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TMC to release election manifesto on March 26

first_imgKolkata: Trinamool Congress is likely to release its Lok Sabha election manifesto on March 26.The manifesto will not only focus on Bengal but will have a national perspective stating the role TMC needs to play in constituting a new government at the Centre. Apart from English and Bengali, the manifesto is likely to be released in Hindi, Nepali, Santhali and few other languages too with the Trinamool Congress fielding as many as 24 candidates from Odisha, Jharkhand, Assam, Bihar and the Union Territory of Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari PujaThe manifesto is also likely to talk about the various developmental and social schemes undertaken by the Trinamool government since 2011. Schemes like “Kanyashree”, “Rupashree”, “Gitanjali” is likely to find a place in the manifesto. “It will lay emphasis on Bengal but with our party supremo emerging as a key figure in national politics, it may focus on the role of our party if the BJP is voted out of power and a new government is formed,” a senior party leader said on condition of anonymity. Also Read – Bengal civic volunteer dies in road mishap on national highwayThe manifesto is likely to raise the issue of various decisions taken by the Narendra Modi government in the last five years that have resulted in hardships and sufferings of the common people. It may be mentioned that Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee had slammed the Narendra Modi government at the Centre against its decision of note ban, implementation of GST and also against the saffron party’s politics of divisiveness and spread of hatred among the masses.last_img read more

Saudi crown prince in China on latest stop of Asian tour

BEIJING — Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is in China on the latest stop of a sweep through Asia that aims to expand the kingdom’s influence on the continent.Prince Mohammed’s arrival Thursday was reported first by Saudi media. He’s due to meet Chinese President Xi Jinping on Friday, highlighting bilateral trade in oil and Chinese manufacturing.Prince Mohammed’s visit to Beijing follows one earlier this week by a high-powered delegation from Saudi Arabia’s chief strategic rival Iran.The trip comes five months after the crown prince came under intense pressure following the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.It also happens as China is facing growing international criticism over its treatment of its Muslim minority groups — conspicuously little of it coming from Islamic nations.___This story has been corrected to show Beijing is not the final stop on Asian tour.The Associated Press read more

Netflix stock takes a hit on worries that return of Arrested Development

Netflix stock takes a hit on worries that return of ‘Arrested Development’ won’t be a big hit AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email by Michael Liedtke, The Associated Press Posted May 28, 2013 3:26 pm MDT SAN FRANCISCO – The hoopla surrounding the return of “Arrested Development” on Netflix’s Internet video service has quickly dissolved into a letdown on Wall Street.Netflix’s stock fell by more than 6 per cent Tuesday as investors reacted to critics’ mixed reviews over the weekend of the first new “Arrested Development” episodes since Fox cancelled the TV series seven years ago. The shares shed $14.55 to close at $214.19, marking the biggest one-day drop in the stock in nearly six months.IDC analyst Greg Ireland characterized Tuesday’s sell-off as an overreaction, given that it’s far too early to know whether Netflix’s latest high-profile foray into original programming will turn out to be a hit or a flop for the company. That determination probably won’t be made until late July, when Netflix Inc. typically announces the number of subscribers it added during the April-June period.Netflix declined Tuesday to disclose any information about how many and how much subscribers have watched “Arrested Development” since all 15 new episodes were released at once early Sunday morning. The mass debut made it possible for Netflix’s 29.2 million U.S. subscribers to watch as many episodes as they wanted during the holiday weekend as part of their $8-a-month subscription fee. Many people opted to view them all at once rather than space them out over weeks or months.“Arrested Development” is the third original series to debut on Netflix this year, but it has attracted far more attention than the others because of its built-in fan base and a popular cast, which includes Jason Bateman and Michael Cera.Netflix also raised hopes for “Arrested Development” by predicting the series could help add as many as 880,000 U.S. subscribers to the online video service during the three months ending in June. That would be 350,000 more subscribers than the service gained during the same stretch last year. It’s traditionally a sluggish period for the company because more people are on vacation and doing things outdoors instead of spending a lot of time watching video.The Los Gatos, Calif., company didn’t make any of the new “Arrested Development” episodes available for advance viewing. That made it impossible to know ahead of time whether the series retained the same quirky humour and appeal that won the show critical acclaim, Emmy awards and a devoted fan base during its three-year run on Fox and its subsequent distribution on Internet video services such as Netflix.Once they saw the resurrected “Arrested Development,” some influential critics panned it as a disappointment. The New York Times was particularly harsh, asserting that Netflix had “killed” the series. Variety was only slightly kinder in describing the revival as “an interesting idea that was more exciting on paper.”But many other critics hailed the new episodes for being just as good, if not better, than the show’s original incarnation. “The comedic payout begins to multiply with each succeeding episode,” asserted The Hollywood Reporter’s Tim Goodman, who recommended watching the new season at least twice to get all the jokes. Other reviewers in daily newspapers scattered across the country also praised the series.As of late Tuesday afternoon, “Arrested Development” had received a 72 rating on a scale of 100, based on 10 professional reviews analyzed by Metacritic.com. That compared with a rating of 76 for the political drama “House of Cards” and 46 for the thriller “Hemlock Grove,” the other Netflix-financed series released on the service this year. Metacritic considers a rating of 61 to 80 to be signifying “generally favourable reviews.”The opinions of the critics ultimately won’t matter if Netflix’s subscribers are enjoying the new episodes of “Arrested Development,” Janney Montgomery Scott analyst Tony Wible said.The show becomes “almost like a marketing vehicle for Netflix” as satisfied customers keep their subscriptions and help create a buzz that attracts new subscribers, Wible said.Just a whiff of negative sentiment about “Arrested Development” was enough to spook Wall Street. Many investors have been betting that the series will accelerate Netflix’s subscriber growth and provide further validation of the company’s decision to spend about $200 million annually on original programming in an effort to make its Internet video service as compelling as any broadcast or cable TV network.The buildup to “Arrested Development” helped Netflix’s stock recover from a backlash to price increases and proposed service changes announced nearly two years ago. The stock plummeted from nearly $305 in July 2011 to below $53 last August. Even with Tuesday’s sharp decline, Netflix’s stock has more than doubled in value so far this year.The run-up has left investors paying about $144 for every $1 in Netflix’s projected earnings this year compared with $23 for every $1 in anticipated earnings for Google, the Internet’s most powerful company. Netflix’s lofty valuation means the slightest stumble can cause many investors to dump their shares, Wedbush Securities analyst Michael Pachter said.“It’s a stock that is priced for perfection,” he said.A sampling of traffic Sunday indicated that “Arrested Development” got off to a positive start, despite the misgivings of some critics.Procera Networks, which provides Internet traffic management for broadband providers, estimated that about one-third of the Netflix subscribers it monitored watched at least one episode of “Arrested Development.” Procera monitors traffic for several major broadband providers, though it doesn’t identify which ones. The traffic for “Arrested Development” was far better than the 11 per cent of Netflix subscribers who watched at least one episode of “House of Cards” during its debut weekend in February, according to Procera.Netflix credited the popularity of “House of Cards” for helping its service add 2 million U.S. subscribers during the first three months of this year, about 250,000 more than the same time last year.About 10 per cent of the Netflix subscribers monitored by Procera finished the entire season of “Arrested Development” on Sunday.“I would call that a numbers success, regardless of critical acclaim,” Cam Cullen, Procera’s vice-president of global marketing, wrote Tuesday in a blog post. read more

Viacom and Google settle 1B lawsuit over alleged YouTube piracy

by The Associated Press Posted Mar 18, 2014 7:20 am MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email NEW YORK, N.Y. – Viacom says it’s settled its $1 billion copyright lawsuit against YouTube.Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed.New York-based Viacom Inc. filed the suit in 2007, claiming that YouTube was aware that thousands of videos on its site were stolen from its TV networks such as Comedy Central, MTV and Nickelodeon.Litigation dragged on for years, but a federal judge ruled last year that the online video site didn’t have to police itself as long as it removed infringing videos when copyright owners gave it notice.Viacom and Google Inc., which bought YouTube in 2006, say the settlement reflects increasing talks between the two companies related to important opportunities. Viacom and Google settle $1B lawsuit over alleged YouTube piracy read more

Conservationists and palm oil industry should collaborate to protect great apes fragile

Investing in forests is win-win for communities, climate and orangutan conservation. Photo: UNEP Another editor, Dr. Erik Meijaard, cited the impact of unsustainable palm oil development in Indonesia, where he is based.“It’s time we recognized that the land-use choices we make as human beings can have devastating results not just for ourselves, but for biodiversity,” he urged. “The climatic conditions that now occur regularly in Southeast Asia – floods, the fires, the temperature rises – are no accident.”Dr. Meijaard explained that these conditions are rather the result of poor land use decisions and ignoring the costs of deforestation. He expressed a hope that the report would be seen as a resource for better planning in the future.“Africa may seem vast and limitless as a future site for palm oil, but Borneo and Sumatra once did, too. Better management in palm oil is possible. The evidence is there that great apes can be managed in oil palm plantations. But the good examples are vastly outnumbered by the bad ones, and that needs to change,” he said.Although sustainable palm oil accounts for some 20 per cent of global production, only half is sold. UNEP advocates expanding the current market for sustainable palm oil in order to drive conservation efforts that would support the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Palm oil is a $62 billion industry and an ingredient found in roughly half of all items on supermarket shelves. In 2014, UN Environment signed a memorandum of Understanding with the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil in order to encourage consumer demand to move towards sustainably sourced palm oil.Palm Oil Paradox advocates a multi-stakeholder approach that includes environmental experts from the start as well as strictly enforced “no-kill” policies and environmental teams to monitor, manage and protect great apes and high conservation value (HCV) forests.Dr. Marc Ancrenaz, lead editor of the report who has worked in great ape conservation for more than three decades in Africa and Asia, said: “There are so many lessons to be learned from the cultivation of palm oil in Southeast Asia; not just mistakes, but successes too, and we believe that it is crucial that those lessons be carried over into Africa.”“We also felt it was important to address many of the misperceptions regarding the palm oil industry and suggest a new dialogue that finds ways to collaborate with an industry that will only grow bigger in the years to come,” he added.“The conservation of orangutans and biodiversity is our first priority, but it’s clear we need a fresh perspective if we’re going to achieve our goals in the years ahead,” he said. Burning rainforests on Borneo and Sumatra to make space for palm oil plantations is one of the greatest threats to orangutans. Photo: UNEP GRID Arendal/Peter Prokosch The recommendation follows the release of a new report, Palm Oil Paradox: Sustainable Solutions to Save the Great Apes, the result of a two-year study of palm oil development in Southeast Asia. It includes steps required to ensure that the loss of biodiversity that occurred in that region is not repeated as the crop expands into Africa.The report was produced by UN Environment through the Great Apes Survival Partnership (GRASP), an alliance of 105 governments, conservation organizations, research institutions, UN agencies, and private companies committed to ensuring the long-term survival of great apes and their habitat. The report was released at the 14th Roundtable on the Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) meeting in Bangkok. “This report recognizes that palm oil is here to stay and the hard line boycotts are unlikely to achieve success,” said GRASP coordinator Doug Cress.“Right now, all of the chimpanzees, gorillas, bonobos, and orangutans in the world are classified as endangered or critically endangered, so we need to find a way to work constructively with a commodity that can either hasten extinction or offer a way forward. Palm Oil Paradox makes it clear that finding common ground with palm oil developers makes sense,” he added. read more

My daughter was seen by the NHS 47 times but no one

When Dawn Wilson thinks about the day her 13-year-old daughter died during an asthma attack, she bursts into tears. Wilson, 44, sobs as she remembers Tamara Mills’ last words, “I’m struggling to breathe”; the way she looked when she lost consciousness; and the fact she died alone with only hospital staff around her. Asthma attacks were nothing new for Tamara. In fact, she had been admitted to hospital almost once a month since the age of seven, when she contracted swine flu. She had been to see medical professionals 47 times in different parts of the NHS in the four years before she died in April 2015. But on each occasion, medics had failed to connect her health records and notice how frequently… read more

HandballPlanetcom predictions Womens OG 2012 Replay of the Final from Beijing 2008

← Previous Story Handball-Planet presents Men’s TOP 10 Handball Stars at the Olympic Games! Next Story → Handball-Planet presents Women’s TOP 10 Handball Stars at the Olympic Games! After prediction of Men’s Olympic Tournament, Handball-Planet.com gives some tips about Women’s tournament in London. For our journalist, there is no doubt that Norway is the bigggest favourite to “pick up” second Olympic gold in a row. Prediction is that in the Final we will see the Replay of the Beijing 2008 Final between Norway and Russia. Third favourite is France, silver medal winner from the last WCh 2011 in Brasil.Battle for the semi-finals will be extremely interesting due many teams who are on the same level. Our prognose is that fourth team will be Montenegro with Bojana Popovic as a leader.5th to 8th placeDenmark, Brasil, Croatia and Spain 9th to 12th placeAngola, Korea, Sweden and Great Britain Copper BoxFrance handballHandball in LondonNorway handballOG 2012 HandballRussia handballWomen”s handball in London read more

Column Have we become numb to the figures on clerical child abuse

first_imgTHE RELEASE LAST week of eight more national audits of the Catholic clergy by the National Board for Safeguarding Children in the Catholic Church in Ireland (NBSCCCI) reveals a consistent trend that few religious perpetrators of the sexual abuse of children are being held to account by the Catholic Church or State in Ireland.The audits of 22 dioceses and six congregations show allegations were made against 796 religious where only 48 priests, or 6 per cent, were convicted. The cold statistics utterly fail to portray what such figures represent to survivors and their families.It is too hard to comprehend that 1,933 people raised allegations of abuse against 796 religious in 28 audits over four tranches conducted by the NBSCCCI so far.The aggregate figures seem unable to shock or appal. They have all been heard before. People do not want to be reminded of that stomach churn and anger they experienced when such news was far more visceral the first time they heard it.A 94 per cent chance of getting away with clerical child sexual abuse sends out all the wrong signals.As a survivor, I would like to take a look at what’s in a figure; examine the differences between Diocesan and Congregational child abuse data; review missionary child sexual abuse and see if the future holds out any hope for survivors and their families.What’s in a number?First let us look at the figures – what’s in a figure, a single count or conviction? As a survivor, I have no wish to feed any prurient interest in the details of such abuse of children. Perhaps when one considers what a conviction actually means, it might help put some perspective on the gravity of what has been reported in the figures presented to the public concerning the participants in the latest audits by the NBSCCCI.Figures matter, so let us look at the facts in the public domain behind the audits remembering each figure represents enormous distress and lifelong suffering.In the St Patrick’s Missionary Society audit, there is one conviction reported, where in fact there should have been two. The single figure in the report represented the conviction of Fr Thomas Naughton and the missing figure represented laicised Peter Kennedy. Both men were convicted and reported in the news media.On 17th December 2009, Fr Thomas Naughton, a 78-year-old member of the St Patrick’s Missionary Society, was convicted and sentenced to two years imprisonment having pleaded guilty to indecent assault of a victim, which began in 1982 when the victim was only six years old and Naughton was 51 years of age.On 9th July 2013, former priest Peter Kennedy, a 74-year old former Kiltegan, was convicted and sentenced to ten years imprisonment having pleaded guilty to indecent assault of 18 victims in over 100 incidents between 1968 and 1986. One the victims was only eight years old when his abuse began. Kennedy was 29 years of age when he began abusing these boys.Now read the St Patrick’s Missionary Society report where it says one priest was convicted. It doesn’t reveal the half of it; the bravery of the abused to seek justice, the devastation to the lives of so many, nor the fact when you increase the number from one to two for those convicted how many lives that increment by one represents. You suddenly are presented with 18 brave survivors and countless family members affected by such crimes and intergenerational lifetime devastation.Survivors rarely obtain justiceIn the eight dioceses of Derry, Dromore, Limerick, Elphin, Killala, Waterford and Lismore, Achonry and Archdioceses Cashel and Emly, there are now a total of 198 allegations against 109 priests for which there have been no convictions.The fact none, or so few, are ever held to account would not encourage others to come forward – especially when one considers the high risks involved in doing so.The question is simply this: would you take such risks, or even encourage someone dear to you to raise their complaint, in light of this information and the odds stacked against them? If you loved them at all, you would probably implore them to come away from such an action, fearing for them greatly.Many times survivors are told how brave they are, how courageous they are but they are also described as ‘money grabbers’ or seeking attention for a failed this or that life. Their suffering is minimised or trivialised in the multiplicity of lifespan burdens, which are all too often theirs to carry alone, if they can carry them.Have we become inured or numbed to the headlines and desensitised to the realities behind the figures? Can we no longer sense the heartache and life span devastation of those so abused and indeed their families and communities?Missionary child sexual abuseIf the average rate of accountability is only 6 per cent for clerical child sexual abuse that lowers to only 4.6 per cent for missionaries who are convicted, compared with 7.8 per cent for diocesans recorded in 22 of the 26 dioceses in Ireland.Not all survivors involved are from Ireland as revealed by missionary audits and reviews. Missionary child sexual abuse presents enormous complexity. For this reason, I have felt compelled to raise awareness of missionary child sexual abuse notwithstanding the enormous good in the world achieved by most missionaries for which the Irish people can be rightly proud. However we must not shirk any responsibility to offer ‘Rescue Services’ and ‘Safe Space Provisioning’ which I am calling for to those survivors abused by Irish missionaries at home and overseas.It has been very difficult to report on missionary child sexual abuse since the RTÉ fiasco, “Mission to Prey”, aired on 23rd May 2011. Following the release of the programme, the former head of the Irish Missionary Union, Fr Eamon Aylward said it would be difficult to investigate crimes in 83 different countries, but that in Ireland 99.9 per cent cooperation with state authorities is in place.To date there have been six missionary orders audited where a total of 452 priests have had 1,208 allegations raised against them but only 4.6 per cent or 21 priests have been convicted. This is a very sad reality which ought to raise calls for investigations into clerical sex abuse in Africa by Irish missionaries.In the audit reports to date, seven of those brave enough to come forward were from Africa where the risks are far greater to them in coming forward due to the very unsympathetic reception facing survivors of missionary child sexual abuse in Africa. Three are reported to have come forward in the Kiltegan report and four came forward in the Spiritan (Holy Ghost Fathers) audit report in the last tranche.One particular case involves an African who reported his abuse by a member of the Spiritans to the National Board for Safeguarding Children in May 2012 but it was not recorded in the audit report issued in September 2012 some five months after notifying the auditors. Only due to pressure to publish a correction was the error and oversight recorded on the NBSCCCI website in an amended Spiritan report. The number of priests against whom a complaint had been raised was incremented by one to 48 but notification to the Gardaí or HSE has not been incremented.Indeed it has only been reported that the safeguarding board has “no remit” to deal with abuse by Irish priests abroad. Not only are these African victims bereft of any justice by and large, but their legal rights are not protected where they have been contacted directly by agents for the religious orders involved.As a survivor, I would think it is not the place of the religious orders or their agents to compromise any survivor’s well-being or take high risks of re-traumatising them in the guise of support for them. Investigations are for the civil authorities due to the risks involved to any victim, both legally and medically.Conviction rates for sexual crimesObtaining a 6 per cent conviction rate for clerical child sexual abuse actually seems high when you consider that the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre noted in its Annual Report for 2012 that only three cases of rape out of 322 known cases actually succeeded in a criminal conviction. This shows that the crime of rape in general has less than a 1 per cent chance of a conviction for 2012 in Ireland.If anything, these odds are a frightening and powerful argument against personally reporting such abuse where justice demands so much from the victim and their families. Certainly, from a perpetrator or facilitator’s perspective, the policy of denial, collusion and cover up, pays too big a dividend in deferred minimal sanction imposed on perpetrators and an enormous financial gain over decades in accrued reputational standing to a diocese or congregation earned at the expense of sexually abused children. It is this sort of ‘return on deception’, which can motivate the facilitation of such heinous crimes against children. Financial restitution is the very thing that is so begrudgingly offered, if at all, and is invariably the cause of further humiliation and re-traumatises victims who seek what they most justly deserve.Safeguarding policy may well be improving and for that, mandatory reporting is needed – but so too then are ‘Rescue Services’ and ‘Safe Space Provisioning’ for survivors. Safeguarding should mean far better services to survivors and their families not just abuse prevention.Mark Vincent Healy is a survivor campaigner seeking ‘Rescue Services’ and ‘Safe Space Provisioning’ for survivors of clerical child sexual abuse.Read: Just 12 Christian Brothers convicted after 870 allegationsRead: Abuse victims’ group has “serious concerns” over safeguarding reviewRead: Safeguarding board has “no remit” to deal with abuse by Irish priests abroadWe’re interested in your ideas and opinions – do you have a story you would like to see featured in Opinion & Insight? Email opinions@thejournal.ielast_img read more

Column The Reform Alliance – should we expect radical change or more

first_imgTHE REFORM ALLIANCE is gathering momentum as it prepares for its conference on January 25th in the RDS. It appears to be the prelude to the formation of a new political party (although that’s been denied). But in the media coverage (at times overtly fawning) of the Alliance there appears to be little real questioning of the nature of the ‘reform’ they are claiming they stand for, nor much about who will benefit from such ‘reform’.Lucinda Creighton, who is leading the movement thus far, has stated that the Alliance is “interested in anybody who is interested in reform… genuinely implementing reform and not just talking about it”. However, this, and the majority of their media statements, tells us nothing of the policies they are proposing – such as what would they implement in government?Where we do get some insight into their policies, and their proposed ‘reform’, is in the political policies and stances that its leading spokespeople like Lucinda Creighton took prior to the formation of the Reform Alliance.The same policies that caused the crashFirstly, and most significantly, the economic policies advocated by Lucinda Creighton and the other TDs of the Reform Alliance have been the same neo-liberal, pro-capitalist policies that caused the crash. These are the neo-liberal economics that promote the concepts of deregulating markets, free trade, competitiveness, pro-multinational capital, privatisation of public services, low wages, reducing taxes on wealth and supporting corporate profiteering.Lucinda and the other former Fine Gael TDs supported wholeheartedly the austerity approach which has kept us in the crisis and has imposed the burden of the adjustment on the poor and those on lower incomes. Lucinda and the other TDs involved in the Reform Alliance voted for each austerity budget since entering government in 2011 and they also led the campaign for the Fiscal Treaty Referendum in 2012, which enshrined austerity into the heart of the euro area and handed over more control over our budgets to the European Commission and EU institutions.Even when they talk about the necessity of ensuring ‘social inclusion’ it is to be brought about through the Thatcherite economic theory of generating private entrepreneurial and corporate growth that will then supposedly ‘trickle down’ to the lower classes.Influencing the balance of powerWe would discover the true intent of their ‘reform’ policies if the Alliance declared its stance on forming part of the next government. With between five and ten TDs, the Alliance could be in a very influential position holding the balance of power after the next general election. The Alliance, therefore, should publicly state their position on whether they would support a Fine Gael or Fianna Fail led government after the next election (and it is up to the media to ask and get that answer).If the Reform Alliance answers that question with ‘that will depend on the situation that we face at that point in time and it will require major commitment to radical reform by those parties’ (ie, yes of course we will enter government with either Fine Gael or Fianna Fail), or ‘we have not determined our position on that yet’ (ie, yes of course) or, the straightforward honest answer of ‘yes of course’, then they are clearly not for any serious level of reform of our political or economic system. This is because both Fine Gael and Fianna Fail have been in power since the foundation of the State and have clearly demonstrated that they are unwilling and unable to implement radical reforms, once in government, that would strengthen democracy and benefit the majority of people in the country.What should we expect?The policies of these former Fine Gael TDs makes it clear that if a new party emerges from the Reform Alliance its policies will most closely match those of the old Progressive Democrats Party. The Alliance’s policies, therefore, can be classed as right-wing on economic issues, conservative on many social issues, and pro a European Union – that economic and political superpower.The media should be much more forthright in asking them (and ensure they provide an answer) on the detail on the type of reform the Alliance are proposing, and whether this is just another exercise in spin and PR politics that is becoming endemic in our political system.Radical reforms that would benefit the majority of Irish people would include calling for an end to austerity and a government-funded stimulus of job creation expanding the number of teachers, guards and nurses, as well as building social housing and upgrading hospitals. They would include a reversal of the decision to introduce water charges and ruling-out future privatisation of Irish water; an increase in the minimum wage and support for worker’s rights; calling on the ECB to cancel the illegitimate Anglo Bonds and threaten default; and a write-off of mortgage debt of distressed borrowers in their family home.It would also include an imposition of income equality measures such as a cap on bankers and higher earners’ pay, higher taxation on wealth, and a financial transaction tax to be introduced on markets. But we haven’t heard mention of any of these policies from the Reform Alliance TDs.Therefore, there is no evidence to back up the claims of Lucinda and the other Alliance TDs that the Reform Alliance is about creating a ‘new politics’ and offers ‘radical’ and ‘substantial’ differences in policy from that what already is presented by Fine Gael or Fianna Fail (or even Labour at this stage). But watch how the Alliance spokespeople keep their policies vague, general and all-encompassing in the run up to the next general election. They will talk of ‘change’, ‘honesty’, and ‘accountability’, but in reality this is the PDs being revived in another form, and in time, could become even more extreme.This is because the economic policies espoused by the TDs involved in the Reform Alliance caused the crisis and won’t get us out of it. They will in fact, as has already been proven in the austerity budgets they have voted for, worsen inequality and poverty.Public angerLucinda and her Reform Alliance followers are politically astute, and just like the recent move of Colm Keaveny, they are prepared to do whatever it takes to get re-elected even if that means contradicting their previous policies. They know that the anger amongst the public will be seen in the coming elections and, therefore, they want to present themselves as something different from the Government. They are likely to gain further momentum given their access to resources, money, PR companies and a cheerleading media, particularly the right wing commentariat.It is interesting to see how the Reform Alliance and Lucinda are fawned over by the media and promoted in contrast to the treatment of the Left TDs such as the United Left Alliance, who are often jeered and ridiculed. This is because the Reform Alliance is clearly on the side of the upper middle class and elite establishment, those who favour a capitalist Ireland, where everyone knows their place, and where, ultimately, the status quo is maintained.In responding to the widespread public anger and desire for real reforming politics, the Reform Alliance have, however, highlighted what the Left should be doing. The Left, including the ULA parties and Left wing independent TDs should put aside their differences and get together to form a movement that could offer some real radical reform that would benefit the majority of Irish people, particularly the vulnerable, unemployed, youth and working classes.Dr Rory Hearne is a Lecturer in Geography NUIM, member of Claiming Our Future and former community worker.Read: Creighton and Timmins insist Reform Alliance conference not prelude to political partyRead: ‘Everybody will be invited’: Reform Alliance to hold conference at the RDS this monthlast_img read more

Poll Should diesel vehicles be phased out in Ireland

first_imgYesNoDon’t knowVote Short URL Tuesday 6 Dec 2016, 8:32 AM Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article 188 Comments Dec 6th 2016, 8:32 AM 34,149 Views Image: Yui Mok By Cormac Fitzgerald Image: Yui Mokcenter_img http://jrnl.ie/3122160 Poll Results: No (11201) Share43 Tweet Email3 FOUR MAJOR CITIES announced last week that they would moved to stop the use of all diesel vehicles by the middle of the next decade.The BBC reported on Friday that the mayors of Paris, Mexico City, Madrid and Athens all said they would implement a ban to improve air quality.The commitments were made at a biennial meeting of city leaders in Mexico last week.The use of diesel as a fuel has come under scrutiny in recent years for the levels of pollution that it causes.The World Health Organization (WHO) says that around three million deaths every year are linked to exposure to outdoor air pollution.There have also been calls to phase out the use of the vehicles in places like London.So, what about here: Should diesel vehicles be phased out in Ireland? Poll: Should diesel vehicles be phased out in Ireland? Four major cities announced recently they would be bringing in bans in the next decade. Yes (4804) Don’t know (1606)last_img read more

Napoli president could not wait on Maurizio Sarri to make future

first_imgNapoli president Aurelio de Laurentiis has said he couldn’t wait any longer for Maurizio Sarri make any decision concerning his future at the club.Last Sunday, Chelsea had a general agreement with Sarri to succeed Antonio Conte but just last week, Napoli appointed Carlo Ancelotti to succeed Sarri as their new manager, according to Sky Sports Italia.De Laurentiis said he had to proceed and appoint Ancelotti, who has been out of management since he was fired by Bayern Munich in September 2017, for the best interests of the club.“There is no background to Sarri’s exit,” De Laurentiis said. “At a certain point, I told the press that his time was over.Maurizio Sarri, JuventusMaurizio Sarri satisfied despite Juventus’ draw at Fiorentina Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Maurizio Sarri was satisfied with Juventus’ performance on Saturday afternoon after finishing a tough game at Fiorentina 0-0.“I am in charge of a business, and I can’t be waiting for others to be available when they should always be available for the club.”“I gave him time, but then the time expired and I moved on by taking Carlo Ancelotti to Napoli,” he added.“We started to collaborate together for two days in Rome and then with Ancelotti first in London, then in Canada.”last_img read more

No Chelsea deal for Golovin

first_imgCSKA Moscow president says no agreement with Chelsea for Aleksandr Golovin, Goal reports.The future of the Russian World Cup star is expected to be sorted out within the next three days with Chelsea believed to be front-runners for his signature.Evgeniy Giner, who is the president of CSKA Moscow has revealed Golovin is close to leaving the club but refuses to confirm the destination of the player.Reports in English media have suggested that Chelsea were closing in on the 22-year-old Russian sensation who performances at the World Cup have led to more interest from Europe’s top clubs.Ligue 1 side Monaco have already submitted a bid for the attacking midfielder but it remains unclear where Golovin will end up.Tammy Abraham, ChelseaChelsea hat-trick hero Tammy Abraham hopes for more Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Tammy Abraham hopes this season will be his big breakthrough at Chelsea after firing his first hat-trick for the club in Saturday’s 5-2 win at Wolves.Giner expects the situation regarding the young star to be clear within the next few days while also stating he might need to leave to fulfil his immense potential.“In order to help Aleksandr we must let him go but we’re yet to find a solution. When we receive an offer we try to negotiate openly,” Giner told Sport 24 of Russia.“We were visited by Monaco Vice President Vadim Vasilyev who made an offer for Golovin.”“There’s no agreement with Chelsea, but I’m sure Golovin’s transition to another club will be sorted soon.”Golovin appeared in all five games for host nation Russia at the 2018 FIFA World Cup.last_img read more

Learn About Substance Misuse Among Wilmington Teens On December 3

first_imgWILMINGTON, MA — Join ROOTS Coalition for a discussion on the emerging substance misuse trends seen among our youth on Monday, December 3, 2018, from 6pm to 8pm, at Villanova Hall (126 Middlesex Avenue).Samantha Reif, LCSW Wilmington Health & Recovery Coordinator, will be on hand to lend her expertise. All participants are invited to give input on their experiences as well as provide support for those who need it.Parents and youth are welcome to attend.Light dinner provided by AJ’s Kitchen. First come, first served. Please RSVP HERE for planning purposes.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 wilmingtonapple@gmail.com.Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… Related5 Things To Do In Wilmington On Monday, December 3, 2018In “5 Things To Do Today”Wilmington Middle School Students Invited To Youth Town Hall Meeting On June 17In “Police Log”Wilmington Substance Abuse Coalition To Hold Candlelight Vigil On September 29In “Community”last_img read more

30 injured in London tower block fire

first_imgFlames and smoke billow as firefighters deal with a serious fire in a tower block at Latimer Road in West London. Photo: ReutersA huge fire engulfed a 27-storey block of flats in central London on Wednesday, injuring at least 30 people and possibly trapping some residents who were sleeping inside the towering inferno.Massive flames licked up the sides of the block as 200 firefighters battled the blaze for hours along with 40 fire engines. Flumes of black and grey smoke were billowing high into the air over London hours after the blaze was sparked.London Fire Brigade said the fire had engulfed all floors from the second to the top of the Grenfell Tower, where several hundred people lived on the Lancaster West Estate in west London.“We have taken 30 patients to five hospitals,” London Ambulance Service said.Some people were trapped in the fire, with residents desperately shouting for help from windows on upper floors as the fire spread, some British media reported.Reuters could not confirm those reports. A witness told Reuters that she feared not all the residents had escaped the fire. Some were evacuated in their pyjamas.Residents related how they woke up to the smell of burning and rushed to escape through smoke-filled corridors.“Firefighters wearing breathing apparatus are working extremely hard in very difficult conditions to tackle this fire,” London Fire Brigade Assistant Commissioner Dan Daly said.“This is a large and very serious incident and we have deployed numerous resources and specialist appliances.”More than 20 ambulance crews were at the scene. London Mayor Sadiq Khan said a “major incident” had been declared. Police closed the A40, a major road leading out of west London, while some parts London’s underground train network were closed as a precaution.The cause of the fire, which broke out just before 1 a.m. (0000 GMT), is not known, the Fire Brigade said. Residents said repairs, including the addition of some sort of cladding, had been made to the exterior of the block recently.last_img read more

Five Stories That Marked 2016 In Texas politics

first_imgBob Daemmrich for The Texas TribuneGov. Greg Abbott gave the opening speech at the state republican convention in Dallas, Texas on May 12, 2016.Donald Trump was not the only story at the center of Texas politics in 2016.It may have been the offseason for the Texas Legislature, but there still were ample attention-grabbing storylines in Austin and elsewhere. From Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick‘s turns in the national spotlight to Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller‘s shenanigans on social media, it was anything but a dull year for elected officials in the Lone Star State.Here are five stories that marked 2016 in Texas politics:1. Dan Patrick’s focus on social issuesPatrick, never one to shy from the spotlight, took an aggressive stance on a number of hot-button issues in 2016 that earned him national attention. Those same issues are poised to play starring roles in the upcoming legislative session, for which Patrick has already laid out 25 priorities.First came Patrick’s clash with Fort Worth Independent School District Superintendent Ken Scribner — and later the Obama administration — over guidelines directing schools to let students use the bathroom that corresponds with their gender identity. In Austin, the issue is far from settled, with Patrick pushing for a so-called “bathroom bill” to require people to use the bathroom that matches their birth gender. Then came Patrick’s push for more support for police after a shooting in Dallas that left five cops dead and seven injured. The rampage led to a nationally televised town hall where Patrick had a tense nine-minute exchange with President Barack Obama over whether Obama had been properly supportive of law enforcement. Patrick later rolled out a legislative proposal to better protect first responders that includes the state buying rifle-resistant vests for nearly 60,000 patrol officers.2. Greg Abbott’s convention of statesGov. Greg Abbott kicked off the year by announcing his support for a bold idea: a convention of states to amend the U.S. Constitution. Decrying an overreaching federal government, Abbott proposed nine amendments to give more power back to the states, a longtime rallying cry of Texas Republicans.Abbott ratcheted up his crusade over the summer, releasing a book focused in part on the issue and crisscrossing Texas to promote it. The tour fueled speculation that Abbott has his sights set on higher office, though he said the timing made no sense if he were eyeing a White House run. Share Abbott has renewed the push in recent weeks, saying a convention of states is still needed even after the unexpected election of a Republican president. Lawmakers in both chambers of the Legislature have filed resolutions calling for a convention of states, and Patrick has named the issue a priority for the upcoming session. 3. State legislative racesWhen it came to this year’s elections in Texas, no race could compete for the spotlight with the battle for the White House. But farther down the ballot, there were still some noteworthy developments, even if they did not drastically change the partisan makeup under the pink dome.In the March 1 primaries and subsequent runoffs, six Republican members of the Texas House lost their bids for re-election, including two committee chairmen. Fredericksburg hardware store owner Kyle Biedermann is set to replace state Rep. Doug Miller of New Braunfels, while Deer Park attorney Briscoe Cain captured Baytown state Rep. Wayne Smith‘s seat.In the general election, Democrats flipped four House seats in urban swing districts, unseating Republican state Reps. Gilbert Peña of Pasadena, John Lujan of San Antonio, Rick Galindo of San Antonio and Ken Sheets of Dallas. The only changes in the Senate came in the 1st and 24th districts, where Republican Sens. Kevin Eltife of Tyler and Troy Fraser of Horseshoe Bay are retiring. Both are being replaced by fellow Republicans — Eltife by state Rep. Bryan Hughes of Mineola and Fraser by Austin eye surgeon Dawn Buckingham.4. Ken Paxton’s legal troublesIt was a year of ups and downs for Attorney General Ken Paxton, who found himself fighting fraud charges in multiple venues. Paxton is accused of misleading investors in a company from before his time as attorney general. In 2015, a Collin County grand jury indicted him on criminal securities fraud charges. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission brought similar civil allegations against him in April.A federal judge dismissed the SEC case in October, giving Paxton his first major victory since the legal saga began. But two weeks later, the SEC amended its allegations against Paxton, ensuring that the federal case will not be going away anytime soon. The situation is bleaker for Paxton in the original state case. Texas’ highest criminal court, the Court of Criminal Appeals, declined in October to take up a request by Paxton’s lawyers to have the charges thrown out. That put Paxton, the state’s top lawman, on the awkward path of preparing for a criminal trial as early as this spring.5. Sid Miller’s headlinesAgriculture Commissioner Sid Miller never seemed far from the headlines in 2016. He gained instant notoriety in March when the Houston Chronicle reported that he had received a controversial painkilling treatment known as a “Jesus Shot” while on a taxpayer-funded trip to Oklahoma. The revelation sparked an investigation by the state Department of Public Safety, which ultimately declined to pursue charges.Miller also continued to court controversy on social media, a recurring theme of his time in office. The flap that got the vocal Trump supporter in the most trouble: a tweet calling Democrat Hillary Clinton the c-word. Miller blamed the tweet, which appeared days before the election and was then quickly deleted, on a careless staffer — but not before incurring a bipartisan wave of criticism, including a rare rebuke from Abbott for a fellow Republican. As the year wound down, Miller also found himself at the center of the post-election discussion over “fake news,” which has frequently found a home on his Facebook page. His defense? “I’m not a news organization.” Read more year-in-review stories here.This article originally appeared in The Texas Tribune at https://www.texastribune.org/2016/12/25/Five-stories-marked-2016-Texas-politics/.last_img read more

Subscribe to Office 365 get 12 months Xbox Live Gold for free

first_imgMicrosoft has just announced a sweet new promotion for families and students. If you sign up for a new Office 365 subscription, you’ll also score yourself twelve free months of Xbox Live Gold access.Live Gold usually costs around $50 per year (though you can often find a deal if you scour the web). An Office 365 Home Premium subscription is just $10 per month, so you’re essentially getting almost half your money back. If you’re willing to pay for a full year, you actually do hit the 50% mark since Microsoft reduces the Office 365 subscription to $99 when you pay up front. Eligible students can also opt for the four-year subscription — which costs just $79 for the duration.There are a couple of catches, as there always are with offers like this one. First, you’ve got to activate your Office 365 subscription by September 28. Second, you have to redeem your Xbox Live Gold code by October 31, 2014. You also need to live somewhere other than the United States.38 regions are eligible for the promo, including Canada, the UK, Australia, Germany, Italy, Sweden, and Russia. If you’re an Office user, own an Xbox 360, and live in one of the countries listed on this page, there’s really no reason not to take advantage of the offer.Even if you already have an Xbox Live Gold subscription, it’s probably still worth picking up Office 365. At $10 a month it’s not a big recurring expense, and you’ll be able to tack on your new Live Gold code when your current term runs out (assuming that happens before October 2014).You’ll also get access to Microsoft’s new mobile Office apps, which is another nice bonus. And while you need Microsoft’s console to enjoy Xbox Live, you don’t need one of its phones to use Office — iPhones and iPads have Office 365 apps, too.Still not sold? Don’t forget Microsoft also recently announced that it would be giving away two free games every month to Gold subscribers.last_img read more

Bungie turned Destiny into a rad space skatepark

first_imgBungie has been hard at work making changes and additions to keep players interested and active in Destiny ahead of the December 9 release of The Dark Below expansion. Earlier this week, Bungie dropped a massive 3GB update that added a much-desired opt-in voice chat, an extra five bounty slots (totaling 10), and more frequent public events. Earlier today, it was revealed that Destiny will have a free demo — not that the game’s sales really need it. That’s not all, though. If you pre-order the $34.99 expansion pass, you’ll get a free legendary Sparrow — the game’s version of a mount — that is not only a garish blue painted in intentionally cheesy flames, but can perform rad skateboard tricks.The EV-30 Sparrow will arrive in your Guardian’s mailbox at the Tower immediately after you purchase the expansion pass. Make sure you grab the expansion pass — not just either of the two individual expansions. If you already bought the pass, the Sparrow should already be in your mailbox. If you have multiple characters, each Guardian should have their own sitting in the mail.If you aren’t convinced the new Sparrow is worth it, Bungie put together a video of rad, space skateboard tricks you can perform when you aren’t murdering aliens and being mad at the randomness of raid loot.The EV-30 is a legendary Sparrow, and it may very well be your first legendary vehicle if you haven’t completed the raid (or spent rare currency at the special weekend vendor). It moves faster than other Sparrows of lesser rarity, can make quick, lateral boosts, and can perform tricks in the air, including flips, rolls, Supermans, and can cans.While doing the weekly raid last night, everyone in my party had the new sparrow, and were doing flips and tricks over every single hill, rock, or platform that looked even slightly reminiscent of a ramp. So, if you didn’t have an excuse to grab the expansion pass early, traveling in style is a good excuse.last_img read more

Dr Mahesh Sharma unveils TAAIs official publication NAMASTAAI

first_imgNAMASTAAI was released by Dr Mahesh Sharma, Minister of Tourism & Culture and State Minister for Civil Aviation at a well-attended event at New Delhi on June 6, 2016.This magazine covers extensively news from TAAI and its regions in a more effective form. Further, this magazine is utilised to feature ‘Welcome to New Members’, share industry trends with members, educational information pertaining to IATA and other industry matters, updates on airlines, tourism and allied matters including visa updates, travel technology updates, etc.One key purpose of this magazine is to hi-light member achievements and share TAAI’s glorious history, in parts, to bring TAAI closer to our new members.Sunil Kumar R, President, TAAI said, “TAAI is in its 65th year. We commenced four years after independence. Our members are leaders in all verticals of our growing and vibrant industry: Ticketing, Tourism – outbound, inbound, domestic; sports; health; medical, etc., MICE, Hospitality, Technology, Media and Education. We boast of a tremendous resource, expertise, experience and success stories of our members that make us the most formidable and nodal association in the travel and tourism industry. For decades, we reigned prominently. Perhaps, we were the only all-encompassing travel and tourism association that attracted attention. In changing times, it is important to strongly reflect our roots. NAMASTAAI is being introduced by our Managing Committee as the TAAI magazine to present TAAI in its full form. It is an initiative to renew TAAI getting ‘noticed’ – to get acknowledged that TAAI means Ticketing, TAAI means Tourism, TAAI means Technology, TAAI means MICEand TAAI means much more.”The 84-page magazine has a variety of content. It will help share best practices of TAAI’s own members who have accomplished outstanding feats in the industry – TAAI TRAILBLAZERS. It will help bring TAAI closer to its members with every issue featuring a part of its history and its leaders who have led TAAI from time to time – TAAI TORCHBEARERS. It will help upgrade its members and their agency personnel with new updates and projections in the industry – TAAI TRENDS.It will promote TAAI Regions and Chapters and the news at National & Regions and Chapters – TAAI TALK. It will feature tourism extensively to help identify that TAAI means Tourism as well in both inbound and outbound – TAAI TOURISM. It will have articles of educational relevance in changing times – TAAI TUTELAGE.last_img read more