UN mission says opposition forces in DR Congo have disarmed awaiting handover

5 April 2007After clashing violently with Government troops in the capital Kinshasa last month, opposition forces and their dependents in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) currently under United Nations protection have disarmed, the world body’s Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO) said today. The UN mission in the DRC, known as MONUC, estimates that hundreds were killed and many more wounded in the violence which broke out on 22 March between Government forces and guards of former Vice-President Jean-Pierre Bemba, who was defeated last year by current President Joseph Kabila in the run-off round of landmark presidential elections.As of 30 March, 149 opposition fighters, called DPP, have taken refuge with MONUC. In addition to those DPP members, some 93 women and 109 children who claim to be family of DPP members have also taken refuge with MONUC.“The Mission is in discussions with the Government regarding [the opposition forces’] handover to Government authorities for disarmament or reintegration into the armed forces,” Michele Montas, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s spokesperson, told reporters in New York today.Mr. Bemba’s guards have yet to be handed over, as a detailed agreement is currently being negotiated by which the Government would guarantee to respect the opposition forces’ human rights and their proper treatment before the law should they be tried, as well as giving MONUC’s human rights officials access to them.Yesterday, MONUC called on Government officials to ensure that the country’s security forces act in accordance to the law and not create an atmosphere of persecution against people associated with the opposition or those originating from Equateur province, an opposition stronghold.“It is crucial that the fundamental rights of individual security and liberty, as well as the liberty of opinion and expression, which are guaranteed by the DRC constitution, should be respected by all the security forces in relation to Congolese citizens, which includes members of the opposition and the press,” MONUC spokesperson Kemal Saiki said.On Tuesday, the Security Council called on the DRC’s authorities and political parties to pursue national reconciliation and resolve their differences through dialogue.Deploring the March violence, the 15-member Council underscored the legitimacy of the DRC’s democratically elected institutions. The body also pointed out that these institutions must operate with respect for the rule of law, human rights and international humanitarian law, and must also avoid any unnecessary or disproportionate force.The country is rebuilding following the end of a six-year civil war, widely considered the most lethal conflict in the world since World War II, which cost 4 million lives in fighting, hunger and disease. read more

Two Canadians held in Egyptian prison happy to be home

00:00:00 | 00:00:00::Projekktor V1.3.09 The two Canadians who were held in an Egyptian prison for seven weeks have been home for almost 24 hours.John Greyson and Tarek Loubani say that they developed a family like bond with each other, and their over 30 men who occupied their 3m by 10m cell. They spoke english with a few other prisoners, one cell mate took the time to learn Greyson’s entire family tree.Greyson said that the entire cell even sang happy birthday when it was revealed that he had missed his two daughters’ birthdays.The two kept a pretty low profile today, as they were not doing TV interviews.They arrived last night just after 7 o’clock. It had been 55 days since they’d seen home and the sense of relief was obvious on both of their faces. It all began on August 16th while in Cairo’s Ramses Square. That was the scene of ongoing demonstrations by members of the Muslim Brotherhood.Loubani is a doctor and was helping the wounded while Greyson, a film maker, shot footage.They assumed their professions and nationality would give them a pass. Instead they were arrested, beaten, and spent seven weeks inside the notorious Tora prison , in Cairo.After sustained diplomatic and public pressure, the men were finally released.The two said that they were excited to spend time with their families and we will learn more about their ordeal in the coming days. Loubani says that he will be back working in the ER at a London area hospital tomorrow. read more

New antihomosexuality law in Uganda violates basic human rights stress UN officials

The law criminalizes and imposes life imprisonment for homosexuality, same-sex marriage and “aggravated homosexuality,” according to a news release issued by the High Commissioner’s Office (OHCHR). “Disapproval of homosexuality by some can never justify violating the fundamental human rights of others,” Ms. Pillay said. “This law will institutionalize discrimination and is likely to encourage harassment and violence against individuals on the basis of their sexual orientation. “It is formulated so broadly that it may lead to abuse of power and accusations against anyone, not just LGBT people,” she warned.Ms. Pillay stressed that Uganda is obliged, both by its own Constitution and by international law, to respect the rights of all individuals and to protect them from discrimination and violence.“This law violates a host of fundamental human rights, including the right to freedom from discrimination, to privacy, freedom of association, peaceful assembly, opinion and expression and equality before the law – all of which are enshrined in Uganda’s own Constitution and in the international treaties it has ratified.”The High Commissioner expressed deep concern that the law could also threaten the critically important work of human rights defenders in the country, urging the Government to take immediate steps to ensure that they are not prosecuted for their advocacy.Mr. Ban’s spokesperson said the Secretary-General is “seriously concerned” about the negative impact of the new law and shares the High Commissioner’s view that it violates human rights. “It will institutionalize discrimination, restrict the vital work of human rights activists, and could trigger violence. It will also hamper potentially life-saving efforts to stop the spread of HIV,” Martin Nesirky told reporters in New York.Mr. Ban has appealed for the complete and universal decriminalization of homosexuality, still a criminal offence in some 76 countries, stressing that human rights must always trump cultural attitudes and societal strictures.Mr. Nesirky added that the Secretary-General intends to raise the anti-homosexuality law in his meeting today with the Permanent Representative of Uganda to the UN, Richard Nduhuura. read more

Updated tyre management system from Michelin

first_imgMichelin Earthmover has introduced MEMS Evolution3, updating the popular management system that provides mining operations managers with advanced, real-time data about tyre temperature and pressure conditions. Originally launched in 2006, Michelin says “MEMS is the most widely used tyre-monitoring system in the world. It can be found today in more than 1,400 rigid dump trucks in nine countries and in 35 mines around the world, increasing the effective running time of surface-mine trucks.Using the latest-generation tyre pressure monitoring system (TPMS) sensor and new, improved system software, MEMS Evolution3 enables mine operators to increase safety, extend tyre life, increase utilisation time, reduce costs and increase mine productivity while working under the most difficult and demanding industrial conditions. MEMS Evolution3 sends critical tyre-related data and alerts to operators via various communication channel options.With MEMS Evoloution3, downtime can be anticipated and avoided through detection of slow pressure losses. An inflation monitor compensates tyre-pressure limits for ambient temperature; so when tyre temperatures change, operators can know immediately if there is an alert and change routes. Maintenance operations can be anticipated.“Equipment worth millions of dollars that carries hundreds of tonnes of material on steep slopes and rugged terrain needs to ride on safe and reliable tyres,” said Jamey Fish, Director of Earthmover Marketing for Michelin North America. “MEMS Evolution3 provides immediate operational gains and anticipates tyre issues for surface mine operators.”The MEMS Evolution3 provides the following benefits:Improved, liquid-proof sensors report data throughout entire tyre life to improve mine performanceTwo patented sensor models available: conventional sensors and sensors for liquid-filled tyres, isolated in a capsule filled with inert liquidReal-time data recording, allowing reactive monitoring of alarmsConnection and data transfer via Ethernet or 3G with information stored in the cloudSending of multichannel real-time alerts online, via email or SMSEasy-to-use, advanced reporting capabilities monitor tyre metrics.MEMS Evolution3 is available for rigid dump trucks using tyres with diameters 49” and greater, up to 12 tyres per vehicle. Michelin XDR2 and XDR250 tyres are pre-equipped for MEMS Evolution3 with a factory integrated patch allowing the rapid installation of MEMS sensors in tyres without liquid.last_img read more

Play this Super Luigi U for the Wii U

first_imgNintendo’s first DLC for Super Mario Bros. U has finally arrived. That might sound like great news for Wii U — DLC for a Mario game — but if you’re a casual player get ready to be frustrated quickly.As one of their launch day titles, Super Mario Bros. U is one of those games you expect just about every Wii U owner to buy. As we wait for some of the new titles announced at E3 2013 to arrive, Nintendo has released a Luigi-focused DLC that can be purchased as an add on to the existing SMBU or as a standalone digital only title. The add-on puts you in the bright green overalls of Mario’s taller twin, who is also trying to race his way to rescue Princess Peach. Luigi’s adventure is a little different than Mario’s, and in many ways this game is significantly more challenging to complete.Super Luigi U starts off just as the original did, with Bowser and his crew storming the castle and taking the Princess. From Luigi’s perspective, he’s got to get to the castle as quickly as possible, with very little time to stop and enjoy much of anything. All of Luigi’s levels start with the time warning sound, offering just 100 seconds on the clock to complete the level. During boss fight levels, you have 100 seconds to get through the actual level and an additional 100 seconds for the boss fight. Skilled players will have no problem taking on the first few levels in under 45 seconds, but this mechanic makes exploring the levels fairly challenging.Playing Luigi is slightly different from playing Mario, as you now have access to his extra hang-time when he jumps. This little bit can often make a big difference in getting through the level, especially when used with the flying squirrel acorn and some of the other new abilities. You’ll find some familiar companions like Yoshi along the way, but you’ll also find reasons to go back to previous levels and play through them again, like when you have to chase down Nabbit to recover items he has stolen from Toadstool.As DLC’s go, Luigi U is great. It’s a challenging addition to Mario U that offers just enough variety to keep things interesting. The 100-second limit gets frustrating as you move into the other parts of the map, and the first time you forget that Mario can’t jump as high as Luigi or hang in the air for a second as he jumps you’ll want to throw your controller… but overall it is a great DLC.You can grab this game from the Wii U shop for $19.99 as an add-on or $29.99 as a standalone title, and even if you don’t want the DLC there’s now an update for SMB U that allows you to play with the new Pro Controller. VIEW PHOTO GALLERY Title Screen Luigi UTitle Screen Luigi UScratched out signBoss Fight Luigi UYoshi Luigi UNabbit catch Luigi Ulast_img read more

Apple lapplication iBooks 2 déjà téléchargée 350000 fois

first_imgApple : l’application iBooks 2 déjà téléchargée 350.000 foisLancement réussi pour l’application iBooks 2 : elle a été téléchargée 350.000 fois en 3 jours.Après avoir présenté sa révolution du manuel électronique, force est de constater que celle-ci a attiré la curiosité. Grâce à la tablette tactile iPad, au multimédia et à l’interactivité, Apple va-t-il s’assurer encore pour longtemps du succès de sa tablette ? Cela semble très bien parti car l’application iBooks 2 a généré 350.000 téléchargements en 3 jours seulement, selon Global Equities Research.Cette application permet de créer des manuels interactifs, associée avec l’application iBooks Author, gratuitement. Le programme iBooks Authors aurait de même été téléchargé 90.000 fois. Ce qui est prometteur et lance entendre un développement futur de ces manuels scolaires pour iPad. D’autant plus que le prix de ces livres numériques est plafonné à 14,99 dollars (environ 11 euros). Une bonne mesure puisque les élèves achèteront directement les livres.D’après Global Equities Research, le coût de production d’un manuel sous forme d’iBook serait environ 80% moins cher que lorsqu’on produit un ouvrage papier. Le modèle de distribution directe sur l’iBookstore permet donc de créer un produit très rentable. Le 29 janvier 2012 à 15:00 • Maxime Lambertlast_img read more

Cant Concentrate Light a CoffeeScented Candle

first_img I can’t stand the smell of coffee. Luckily, I’m not applying to business school.Research from the Stevens Institute of Technology suggests a mere sniff of java may help people perform better on the computer adaptive Graduate Management Aptitude Test (GMAT)—typically used for admission to a graduate management program.The idea is that smelling a coffee-like odor (barf)—which has no caffeine in it—results in similar brain function as actually drinking a hot brew. This, folks, is known as the placebo effect.“It’s not just that the coffee-like scent helped people perform better on analytical tasks, which was already interesting,” study lead Adriana Madzharov, a professor at the Stevens School of Business, said in a statement. “But they also thought they would do better, and we demonstrated that this expectation was at least partly responsible for that improved performance.”Working with colleagues at Temple University and Baruch College, Madzharov administered a 10-question GMAT algebra test to about 100 undergraduate business students, divided into two groups.One set completed the exam in the presence of an ambient coffee-like scent (blech), while the other (a control group) were quizzed in an unscented room.Those in the coffee-smelling room scored “significantly” higher.Have we been so conditioned that even the aroma of caffeine can increase alertness and improve performance?Apparently so.In a follow-up survey, 200-plus new participants said they believe they would feel more energetic in the “presence of a coffee scent,” versus that of flowers, or nothing at all.“Olfaction is one of our most powerful senses,” Madzharov said. “Employers, architects, building developers, retail space managers, and others can use subtle scents to help shape employees’ or occupants’ experience with their environment. It’s an area of great interest and potential.”Moving forward, Madzharov is exploring coffee’s placebo effect on other types of performance, like verbal reasoning.The full study was published recently in the Journal of Environmental Psychology.Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey. Researchers Use Rats to Find Out Why Coffee Makes Us PoopStarbucks Will Test ‘Greener,’ Recyclable Cups in Stores Soon Stay on targetlast_img read more

How will BREXIT affect the TCI

first_imgFacebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Related Items: Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppProvidenciales, TCI, July 8, 2016 – Brexit continues to spawn headlines and in its overseas territories, Premier Rufus Ewing recently explained there is concern.   The TCI is actually planning to seek greater linkage with CARICOM for regional support and at the upcoming Joint Ministerial Council or JMC which will be hosted by the TCI later this month, the country’s leader said talks will get serious about the impact of the British vote to eventually leave the European Union.  “We have invited and he has accepted, this is the Secretary General, the Ambassador of CARICOM, because we, the OT’s need to have the discussion with CARICOM, as to what is in it for us, and how best CARICOM can represent us as overseas territories in this jurisdiction here in the Caribbean region.”The decision by 52% of the voters could mean a change in how British citizens, which includes many Turks and Caicos Islanders, move about Europe.  “Turks and Caicos is affected in the manner that right now, as a BOTC citizen, using the Turks and Caicos passport, the BOTC passport,  we have visa free travel into the Schengen region, as part of the EU block.  And we also have free access for those persons who are British citizens with the British passport through the European region, but those will be affected or may be affected depending on what is negotiated going forth in the future.”The matter was also addressed in the House of Assembly today by the Premier who said our GDP disqualifies us anyway from receiving significant financial handouts by the EU.last_img read more

Inter legend says they must stop Suso

first_imgFor former defender Beppe Bergomi, “the way to stop Gonzalo Higuain and Milan is by neutralizing Suso” in the Derby Della MadonninaInternazionale Milan and AC Milan will face off in the Derby Della Madonnina this Sunday at San Siro Stadium.And for former defender Beppe Bergormi, there is only one way to stop AC Milan.“The two players who I think are fired up in the right way to decide the derby are Lautaro Martinez and Patrick Cutrone, as they can also come off the bench with a sense of recklessness and shake things up,” Bergomi was quoted by Football Italia.Stefano Sensi, inter milanReport: Inter go top with win over Udinese George Patchias – September 14, 2019 Inter Milan are top of Serie A after beating Udinese to make it three wins out of three.Antonio Conte’s career at Inter Milan, could…“There’s a lot of quality, but we saw in last season’s 0-0 that it doesn’t necessarily mean goals. Inter have the wide men and Radja Nainggolan who can slip in, while Milan can count on Suso, Higuain and their aggressive midfielders pushing forward.”“We can ask Icardi for more, to be a leader on the pitch and work harder for the team, but must ultimately concentrate on his extraordinary knack for finishing chances in the box,” he added.“The way to stop Higuain and Milan is by neutralizing Suso. Higuain lunges at every loose ball and has a good shot from distance too. I think Milan Skriniar is the one who can mark him, as he’s so good in one-on-one situations. He fires up the crowd with his tackles, too.”last_img read more

Keown creates new word because of Torreira

first_imgMartin Keown has expressed his love for Arsenal midfielder Lucas Torreira by creating a new word for the North London club.Lucas Torreira scored his first goal for Arsenal in the 4-2 win against Tottenham Hotspur last weekend and he wasted no time in doubling his tally.The Uruguay international scored the only goal of the game to end Huddersfield’s stubborn resistance, as Arsenal secured a 1-0 home win over the Terriers.Torreira was not brought in for his goalscoring ability but for is ability to add steel and hardness to the clubs midfield, something they have been lacking in recent years.The former Sampdoria man has come up with two important goals for Arsenal and not only is he a fan’s favourite, he appears to be adored by former players as well.Keown reveals Arsene Wenger’s biggest mistake at Arsenal Andrew Smyth – August 23, 2019 Arsenal legend Martin Keown believes Arsene Wenger’s biggest mistake at the club was trying too hard to emulate Barcelona.Former Gunners defender Martin Keown “loves” him so much that he invented a new word for him on Saturday night.Keown said, according to Football. London: “This little man Torreira, I absolutely love him.”“He runs the midfield, he’s been outstanding and look at him now, scoring important goals for Arsenal, building that Arsenalisation, it’s a new beginning here.”“Arsenal found a way to win.”last_img read more

Southeast tribal court builds on its experience

first_imgPresiding Judge Debra O’Gara discusses tribal justice in the Juneau courtroom of the Central Council of Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska. (Photo by Ed Schoenfeld/CoastAlaska News)Southeast Alaska’s largest tribal court operation just celebrated its 10th anniversary.Listen nowIt started with child support and paternity cases and branched out to include domestic violence protection orders, custody disputes and adoptions. Now, it’s planning to further expand the kind of cases it handles.Presiding Judge Debra O’Gara opens a hearing in the Central Council of Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska’s courtroom.It follows a set procedure, but is less formal than state or federal courts. O’Gara sits at the bench and wears a black robe. But both are decorated with the council’s Eagle-Raven formline design logo. She said the Juneau-based court has between 900 and 1,000 open cases. They involve some of the council’s approximately 30,000 members in Southeast, the rest of Alaska, the Pacific Northwest and elsewhere.“We firmly believe that tribal members are more likely to come into court when the court is their own tribal court. And it’s their own tribal laws that are being implemented,” O’Gara said.The Central Council’s Tribal Assembly authorized the court in 1989, but it took a while before operations began.It started out handling a short list of cases and related services. But that’s expanded, with grants, interagency agreements and new ideas.One major focus is developing systems for young offenders, as well as those at risk of getting into trouble. That includes an early diversion program, which offers counseling and tutoring while encouraging involvement with extended family and cultural activities.“If we don’t intervene early, the youth are more likely to end up committing crimes or getting into trouble and getting into the justice system,” O’Gara said.About a year ago, the Central Council signed an agreement with the state giving it authority over some foster care and other services for Native children facing abuse or neglect.Council Director of Family and Youth Services Francine Eddy Jones said only a few cases have been transferred so far. But they have potential.“They’re coming into tribal court, but they’re also seeing familiar faces in terms of tribal caseworkers working with them to identify what they need to be working on,” Jones said. “Our goal is always to support the families and see if we can move toward reunification.”The National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges is supporting the tribal justice program.It recently chose Tlingit-Haida’s court as one of six nationwide to be studied and given expert advice. O’Gara said the scrutiny will help.“It’s not any funding. But what we get is we get them to come out. They’re going to look at our system, they’re going to look at our codes, they’re going to meet our staff, they’re going to look at our procedures,” O’Gara said.A team visited in February and its report is expected soon.About 85 percent of the tribal court’s cases involve child support. But it has plans for further expansion. If funding becomes available, O’Gara said it will begin taking some criminal cases.Central Council President Richard Peterson said those found at fault will be held accountable.“We’re not trying to get some free pass for people. But we’re trying to make it so they are dealt with compassionately enough that they’re given a chance to right their wrongs,” Peterson said.O’Gara said there’s already an agreement with the state court system to make sentencing recommendations in some cases involving tribal members. She said she hopes to begin what’s called “circle sentencing” soon. But cultural programs and other support services need to be put in place first.The Central Council’s tribal court is one of several in Southeast Alaska. Others operate throughout the state.last_img read more

How to remove Open With programs in Windows

first_imgHow to remove Open With programs in Windows by Martin Brinkmann on May 24, 2018 in Windows – Last Update: May 24, 2018 – 13 commentsOpen With is a useful feature of the Windows operating system that allows you to open files with different programs from Explorer.While you can map a file type such as zip to a program so that it gets opened whenever you double-click on a file of that type, you can also right-click on files and select open with to launch the file in a different program.Windows opens an “open with” menu when you double-click on files that have no default program associated with them so that you may pick a suitable program from the list that is provided.Sometimes, you may notice that old or unwanted programs are on the list; this happened to me the other day. I installed a new software to open archives to update a review and removed the program after I finished testing it. While the program was removed from the Windows 10 machine, the open with and “how do you want to open this” menus still listed it as one of the options. Selection did not do anything because the program was not installed anymore, and it was presented in a prominent spot on top of that.Remove Open With programs on WindowsWindows users have two main options when it comes to dealing with unneeded items in the Open With menu or adding new items to it:Manipulate listings directly in the Windows Registry.Use third-party programs for that instead.Direct manipulation has the advantage that you don’t need to run third-party software to make the changes; the disadvantage is that it is not as easy and straightforward as what some of the third-party programs that edit Open With data offer.Using the RegistryUsing the Registry to remove Open With items from Windows is relatively easy.Note: Since you are deleting keys and values in the Registry you may want to create a backup first before you do so. Select File > Export in the Registry Editor to back up the selected key and data.Open the Start Menu, type regedit.exe, and select the result to load the Registry Editor.Confirm the UAC prompt that is displayed.Go to the root key Computer\HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\FileExts\The key lists all known file types in alphabetical order.Click on the file extension that you want to edit the open with programs for.Select the “OpenWithList” key to list all available entries.You delete any item listed on the page by right-clicking on it and selecting delete from the context menu. You are asked to confirm the deletion and need to select yes to delete the selected value from the Registry.All that is left to do is repeat the process for any other program or file type that you want to remove items from.The changes should be visible right away in the right-click open with menu in Explorer. A restart is not required.Using third-party softwareSeveral applications have been created over the years to make the editing of the Open With menu more comfortable.OpenWithView by Nirsoft (all Windows versions)OpenWithView is a free program for all versions of Windows that lists all applications that you may find listed under the Open With menu in Windows Explorer.Apart from listing those apps, it allows you to disable them if you don’t need them so that they are not shown in the menu anymore from that moment on.To disable an entry select it with the mouse and right-click afterwards. There you find the option to disable it to block it from being listed in the Open With menu. You may also use the shortcut F8 to disable entries and F7 to enable them if you prefer to use the keyboard.OpenWithView does not offer granular controls but it lets you remove an application from any menu it may be displayed in directly.Open With Enhanced (Windows 7 and older)OpenWith Enhanced improves the Windows Open With dialog. Once installed, it turns the Open With dialog into a more user friendly version.The program uses a program association database that is constantly updated to suggest applications that can be used to open the selected file in the Windows operating system.Installed programs are displayed with different backgrounds than programs that are not installed. A click on a program that is suggested but not installed will open the program’s home page on the Internet from where it can be downloaded to the local PC.That’s handy for users who have no idea which program they need to open a specific file type, and users who would like to try out alternatives to programs already available on the system.The program options are displayed with a click on Settings. Here it is possible to change the application backgrounds and label colors, the way programs are displayed in the Open With dialog, the sending of anonymous usage statistics and if the program should check for updates regularly.Another interesting option is the ability to remove file associations for users on the system, and to remove Open With menu entries in Windows Explorer to clean up the context menu of Window’s native file management tool.Lastly, a click on “look for the appropriate program on the Web” opens the OpenWith Enhanced database on the Internet.Open Expert (Windows XP and earlier)Open Expert is probably the best application to configure the available applications for the Open With dialog for each file type in Windows. A list is populated with all Open With programs after selecting a file type from the list of available extensions.Each program in the list can be rearranged in position or removed from the list completely. Alternatively new programs can be added from the hard drive. Open Expert is easy to use and the results are immediately visible.Easily open your graphic files in your favorite paint programs or view your HTML files in either Netscape or Internet Explorer, just with a few mouse clicks. You can even add different versions of the same program to the OpenExpert menu.The screenshot below shows how it works: Right-click your file, point to “Open with” and then just click on the program which should open the file. That’s how easy it is!Please note that the program is only compatible with Windows XP and earlier versions of the Microsoft Windows operating system. The program is free for personal use.SummaryArticle NameHow to remove Open With programs in WindowsDescriptionOpen With is a useful feature of the Windows operating system that allows you to open files with different programs from Explorer.Author Martin BrinkmannPublisher Ghacks Technology NewsLogo Advertisementlast_img read more

Brazil to invest 66 billion in roads railways

first_imgLondon-based consultancy Capital Economics called the measures “good news” in a research note, but added that “any impact will be felt over a period of years rather than months. We remain of the view that growth in the near-term is likely to disappoint.”Brazil’s richest man, billionaire Eike Batista who has direct interests in the infrastructure improvements with his commodity businesses, lavished praise on the project, which he dubbed a “kit for happiness.”O Globo newspaper quoted the steel, mining and energy magnate as saying the “mega-package is spectacular for Brazil.”___Associated Press writers Jenny Barchfield in Rio de Janeiro and Bradley Brooks in Sao Paulo contributed to this report.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) “We’re starting an initial stage from which Brazil will emerge richer and stronger,” Rousseff said at a ceremony announcing the package, which comes as Brazil gears up to step into the world spotlight as the host of the 2014 soccer World Cup as well as the 2016 Olympics. “Brazil will finally have an infrastructure that’s compatible with its size.”Brazil’s economy has performed well during the last decade, but that strong growth dropped off last year and the government forecasts growth this year at 2.5 percent. Private economists surveyed weekly by the Central Bank now expect growth around 1.8 percent this. Despite that, the nation has yet to widely feel the brunt of the crises that have hit Europe and the U.S. since 2008 _ Brazil’s unemployment remains at record lows.But experts say that transportation bottlenecks must be solved to assure long-term growth. The hurdles have long made it difficult to move Brazil’s massive amounts of commodities from far-flung fields and mines to foreign markets, stifling the potential of important export sectors. Brazil ranks far behind other big nations when it comes to infrastructure, with a recent global competitiveness report from the World Economic Forum ranking the country No. 104 out of 142 nations on the issue. Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day “Brazil still suffers from weaknesses that hinder its capacity to fulfill its tremendous competitive potential,” the report stated, adding that the “lagging quality of its overall infrastructure” is an area of “increasing concern.”Under the terms of the new program, the government will award private companies concessions for construction, maintenance and operation of the projects through a competitive bidding process _ an approach that was widely hailed by the business sector here. Officials said calls for offers would go out in the coming months, with projects awarded the lowest bidder.Clesio Andrade, head of the industry group the National Transport Confederation, praised Rousseff’s left-leaning administration for opening the investments up to the private sector.“It’s important that after more than 20 years, the government has left behind ideology and opened the projects to participation by private enterprise,” Andrade said. “That gives a lot of strength to the projects and will help generate more jobs.”Andrade added that his group had called for at least $200 billion in new infrastructure funding.“With these investments and those we’re expecting for ports and airports, we’ll approach that goal,” Andrade said, while forecasting Rousseff would soon announce $125 billion for other transport areas. Many observers cast the investments announced Wednesday as an alternative to the government’s strategy of trying to promote growth by fanning consumption, particularly by the tens of millions of people who have emerged from poverty and into the lower middle class during the past decade. With those consumers increasingly mired in debt, the government is looking to major public works projects instead, they said.Analyst Steven Bipes, a Rio-based senior advisor at the Albright Stonebridge Group consultancy firm, also welcomed Rousseff’s announcement, which he said meets “the top-level area of dire need for investment _ logistics and transportation.”“The stimulus spending, because that’s what it is, is excellent, especially when complemented with medium- and long-term measures to address the underlying challenges,” including, he said, Brazil’s onerous tax regime and its expensive pension system. “It’s overall very positive because it takes an integrated approach to these issues, instead of dealing with them in an ad hoc fashion,” as Brazil has been wont to do in the past, he said.Still, some analysts cast doubt over whether the stimulus package would bear fruit in the short term. Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project Natural spring cleaning tips and tricks for your home Sponsored Stories Quick workouts for men Top Stories Comments   Share   Associated PressBRASILIA, Brazil (AP) – Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff announced a nearly $66 billion investment package on Wednesday to beef up the nation’s ailing road and rail systems, part of efforts to solve serious transportation bottlenecks and spur a sputtering economy.The investment includes laying 10,000 kilometers (6,200 miles) of train tracks and building or widening 7,500 kilometers (4,660 miles) of federal highways. Rousseff said the government would soon announce other packages aimed at airports, ports and transportation on waterways, other areas where serious deficiencies are seen as hobbling the South American giant’s growth. The difference between men and women when it comes to painlast_img read more

Sydney big player in business event market

first_imgSydney will see over 211,200 delegate days spent in the harbour city in 2012, as Business Event Sydney (BESydney) secures an estimated $191 million worth of conferences, congress and incentive programs.Ranging from small incentive groups and mid-sized congress to international mega events, BESydney is bracing for a bumper year for the business events industry in Sydney.The strong pipeline of business shows Sydney remains a big player in the global business events market, with BESydney Acting Chief Executive Officer Lyn Lewis-Smith saying the economic and social legacies of these events will be substantial.“Some of these bids were secured by Business Events Sydney over five years ago! Seeing all the cogs in motion – all our Ambassadors, stakeholders, strategic partners and government supporters – working together to make these events a success is going to be fantastic, and an opportunity to profile why the Sydney event experience is like no other,” Ms Lewis-Smith said. March is a popular month with a total of 9,500 delegates spending over 39,700 delegate days in Sydney attending BESydney secured events.Some events include the XVI International Symposium on Atherosclerosis, USANA Asia Pacific Convention and Tupperware Indonesia Manager’s Incentive Trip. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: K.Wlast_img read more

Woman admits stealing pot plants from graveyard

first_imgA 45-year-old woman from Pervolia has admitted to the police stealing pot plants and solar lights from graveyards in Kiti and Meneou.The police say they have received several reports recently of plants being stolen from Kiti cemetery.At around 7.30 on Wednesday evening police from the Kiti station went to the cemetery where they found the woman, whose car was full of pot plants and solar lights.An examination in her home revealed more pot plants, flowers and lights.The woman was taken to the Kiti police station where in her statement she admitted stealing the items from graveyards in both Kiti and Meneou.She was released to be taken later before court.You May LikeAmiraspantry.comTry this Shish Kabob : with the best marinade EVERAmiraspantry.comUndoOptimoveFive Retention Strategies for the Online Retailer | OptimoveOptimoveUndoCareers Advisor9 Worst College Degrees For Job MarketCareers AdvisorUndo Cyprus’ Dothraki warriorUndoAt least 20 killed, 50 injured in attack on VP candidate’s office in KabulUndoBrazil prison riot kills 52, with 16 decapitatedUndoby Taboolaby Taboolalast_img read more

Choosing to Repair Not Repeal the Affordable Care Act

first_imgShareTweetShareEmail0 SharesFebruary 10, 2015; NPR, “Shots”Although poor John Boehner has to lead his Republican colleagues through the monotonous mechanics of voting to repeal the Affordable Care Act whenever there is a lull in the House of Representatives, Speaker Boehner and his colleagues know that they have nothing to offer to replace the ACA. In fact, they know that to repeal and undo the program of national health insurance would be catastrophic for Americans. Aside from the indefatigable ideological positioning of some extreme wingnuts, the Republican establishment deep down doesn’t really want to scrap Obamacare.Writing for Kaiser Health News, Julie Rovner suggests that this might be the time to fix the problems in the Affordable Care Act rather than imagining the entire program ought to be tossed away. NPQ has suggested the same many times, noting that legislation is typically reopened for technical corrections after it is passed by Congress and signed by the president. In the case of the ACA, however, the political posturing and polarization have been so extreme that such logical, normal actions such as technical corrections were not possible to contemplate. But whatever their frustrations with the national health insurance program, by most indications Americans actually favor fixing rather than repealing the Affordable Care Act.If a sudden infusion of reason were to overcome congressional Republicans, what might be the agenda of fixes that our nation’s leaders might be well advised to pursue? A panel at the National Health Policy Conference earlier this week generated a list of potential ideas for improving the statute.Jon Kingsdale, who led the first health exchange in Massachusetts prior to the ACA, said, “We took the most complex health care system on God’s green earth, and made it 10 times more complex.” Simplifying the “impossible job” of implementing the ACA would be high on his and probably most people’s agendas.Judith Solomon of the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities suggested that there should be a modification in the way income eligibility is determined. Currently, taxpayers and the IRS have to rely on tax returns that are more than a year old—obviously, with tax data that is two years old—to predict their income eligibility for ACA subsidies. For determining income eligibility, something more robust and reliable is needed. Solomon also called for a “hardship exemption for people expected to pay back tax credits…because they underestimated their incomes,” or if not a specific hardship exemption, some sort of sliding scale so that moderate income taxpayers aren’t whacked with enormous tax bills.Joseph Anton of the conservative American Enterprise Institute suggested a resolution to the problem of paying back tax credits—just get rid of the individual mandate entirely and replace it with a formula for requiring uninsured individuals to pay more for health coverage.Georgetown University’s Sabrina Corlette recommended getting rid of the provision that permits insurers to charge higher premiums to tobacco users. “It prices out of coverage low- and moderate-income people who could most benefit,” she said. “And there’s no evidence that it encourages people to quit.”The report seemed a little dispirited as the panelists acknowledged that Republicans were unlikely to be hit by that bolt of rationality necessary to repair rather than repeal the Affordable Care Act. Ultimately, however, the truly vital fix is at the state level. Until all states expand Medicaid eligibility to include the near-poor as well as the poor, millions of Americans will be left in a coverage gap between incomes too high for subsidies on the exchanges but too low to afford some insurance premiums and copays.—Rick CohenShareTweetShareEmail0 Shareslast_img read more

California Brings Benefits of Solar Power to LowIncome Residents

first_imgShare40TweetShareEmail40 SharesCC0, LinkJuly 30, 2018; Yale Environment 360Despite the Trump administration’s quest to invalidate California’s authority to enforce stricter rules on greenhouse gas emissions, California continues to lead the pack in reducing its carbon footprint through its cap-and-trade program. The program “caps” the amount of carbon dioxide emissions while allowing companies to “trade” surplus allowances to other businesses that surpass emission limits. Companies are able to purchase allowances at monthly auctions that have generated $4.4 billion in state revenue since 2012.As the state transitions to clean, renewable energy, it recognizes the need for equitable policies and practices that center the most marginalized. Research shows that low-income communities incur higher energy costs and are more likely to suffer from environmental pollutants, resulting in increased rates of disease. As a result, the state has engaged in energy justice—the involvement of underrepresented communities in creating solutions and the fair distribution of clean energy benefits within its clean energy laws. Under Assembly Bill (AB) 1550 (Gomez, Chapter 369, Statutes of 2016), 35 percent of auction proceeds must be used for projects targeting state-defined disadvantaged communities.One shining example of the state’s progress, is the construction of Casas de la Viña, an affordable housing complex specifically designed for farm workers in Central Valley. The development was conceptualized by Self-Help Enterprises, a community development nonprofit whose mission is “to work together with low-income families to build and sustain healthy homes and communities.” The organization serves San Joaquin Valley, known for its agricultural production and high poverty rates. Casas de la Viña is considered a groundbreaking project for a region whose housing often lacks adequate sewer, energy and water services. The complex, which is managed by a nonprofit developer, has “upgrade[d] its hot water systems, put in interior and exterior LED lighting, replaced old refrigerators and faucets, sealed ductwork, [and] installed heat-pump water heaters (which are about 200 percent more efficient than the old models),” with the assistance of the Association for Energy Affordability, a nonprofit energy provider. The upgrades contributed to the complex achieving zero net energy status, one of the first housing complexes in the United States to do so.While the marriage of policy and nonprofit partnerships has proven successful in targeting such communities, building community trust continues to be a barrier to green energy adoption. Centering equity and the involvement of marginalized communities will be critical in changing energy consumption behavior and mindsets. Despite the inherent challenges, California has made considerable progress in this area. For instance, in 2017, the state increased the share of people from underrepresented communities enrolled in clean energy apprenticeship programs to 60 percent.Additionally, the state offers funding to nonprofits to promote energy justice through its California Environmental Protection Agency (CalEPA) Environmental Justice (EJ) Small Grants Program. Grants of $50,000 are provided to nonprofits that specifically engage underrepresented communities in designing solutions and benefiting from clean energy. Projects range from developing youth ambassadors, training cosmetologists in chemical reduction strategies, training indigenous tribes in wildfire reduction techniques, and engaging incarcerated people in creating solutions to environmental justice.As California continues its efforts, more states may look to California as a model for successfully engaging citizens as partners in a greener, more equitable future. As California has shown, multi-stakeholder partnerships with local agencies, community-based organizations, businesses and other stakeholders, are necessary to get the transformational change needed to stave off extreme weather.— Chelsea DennisShare40TweetShareEmail40 Shareslast_img read more

Oregon Institutes Statewide Rent Control…Sort Of

first_imgShare7Tweet2ShareEmail9 Shares“We need rent control,” JK B.February 28, 2019; The OregonianOregon Governor Kate Brown was hailed across the country yesterday when she signed the nation’s first statewide rent control law. The measure was hailed as a win for housing justice and a piece of bipartisan cooperation. However, it falls far short of providing a real solution for Oregon’s renting residents, and some advocates expressed concern that its shortfalls outweigh its gains.The bill, SB 608, is 22 pages long and includes many specific provisions. Its main point, according to the media narrative, is the cap it imposes on rent increases: 7 percent per year, plus the cost of inflation. Several notable exceptions exist, including:Rental units constructed within the last 15 yearsSubsidized units such as section 8 housingUnits vacated by tenants of their own accord Image courtesy of Portland Tenants Union.In addition to those exceptions, many observers noted that a 7 percent cap is quite high; cities in nearby California, which can impose local rent control measures, usually cap increases at the cost of inflation, which has ranged from 1 percent to 3.6 percent in Western states in the past five years. Oregon’s rule allows landlords to increase rents up to 10 percent per year. Not only is that level of increase unaffordable for many families, it’s actually a higher rate of increase than has occurred without the cap over the past 10 years.What’s more, localities do not have the power to impose stricter controls. In some states, such as California, voters have won the right to impose municipal controls, but SB 608 maintains Oregon’s ban on such measures; Elliot Njus, who has been following this issue for The Oregonian, reports that “landlord groups…viewed [SB 608] as a better alternative to removing the state’s ban on local rent control policies.” Margot Black, a Portland tenant organizer, said, “I think it does more to protect landlords from strong tenant protection than to protect tenants from landlords.”The cap does forbid the sudden price increases that have forced many Oregon tenants from their homes, which is certainly a win; some report overnight doubling of rents. But it doesn’t do anything to increase long-term neighborhood stability.Last June, NPQ’s Cyndi Suarez wrote about how, starting with the Nixon administration, government support for affordable housing has been cut back, leading to a dearth of supply. Governor Brown seems to agree; she called for $400 million for “affordable housing development, rental assistance and homelessness prevention” and said, “We need to focus on building supply.”Many outlets cited economics studies purporting to show that rent control ultimately decreases the supply of affordable housing, because price controls disincentivize landlords from renting. However, NPQ’s Steve Dubb pointed out,It sounds so obvious…except that it is not. In economics, the core neoclassical assumptions vary greatly from what we see. A well-functioning market requires “perfect information,” but anyone who has ever looked for a place to live knows that real estate is riven with uncertainty. A well-functioning market also requires perfect competition, which, due to barriers to entry, doesn’t characterize real estate either. It is hard for tenants to organize and become their own landlords, which doesn’t stop housing cooperatives from being a good idea.A 2018 study from Stanford University found that rent control in San Francisco limited renters’ mobility (meaning it increased neighborhood stability) by 20 percent. The study also found that supply was reduced, but as Dubb points out, this is likely due to the tech boom more than to rent control.Oregon’s bill deals with other common issues faced by renters; it includes provisions related to no-cause eviction, relocation assistance, and vacancy control. And critically, the bill is declared as an emergency, so it goes into effect immediately, giving landlords no time to raise rents before the cap hits.However, as Portland Tenants United (PTU) argues, there are many loopholes in these provisions a well; for instance, no-cause evictions are allowed during the first year of tenancy and the language around qualifying reasons that a tenant may be evicted is so weak, it hardly protects renters at all.PTU had a thoughtful and informative Twitter thread about SB 608, in which they highlighted tenant advocacy and called for restoration of local control over rents.Cyndi Suarez pointed out that the movement to consider housing a basic right is only now growing in the US. Joshua Mason, an economics professor at Roosevelt University, wrote,The real goal of rent control is protecting the moral rights of occupancy. Long-term tenants who contributed to this being a desirable place to live have a legitimate interest in staying in their apartments. If we think that income diverse, stable neighborhoods, where people are not forced to move every few years, [are worth preserving] then we collectively have an interest in stabilizing the neighborhood.As long as the US fails to consider housing a basic right, it will be subject to the market forces that make it unaffordable for so many people. Rental units are subject to much greater price variation than mortgage rates or property taxes, disproportionately punishing those with fewer means.Katrina Holland, the executive director of Oregon’s Community Alliance of Tenants, was dissatisfied with the bill and said, “You’d better believe we’ll be back.”—Erin RubinShare7Tweet2ShareEmail9 Shareslast_img read more

Outgoing Virgin Media boss Neil Berkett has spoken

first_imgOutgoing Virgin Media boss Neil Berkett has spoken out against “clumsy” government intervention in the rollout of high-speed broadband, warning that it could prove detrimental to competition.Berkett, who is due to step down from Virgin Media in the coming months when Liberty Global closes its planned buyout of the UK operator, used a keynote speech at Cable Congress to warn that though politicians may be tempted to write cheques to speed up broadband rollout, this “can often do more harm that it will good.”“Few disagree that even in times of austerity, and perhaps particularly in this tough economic period, that investment and infrastructure is a wise thing to do,” said Berkett, admitting that there was a case for helping to connect rural communities and for investing in digital infrastructure, which he called “a 21st century essential.”However, he added that “the closer you get to areas where genuine competition exists, the more you risk even a modest amount of public money scaring off the investors all together.“Any cable company should be comfortable with the idea of competing. But the point at which those competitors enjoy help from the tax payer is the point at which our investors become less confident and the investment in our infrastructure disappears,” he said.In a pointed attack at the UK government, which alongside its commitment to bring high speed broadband to rural communities has pledged £150m for an Urban Broadband Fund to create ‘super-connected cities’, Berkett said: “Don’t focus on short-term projects or areas where the market is already delivering. Instead, do more to boost the long-term skill and capabilities necessary to ensure businesses take advantages of the opportunities of the digital age.”He added that “competitive markets in big infrastructure-heavy businesses such as ours, are difficult to build and actually easy to break.”last_img read more