksbury center fire station. The increased size and capabilities of the new station will provide support and room to grow for the foreseeable future. As Wilmington and Tewksbury continue to grow, we need to ensure we have the resources needed to address all emergency situations within both town(s). The role of firefighters and police officers have expanded greatly in the past 20 years, and sometimes public support lags behind the curve. If elected, I will work with both town governments, to ensure that Wilmington and Tewksbury have everything they need to service the community and continue protecting our lives and property.#16) The Vietnam War Moving Wall recently visited Wilmington. It was a sobering reminder of what the men and women in our armed forces are willing to sacrifice to preserve our freedom. What will you do at the State House to support our local veterans and veterans statewide? What, if anything, have you done as a private citizen and/or locally elected official that shows a commitment to veterans? Do you personally have any family that serves/served?I am so grateful to have experienced the Moving Wall twice, the first time when it came in 2008 and last weekend. The Moving Wall is just as powerful and harrowing as its counterpart in Washington D.C., and to have it (twice) on Wilmington’s Town Common,.On the state level, we must be doing all we can for those who put their lives on the line to defend our freedom. If elected, I look forward to working closely with Wilmington and Tewksbury’s Veterans Agents to see how the Office of State Representative can best help veterans and their families in the communities. I promise to be accessible for all constituents, including veterans and provide as much help and access to resources as I possibly can.My grandfather and my mom’s stepfather served in Army. I am incredibly grateful to them and to all of those who serve/have served. From the bottom of my heart, thank you for your service!(NOTE: Do you have a question for the candidates? Email firstname.lastname@example.org and it may be asked in a future Q&A or in a debate.)Like Wilmington Apple on Facebook. Follow Wilmington Apple on Twitter. Follow Wilmington Apple on Instagram. Subscribe to Wilmington Apple’s daily email newsletter HERE. Got a comment, question, photo, press release, or news tip? Email email@example.com.Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… RelatedSTATE REP RACE: Tewksbury Republican Committee Attack Robertson Over Wilmington Democratic Committee Chair’s StatementIn “Government”STATE REP RACE Q&A: Pina Prinzivalli Discusses What She’ll Do To Support Police, Fire & Veterans If ElectedIn “Government”STATE REP RACE: Voting Records Show Prinzivalli Voted Only Once Before Launching Candidacy; Campaign DisputesIn “Government”
Police arrested 81 people, including two Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami leaders, from different places of the district early Friday.The arrested Jamaat leaders are Mohidul Islam, 35, ameer of Betaga union unit Jamaat in Fakirhat upazila, and Aslam Sheikh (48), secretary of ward-4 unit of Jamaat under Fakirhat union.Tipped off that a group of Jamaat-Shibir men was planning acts of sabotage, police conducted a drive in Fakirhat upazila headquarters and arrested the two Jamaat leaders, said Pankaj Roy, police super of the district.The rest were arrested from different places of the district, he said.
.Twenty of the candidates of the Awami League-led grand alliance and two of the BNP-allied Jatiya Oikya Front, out of around 600 contestants of the two sides in the 11th parliamentary elections, are fully politicians.These are the people who consider politics as their profession, according to an analysis of the declarations of the candidates submitted to the election commission.Seven other candidates — six from the grand alliance and one from Oikya Front — have mentioned their occupation to be both politics and business.However, a total of 329 candidates or 55 per cent of 600 candidates are businessmen, the declarations say.The number of professional politicians including the candidates who declare their occupation both as politics and business is even lower than the number of professionals who are 36 from the two major alliances.Even if all the politicians in two categories are elected, they would be 29 or less than 10 per cent in 300-member parliament.So, the analysis suggests, predominance of the professional businessmen will remain intact in the 11th Jatiya Sangsad (national assembly) like the cases in the past few national elections and parliament.The businessmen had first outnumbered the politicians in the 1991 parliamentary polls, records show.The ruling Awami League camp nominated as many as 153 businessmen as its candidates in the 11th parliamentary elections, as against 176 from Jatiya Oikya Front.The percentage of businesspersons as members of parliament (MPs) suddenly rose to 53 per cent in 1991 and their representation increased to 56 per cent through the 2008 elections.After the country’s first parliamentary elections in 1973, lawyers who were elected MPs were 27 per cent compared to percentage of businessmen as MPs at 24, found a research report.Political scientist Rounaq Jahan and senior researcher Inge Amundsen of Christian Michelsen Institute conducted the research titled ‘The Parliament of Bangladesh: Representation and Accountability’.Analysing professions of elected MPs from 1970 to 2012, they showed that in 1991 election, the businessmen (53 per cent) outnumbered the lawyers (19 per cent).MPs having background of serving civil and military bureaucracy also increased to 8 per cent in 1991 parliament.About the trend of depleted number of politicians in parliament and rising dominance of businessmen, secretary of Sushasoner Jonno Nagorik (Shujon), Badiul Alam Majumdar said the nominations have reflected how politics has been commercialised over the years.“Businessmen consider politics to be a kind of business. They want to make profit from politics and the issue of public welfare is thus neglected,” he expressed his views.“It’s obvious that the future parliament will not be in favour of the public. It will protect the vested interests of the MPs,” he added.The two coalitions have nominated 289 candidates with graduate, post graduate and higher degrees, according to the declarations.The grand alliance has nominated 129 graduates and the Oikya Front 128. Oikya Front has 195 candidates with post graduate degrees as against the grand alliance’s 102. The grand alliance has picked 13 with higher degrees as against the Front’s 12.Each of the two camps has nominated 9 persons, who declared themselves a self-educated. However, there is no criterion for defining what makes a person ‘self-educated’.Both the camps have the same share of persons having passed their primary, secondary and higher secondary exams.And the two coalitions have one candidate each who has not mentioned education qualifications at all.*This report, originally appared in Prothom Alo print edition, has been rewritten in English by Farjana Liakat
Share To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code: X 00:00 /00:57 Listen Florian MartinWreckers and cleanup crews are working on SH-288 after it got flooded Wednesday morning.It was a traffic nightmare for commuters driving into work on State Highway 288 Wednesday morning.The freeway was shut down for several hours, while a section near MacGregor Boulevard was flooded and then cleaned up after the water receded.Several drivers got stuck in the water and others in the mud.“It’s been a pretty bad morning,” said a man who only identified himself as Jerry and who was waiting by his truck in the grassy freeway median at MacGregor for hours – even after the water was gone.“About 5:30 this morning, I was on my way to work and I ran into a lot of traffic,” he said. “Everything stopped right here. My truck, we were sitting right here, the water started coming up, so a lot of people moved over into the grass to get away from the high water.”He was waiting for a tow truck, but of course he wasn’t the only one.Overall, more than 130 cars were towed from Houston roads.SH-288 opened again about 11 a.m. Wednesday, after all stranded cars were removed and the road cleaned.
JEN RICE / TEXAS STATION COLLABORATIVEGov. Greg Abbott gives his State of the State on Tuesday, Jan. 31.Gov. Greg Abbott spoke for almost an hour Tuesday in his “State of the State” address. Almost as notable as the contents of that speech were the hot topics he didn’t mention.Here are five key issues the governor avoided Tuesday, with annotations by public radio reporters and editors across the state.1. Refugees And President Trump’s Travel BanWhile the governor was speaking inside the State House, Texas Muslims were holding their annual Texas Muslim Capitol Day on the grounds outside. Here’s a Facebook Live from the rally.Abbott did not mention President Trump’s controversial executive order suspending travel to and refugees from seven countries on Friday. Here’s the text and NPR’s annotation of that order.That sparked a weekend of confusion at airports — at least nine people were detained as long as 30 hours at DFW International — and protests in cities including Houston, Austin and San Antonio.Abbott also did not mention his move to withdraw Texas from the U.S. refugee resettlement program in September, leaving the process to nonprofits including Refugee Services of Texas and the International Rescue Committee. President Trump’s executive order Friday has resulted in the cancelation of more than half of the refugee resettlements planned in the next month in Texas.— Rick Holter, KERA in North Texas2. Women’s Privacy Act (a.k.a. The Bathroom Bill)This legislation has been a priority for Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick since he helped to defeat a proposed ordinance in Houston that would have extended non-discrimination policies to transgender people. Despite the backlash in North Carolina over a similar law, Patrick has called this legislation one of the most important bills of the 2017 legislative session.Abbott didn’t mention the issue Tuesday, and state Sen. José Rodríguez (D-El Paso) said after the speech that its absence “might be good news.”The reason? The lieutenant governor says he is still working toward getting enough support to bring the bill to the floor of the Senate. So far there are 15 writers and co-sponsors on the bill. But it takes 19 senators to bring a bill up for a vote. No mention by the governor and no sign of significant support in the House (Speaker Joe Straus doesn’t see an urgency to pass it) could make that magic number harder to reach.The bill as filed would penalize municipalities and state-funded institutions that allow a transgender person to use the bathroom that corresponds to their gender identity. It would also increase the criminal penalty for several offenses, if they are conducted in a bathroom, and would block any local government from passing a non-discrimination ordinance that allows transgender bathroom access.Several business groups, including the Texas Association of Business, issued a report that said the law would cost the state millions, even billions in lost business and events.— Ben Philpott, KUT in Austin3. Special Education In Texas SchoolsAbbott didn’t mention the federal investigation into special education in Texas. That issue has been the target of public outrage since a Houston Chronicle investigation revealed that Texas could be denying tens of thousands of children with disabilities needed services guaranteed by federal law.The Chronicle reported that in 2004, state administrators created an arbitrary benchmark that directed school districts to keep special ed enrollment to 8.5 percent of all students. Since then, participation rates in Texas have fallen to the lowest in the country. The national average is about 13 percent.Federal education officials toured Texas in December and are planning to return in late February to gather more information, to see if the state has violated federal law. Some leaders, including House Speaker Straus, have called a special ed overhaul. And the education commissioner, Mike Morath, told reporters in December he would eliminate the de facto cap. Advocates and parents are getting impatient and are putting on pressure for quick change.— Laura Isensee, Houston Public Media4. Health Care And Possible Repeal Of Obamacare Today is the last day for open enrollment under the Affordable Care Act, a.k.a. Obamacare. Despite Gov. Abbott’s steadfast opposition to the law, he didn’t mention health care or Obamacare once in his address.Roughly 1.3 million Texans bought health insurance under the Affordable Care Act. Despite these gains, the Kaiser Family Foundation estimates Texas still has the highest number of uninsured residents nationwide: nearly 4.5 million people.Part of the reason so many Texans still don’t have health insurance is that state lawmakers haven’t expanded Medicaid.Polling done by NPR, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health shows Texans are significantly more likely than adults nationwide to report that it has gotten harder to see a doctor in the past two years.In 2016, several major health insurers (including Aetna, United Healthcare and Scott and White) announced they would not offer plans on the federally-run marketplace. Both the health insurance plans available under the Affordable Care Act and the plans available through Texas employers have tended to be more high-deductible, bare-bones plans. If the Affordable Care Act is repealed by Congress, that could have a major effect on the Texas economy as well. According to the Commonwealth Fund, the repeal of Obamacare could cost Texas 175,000 jobs.But a repeal would be good news to many small and mid-size Texas companies, says Marianne Fazen, president of the Texas Business Group on Health. The employer-mandate portion of the Affordable Care Act requires businesses with 50 or more full-time employees to provide affordable health insurance. Fazen says some companies have had to add staff to meet reporting requirements and avoid paying penalties.— Lauren Silverman, KERA in North Texas5. Women’s HealthIn his 2015 State of the State, Abbott called for more funding for women’s health programs. And while the 84th Legislature did allocate an additional $50 million for women’s health, that came after years of drastic cuts to the state’s family planning budget and the cutoff of state funding to Planned Parenthood. Abbott has threatened for years to ban women’s health clinics that also provide abortions from receiving any Medicaid funding.A little background: In 2011, Texas kicked out women’s health providers like Planned Parenthood from the joint state-federal women’s health care program. As a result, the federal government stopped contributing money (it had previously provided 90 percent of the funding for the program). This forced the state to re-launch the Texas Women’s Health Program solely with state funding.So what’s changed? The state’s program, “Healthy Texas Women” does include more health care workers than were available in 2011, but many clinics have not reopened since the funding cuts. It is also true that in 2015 Texas began funding women’s health services at historically high levels. Though the analysis of how the funding translates to women’s health is complicated.— Lauren Silverman, KERA in North TexasCopyright 2017 KERA-FM. To see more, visit KERA-FM. Share
X To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code: Listen 00:00 /01:04 Laura IsenseeAlmost all of the 19 candidates for the HISD board of trustees participated in a forum held by Children at Risk this week.Early voting starts next week for the Houston school board elections, which have drawn a crowded field of candidates vying for six of the nine seats on the board.Half of those races are wide open for newcomers. They include Districts I, III and V.One major theme emerging is how the current board governs.“I think there’s a perception that our current school board is not really cohesive,” said Bob Sanborn, who leads the advocacy group Children at Risk. “They’re not all on the same page. They’re really not all thinking in one way in terms of how do we make lives better for students.”That could impact the rest of the races, where incumbents are fighting to keep their seats in Districts VI, VII and IX.“It seems like incumbents aren’t the natural people to be reelected. It seems like there’s a tension — certainly from the inside circle on this race — in terms of we need to make sure we get the right mix,” Sanborn added.His group recently held a candidate forum, where almost all of the 19 candidates on the ballot participated. The majority of them agreed on issues like full day pre-K, early education for three-year-olds, support for Superintendent Richard Carranza and giving all students three free meals every day.In some ways the future of the board itself rides on the election. That’s because HISD could get a state-appointed board of managers next year if it doesn’t improve chronically failing schools. Share